Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39

Thread: Nor Cal Ren Faire, "Battle Ready 440 Stainless" ?

  1. #1

    Nor Cal Ren Faire, "Battle Ready 440 Stainless" ?

    I was just at the Rennaisance Fesival, and the sword vendor was telling passerby's that their swords were battle ready 440 stainless.
    I didn't talk with him about anything.

    any comments about this?
    Is what he said have any truth to it?
    I suppose it depends on a definition of battle ready.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    It's not the edge of the world, but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    3,953
    Battle-ready as in being stuck up on a wall and remaining shiny for years while you adore it from afar as a decoration, then yes.

    Battle-ready as in picking it up, swinging it against something and expecting the blade edge or hilt to survive? I'd say no.

  3. #3
    That is nothing new. People at Faire's will buy it and love it, or come somewhere like here and learn better. Best not to get another "what makes something battle ready?" started. I think the running conclusion is that my battle ready bananna will take out the 400 stainless piece
    Mike J Arledge
    Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
    Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
    Of all the lost adventurers my peers,--
    How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
    And such was fortunate, yet each of old
    Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


    Robert Browning
    --Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
    http://www.facebook.com/CreyrGlasLightworks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    584
    I wonder if, like "London broil," it once meant something. Or how many flying-shards-in-the-thigh each year aren't caught on camera. I thought BudK was a laugh until I remembered that.
    They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,
    Ne spake, ne mov'd their eyes:
    It had been strange, even in a dream
    To have seen those dead men rise.

    -- Coleridge

    Please, all you need for zombies is like 300ft of piano wire and a bus.
    -- Dana Price

    Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    It's not the edge of the world, but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    3,953
    I was succinctly sarcastic (or is that sarcastically succinct?) in order to get the first reply in (hooray!). Now I'll elaborate.

    A sword is a funky thing. A thin, flattened ribbon of steel you hold at one end and then slam edgewise into some rather firm stuff. In order to do that well and to do it often, there's some metallurgical mojo going on there.

    Stainless steel— ain't the first choice for smackitey goodness. It's great for stuff that will keep a bright finish with scant little maintenence, but its impact qualities are generally not up to par with other steels.

    The key is in the heat treatment of the blade— that's what keeps your ribbon of steel from retaining any warps or folds after the impact of fair use. Stainless steel does not offer the same control of refinement as other steels do when treated— the chromium musses with the conduction of heat and formation of grain structure that comes with treatment.

  6. #6
    unfortunatly, "battle ready" is just the term of the year to sell swords. unfortunatly it means nothing now a days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,880
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    unfortunatly, "battle ready" is just the term of the year to sell swords. unfortunatly it means nothing now a days.
    Exactly so.
    Tinkerswords.com Fine knives, swords and daggers in the style of the European Middle Ages and Viking Era

    "Then, one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield an ninety miles per hour, I had an epiphany..."

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,250
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tinker Pearce View Post
    Exactly so.
    This would be my pretty standard reply to stainless steel threads at SFI

    After awhile, it becomes like retelling of foklore around a campfire. Maybe there was a curiousity factor about any new/old news.

    Barry Dawson is often used as an example of a person that can turn stainless steel into katana. This is almost legend now, as the heyday was ten years ago. Barry was working these out of 440C stainless, a designation that sends shivers down the spines of those that don't know better. It can be made both ductile and hard.

    The following little tale is about a customer visiting Barry's shop to check progress on his sword (as told by Barry)

    www.dawsonknives.com


    I couldn't help but remember with a slight smile that day also. Mike had made the mistake of mentioning an article he had just read about sword testing in Japan. I calmly walked over to where his heat treated Katana blade lie on the work bench and proceeded to tighten the end of the blade in the vice. His jaw must have dropped two inches when I began to bend the blade back. I could feel his chest tighten as I grunted against the strength of the blade. About the time he yelled, "What the Hell!!". I slowly released the blade, removed it quickly from the vice and handed it to him with an amused grin on my face. I calmly told him to look carefully down the length of the blade. "I'll be damned"! Mike exclaimed. "It's as straight as an arrow".


