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What I learned (?) one the History (Hilarity) Channel today


Doug Lester

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Evidently the Japanese didn't know how to make samuri swords before the Mongol invasion. It seems like one master swordsmith worked it all out and taught all the other swordsmiths how to do it while the Mongols very courteously waited off shore and to give the Japanese time enough to arm themselves. These were the best swords ever made and no one has seen the likes of them since, evidently because no one wrote down the instructions and no one can remember how they did it anymore. They're quality far exceeds what can be made with modern steels measured by any criteria.

 

They also had some mystical clay coating; again, someone forgot to write down the formula; that caused iron to form in the core of the blade while tempering it in water cause a jacket of hard steel to form the cutting edge.

 

There was no mention if aliens (no, we are not talking about a bunch of wet backs here) had anything to do with it. But, then again, they never said that they didn't either.

 

Doug <_<

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Which show was this!!? I really want to see it. Just once I'd like to see these guys spend a couple of bucks on a real expert. On Pawn Stars a couple of weeks ago they took in a damascus double barrel, and then tried to explain how damascus was made, very sad.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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yeah...im curious too...the history channel is pretty dissapointing a lot of times if you are watching it to get actual facts...i watched a show on miyamoto musashi one time that was chalked full of inaccuracies and just flat out errors...it was horrible...and for some reason really annoyed me...

 

it also annoys me when the word temper is used to describe a hamon, or as the process used to create a hamon...for some reason, that one especially erks me.

In the eyes of a novice, i may be a master...but in the eyes of a master, im merely a novice.

 

 

ichi-go, ichi-e

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yeah...im curious too...the history channel is pretty dissapointing a lot of times if you are watching it to get actual facts...i watched a show on miyamoto musashi one time that was chalked full of inaccuracies and just flat out errors...it was horrible...and for some reason really annoyed me...

 

it also annoys me when the word temper is used to describe a hamon, or as the process used to create a hamon...for some reason, that one especially erks me.

 

 

 

I saw this one, he basically had a iota of fact about damascus and Syria but then went on to explain how since then, all damascus comes from Syria, it is still more strong than common metalsand a string of other misinformation..

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I don't know what episode this was, I tuned in during the program. It may have been an Ancient Discoveries program. Not all of it was about Japanese swords. BTW, their sword master was an English lady who did look like she studied Japanese sword styles but lacked flow and polish in her movements. They did have Mike Loades demonstrating what looked like a billowing silk cape use by mounted Japanese wariors as anti-arrow armor that did look like there was some thought behind it also a nice segment on how he thought that the Romans might have use war dogs.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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they get experts on the subject and factual stuff is layed out in the beginning of the film... then the whole thing gets watered down with BS and things that will appeal to the core audience ( hollywood style ) are added in !!! otherwise no expert in their right mind would be associated with garbage !

 

then edited ... snip here and there to take out the substance, and you have it

 

 

 

 

 

Learned this the hard way ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Within a two-day period, first on "Borgias" then on "Game of Thrones" I watched bemusedly as this process was performed on each show: a fully-finished sword had its tip heated to red heat and then quenched, to be immediately (Still wet and steaming) used in a fight. I'm still puzzling over what the writer was thinking, and why none of the fight-masters caught this. Nothing improves the cutting ability of a sword like having a glass-hard tip in a fight. I'm sure every one of us has accidentally tapped or dropped one of our blades in that state at some time or another.

"I'm not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife." Molly Ivins

NT Limpin' Cat Prokopp

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And the history of man yet again gets screwed up by the Hilarity Channel (loved that, keeping it, lol)

Your abilities are only limited by your will to try.

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I recently "learned" via an old BBC program that you can make wootz steel by packing iron with rawhide and clay, and heating the heck out of it for a good long while...yes, they made some blister steel, and said it was wootz. I knew something was wrong when they mentioned 1500* F as the target temperature...sigh. I have only rarely seen accurate info on metalworking presented in these sorts of programs...makes me suspect all the other info presented, as well.

