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Moon
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Post by Moon » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:09 pm

Loz wrote:Very recently new mixes of tempered stainless steel are being used to create sone fantastic functional swords which are being heavily promoted by some of the larger sword making brands. I'm still too secptial to stock them at present but the few testers we've had are living up to the hype.
You've every right to be sceptical as I suspect that many other reputable retailers will be until these new alloys are proved to be what "the larger sword making brands" claim.
In the meantime this is an article I read not so long ago in a discussion about stainless steel for sword making.
Dan Davis wrote:Anyone want to hear from a bladesmith? Tough biscuits if ya don't , I'm talking.

440C was specificly formulated for making KNIVES. 440A and 440B were formulated after the fact to provide a similar alloy suitable for mass production of KITCHEN CUTLERY. Anything longer than about 13 inches is too long for these alloys.

On the atomic level a chromium atom is vastly larger than a carbon atom, and in stainless alloys the chromium content replaces some or all of the carbon during the formation of martensite, the process whereby steel is hardened into a useable blade.

The issue is that chromium cannot be reliably controlled during heat treament except under extremely expensive laboratory-like conditions. Why is this an issue? because unless the formation of chromium carbide is strictly controlled and very evenly distributed, stainless alloys become very brittle.

What's worse is that stainless alloys undergo a process called "chromium migration" followed by "chromium depletion stress cracking" followed by some joker on QVC needing stitches. This happens naturally in stainless alloys, it is unavoidable and in the end any stainless blade will fail.

Did you ever see an old pocket knife with one or more of the blade tips snapped off? I'd bet you thought "someone was abusing this knife" or some such. Nope, that just happens with stainless over time.

You may cut one target or a thousand targets, but eventually the blade will snap. It's kind of like Russian Roulette with a blade.

There are no 440-series alloys suitable for swordmaking.

There are no Stainless alloys suitable for swordmaking.

Period.

Not a damn one.
I think that's enough to make anyone sceptical...the guy is a professional bladesmith. ;)

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kenshin the endymion
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Post by kenshin the endymion » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:46 pm

I defy anyone to come up with a counter-argument to that!

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Loz
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Post by Loz » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:35 pm

well that's simple, I knew it had to be something to do with the tempering process, over the last few years there have been dramatic improvements and new devleopments in heat treatment techniques, most are kept secret of course but Last Legend have been more open about it, cryogenically freezing the blades has allowed them to boast near indestructable blades, so I've heard. Over in china the forges have advanced far more than most people realise, in fact, I speak with one of the main investors regularly and what they tell us is pretty exciting stuff.

That coupled with the fact that something expensive to do in western countries is going to be far cheaper in china, so much so, it is cost effective for us/uk companies to invest in (which is what is happening)

Last but not least is to remember that stainless steel is a mixture of other metals/chemicals and we know that china's use of the word stainless steel is loosely applied to a wide range of mixes.

Of course I am no scientist and can only report to you what I hear through the circles I travel in, off to china in april where I should find out more first hand, but trust me, you'll be seeing martial artist stainless blades hitting the markets within months if not weeks.

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Post by Barry the Time Sprout » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:46 pm

Loz wrote:off to china in april where I should find out more first hand.
in more ways than one i bet, you dirty old man ;)

seriously though it would be awesome if there were some usable SS blades on the market

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serpantine
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Post by serpantine » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:53 pm

cryogenically freezing
Woh that's real scifi. Maybe I can be cryogenically frozen with one of my swords when I die and in 300000 years time after a few world wars, an iceage and the world is dominated by a super government, one man will discover my body and be inspired to take up the blade and single handedly take on the corrupt government and free the world of tyranny.