    Bob Engnath made stainless katana as well.


    I don't know if Jerry Hossom still plays with longer blades in fancy steels, I can't find any good espada pictures quickly anymore but his site might have some.

    Even a lot of decorative swords are a lot tougher than they are generally given credit for.


    Cheers

    Hotspur; the argument (or intent) still seems to be "well, they can't possibly be as good as…" more than "it can't be done"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    154
    Perhaps they meant "battle ready" as in battling to stay consicious while driving yourself to the hospital. Or perhaps battling a nasty infection caused by the wound on your leg. Or maybe when your doctor battles to save your eye. I think that is what they meant by "battle ready"...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    I live in beautifull northeast penn.
    Posts
    87
    Hey TL, when I do my frist high brow sword review,can I use the term smackitey goodness.LOL

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,880
    [QUOTE=Glen C.;952998]This would be my pretty standard reply to stainless steel threads at SFI

    After awhile, it becomes like retelling of foklore around a campfire. Maybe there was a curiousity factor about any new/old news. [/i]

    Actually I was just agreeing that the term 'battle ready' had become meaningless...
    Tinkerswords.com Fine knives, swords and daggers in the style of the European Middle Ages and Viking Era

    "Then, one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield an ninety miles per hour, I had an epiphany..."

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    It's not the edge of the world, but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    3,953
    Quote Originally Posted by R.C.Goetz View Post
    Hey TL, when I do my frist high brow sword review,can I use the term smackitey goodness.LOL
    Just so you know: as its inventor, I get $1.05 every time someone uses the word "smackitey" when discussing the terminal ballistics of all weaponry.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Posts
    8,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Even a lot of decorative swords are a lot tougher than they are generally given credit for.[/i]
    I know I've done some horrible, blasphemous things coming out of high school with my first Pakistan made sword in hand. The rat tail hung secure after countless beatings.

    Not endorsing stainless steel. However shattering and exploding blades are more of the exception than the rule, however it happens to a much larger percent of stainless blades than the plethora of non stainless steels.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

    Ronin Outpost

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    north east England
    Posts
    3,052

    420 J2 stainless steel

    God knows what the above means ( guys - please help !)
    but I have an old united cutlery katana made from the stuff -

    ya know the one with mini tanto's in the saya ( shudders )

    anyhoo - it had a secondary bevel that was sharp enough for milk jugs but blow me if I didnt kill hundreds of milk jugs with the damn
    thing - and I am not maimed, blinded or charged with accidental manslaughter .

    I dont subscribe to the myth that stainless steel will instantly shatter into hundreds of murderous shards if a wallhanger is swung or used lightly - I echo Aarons sentiments that its just more likely to fail as opposed to other steels .

    # disclaimer - theres a heirarchy among wallhangers - United Cutlery and Marto for instance do a decent ornamental katana
    which I would trust more than some e-tailers 'can chop iron ' BS

    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    2,922
    Way back I messed around a bit with cheap priced stainless swords. Had a United Cutlery katana as a first sword (well, bought sword, anyway... I'd made a couple of sword like things before that to play with...). Accidently dropped it on the ground after a very gentle swing and then had 2 pieces of blade instead of one. Not something that has since inspired me to trust the low price range stuff, just seems like taking a chance that we don't have to. The grain size in that blade was huge and coarse, a blade that was plenty sharp to cut but just an accident that was waiting to happen. I was glad it happened with no damage to anybody or anything besides the sword....

    Glen's point that stainless isn't necessarily bad is valid, just needs to be done well and heat treated adequately. Something rock bottom pricing doesn't often imply, though...

    I wouldn't mind having one of Barry Dawson's katana... I liked the look of some of the sort of tactical style blades...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    north east England
    Posts
    3,052
    Hi Scott

    maybe I was just lucky that my UC katana never failed on me -

    I'll 2nd your theory on HT or lack of it for the money these things go for ,

    Scott - as your in the trade so to speak can you point me in the direction of where I can find out what things like 420J2 and 440 c
    actually mean please , thanks


    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    It's not the edge of the world, but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    3,953
    Bear in mind, there is scant little talk about 'shattering' stainless blades, except from those who detract such claims.

