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Thread: Godfred Destructive Testing

  1. #1
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    Talking Godfred Destructive Testing

    Ok, I'm not going to take back every thing I've ever said about the Hanwei Godfred but what follows was a moment of true discovery.

    What we have here is a picture of a broken Godfred blade, about midway of the blade length. The fracture shows my somewhat knowledgable eye that what we have here is surface hardening. I say this because the edge itself suffered no damage at all. Definitely harder on the outside.

    You can faintly see that the composition of the interior is quite pourus (I'll try to get a better scan of this, no joy, tough to do with a scanner) and that there was more than one crack.

    The break was achieved in splitting large chunks of Hickory, no lateral torque involved but dead on edge blows. Somewhere around the fifteenth blow the "tune" changed. The second crack shows just how soft these are inside. The thickness of the fuller at that point is very thin, very very thin.

    With this, I will say; don't use these swords for more than very light cutting. It's just not worth the risk of injury or damage to your pretty thing.

    Cheers

    Hotspur, don't try this at home
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-08-2002 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    Yikes!!! That should definitely give some people pause before purchasing a Hanwei Godfred.
    Jay
    Constant And True

  3. #3
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    Sacrifice...

    Thank you for your sacrifice...I know that I wouldn't destroy a sword to test it's strengths/weaknesses. It is through the generosity of folks like you that folks like me can make confident purchase decisions. I hope that you can find a positive use for what's left of the sword...
    In the words of Socrates, "...I drank what...?!"

  4. #4
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    Talking

    Let me just say that I will savor this batch of turkey and sausages as much as I can.

    Yes, I'll probably hilt the point end into some sort of dagger with a broad 10" long blade and use the remains of the hilt parts for something else. (it still looks fine on the wall in the scabbard)

    Cheers

    Hotspur, no tears

  5. #5
    Glen

    Let me know if you need any help making something new; I'd be glad to help.

  6. #6
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    A lance maybe

    Originally posted by D.A. Guertin
    Glen

    Let me know if you need any help making something new; I'd be glad to help.
    The more I look at the pointy half, it looks like it might make a dandy lance.

    Grind a radius on the fracture and scallop the edges ) ( just a bit. Slot a nice pole and 'poxy wrap it tight.

    Not quite sure yet

    Cheers

    Hotspur, the scabbard is still half full

  7. #7
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    Ouch!

    All I can say is, "ouch!"

    That gives us lots of new information, but it hurts to see it!

    I guess you are looking for a new PW blade now, eh?

  8. #8
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    Re: Ouch!

    Originally posted by Nate B.
    All I can say is, "ouch!"

    That gives us lots of new information, but it hurts to see it!

    I guess you are looking for a new PW blade now, eh?
    I'm afraid not for a few months, I went over budget on shorter stuff this year and there is a rather large claymore I'm saving for.

    There is a lot of very pretty stuff on the market right now but my heart went out to this one; answers to "stripe"
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  9. #9

    Question Sorry have to ask

    Some one once told me a sword is a sword an axe is an axe. So does the fact that it broke while splitting hickory, a job swords were never ment to do, make this a bad sword? If it had been used against a soft target like human flesh or had had a chance to strike a shield from the viking time period would the results have been the same? I'm not trying to be disrespectfull I just cann't see any historical swordsman using his sword to split wood, and cann't see were this makes a bad sword.

  10. #10
    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Good Point

    S Allen makes a tremendously good point. In "period", a sword would never have been used on hickory. A sword like that could probably have held up fairly well to a pitched battle or three, and a judicial duel or such.

    "In Period", many swords were hard on the edge, and softer inside. Pattern welded blades probably had such weak spots. Many later "homongenous steel" blades probably did too. Yet many made reasonable weapons for a while.

    Sword buyers today have much higher expectations. Yet, I'm not all that sure that many folks that make swords would be happy about honoring a "warranty" if the sword was broken chopping hickory.

    Still, a modern made blade really shouldn't have broken there. I can see a split handle, or a bent blade should the sword have gotten caught in the cut, and "torqued".

    Thanks Glen, interesting photo..........

