Try this.

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Yes, Ankerson, I'm aware he did it with an overload but there isn't enough room in the case to overload and blow with a single series- you'd have to sytematically overload- when using slow burning powders to slowly weaken the cylinder before collapse. Medium to faster burning powders are more usually used for these 'mistakes'. Then you can get a dramatic failure right out of the starting gate. these powders are for lower velocity or smaller weight projectiles.

Why anyone would intentionally put more fast or medium burning powder in when the slow powders will deliver better accuracy and usually velocity...bet it was Unique. That one size fits all powder is misunderstood.

...maybe it was just too much 2400 over a long time..that powder spikes high.

WhiteHall labs tested the Blackhawk cylinders to destruction and it was an enormous psi

munk
 

Daniel Koster

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who's trimming?

I've decided to make the leap. I stopped trimming the beard on Dec. 15, 2002. That's 86 days so far and the chin hairs just crossed the 3 inch mark. (used to keep it nicely trimmed = 1 inch max.)

I just woke up one day and said "I'm going to let it grow out as long as it gets and see what happens".
 
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I let my scraggy mess go until I looked like a apalachian prophet with a stove pipe under my chin. I heard banjo music wherever I went.





munk
 
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"Yes Firkin, I expect you to know enough of 'everything' to get me started... "

Very much doubt it, but if you finish anything, you're already one up on me.

"firkin, do we, or do we not have metals today that they did not have 500 years ago that would make good, great or better swords with?"

Must have...and more consistent production too. The question is do we have the people and time to learn as much about these metals as the old masters of the past knew about theirs. I'm sure Ed Fowler could make an equal/better katana it he was as interested in them as he is in Bowies. But I bet it would take even him him a few tries.

"lots of cultures can forge metal very well, even differentially harden , but the Katana is forged, folded, and differentially folded [sic...heat treated?].

Iv'e seen studies that support the notion that many European, including Viking, and other swords from Indonesia were forged with repeated folding. The particular steels employed and the lack of emphasis on laborious etching/polishing to visualize the pattern made this difficult to detect in some cases until recent methods of analysis were employed. It is also thought that some swords made of wootz steel just don't have obvious patterns. The degree of control the smiths had over the appearance of the patterns on wootz is debated.

Also depends on what is better? You want performance or looks, or both??

As I read down, I see that Fed said much of this better than I, not a great surprise. I'll just add that there seems to be a lot of mythology surrounding some old Persion/Arab swords as well, just not as repeated as often as those concerning Japanese ones.
 
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A modern smith who does some amazing things with modern steels and heat treats on Japanese swords is Howard Clark ofMorgan Valley Forge. He's the guy who does the l-6 bainate katanas for Bugei. Last I heard he was also doing thier custom forge folded blades, but I dont know if he still is. Theres alot of stuff written about his work over on Sword Forum International, he posts there as well, though I dont know how often anymore (its been a few years since Ive really followed things on SFI). Alot of the traditional smiths in Japan would love to use modern metals, but because of various laws governing traditional sword production they cant (though one hears rumors of swedish powdered steel being snuck into some smith's mixes). Dr. Rich Stein's
Japanese Sword Index has probably about everything you could want to know about Japanese Swords http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/ not to mention that he's a real nice guy. Anyways there is alot people really pushing the science of metalurgy when it comes to blade production, the only real question is whether or not the hottest and newest is really all that better than the tried and true.
 

Ankerson

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He's the guy who does the l-6 bainate katanas for Bugei.



He still is. The 1-6 Katana blades are supposed to be unbreakable from what I have read. Reviews of the cutting through concrete with no damage to the blade or the edge. But 1-6 Katanas are like $5,000+.
 
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Gentlemen I congradulate you, this has been a very well thought out discussion concerning frontiers that have a lot of fog and distraction hiding the truth.

It is too bad we can't talk to the past masters about how and why. I believe many of their trade secrets continue to be explored by todays bladesmiths, we simply have no way to determine exactly where they and we travel. Thermal cycles and low temperature forging definately are of value. Forge welding is antithetical to fine grain therefore other events or physical properties need to follow on the way to a finished blade.

Have any of you noticed that martensite is not mentioned in the analysis of Wootz blades?

Thanks for an interesting read.
 

Daniel Koster

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Originally posted by Ed Fowler
Have any of you noticed that martensite is not mentioned in the analysis of Wootz blades?
Ed - is there any more you could tell us to unlock the mystery of Wootz?
 
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"What's this about Kryptonite? "

:D

The various temperatures and processes of heat-treating and forging cause the steel to change between several cystalline and sometimes non-crystalline forms that have different properties. The different forms may occur in zones, or mixed together as fused particles of variying size (grain). A good smith can control these processes to maipulate the final properties of the blade or other product.

If you think of lava cooling at different rates producing different forms, or metamorphic rock occurring as different minerals, you get the idea. The crystalline structure of steel (iron atoms with a few carbon and other atoms thrown in) is analagous to that of minerals, so a similar nomenclature occurs.

here's a quote from Bugei describing a katana:

"Hand polishing reveals the hamon, the different crystalline structure of the steel, which is attained by the unique hardening process that sets the Japanese blade apart. Our swords clearly show the martinsite edge, the pearlite body, and the troosite and sorbite crystalline structure that make up the hamon."
 
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Thanks for the welcome Bill.

Pendictive: I wrote my thoughts about Wootz in Knives 2002, page 53. They are based on a Scientific American article and my understanding of human nature. The pattern in Wootz is slowly developed through about 50 low temp. thermal cycles while forging. If they exceeded a certain upper limit of temperature the pattern was gone. This evidently included the hardening temperature, it may have been too hot and the pattern disolved. Thus the Wootz blades were soft and tough, very tough, this was their contribution. The pattern was testimony to the low temp. forging, a visual statement of quality.

Then, according to my theory, some defectors from the Wootz clan started forging some other steels utilizing the low temp. methods developed by the Wootz clan that they could harden, thus producing blades of higher performance, (probably) or maybe just as good. The problem was that there was no telltail pattern to guarantee low temp. forging. Low temp. forging takes more time and skill, plus steel forged at low temp has a tendeancy to beat up the man working it.

Soon some of the competition started forging at higher temperatures, making their blades more 'economical' to produce, the purchaser could not see any visual difference in the blades. When it comes to 'government' purchasing agents cheaper was better, especially since other weapons were replacing the blade in warfare.

Undoubtadly some bladesmiths continued to forge higher performance blades, these went to those who wanted the best and could afford it.

The above is my theory as to why Wootz died out, there are many who dissagree with me.

I just finished reading Boots and Saddles by Elisabeth Custer, she stated that her husband, Gen. Custer was presented what sounds like a Wootz blade that had been captured from the opposition during the Civil War. The blade was thought to be a prize acquited in some previons time and passed down. She remarked about its remarkable toughness and weight. "He could bend the blade back to the handle and it would return to straight".
 
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