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Moon
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Post by Moon » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:07 pm

Loz wrote:well that's simple, I knew it had to be something to do with the tempering process, over the last few years there have been dramatic improvements and new devleopments in heat treatment techniques, most are kept secret of course but Last Legend have been more open about it, cryogenically freezing the blades has allowed them to boast near indestructable blades, so I've heard. Over in china the forges have advanced far more than most people realise, in fact, I speak with one of the main investors regularly and what they tell us is pretty exciting stuff.
I'll not comment on Last Legend's cryogenic treatment as anything I post would be second hand opinion...but I can't help wondering...if it was so good,why did they withdraw the 'cryo' option about 2 years ago. :S
Loz wrote:Of course I am no scientist and can only report to you what I hear through the circles I travel in, off to china in april where I should find out more first hand, but trust me, you'll be seeing martial artist stainless blades hitting the markets within months if not weeks.
I trust what you're saying regarding these "blades hitting the market" but I don't know if martial artists are gonna have enough trust in this new 'stainless steel' to actually buy them.
serpantine wrote:Woh that's real scifi. Maybe I can be cryogenically frozen with one of my swords when I die and in 300000 years time after a few world wars, an iceage and the world is dominated by a super government, one man will discover my body and be inspired to take up the blade and single handedly take on the corrupt government and free the world of tyranny.
Try to stay on topic in the serious forums dude. ;)

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Post by darksun_uk » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:09 am

other than a few stainless swords made by the late bob engnath (very expensive customs) i would not trust any stainless blade over 12 inches to perform cutting of any kind under any circumstances for the reasons already outlined above in the thread by other people as far as the chinese factory processes etc leading to cheap stainless cutting swords i very strongly doubt that as realistic for a variety of reasons,

kind regards

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serpantine
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Post by serpantine » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:23 am

sorry :oops: I haven't heard anything of the last legend range in some time now.

HatchA

Post by HatchA » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:56 pm

Barry the Time Sprout wrote:seriously though it would be awesome if there were some usable SS blades on the market
Why??

Too heavy....

Too dangerous...

I'll stick with traditionally made swords for functionality thanks ;)

Barry the Time Sprout
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Post by Barry the Time Sprout » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:05 pm

was just thinkin of the price mainly, basically because im gonna be a student for the next 4 years and will no doubt be skint :(

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HurrIcanE
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Post by HurrIcanE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:56 pm

well just to let you all know, i have bought the scull and crossbone sword just for display and hopefully if i get the money i will get the shinken and dragon armour by the end of the year

are the training DVD's any good? as i was hoping to get them so i could learn how to use a sword

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Big Lazy
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Post by Big Lazy » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:14 pm

HurrIcanE wrote:well just to let you all know, i have bought the scull and crossbone sword just for display and hopefully if i get the money i will get the shinken and dragon armour by the end of the year

are the training DVD's any good? as i was hoping to get them so i could learn how to use a sword
Most people say no to those dvds but I cant honestly comment on them. It's not a good idea to try and teach yourself from a video though, in fact its a very dangerous idea.

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HurrIcanE
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Post by HurrIcanE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:35 pm

well the thing is there is nowhere near me that i can go to that i know of to learn and i would be starting with a wooden sword anyway so il just have to give it a try if it dont work out i will have to go somewhere to learn

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Loz
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Post by Loz » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:57 am

I'll not comment on Last Legend's cryogenic treatment as anything I post would be second hand opinion...but I can't help wondering...if it was so good,why did they withdraw the 'cryo' option about 2 years ago.

**** - perhaps cost, lengthy production time, lack of materials or simply poor response from the market rather than anything detrimental about the blades, perhaps the forging process resulted in a high failure rate where only 1 in 10 blades would pass, if so this method wouldn't be viable for the mass production market. People always pick up on negative feedback on blades but with no real evidence, one bad blade doesn;t make tham all bad, without knowing the individual's blade history, their cutting competence or simply whether that particualr blade was flawed, it's impossible to draw judgement.

I trust what you're saying regarding these "blades hitting the market" but I don't know if martial artists are gonna have enough trust in this new 'stainless steel' to actually buy them.

**** Bingo, this is exactly the problem I explained to them, really they need to explain the forging process in detail to explain how they're able to produce these blades, but they are not willing, either to protect their secrets or simply because they have'nt solved the problem at all and don't care.

We have talked about some large scale weekend workshops where martial artsts would be able to view and test the blades, but this is on hold until we know if there's a market future. The cost involved (partic with insurance' means we would need a good 2 years of trading to make these workshops worth while.

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