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Thread: Bronze Sword Testing

  1. #1
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    Bronze Sword Testing

    I've been contacted by Neil Burridge to see if there is anyone willing to test a bronze sword they have against one of his. This would be real bashing together, edge-to-edge stuff. The results would be posted here and I assume on his website.

    I'll try to get more details. This is just to see if there is any preliminary interest.
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
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    I am happy to assist Neil - I know he is often in my area and he's been to my class at Schola Gladiatoria.

    Matt

  3. #3
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    Be careful that Neil doesn't damage his magnificent blades by banging them against Matt's head, which we know is much harder than bronze...

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Matt Easton
    I am happy to assist Neil - I know he is often in my area and he's been to my class at Schola Gladiatoria.

    Matt
    You just want a chance to bang bronze blades together.

    Be sure and let Neil know.
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
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    Would like to bring my Mycenaean single edge sword across, it is an absolute animal, weighing somewhere in the region of 1 KG and two-hand length handle.... I like it!! Have to see if I can make it to this years sword festival to take up the challenge!!!

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  6. #6
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    Now there's a great idea--do the sword testing at the Bronze Sword Festival!
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
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    If there are any scientists in the house, are there any suggestions as to what could be used to measure the velocity or power of a sword strike hitting a specific target. Neil was suggesting that we should test different blade materials against a target to ascertain variations in both effficiency and damage to the blades. I know that one could use an adapted mechanical impact tester, but the problem with these I would imagine is that the blade strikes statically with no drawing action at all (i.e. not simulating a human cutting with it).

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  8. #8
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    Barry, it comes down to the debate of reproducable testing (ie by a machine of some sort) vs. practical testing.

    Reproducable testing is always just an approximation of reality. Sometimes a reasonably good one, sometimes a rather bad one.

    It comes down to what you want to test.

    Reproducable testing allows a person to change variables and compare the results between tests.

    But how these results translate into the real world is often a bit of a mystery. As far as I know, there are no scientific testing methods developed for the sword world (the knife world has the CATRA machine, but it's not really applicable for us) so we have to start with a clean slate.

    The first step would be to theorise a bit on what we want to test and how to model that. That's easy enough: just start a thread here and/or in the performance forum.

    Ideally, the second step would be to test a wide variety of blades (probably not bronze, but ones of which performance is very well known, like katana's) with the reproducable method, and compare findings to our real world findings. Then we learn how to change our testing method and reiterate over and over, until it's good enough.

    The third step, once we are confident that the model approximates reality close enough for katana's, we can test some unknown (bronze age) blades. And again find some discrepancies between testing and the real world which forces us to reevaluate the model over and over AGAIN.

    Since this is a new field, it's a huge task, IMHO worthy of a PhD in Mechanical Engineering or a related field (or perhaps Archeology).

    All in all I think this falls a bit outside the scope here.

    So we are left with rather crude reproducable testing, like a mechanical impact tester: one blade stationary in a vice, the other attached to a long stick with a pivot, and just let them fall on each other edge to edge. Of course this says little about the real world.

    Or with a "safe simulated swordfight" with sharp weapons between well trained and well armoured opponents, which is completely unreproducable but may say more about practical durability.

    P.S. Barry, this year there are two sword festivals, because almost all the people who came last year wanted a second go. The people who went last year go to the second one, in September (I think).
    Last edited by Paul Hansen; 02-12-2006 at 05:07 AM.
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    to ■am Š­elinge. - Dream of the Rood


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  9. #9
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    Cheers for the advice Paul.

    The testing that I have been doing is manual test-cutting as the only tests that I have seen to date using a modified Monsanto Tensometer Balanced Impact Machine, and this was easily quantifiable and comparable between strikes, but was essentially not a proper sword cut. I know that there are devices for measuring linear speeds such as arrows or bullets, but short of robbing a police speed camera, I have't seen anything that could measure sword speed. For impact force, I think this could be measured ok, but it would be nice to compare blade length, weight, speed of swing AND the related impact force. Will post this on the performance forum, I didn't even notice that there was one!!!

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

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