    I often compare stainless and carbon steels to tempera and linseed oil paints: a true master can make even a tempera or watercolor portrait come alive with detail, but oils in the hands of a master does so much more with the greater ease that comes naturally with the adept.

    Stainless, worked by the skilled, can work. The trick of the matter is that stainless is not the preferred media of the master, but the mass-market curio peddlar wants nothing else.

    We're talking about probabilities here, people. Not absolutes.

    And I did mention heat treat earlier on— the point I was trying to convey was that the characteristics of stainless makes a good heat treat harder (not impossible!) to attain, compared with other steels.
    Last edited by T.L. Johnson; 10-10-2007 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Thanks to Thomas Powers, master of both Japanese cuisine and the artistic medium.

  18. #18
    As most blade smiths will tell you, Stainless is great for knives, but horrible for swords. Yes, some of the 400 series can be heat treated, however, it is not the same as heat treating a carbon, tool, or alloy steel. Most stainless swords are "case" hardened, which is easily done to stainless, however, this is horrible for a sword at is makes the sword crack on the hardened surface, and the bend on the inside, causing easy breakage when a blade flexes. This is why is may be good for knives but aweful for swords.

    I have broken about 20 to 25 different stainless pieces, testing when I was younger and didn't know any better. Good thing I never hurt myself.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    central CT
    Posts
    150
    That whole sales line seems to be a large part of Faire these days, I am working at the CT faire right now, on sun I over heard 2 boys about 10 or 12 talking, the 1st boy after looking at my work,"wow this are REAL swords I bet they would cut your sword in half! second boy "no way My sword is stainless steel and that is the strongest type of steel for swords, thats is what my dad said the sales men told him and he is from japan so he would Know!..... at that point I nicely asked my booth help to take over for a bit and went over to the forgeing area to giggle uncontrolabily....

    of course all of that begs the question of why one would but a 10 year old a sword and let him walk around with it unsupervised.... even if it is most likely a SLO.

    the faires seem to be drawing more and more familys and less and less of the "rennies" this means that fewer and fewer of patrons have any clue of what a sword is let alone what makes a good sword. so sales terms like Battle ready take them in and get them to drop there money. trying to explain why it is untrue just makes them think I am trying to take there money and pisses them off.....so I don't bother any more. I try my best to teach folks at faire about swords but at times I think it is pointless. if this trend contnues I think I might have to stop doing renn faires and find anouther outlit for my work.

    MP
    Last edited by Matthew Parkinson; 10-10-2007 at 07:55 AM. Reason: proof then post!!!! and I still can't spell

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,880
    There's a big difference between a BudK wallhanger and a sword by Barry Dawson, folks. I don't know who said that you can't make a sword out of stainless as obviously it can be done. However-

    Given that both steels are properly heat treated a stainless sword will fail in use before the carbon steel sword does. Note that I say before not instantly. This is due to relatively large grain size in stainless steels caused by excess chromium that isn't bound up in carbides. The large grains mean that the grain boundries are weaker and it will fracture more easily along the grain boundries under severe shocks. This is why stainless is less than ideal for sword blades. As knives on the whole do not experience the levels of shock that swords do this is much less of a problem for knives.

    The primary objection to stainless swords is to CHEAP stainless swords where heat treat is done poorly which exacerbates the grain size problem. A cheap carbon steel sword is easier to heat treat than a cheap stainless one. Heat it up, quench it and temper.

    Stainless on the other hand requires much higher temperatures to reach solution, must be held at a relatively precise temperature for a relatively long time (the soak,) have the temperature raised to an even higher temperature and then quench. Ideally it will then be cooled to room temperature and cryogenically quenched before being tempered at a high temperature. If this isn't done quite rigorously and with precision you don't get good results. It's more difficult and even some knife companies that really should know better don't do a good enough job on heat treating Stainless- we certainly shouldn't trust a low-end maker to do it right.

