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Post Reply Theorizing About How to Make the Best Sword
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Now, to start, we already got a decent sword design, picking something like the Katana would be the best option cause it has a thick spine and being a single-edged sword it would have a far better cutting edge than a double-edged sword. Given I can go on forever about this subject I'll also show a kind of slideshow I guess on the history of swordmaking a little as well....

Now, to start, the material to make the blade out of. Now, traditional Japanese Nihonto are made of Tamahagane, a very valuable steel. This steel is then deferentially hardened via clay tempering, this is what gives a sword it's nice hamon or temper line, this picture is an up-close look at a tamahagane steel blade:

A Tamahagane steel blade in rough-comparison to a modern-day steel would be somewhere around 1055 carbon steel, good for soft targets like tatami mats, but cutting bamboo and other harder targets without proper skill could result in chipping or bending the blade. The hardness of a traditional blade on the edge is usually 55-60HRC, and the spine ranges from 40-45HRC.
Now, this style of using only one steel for the entire blade and being deferentially hardened went on for a while, until blades using multiple types of steels came around. Usually multi-steel blades had a soft steel in the core, it was tough and durable and able to take abuse, while the outer layer which is used for blade contact would be made of the harder steel like tamahagane, also, clay tempered. Below is a diagram of the way some types of multiple-material blades were made:


Now, this was also really good, in fact, it was the best sword-making style during it's time period. HOWEVER, Japan never really revised the design over the years, meaning this style eventually was outclassed by better, more pure steels. The current best budget steel to make a sword out of is 1095 Carbon Steel, also called tool steel, it's great because it's cheap, and extremely durable. Now, that's a great steel for "dojo" swords (blades which are useable, you could cut tamashigiri/tatami with them, but they are not nearly as good as hand-made swords) but if you want the best modern steel for making swords, then AISI 5160 is the best, also called spring steel, this steel is what your car's springs are made of!!!!! It's very durable, and it's extremely corrosion/rust resistant (hence why it's used for some parts that cars are made of), plus, like 1095 steel, it can hold an edge very well. Most modern-steel blades can have a roughly 45-50HRC spine and a 45-65HRC edge. Course, this would not be called "theorizing how the world's best sword would be made" if I didn't share my idea for what to make a sword out of.
So.... On to that!!!!!

Now, here's the way I think of this, a sword does not have to be made of steel, as long as whatever material you use is durable enough. I'm thinking that the spine should be made of Carbon Fiber, a special plastic which is known for it's strength-to-weight ratio, the result, if you can decrease the average weight of a sword by about 30% which is awesome considering most "lightweight" katanas weigh about 2.2 pounds without the scabbard. And then using a steel for the edge, essentially, only the cutting edge is made of steel, meanwhile the rest of the sword is made of lighter-weight materials which can add to performance. Now, I'm not the one to first think of this, in fact, here's a picture of a carbon-fiber sword with a blade made of titanium:
EDIT: unfortunately the picture of the sword was too big to put in an image, so, instead I grabbed a picture of a tanto knife made with the same materials:


Now, what I thought about this when I first saw it was that because only the edge is made of whatever steel I use, I could pick any steel now, even if it's brittle, because the carbon-fiber spine would be what takes most of the abuse not the steel itself. So, what material would I pick, if I had INFINITE money, I'd make the edge out of diamond, the reason is that diamond has roughly a hardness of 1600HRC, or, EXTREMELY good for a cutting steel, problem is, despite what minecraft says about diamonds, if the entire blade was made of diamonds, it would be too brittle, but, if it's just the edge, then you get the advantage of using the hardest material known to mankind, but also still have the durability of a battle-ready sword thanks to the carbon-fiber spine. The problem with a diamond-edged sword is that if I made it in the way that knife was made, the blade would be roughly 7.1 million dollars in value. So, given I DON'T have some 7.1 million dollars just lying around, and if I did I would not be spending it on a sword, I will use a good substitute for diamond, Tungsten Carbide, Tungten Carbide is known to be a very dense, and hard metal, it's hardness on the scale of 0-10, it's 7, in comparison to diamond which is 10, normal steel only gets around 4-5 on the hardness scale. Tungsten carbide is about 600-750HRC, sure, diamond would knock tungsten out of the water in hardness comparison, but tungsten at least is cheaper, and still completely outclasses carbon steel and spring steel in hardness, the problem though is tungsten as I said is really dense, but then again, that's why I'd be making the spine out of carbon fiber, which is to compensate for the weight of tungsten. And there we go, we would have an AWESOME blade which would out-perform most steel blades! Sure, you would have to avoid blade-on-blade contact when sparring cause carbon fiber might not fare so well getting hit by other swords, but for the mostpart it's a cutting sword not a war sword, if I had this sword the most I'd do to it is cutting tatami mats. But seriously, if one of you people out there sees this thread and is a sword maker, PLEASE try this and upload it to youtube for me to see.
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TL;DR
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Posted 2/4/16


