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Author Topic: Non-Western Weapons  (Read 3132 times)
von Corax
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« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2014, 11:44:44 pm »

Wasn't Excalibur supposedly forged from "star-iron?"
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« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2014, 11:53:09 pm »

It was also put into a stone by a wizard. Not invalidating your point, just saying that since it is myth how much can you believe?
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2014, 04:01:32 am »

If the goal is to have the pattern-welded appearance of a traditional kris, two steels of different alloy types may do. or steel and wrought iron. There is a ton of information out there on pattern-welded, or "false damascus" blade making.
Also, the biggest component in most iron meteorites is generally nickel. You might be able to find a terrestrial nickel-iron alloy for a lot less than extraterrestrial stock.
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2014, 04:22:16 am »

Good idea, but I think I am going to focus on the car leaf springs, as I recently read an article on how to make a sword out of one, and if I can find a big enough one I can make my keepsake weapon.
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« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2014, 06:14:28 pm »

Would the Assassin's Creed hidden blade be considered non-Western, as the first of the series is in Masyaf?
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RJBowman
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« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2014, 02:11:18 am »

Good idea, but I think I am going to focus on the car leaf springs, as I recently read an article on how to make a sword out of one, and if I can find a big enough one I can make my keepsake weapon.

I heard that plans were once published to build a high-powered crossbow from leaf springs. It might have been in Popular Mechanics.
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« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2014, 02:37:45 am »

I heard that plans were once published to build a high-powered crossbow from leaf springs. It might have been in Popular Mechanics.

Any idea what year or issue?
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von Corax
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« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2014, 02:51:42 am »

I heard that plans were once published to build a high-powered crossbow from leaf springs. It might have been in Popular Mechanics.

Any idea what year or issue?

I vaguely recall maybe seeing it in one of the books they published in the 1940s or '50s.
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« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2014, 02:55:39 am »

Ok I'll look into it. Thank you

Any other strange materials for weapons? Uranium knives anyone  Wink?
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D.Oakes
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« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2014, 07:38:55 am »

You say Middle Eastern? 


The blunderbuss was inspired by many from the Middle East.  I even made the "electrical system" in a such a way to imagine how local gunsmiths would have interpreted the technology as they had with matchlocks, flintlocks, and percussion locks prior.  The trigger, although it has a guard, is the style seen on many guns from the region. 
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« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2014, 08:46:05 am »

Ok I'll look into it. Thank you

Any other strange materials for weapons? Uranium knives anyone  Wink?




Meteoritic iron-nickel, perhaps, maybe with traces of iridium. Such a material might well be considered to be magical to many eastern cultures. Iridium is reputedly difficult to work, however.

Also, truck leaf-springs are often touted as the raw material for many asian knives, particularly the kukri, especially the Gurkha variety.
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« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2014, 09:21:55 am »

Meteoritic iron-nickel, perhaps, maybe with traces of iridium. Such a material might well be considered to be magical to many eastern cultures. Iridium is reputedly difficult to work, however.

Also, truck leaf-springs are often touted as the raw material for many asian knives, particularly the kukri, especially the Gurkha variety.

There were several cultures that could not obtain iron ore and smelt it, for various reasons, and thus relied on meteoric iron for weapons and tools whenever they could get it; the Greenland Inuit, for example.

A material that can be shaped and hardened by fire, and that falls from the sky? Of course it's magical!
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« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2014, 01:36:40 pm »

Didn't the Japanese use a Steel with a very odd carbon rating? And fold it a hundred times around a softer core?
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« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2014, 02:09:30 pm »

It was a necessity to create useful blades. The stunning amount of work it took to create such a blade is often admired, but people forget that it's the poor quality steel that required such treatment to be of any use in a weapon. European swords were much easier to produce, because the iron ore was of a higher quality.
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« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2014, 04:33:30 pm »

I'm not saying it was negative, I was just stating how it was a different technique. Like how they make stilleto knives is different than how they make dirks.
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« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2014, 06:09:14 pm »

It isn't ngative at all, actually - they tok an inferior metal, and through excellent craftsmanship, they came up with a sword that had very attractive qualities. Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:30 pm »

There are actually a number of different traditional methods and schools of Japanese sword-making. While smelting ore and judging the results to create different parts of the blade was common practice, Japanese swordsmiths also used recycled steel from various sources. I remember reading a translated extract of a document written by a smith, in which he recommended taking periodic trips through the countryside to buy up old farm tools which were still in use. His reasoning was that if a tool was decades old, but still serviceable, that was some good steel.