  11. #11
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    More please

    generally swords dont break like that because they have softer cores. The softer they are the more fracture resistant they become normaly. Id love to see a close up of the break. The fracture edge on this one shows a very chunky, but relativly straight break. It looks like enormous grain size may have been the problem.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  12. #12
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    I should qualify my exercise a bit. I really expected the edge to roll a bit, I had put a fairly fine bevel on it.

    I was splitting with the grain and avoiding knots. The wood was already cut to lengths 8" or less. Certainly not anything a cheapo machete would not have handled.

    I just worry about these a bit more now, remembering one fellow had a tang let loose and described the same type of inner density. Perhaps they try to compact the tang area a bit more…but? The second crack almost indicates (to me anyway) that the blade failed from the inside out and cracked as it began to "sabre"

    I've no doubt now that if I had flexed the blade much past thirty degrees in the past, it would have set. I'm still not discrediting these swords entirely, just be careful.

    Sword abuse? Yup, it was indeed.

    Hotspur, the sausages are great and the turkey comes off at sundown

  13. #13
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    Re: More please

    Originally posted by Patrick Hastings
    generally swords dont break like that because they have softer cores. The softer they are the more fracture resistant they become normaly. Id love to see a close up of the break. The fracture edge on this one shows a very chunky, but relativly straight break. It looks like enormous grain size may have been the problem.
    Enormous might be an understatment in this case. Even but very open structure and definitely a hard candy coating, the shell is quite visible on the fuller as well. Perhaps soft wasn't the right word here.

    I tried to get a better scan of the break but it hasn't gotten better than the first pic. No digicam here.

    Nope, certainly wouldn't expect Hanwei to warranty this but if they want this blade, I'd take another

    Cheers

    Hotspur, may try another scan yet

  14. #14
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    2nd pic

    x
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    b&w last try

    xx
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  16. #16

    Re: More please

    Originally posted by Patrick Hastings
    generally swords dont break like that because they have softer cores. The softer they are the more fracture resistant they become normaly. Id love to see a close up of the break. The fracture edge on this one shows a very chunky, but relativly straight break. It looks like enormous grain size may have been the problem.
    I'm with Patrick for sure on this one as soft steel doesn't break like this. It really looks as though the blade was way overheated before hardening or held way too long at temp and the grain was allowed to grow.

    Can we get a picture of the inside of the break? An extreme closeup of the broken end from right on top of it instead of the side of the blade. I'm always fascinated when they fail all of a sudden like this. Even when abused on a hickory chunk!

    Brian

  17. #17
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    Wink Re: Re: More please

    Originally posted by Brian VanSpeybroeck


    I'm with Patrick for sure on this one as soft steel doesn't break like this. It really looks as though the blade was way overheated before hardening or held way too long at temp and the grain was allowed to grow.

    Can we get a picture of the inside of the break? An extreme closeup of the broken end from right on top of it instead of the side of the blade. I'm always fascinated when they fail all of a sudden like this. Even when abused on a hickory chunk!

    Brian
    Believe me, I'm still trying to find a way to get the blade jigged vertical on a flat bed scanner. (Where did I leave that skyhook?probably next to that left hand smoke turner)

    The jagged edges you see really do reflect the grain size

    See, now we're getting a metallurgy lesson, cool.

    Cheers

    Hotspur, time to go check the smoker

  18. #18

    Re: Re: More please

    Originally posted by Brian VanSpeybroeck


    I'm with Patrick for sure on this one as soft steel doesn't break like this. It really looks as though the blade was way overheated before hardening or held way too long at temp and the grain was allowed to grow.

    Can we get a picture of the inside of the break? An extreme closeup of the broken end from right on top of it instead of the side of the blade. I'm always fascinated when they fail all of a sudden like this. Even when abused on a hickory chunk!

    Brian
    I third that, That break is very consistent with large(not just kinda large) grain size.
    Im with Brian that it was probably a held overheat.

