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A swordsmith colleague of mine, Dan Maragni, once related an anecdote that he found profound. He was transporting a sword he had made from his home to his car when a child saw him and asked, innocently enough, “Hey mister, is that sword real?” He recalled how the child’s question made him stop and consider it at face value for a moment: here was a tool he had constructed by hand in a manner he knew was only a loose approximation of how a historical blade would have been produced, and which he had created based on information he knew was only a rough estimate of the geometry and profile of the original specimen it was taken from.

Yet, in essence it was certainly a “sword” by definition. He realized, logically, that you can take most any piece of modern steel, grind it into some sort of blade shape, heat-treat it in some way so it's hard yet flexible, put some sort of handle grip on it, and finally, sharpen it to some degree (or not) and it will certainly be capable of killing. It will be a functional weapon in some regard –but is it a real sword?
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Euclidean

Saw this Sword Smith on the History Channel this evening.
He's mentioned in the above article. His name is Paul Champagne.
This guy actually goes out and gathers his own Raw Iron Ore!
Then he smelts it down & ends up with a 60 LB lump of Rough Iron that looks like a doggone meteorite. He breaks off little pieces of Iron & forges them & then re~forges them & then adds them together...and "forge welds" them together into a larger billet.
Then draws it out....into a rough blade...hammer forges the edge...hardens & tempers it....anyway this guy is TRULY a Medieval Swordmaker.
His finished sword blades are REALLY fine looking.
It was pretty amazing to see a human being craft an ARTFUL deadly weapon using only Mother Nature, Sweat, Talent, The Human Brain, 400 + Pounds of Wood Charcoal and extremely basic/primitive basic hand tools.
His swords are EXPENSIVE though...from 3 thou. up to about 20 Grand.
Way out of my league but, I sure did enjoy watching him work!
 

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One of the best books that I've read in the last couple of years is "Dies The Fire", by S.M. Stirling...an "event" occurs that renders all forms of power (electrical, fuel, gunpowder, etc.) non-working...society returns to a medieval condition where archers and swordsmen rule...but a plentiful source of hardened steel for swords exists in automobile leaf springs :biggrin:
 

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kinda cool how some folks still metal work. A few of my bro's friends have forges set up and work making medieval weapons.
 

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QK - I saw that prog' on TV - Paul Champagne is AWESOME!

Way back I used to do some forging - still have my old beat-up anvil but hey - that guy is raw talent. Staggering amount of shere effort and energy goes in to one of his creations, for that is what they are - from dirt to superb sword.
 

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You Saw It?

Great!
He sure is totally into sword making!
And his "finished product" was beautiful.
I think it must be a fantastic feeling to actually pull an awesome weapon like that right out of the Earth.
I'm glad that you saw it.

Oh...you've done some forging. Neat.
I've made a few gun springs & a few miniature items years ago.
a mini whaling harpoon...& a few Tiny knives.
I started with blanks cut from the "dead soft" lengths of carbon "spring steel" available from Brownell's - it was fun.
 

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Back in the days when I did do this it was mostly to do with iron work I did. I used to make gates, firegrates and similar and often used forging to create scrolls etc. Rest was welding.

Main problem I had - and which led me to do less and less anvil work was (and is) - I have very good strength but lousy stamina - it's the muscle type I have. Result was - very limited ability for lengthy sessions with hammer work. Most frustrating actually but not something I could change. Arm would just fatigue quickly to point where I had to pause - and that lets the metal cool of course!!

I will still work hot steel now and again - but small scale - oh and spring making - oh my - is that ever a frustrating deal - mainly with leaf springs. I got some very nice spring steel from Brownells a ways back - same stuff you referred to I expect - but like to cheat and cold form from music wire when I can get away with it!!

Long ago I did start a knife project working on a car leaf spring - but never finished it!!
 

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I haven't read the entire article yet, but I did look at the pictures. :biggrin: That 17th century spring dagger is very intimidating.

I really enjoy watching people make things from scratch. It must take some true talent and patience to be able to construct a sword, and it's great to see that this art has not been completely lost to modern methods. While an assembly line piece can be quite beautiful and made well, there's certainly something priceless in a hand-made piece, because it contains the maker's hard work and soul.
 

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That was a good article, thanks. Being a sword and knife lover and collector.
I found it very informative. I have both old and replica as well as some fantasy swords. The old ones have a feel that the others don,t even come close to matching.

Any of you that like bladed weapons, if you ever get a chance to go to Madrid Spain be sure and visit the Kings Armory. I was in heaven, didn't want to leave, but they do tend to rush you when they see you start to drool.
 
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