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and so it begins... O1/L6 3-bar Han jian with Wu.

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Hello Everyone,

I am back into Chinese sword mode, thanks to inspiration and many, many facebook messages from my friend Scott Roush.


I started over from zero with this project. I abandoned a previous blade that was w2 and 15n20, with which I attempted a double shangxue.


Going with more shock resistance and no hamon on this one. Prettier pattern welding, too.


3 bars, the edge bars are about 2:1 O1 to L6 by mass, the center bar is about 2:1 L6.


23" blade length, I will extend the tang to make it 11".


Of course, about a zillion things could go wrong, but I am going to share, good or bad.


I need the encouragement, and hints along the way.


comments are welcomed, as always.





Bars showing the composition, just starting.




into the fire!




after first welds. Taking it slow. Just cutting in half and stacking to get a more layers.



Using the twist-o-matic. A word about O1 - I crumbled the first twist. It went, "red short." This little forge gets rocket hot at the hot spot (of course). I had to turn it down to get the twists to work right. With W2/15N20 I could just let it rip. This is why everything after twisting only shows 3 bars. I saved a lot of the bar that fried, but I am going to use what I saved to make a knife or two. I have plenty of steel for a sword from just the 3 bars.



very careful with final welds, so I milled the mating surfaces flat and square.



23" blade, with 8" of tang that I will weld or braze an extension onto. It isn't traditional (they used a peg like the Japanese) but I am going to peen the end of the tang.



still need to do the, "fish mouth." If it fails, I will get more length by tapering and just leave it alone.



you can't really see it, but the edge bars have a different number of layers than the center bar. 18 in the center, 10 on the edges.

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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just got back. What are you doing online?


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Wesley, I gave up on the double-hamon (shanguxue) blade because I just couldn't keep it straight. This blade, believe it or not, is the simpler blade. I think that maybe I could have done random laminate at high level for the edge, but then I needed to do at least 2 center bars. So, that will be what I do next time.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for asking, guys. However, there won't be any progress for a month or two.


I AM MOVING TO A NEW HOME, AND SETTING UP A NEW SHOP! Finally, a dedicated shop separate from the house. But, this means no work on the sword for some time.


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Good luck with the move ! after getting heavy equipment this last year, (2 lathes, milling machine, power hammer, forging press, shaper, screw press) ... i dont even want to THINK about moving for a very long time =) I'll probably have to seriously hire a rigger and moving company to move my machines now

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Justin - I have hired a rigger to get my stuff across town. Not even that far, really. But, the kiln with the retort, the milling machine, and the hydraulic press... I can't put those on a moving truck myself.


It isn't too bad, not really any more expensive than hiring regular movers.



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