On the subject of leaf-spring crossbows, I have seen a number of them over the years. Back in the 90s at Burning Man, I saw a sort of ballista which had been made with the fiberglass spring from a Corvette suspension. The builder was using a boat-trailer winch to cock it.
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« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2014, 07:33:04 pm »

I wander if you could make a curved blade like a Scimitar/Yataghan with a leaf spring. I mean with easy to buy/inexpensive tools at least.
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akumabito
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« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2014, 07:46:44 pm »

Don't focus too much on the spring-ness of spring steel.. Wink

There is nothing magical about car/truck leaf springs. Spring steel can be bought from a variety of sources in all sorts of sheets or bars, varying lengths, thicknesses, etc. Might actually be cheaper than bying a leaf spring and as an added bonus: it's already flat, saving you a crapload of work.
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« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2014, 08:08:24 pm »

I wander if you could make a curved blade like a Scimitar/Yataghan with a leaf spring. I mean with easy to buy/inexpensive tools at least.



Depends on whether you want a cool prop or a real sword.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2014, 08:10:29 pm »

I wander if you could make a curved blade like a Scimitar/Yataghan with a leaf spring. I mean with easy to buy/inexpensive tools at least.



Depends on whether you want a cool prop or a real sword.


Pardon the double post. The tools are only a part of the process. The techniques used in the making of the piece determine it's characteristics.
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« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2014, 08:17:19 pm »

I'm going to try to make a real sword and if it goes against con rules I'll tape or blunt the edge.
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2014, 10:10:58 am »

I'm going to try to make a real sword and if it goes against con rules I'll tape or blunt the edge.

If you want it to be useful as a sword, you really want a steel that will give you a good compromise of hardness and toughness.

Hardness is resistance to deformation: this is what will allow it to resist blunting (if you use it to cut things) and resist getting dings in the edge (if you make it blunt and use it for re-enactment or stage fighting).

Toughness is more complicated, but for our purposes it can be though of as being resistance to cracking. When a sword cracks during a re-enactment or stage fight, it is a catastrophic and very dangerous failure: a chunk of steel with a jagged edge flying through the air at great speed in an uncontrolled direction. This is generally considered not a good thing, especially for spectators.

Now that the properties of the finished blade have been established, you can think about how you can get to that stage. This means finding a steel that is affordable and that you can heat-treat reliably for yourself, or find an affordable heat-treatment service.

This is where "spring steel" is ideal. It's called spring steel because it is widely used to make springs; it does not mean a piece of steel that once upon a time was a spring.

Anything between 0.55% and 0.75% carbon with about the same amount of manganese should do, and is simple to heat-treat.

But then you get into the problem of the size of the piece you decide to make. Can you build an oven that can evenly heat up a long piece of metal to around 600 to 800°C (depending on the exact composition, this temperature varies)?

You can make yourself a small enough oven from a dozen or so firebricks and a propane torch, but you might find it difficult and expensive to build an oven that can get an even heat over a three-foot long sword.

On the subject of shape, you might even find making a curved sword easier than a straight one.  Imagine you take a rectangular bar of material 1/4" thick. Now by forging (heating and hammering) you reduce the thickness of the bar along what will become the sharp edge down to 1/8", leaving what will become the spine of the blade at 1/4". You haven't removed any material, you've just "pushed it around". It had to go somewhere. Some of the movement of material will have increased the width of the bar, and some will have increased the length along that edge, making the whole bar take on a curve. At the same time as imparting a small curve in this way, you can exaggerate the effect by hammering against the spine with the bar supported at both ends, or hammering one end with the other end and the spine supported.

Do a bit of googling, and you'll find loads of information about how to do this kind of stuff, and probably a load of YouTube videos, too. Look for books by Wayne Goddard (especially the "$50 knife shop") and Karl Schroen for practical advice.
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Steampunk Away
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« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2014, 01:09:51 pm »

Thank you.

I was hoping to actually follow an article like this one, http://www.livesteelarmor.com/how/warsword.html

Then using an electric torch to curve it
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« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2014, 07:09:37 pm »

Interesting article, but it appears that they are using a flattened leaf spring, and then removing stock in such a way as to avoid changing the temper. That avoids the whole issue of hardening and tempering, at least, and spring-tempered is a decent goal for a blade to begin with. So you probably want to shape the curve in from the start of the process, and avoid anything that significantly heats your blade stock.
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