Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Repost of an Old Video

Somebody sent me a note about steel–wondering why it mattered so much in knifemaking.

Hereover, a fine example of why the steel (and temper) make a difference. It's a sword, but the principle is the same.


Rory said...

Steve- Have you seen the video of the .50 cal vs katana?


Steve Perry said...

Great stuff.

Ed said...

Finally China makes their move to take out Americans (salesmen) one at a time but makes it look like Japan. What do they have in store for us next....get all our debt? Oh, wait - they have that - well not all.

Joe said...

A sword nut friend (his term not mine) has a rule that stainless steel is only good for blades under a foot in length. Anything longer can't withstand impact without danger of fracturing.

Always trust a Metallurgist.

Steve Perry said...

The old folding-and-hammering pattern weld that makes damascus allows a maker to use different kinds of steel in a sandwich fashion. I understand that the temper matters a lot, how it's done with clay to make a more flexible body but a harder edge. I wouldn't be surprised to find that a handmade stainless blade could be every bit as functional as tool steel, though I suspect it would be a lot harder to work. I've seen stainless damascus.

I've only made the one knife, a grind and not a forge, and the temper I used was torch-to-straw-color and oil quench. I have a couple knives where the edge is a different temper, a visible hamon, than the rest of the blade.

Wall hangers are good for that, and probably you can wave them around, as long as you don't hit anything with 'em, as demonstrated. A fifty-buck sword isn't going to be one you take to a cutting competition.

Anonymous said...

Watching the video made me think of the YouTube parody "Cautionary tales of swords" I could almost hear Trip Fisk's voice announcing his tag line.

Joe said...


My only materials science class was back in '83. I defer to people such as yourself who have actually made knives.

I would be interested in seeing stainless damascus. I've never even heard of that before.



Steve Perry said...

Joe --

My limited experience with knife-making --


If you plug "stainless damascus" into your search engine, you'll find a fair selection of blades.