My hand-forged knives and tools at Etsy.com: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oldschooltools

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To be fair, even Mike Loades, whom I respect as a researcher and history presenter, came up with some howlers in his book Swords and Swordsmen which showed that he was trying to get a grasp on metallurgy but didn't quite make it. He also stated that Japanese swords were made without the use of files or grinding, which is kind'a/sort'a/maybe in a technical way true if you think about it after your third beer.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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To be fair, even Mike Loades, whom I respect as a researcher and history presenter, came up with some howlers in his book Swords and Swordsmen which showed that he was trying to get a grasp on metallurgy but didn't quite make it. He also stated that Japanese swords were made without the use of files or grinding, which is kind'a/sort'a/maybe in a technical way true if you think about it after your third beer.

 

Doug

 

It's obvious...if you discount scrapers and stones, of course.

I have a tendency to laugh immoderately (Though not ROFL) at most of the offerings on history channel nowadays. Our species has over 4000 years of written history, yet these Bozos ran out of ideas after their "All World War II, All the Time" stage. So they went to loggers, Bigfoot and aliens.

"I'm not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife." Molly Ivins

NT Limpin' Cat Prokopp

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  • 3 weeks later...

<snip>

There was no mention if aliens (no, we are not talking about a bunch of wet backs here) had anything to do with it. But, then again, they never said that they didn't either.

 

Doug <_<

 

Last weekend, I had an elderly gentleman at a local flea market state outright that Japanese swordmaking techniques were handed down by Aliens. When I tried to explain the archeological record that shows the clear progression and migration of swordmaking techniques and styles around Asia, I could see his eyes glazing over with his mental rejection of the truth in favor of his favorite theory. "Aliens gave them those," he insisted as I left with some tongs and a set of gunsmith's screwdrivers, "there's no way those [racial slur omitted] could have made 'em."

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Have you ever noticed how most of those space alien theorist have hair that looks like a blasting cap went off in a horse hair cushion? I love it when it's discovered that ancient and "primitive" peoples did something complex without the aid of Western Civilization that it had to be aliens instead of our lack of understanding about what ancient and primitive could do. Blackanvil, it's nice that you did try to educate that elderly "gentleman" (far be it from me to suggest that he was just some old pig-headed f@rt) but I have found that people like that really resent anyone trying to counter their arguments with facts. As Dilbert said: "Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."

 

Doug

Edited by Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Ignorant people amuse me, I had a guy tell me that the best swords were tempered in virgin blood. :/

I tried to explain that, one, tempering isnt quenching, and two, blood isnt a quenchant. He pursued to go on about the silver vampire swords >.>

I had to walk away from that one.

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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Haha, no he was on the ship with me, looked kinda crazy, and this was BEFORE the Twilight craze :/ (bout 5/6 years ago)

Buncha damn lunatics on the Kitty-Hawk, I had the same guy tell me he was a re-encarnated vampire lord, and he could'nt read my aura, and that I had to be some form of re-encarnated Vampire slayer or Holy Warrior. >.>

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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Evidently the Japanese didn't know how to make samuri swords before the Mongol invasion. It seems like one master swordsmith worked it all out and taught all the other swordsmiths how to do it while the Mongols very courteously waited off shore and to give the Japanese time enough to arm themselves. These were the best swords ever made and no one has seen the likes of them since, evidently because no one wrote down the instructions and no one can remember how they did it anymore. They're quality far exceeds what can be made with modern steels measured by any criteria.

 

They also had some mystical clay coating; again, someone forgot to write down the formula; that caused iron to form in the core of the blade while tempering it in water cause a jacket of hard steel to form the cutting edge.

 

There was no mention if aliens (no, we are not talking about a bunch of wet backs here) had anything to do with it. But, then again, they never said that they didn't either.