What does that mean?
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Posted 2/4/16
Diamonds are overpriced.
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Posted 2/4/16 , edited 2/4/16

Buckerss wrote:

Diamonds are overpriced.


they are the one of the rarest gems around so makes sense.... whatever if I made a sword out of diamonds, then it would be awesome because that 7 million dollar price tag would make it some sort of mythical weapon.
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Posted 2/4/16


Too Long ; Didn't Read

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should be common knowledge :>
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Posted 2/4/16 , edited 2/4/16
Titanium is a crappy sword metal. Maybe it can be used as an outer jacket for its toughness and scratch resistance and relatively light weight, but you'd definitely need something else for an edge. Ever tried cutting with titanium? It's quite terrible. Holds a bad edge and is difficult to sharpen. I'd prefer carbon steel any day. Even cheap 440 stainless holds a better edge. Bainite edges are nice, but expensive and difficult to forge.

When considering the huge forces that come into play when you cut something with a sword swing, you need a material that holds a decent edge and that is capable of keeping it despite hitting things like bones. The material needs to be hard, but not too hard. It needs to be sharp, but not too sharp. And it needs to be tough while being not too difficult to sharpen. It needs to be able to absorb impacts and not take a set on a botched cut.

Carbon fiber sounds like it might be too flexible, although it is certainly tough enough for the body of the blade. And carbon fiber doesn't rust, which is a nice bonus. The problem with this design is that the metal edge will be hard to repair. A sword made completely of metal can be ground down to deal with large chips and such. This one can't. Also, it is far more flexible than the edge so you still need to worry about the edge shattering if the carbon fiber body is bent too much. Dunno about tungsten, it would be heavy and brittle. I've heard ot tungsten alloys making reputable blades but not pure tungsten. Sounds like it would break pretty quickly. Same goes with diamond. A diamond sword would shatter on impact with anything hard.

I still think the best way is to use advanced metallurgy and forging techniques to shape pure modern steel alloys. Traditional nihonto are works of art but they are outclassed by good modern monosteels. A few points of difference in HRC isn't enough to make a noticeable difference in cutting performance, and good monosteels with a spring temper are nearly impossible to break already.
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Posted 2/4/16

IkusaTakuma wrote:


Buckerss wrote:

Diamonds are overpriced.


they are the one of the rarest gems around so makes sense.... whatever if I made a sword out of diamonds, then it would be awesome because that 7 million dollar price tag would make it some sort of mythical weapon.


You realize we can make diamonds right? The only time diamonds are rare is when you try to get natural ones, which are inferior to most synthetic diamonds. For something like a sword, you'd want synthetic diamond.
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Posted 2/4/16

Buckerss wrote:


IkusaTakuma wrote:


Buckerss wrote:

Diamonds are overpriced.


they are the one of the rarest gems around so makes sense.... whatever if I made a sword out of diamonds, then it would be awesome because that 7 million dollar price tag would make it some sort of mythical weapon.


You realize we can make diamonds right? The only time diamonds are rare is when you try to get natural ones, which are inferior to most synthetic diamonds. For something like a sword, you'd want synthetic diamond.


ok, how do you make them, I would really want to make a diamond and carbon fiber sword.
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Posted 2/4/16

IkusaTakuma wrote:

ok, how do you make them, I would really want to make a diamond and carbon fiber sword.


You'd probably have to buy them. Synthetic diamonds aren't something a random person off the street could make with a tub and some carbon.
Posted 2/4/16
Ikusa, did I ever tell you how much I am in love you? I goddamn love IkusaTakuma!
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PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Ikusa, did I ever tell you how much I am in love you? I goddamn love IkusaTakuma!


XD I'm just trying to make the shin honjo masamune (the name I gave the sword I will try to make "Shin Honjo Masamune" in Japanese means "New Honjo Masamune" the Honjo Masamune is said to be the best sword ever made, but was lost over time, so I decided I'd name the sword that as a tribute to the original Honjo Masamune) though if you're trying to make out with me hate to admit I'm a lesbian who's already got a girlfriend.
Posted 2/4/16
I would prefer Damascus steel for the sword.
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Posted 2/4/16

IkusaTakuma wrote:

Buckerss wrote:Diamonds are overpriced.

they are the one of the rarest gems around so makes sense....

this is a myth. the supply of diamond in the market is controlled by the big corporations - to make sure the prices remain high.
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