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Heat-treated or no? - Printable Version

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Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-16-2019

I'd really like to take an iron-hilted akinakes of accurate shape and size to Plataea 2021, but I don't have much of a budget.  Just recently I found an overseas maker who's willing to produce one to my specs in mild steel for about 120USD+shipping, which is a price I'm comfortable with.

As a reenactor, is it worthwhile paying another $90 to have it made of heat-treated high-carbon steel?  I can't rule out the possibility that it'll be used for cutting and stabbing demos on a target, but that hasn't happened so far.  And I can't really afford more than one.  Any advice?


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Sagittarii - 03-16-2019

Hi Dan, I use mine for cutting so made it sharp and from spring steel and tempered it myself.

It is one of the longer versions and I was sure it would bend, which is probably historically correct for the period, if it was untempered or made from mild.

[Image: 25s1rmf.jpg]

Love your blog.

Cheers

Rod


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Crispianus - 03-17-2019

(03-16-2019, 05:25 PM)Dan D\Silva Wrote: I'd really like to take an iron-hilted akinakes of accurate shape and size to Plataea 2021, but I don't have much of a budget.  Just recently I found an overseas maker who's willing to produce one to my specs in mild steel for about 120USD+shipping, which is a price I'm comfortable with.

As a reenactor, is it worthwhile paying another $90 to have it made of heat-treated high-carbon steel?  I can't rule out the possibility that it'll be used for cutting and stabbing demos on a target, but that hasn't happened so far.  And I can't really afford more than one.  Any advice?

I would suggest a low magenese spring steel such as EN45 even if its not hardened and tempered it will still be stronger and at least possible to harden and temper it later if required, mild steel is only good for show which means that the work is largely wasted.

If you have a hand grinder and access to the material you can make it yourself, steel is cheap, labour is the main cost... you can also harden the edge by hammering to a certain extent.


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-17-2019

Thank you.

Rod, my design is based on the ones found at the Achaemenid military cemetery in Deve Huyuk, so they're pretty short -- I specified a blade of 21-23cm (8-1/4 to 9 inches).  I suppose bending would be less likely at that length, but it's not impossible.

Ivor, the maker lists their high-carbon steel as 60C2, which contains manganese and up to 2 percent silicon, which I gather is quite high.  No idea if they'd be willing to make the blade in high-carbon but not heat-treat it.

I have made a dagger and a knife with an angle grinder, but it's...  unpleasant work, and frankly I don't mind paying someone else so I can avoid it (plus being back at school these days, I just don't have much time anymore).


RE: Heat-treated or no? - brennivs - tony drake - 03-18-2019

Dan I agree with Ivor, mild steel is no good if you intend to hit it against any thing. The tip itself will probably bend or damaged. While high carbon steel is a bit tougher it can still get damaged. So if it can be made out of high carbon I would have thought it would be be heat treated as part of the extra cost. If a sword I make was even just used to kill cabbages  Cry  I use EN45.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Crispianus - 03-19-2019

(03-17-2019, 03:36 PM)Dan D\Silva Wrote: Thank you.

Rod, my design is based on the ones found at the Achaemenid military cemetery in Deve Huyuk, so they're pretty short -- I specified a blade of 21-23cm (8-1/4 to 9 inches).  I suppose bending would be less likely at that length, but it's not impossible.

Ivor, the maker lists their high-carbon steel as 60C2, which contains manganese and up to 2 percent silicon, which I gather is quite high.  No idea if they'd be willing to make the blade in high-carbon but not heat-treat it.

I have made a dagger and a knife with an angle grinder, but it's...  unpleasant work, and frankly I don't mind paying someone else so I can avoid it (plus being back at school these days, I just don't have much time anymore).

Thats little more then a large knife I should think it would be possible to heat treat this with a large gas torch with care, obviously its best to forge any weapon though rather then grinding it to shape which as you say is unpleasant work, I think there are several people here on the forum who are doing this kind of stuff who might be a better bet.... 60C2 comes out as some kind off structural steel I've never used it always EN45...

I assume that your refering to the weapons in this catalogue:

https://www.academia.edu/31521572/Cemeteries_of_the_First_Deve_h%C3%B6y%C3%BCk.pdf


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-19-2019

(03-18-2019, 08:06 PM)brennivs - tony drake Wrote: So if it can be made out of high carbon I would have thought it would be be heat treated as part of the extra cost.

It is.  The maker on their listing for a Scythian sword states "Steel spring forged and passes through all the stages of heat treatment (forging, annealing, hardening, normalization)."  (The maker is Russian and the page is computer-translated.)

This is also why I'm looking at this particular maker, because it appears labor cost in Russia is a lot lower and they are producing lots of iron and bronze blades not sold by more familiar manufacturers out of South and East Asia.


(03-19-2019, 07:52 AM)Crispianus Wrote: Thats little more then a large knife I should think it would be possible to heat treat this with a large gas torch with care,

Theoretically, yes.  I have read instructions on how to do it, but I very much doubt I can do it better than someone with any degree of experience.

(03-19-2019, 07:52 AM)Crispianus Wrote: I assume that your refering to the weapons in this catalogue:

https://www.academia.edu/31521572/Cemeteries_of_the_First_Deve_h%C3%B6y%C3%BCk.pdf

Yep.  These are the only iron/steel akinakai that I know of from an Achaemenid context.


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Jack Svendsen - 03-20-2019

If you want a blade that would be more inline with the metallurgy of the time, mild steel would seem to be a more accurate choice except for the higher-end weapons (Mild steel being somewhat comparable to face-hardened wrought iron).

If you want a blade that you don't want to spend time and effort re-bending and resharpening after some cuts and bashes, go with a high-carbon blade, particularly one with heat treating.


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-22-2019

Understood. Okay, I'm leaning toward the heat-treated blade. The flexibility of being able to use it with less fear of damage seems worth the extra money.


RE: Heat-treated or no? - brennivs - tony drake - 03-22-2019

Excellent Dan Smile  please share when it arrives.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-25-2019

Here's the design I have worked out.  (I may ask them to leave off the mid-ridge if that makes production unduly complicated; a plain lenticular cross section is also period-appropriate.)  Do you think the distal taper should be greater?


RE: Heat-treated or no? - brennivs - tony drake - 03-25-2019

Looking at the finds from Deve Huyuk, I would say it needs a bit more taper. I would go with the mid rib it should not be any trouble to put it in. Looking forward to the finished result  Smile 
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-26-2019

Would you say about 4mm at the midpoint, and 3mm just before the point?


RE: Heat-treated or no? - brennivs - tony drake - 03-26-2019

Dan I think your size is ok, just the blade to flow to the point. About 2.5cm up from the point the width there just needs taken in a bit. Similar to Rods blade profile.
[attachment=14915]
Hope you can see what I mean  Smile
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin


RE: Heat-treated or no? - Dan D'Silva - 03-26-2019

Is this better?