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Titanium alloy ken/gladius/viking sword thing

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by Mecha, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Here is a little custom blade, inspired by the Japanese ken double-edged sword. People say it looks kind of like a gladius or viking sword.

    I call it the "candy ken" because of all the candy-coated colors on the titanium hilt parts.

    Thin blade made of Russian BT23 titanium alloy, 23.25" in length, with a hilt of 6.25" for a total length of 29.5" and weighing in at 1 lb, 0.5 oz.

    This is a really light, thin, fun little sword!

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    Atomic Inc, Storm Crow, FOG2 and 8 others like this.
  2. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    It looks very nicely done, which is a bit disappointing as you'll be less likely to use it for YouTube mayhem...
     
    Mecha likes this.
  3. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thanks! :)

    Might have a video of a different one soon, not exactly mayhem, but maybe some soft targets. There is another one coming down the pipe which will be perfect for mayhem, though.
     
    LEGION 12, Richard338 and WValtakis like this.
  4. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Suhwheeeeet!
     
    Mecha likes this.
  5. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Amazing! Love everything about it!
     
    Mecha likes this.
  6. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Beautiful .
     
    Mecha likes this.
  7. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Why, thanks very much fellas! :)
     
  8. Kenneth F Huls

    Kenneth F Huls Gold Member Gold Member

    982
    Jul 11, 2012
    Beautiful!

    Ken means “sword” in Japanese. does not look like a katana, wakizashi, or tanto (yes, a sword in Japanese sword nomenclature), or an older style than those.

    Looks much more like a Chinese jian if talking oriental roots. But I am no expert there.

    Nice!
     
    Mecha likes this.
  9. Kenneth F Huls

    Kenneth F Huls Gold Member Gold Member

    982
    Jul 11, 2012
    I see you have a nice jian in an older thread. Sorry if I splained the known.
    Both = nice!
     
    Mecha likes this.
  10. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Basic Member Basic Member

    479
    Aug 9, 2020
    Beautiful workmanship! :thumbsup:
     
    Mecha likes this.
  11. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    There is a straight, double-edged Japanese sword called a "tsurugi" or also apparently simply called a ken, which was the original idea for this one, but it ended up kind of taking on a life of its own since the moment I decided to make it way bigger than originally intended. Everyone seems to see a different sword in it! :D

    So there did used to be a straight, double-edged nihonto in the distant past history of Japan, a rarity. As you mention, the tsurugi was said to be based on the jian.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsurugi_(sword)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
  12. Kenneth F Huls

    Kenneth F Huls Gold Member Gold Member

    982
    Jul 11, 2012
    Great reference. Thank you. Yes, a little known ancient pattern. Now I see some similarity. There was a very old straight single edged as well. Ring pommels, too. All “pre-tachi,” if you will.

    Very cool.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  13. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    On the subject of Chinese and Japanese swords, I guess there was a lot more influence flowing from China in 700 AD and before, and that's when you see Japanese swords like the tsurugi and ring-pommel straight swords that resemble Chinese swords. After that period Japan became more isolated and divergent, and began to refine the curved katana with all its details.

    I'm working on a futuristic Han dynasty ring pommel sword now, and it's going to be a doozie I think.
     
  14. Kenneth F Huls

    Kenneth F Huls Gold Member Gold Member

    982
    Jul 11, 2012
    Tachi before katana, but yes, indeed. The poor, beautiful cavalry “saber’ - tachi - gets no love in the states.

    All in all, the development of nihonto is an endlessly fascinating subject, and a very deep rabbit hole, as you obviously know quite well!

    I like your work and wish I could feel your designs in hand. Have long been curious about titanium swords. Originally thought they would not cut as well as a properly balanced katana or wakizashi based on the weight difference, or at least one might have to relearn technique, but then L6 bainite seems to cut quite well and I have not heard much complaint there re needing to relearn the sword.

    Would be interested in a short table comparing relative weight of traditional steels, L6 bainite, and titanium.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  15. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I think the weight of L6 in bainite form is pretty typical of normal steel. Generally speaking, ti alloys are around 65% the weight of steel for the same volume of material.

    With a ti sword, it just broadens options for the dimensions of the sword, allowing for something lighter and faster in comparable size, or bigger for comparable weight. Bigger swords have much more cutting power than smaller ones, all things included. But that's too simply said. There is so much more to it than that.

    It's extremely fascinating and almost impossible to quantify how swords move and what they can do. I will say that making a katana sword in ti is one of the more difficult things to pull off, due to the unique ways a katana is used. Ti is more suited to a Chinese-style sword and techniques, imo.

    The world of nihonto is really unique, and the rabbit hole seems endless, as you say. I got to see a display that was said to be around 5 million dollars' worth of Japanese swords, examples spanning hundreds of years, at the Eugene knife show. One of them was a Masamune. Priceless really, and it looked like it. It really changed how I saw Japanese swords, there is a reason so many are enthralled by them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
    LEGION 12 and WValtakis like this.

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