  19. #19
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    Is that real damascus or just etched (pardon, but I don't know Hanwei line).
    It seems to me to be a brittle fracture (steel shattered like glass), and not a plastic one, such as that pictured in the destructive test of ATrim Swede (steel deformed and torn away). It seems that something here is amiss on the heat treatment side...
    Temet
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  20. #20
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    Hi Marco,

    My belief is that the pattern in the fuller is the result of etching. I think they are real layers but could be mistaken My intial impression of what I see in the break was that I was looking at a case/surface hardened object. there is definitely a skin
    outside with globular inside. ( not very unlike a cast automotive crankshaft that has been broken open ) the fuller is maybe six globules [big grains ] thick at the fracture.

    I don't know if Hanwei uses the powdered steel for these or how they go about laying them down but those with experience seem to have reached the same conclusion you have.

    I guess it may well have snapped instead of set if I had flexed it more than I had when new.

    The inside looks like a a very even airy slag, if that makes any sense. There are a couple of masses of grains at the at the fracture but no real voids.. Quite gray.

    Anyone know how big a particle powdered steel is? Does any of this make Hanwei kat owners anxious?

    Cheers

    Hotspur, I did have to peel apart the last little bit of the fracture, it did not go flying, the surface let go last

  21. #21
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    still need a better view

    Originally posted by Glen C.
    Hi Marco,

    My belief is that the pattern in the fuller is the result of etching. I think they are real layers but could be mistaken My intial impression of what I see in the break was that I was looking at a case/surface hardened object. there is definitely a skin
    outside with globular inside. ( not very unlike a cast automotive crankshaft that has been broken open ) the fuller is maybe six globules [big grains ] thick at the fracture.

    I don't know if Hanwei uses the powdered steel for these or how they go about laying them down but those with experience seem to have reached the same conclusion you have.

    I guess it may well have snapped instead of set if I had flexed it more than I had when new.

    The inside looks like a a very even airy slag, if that makes any sense. There are a couple of masses of grains at the at the fracture but no real voids.. Quite gray.

    Anyone know how big a particle powdered steel is? Does any of this make Hanwei kat owners anxious?

    Cheers

    Hotspur, I did have to peel apart the last little bit of the fracture, it did not go flying, the surface let go last
    I think the actual nodules are not single grains, but more likly clusters of relativly large grains. That type of fracture is consistent with large grain structure, but its more than six Grains thick if you get my meaning.
    A through hardened piece can break with the apperance of a distinctive fracture at the surface that looks like a skin. It may well be a skin, but it isnt a for sure thing. I dont want to speculate too much without a proper inspection. part of what I would be looking for is distinctivly different color areas inside the break. Internal flaws that were atleast there before Tempering. Are their any blue/black/brown colorations within the otherwise grey colored break? Next I would be checking to see if the main structure inside is actually matensite or pearlite and if there are any transitions from one to the other. If its case hardened It would have a courser pearlitic core with a relativly finer grianed martensite skin. There are lots of possibilities So a good pic of the fracture face is the only way to really get more than speculation at this point. can you set the end of the break on the scanner glass and just hold it there while the scanner runs?
    One thing I have found is there is a signifigant difference between production and TLC heat-treating. production factories generally dont spend the extra time to refine the grain or they are unaware that its possible or dont care. Short cuts are part of why they can be had for less besides cheap labor.
    If you want close to perfection choose a TLC maker. If you want ok bang for your buck get an import and play with it till it breaks. then get another one.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  22. #22
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    I'll give it a shot Patrick, might be able to bookend it with something. I don't really think I can hold it still enough for good resolution but what the hey, worth a shot.

    The color is pretty uniform

    I'll be back

    Hotspur; aha, maybe the yellow pages will work!

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Glen C.
    I'll give it a shot Patrick, might be able to bookend it with something. I don't really think I can hold it still enough for good resolution but what the hey, worth a shot.

    The color is pretty uniform

    I'll be back

    Hotspur; aha, maybe the yellow pages will work!
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  24. #24
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    back a bit, I'm still very much a novice with scanners
    so anyway, the blade at the fuller is only about six of those thingies thick
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-09-2002 at 03:29 PM.

  25. #25
    Wow, that is definately large grain.

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