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Heat-treated or no?
#1
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?
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#2
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
Cheers

Rod Walker
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.jousting.com.au">www.jousting.com.au
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#3
(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.
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#4
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).
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#5
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
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#6
(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/Cemete...C3%BCk.pdf
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#7
(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/Cemete...C3%BCk.pdf

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

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#8
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.
Jack Svendsen.
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#9
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.
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
Reply
#10
Excellent Dan Smile  please share when it arrives.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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