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On October the 11Th. 8 PM the PBS series NOVA has a new show called Secrets of the Samurai Sword, the add reads, A NOVA team travels deep into Japan's ancient foundries, follows the craft of the traditional swordsmiths and attends samurai fighting school to reveal the art and science behind making what many call the perfect sword. This is in southern California, The rest of you can check your local PBS station.

Edited by Scott Mack
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Here's a link to the website, it has some interesting info. Link

 

It seems it is at least in part the show that the seb shared some time ago that aired on arté in europe.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A friend saw it allready and strongly recommended it to me. He said it was very detailed.

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Well, I saw it the other night, they got some things right and other things not so right, I guess not bad overall (if you aren't a bladesmith already! :lol: ). They shied away from being overtechnical in the metallurgy, but did showcase some ferrous metallurgy, they also said some things about carbon in a simplisitc manner that could be misconstrued. The biggest blunder by far though was a discussion of work hardening, showcased by showing the smith forging hot plastic steel, giving the impression that the smith, through forging, was imparting a hardness attribute to the steel. Other than my nit picking from a blademsith's standpoint it was a nice showcase of the process from tatara furnace to finished blade. It did however play up the "mystique" of the superiority of the Japanese blade to all other forms of blade craft. It was nifty watching the sword master deflecting and slicing in two a reed arrow being shot at him!

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The stick-out error that I caught was the statement that the hard outer and soft core steel combination in the blade is what causes the curvature after yaki-ire. Someone forgot to tell my mono-steel creations not to curve in a water quench.

 

I did like the show over-all.

 

Dan

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I saw the show too - it was right after "Modern Marvelss" about aluminum. I was having trouble sleeping and the aluminum show came on at midnight...it was after 2am when I finally when to bed. I enjoyed it. Yes, there was a bit of oversimplification of the details (on both shows), but nonetheless I learned quite a bit about steel making. It was interesting the focus on Lehigh University for the steel, and Worcester Polytech on aluminum.

 

Over looking the details - it was a good show - if the talked about the details, it would have lost 90% of the audience......and lost the visual impact....

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How many of us when explaining very basic metalurgy to someone get that dear-in-the-headlights look? I think the show was trying to avoid that syndrome. I liked it aside from some of the details.

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