    Even at the extreme high end, a sword's cross-section is going to matter. A through-tempered a katana's stouter cross-section will last longer when made from good quality stainless with correct heat treat than a European-style blade with a generally less robust cross section will with the same material and heat treat. Such a sword might last for years of sensible use before failing. On the other hand a carbon steel sword of comparable quality and design might last for decades- even centuries- of the same level of use.

    So- it is possible to make a stainless sword that is good and usable. It's just not as easy and it still will not last as long as a carbon steel sword of comparable quality.

    Perhaps better not to trust inexpensive stainless steel swords then?
    Tinkerswords.com Fine knives, swords and daggers in the style of the European Middle Ages and Viking Era

    "Then, one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield an ninety miles per hour, I had an epiphany..."

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  21. #21
    Well spoken Tinker. I stay away from ill-tempered metals
    Mike J Arledge
    Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
    Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
    Of all the lost adventurers my peers,--
    How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
    And such was fortunate, yet each of old
    Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


    Robert Browning
    --Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
    http://www.facebook.com/CreyrGlasLightworks

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,250
    Perhaps better not to trust inexpensive stainless steel swords then?
    Ummm, Bingo!

    We now have so many cheap non-stainless battle ready swords for beginners to choose from and builld false expectations with. The prefered term now seems to be "beaters".

    Oh well

    Hotspur; the sad fact is that most buy first and ask questions later

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by michael wilson View Post
    God knows what the above means ( guys - please help !)
    but I have an old united cutlery katana made from the stuff -

    ya know the one with mini tanto's in the saya ( shudders )

    anyhoo - it had a secondary bevel that was sharp enough for milk jugs but blow me if I didnt kill hundreds of milk jugs with the damn
    thing - and I am not maimed, blinded or charged with accidental manslaughter .

    I dont subscribe to the myth that stainless steel will instantly shatter into hundreds of murderous shards if a wallhanger is swung or used lightly - I echo Aarons sentiments that its just more likely to fail as opposed to other steels .

    # disclaimer - theres a heirarchy among wallhangers - United Cutlery and Marto for instance do a decent ornamental katana
    which I would trust more than some e-tailers 'can chop iron ' BS

    Mick
    Nobody was saying stainless can't cut up milkjugs or poolnoodles or cardboard tubes or watermelons. The term "battle ready" has a connotation that the sword can survive hard contact against metal, and the term is clearly abused. We have other terms (such as "smackity goodness") to describe being able to shear something that is at least tougher than a milkjug...usually bamboo or wood. Typical stainless, such as 420 or 440, can't handle that, as any young man who threw his stainless steel rambo knife at a tree can attest to, or the number of case or buck pocketknives with snapped off tips. There is a reason tools are made of carbon steel, and sword is a tool just like a screwdriver or wrench or axe or hammer.

    The problem is that someone who doesn't know any better will cut a milkjug or carboard box with his stainless steel wallhanger, and after observing the results, try a good hard swing at a 1-1/2" dowel to simulate lopping the head off a pike. But, nobody is going to stamp "For Chopping Milkjugs Only" on the blade of their "battle ready" sword.
    Last edited by J Rush; 10-10-2007 at 09:01 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    north east England
    Posts
    3,052

    Smile myth

    Not sure what your trying to point out there mate -

    The point I was trying to make is that a stainless steel blade does not automatically mean " a shards of flying debris fest "

    chances are the same people who will think their milk jug cutting wallhanger can cut through a 1.5"
    dowel will turn out to be the same people who think their hand forged katana with authentic bloodgroove and temperline will be able to cut a machine gun barrel in half


    its amazing how many myths get passed off as fact if repeated often enough , especially when it can be reinforced by vids such as the QVC katana guy .


    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  25. #25
    Just remember that they are using the term "battle ready", not "battle worthy". What a sword looks like when it is "ready" for battle is not the real question; whether it is "worthy" of battle is a question not answered until the battle is finished....

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •