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Bladesmithing and math


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Hi all,

 

Kinda an odd question here. I am taking calculus for my degree and I have to come up with a real application and work out a problem with it. I am trying to come up with something concerning blacksmithing or bladesmithing hopefully dealing with derivatives since I am bad at integrals but haven't been able to come up with any good ideas as of yet. Being really bad at calculus isn’t making this any easier lol. I know there are some really smart folks here so I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas? Just figured I would ask but no worries if no one has anything. I know it’s an odd one…

 

Edited by Travis13
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My degree is in accounting, so I always think in terms of business calculus. With that explanation, what about proportions of materials for lowest production cost? Cost of blade being x% of high carbon steel for the edge versus different ratios of y% of mild steel for the mass. Come up with a strength requirement for edge thickness and optimal amount of each material for various sizes of blades with the goal of a quality product (ie. How much high carbon/more expensive steel) for the lowest cost of goods. 

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How about a mathematical equation that defines the thickness of the blade when taking into account the distal taper and the bevel taper. This is a basic calculus function of the change in x (distal taper) with respect to the change in Y (bevel taper).

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Heat transfer is also a great direction to go for applied calculus. 

Just as a side note, I haven't had to use calculus since college.  Practicing metallurgist/foundry engineer for over ten years.  

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On 2/26/2018 at 12:34 PM, Jerrod Miller said:

Heat transfer is also a great direction to go for applied calculus. 

Just as a side note, I haven't had to use calculus since college.  Practicing metallurgist/foundry engineer for over ten years.  

I've been an electrical engineer, test engineer, and an R&D guy for over 25 years, and have never so much as solved a derivative for min/max...

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Thanks guys I appreciate it. I am thinking of going with something along the lines of what Jerrod or Joshua recommend if I can figure it out. I am not super great at this yet so we will see. My degree is Computer Science so I have had a good amount of math but this class and one more calc class are all I have left. I cannot wait.

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I've got a buddy that is a programmer for Apple.  He double majored in math and computer science.  In 4 years.  While tutoring his wife and I in material science, which he learned so he could give us a hand (mostly it was understanding the math, so it wasn't a stretch for him).  HE uses calculus and such all the time.  He uses stuff I've never even heard of, at least until he tried explaining it to me.  We all use the results of very complex math all the time.  The search engine results (Google search results, let's face it Geoff Keyes is the only person I know that uses Bing) are delivered by using a crazy complex algorithm. Right now on my other monitor (2 monitors are essential on a computer!) I have a casting simulation running.  It is currently 32% filled, then it will simulate solidification after filling is complete.  Crazy calculus going on there.  But I don't actually use the equations myself.  I let the computer programmers figure it all out and I just learn to push the right buttons.  B)

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I took calculus sooooo long ago, I hate to admit when. The last time I used it was in 1997ish when my wife got her Master's and had to take a calc class. I was surprised how quickly it came back though. Building houses, I use trig and geometry all the time, but never calculus. I guess what really bothers me about it is the fact that it was originally created to explain how the universe works using math. Not "getting" it completely always makes me feel like I'm missing some important information about life...........

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

Not "getting" it completely always makes me feel like I'm missing some important information about life...........

No worries... the answer is 42 ;)

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I believe the term was "hoopy frood". 

As in, there's a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is. ;)

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