 

Doug <_<

 

I JUST saw this crap in the flight-line Cafeteria here on base. what a load of crap >:(

Guess they never heard of forge welding >:(

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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You mean they actually had the nerve to show that segment twice!? I hope they at least coupled it with Mike Loads showing the billowing silk cape-like thingy that the mounted Japanese warriors used to protect their backs from arrows if they had to get the heck out of Dodge in a hurry. That was interesting. By the way, where are you at, Stumps?

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the latest from our favorite pseudo history channel. On Modern Marvels it was stated that the katana was the sharpest sword in the world-and what's more-it never need sharpening. They said that one of the reasons that it cut better than the European swords is that the European swords were all hollow ground. That and the tomahawk was Native American invention. Why do I put myself through this? :wacko:

 

Doug

 

P.S. Eric I forgot about China Lake. I just figured that the Big Green Killing Machine need the Navy's help to look after God's misguided children. After all they are really part of the Navy, though neither group likes to admit it. :P

 

Just Keep'n the pot stirred. :rolleyes:

Edited by Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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When we see the horrible inaccuracies on the various educational channels it makes me doubt any other info they may put across. I emailed TLC several years ago stating that concern.

 

Aside from metallurgy any of us knowledgeable in any topic whether it be our jobs or hobby see incredible lies and distortions from almost all media. They consistently find the worst "experts" to feature or interview.

 

And worst of all we end up having to tear down bad info before we can explain the truth to clients/customers. And then they are still going to lean towards what they saw from a "professional" on TV vs you and I. I have a few hot buttons that are not even blade/metal related that I have a tough time hiding my extreme annoyance when I hear someone repeat. Especially after you explain the truth to and they will still repeat it multiple times.

 

It's ends up hurting my day job business as well as my knife/tooling side business. How do you cure ignorance???????????? It seems too many people have an actual lobe in their brain just to hold ignorance.

Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.

 

 

I'm out of my mind but feel free to leave a message.

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Don't ya know that they can't put nutt'n on TV that ain't true? :blink: It's a shame when the History Channel puts on some quality work like the program Mike Loades did about the Middle Ages and then follow it up with something that was evidently researched in a comic book library.

 

As far as what people will believe, or disbelieve, I used to run into it all the time when I worked at the clinic. Instead of believing a doctor who went to college, medical school, served a residency, and has taken continuing education courses to keep current, they will believe their grandmother who didn't even finish high school.

 

Doug

Edited by Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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  • 2 months later...

I think my favorite kick in the ribs so far when it comes to the history, or Hysteria (2012 crap) Channel must be the recurring idea that Vikings were dumb primeval humans whose swords were hardly a step above pieces of warped dull iron with a handle, and not one of the most technologically advanced cultures at the time. :angry:/>

If the History Channel wanted to do specials on bladesmiths and ancient weapons. They'd have a hell of a time finding those "facts" if they came here looking for experts to consult.

Edited by Freya W. Ward
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I hate to tell you this, Freya, but they weren't the marvels of ancient metallurgy that many make them out to be either. The fact is that many of their swords were crude compared to modern standards with differing amounts of carbon throughout the blade. One museum example sited in a book that I have showed a blade with a core that went from about 0.4-0.6% carbon wrapped with a low carbon edge that had only about 0.1-0.3% carbon. It had no trace of ever being quench hardened, which was rarely done in the Viking age in Europe and when it was done it was probably by accident. There is little to no evidence that they understood tempering so quench hardening of a high carbon steel was probably something to be avoided to keep from having a brittle blade. Another thing, they had no idea what carbon was or that you had to add it to iron to get steel. They thought that steel was more purified iron.

 

Many of the swords from that time were basically made from a high phosphorous wrought iron containing a lot of silicate slag strands. It was the phosphorous, which we would now consider to be a contaminant, that made the iron blade harder. The edges of the blade were made harder still by hammering it on an anvil, just to same as the edge of a bronze sword would be hardened.

 

The Norse were not a bunch of knuckle dragging barbarians dressed in animal skins and they did make some great boats and fine jewelry but their iron metallurgy was primative.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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