Sword Steel ???/

MoblMec

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys
I am thinking about grinding out some swords. Kinda short maybe 30 inches long.
Tanto type tip kinda a tactical sword. Now I am a stock removal guy so I want to know what is a good sword steel for grinding.
Thanks
Moblec
 

GHEzell

Well-Known Member
I'd suggest 5160, 6150, L6, or 80crv2 for a modern, through-hardened short sword. All of these steels are known for toughness. 1075 or 1060 would also work well. Wilkinson made swords from what amounts to W1 (.9-1% carbon), and they had quite a reputation for being nearly unbreakable. In the end the heat-treatment will be more important than the steel type....

Specification for Henry Wilkinson's "Sword Steel"

Carbon................0.90 to 1,00%
Silicon.................0.20% Maximum
Manganese..........0.15 to 0.35%
Sulphur...............0.02% Maximum
Phosphorous......... 0.02% Maximum
 

MoblMec

Well-Known Member
Thanks
I was thinking 5160 Standard HT ??? with oil quinche ??? What temp HT ? And what temp for temper?
Thanks
MoblMec
 

GHEzell

Well-Known Member
5160.
From my experience, 5160 doesn't care too much what oil you quench it in, I use 120 degree canola oil. As far as temper, well, that depends on what hardness you are shooting for and how hard it got in the quench. For a sword you will want to sacrifice edge-holding some in favor of toughness. I personally feel 55 rockwell c would be about right, but testing is essential for a blade intended for the battlefield. I've never worked with 5160 in sword length blades so I cannot honestly say for certain what would be optimal.
 

kevin - the professor

Well-Known Member
I use 1075 and 15n20 or 1075 and w2. I will use 80crv2 and 1075 and 15n20 in the future.

I know, you don't pattern weld. You should pick any of those steels (except w2, which I use for edge-holding but never the whole body of the sword).

Probably, you can't get 15n20 in thick stock (unless Aldo has it). So, go with 80crv2. It is (reputed to be - I have never tested it I am sad to say, because I have avoided 5160) better than 5160 in terms of edge holding and doesn't sacrifice toughness. I accidentally confused it with some annealed W1 and tried to machine it (the 80crv2). Even in a simple annealed state (slow-cool surrounded by hot fire bricks) it was hell. I literally could not mill a slot of 1/8" width into it. Not with a hi-torque mini mill. The cutter just bent.

It is good stuff. It will resist wear and also be springy and hard to break. If I wasn't strung out on hamons, I would probably use this in every sword I made.

By the way, there is a good video by Wally Hayes Canadian knife and sword maker, about how to make a katana-like sword by stock removal.

kc
 

J.Higgins

Well-Known Member
Are there any stainless steels that lend themselves to a sword design? How about our old standby, 440C? Would that be a tough-enough steel for a decent short sword?
 

kevin - the professor

Well-Known Member
DOOOOHHHH -- I didn't read closely enough. Sorry that I didn't (and can't) answer your question.
see below.

I suggest L6 or 80crv2. Very tough and also good edge retention due to carbides (especially the 80crv2).
 

J.Higgins

Well-Known Member
Are there any stainless steels that lend themselves to a sword design? How about our old standby, 440C? Would that be a tough-enough steel for a decent short sword?
The reason I ask this is because I have been thinking about plate-quenching some 440C or some other stainless like maybe S30V. I'm thinking that would be a pretty tough and resilient short sword. I'm thinking right now a 20" blade. Any thoughts would really be welcomed.
 

Joel Brazzoni

Well-Known Member
I have seen a 440c custom bush sword broken at the guard area a real shame a lot of work went into it. I would lean more towards s35vn or s30v i think they are way tougher as far as stainless goes, I would recommend 3-v. A lot of work goes into a sword the last thing you want is it breaking on you.
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
Use 12c27 or 14c28 if you want stainless... just choose a heat treat that optimises very little to NO retained austenite... i.e. low aust temp around 1040 deg c with longish soak, and a quick quench, but for the long blade i would say plate quenching these steels are needed... for straightness- sub zero would be useful though as you would then have some RA. Temper to 200 degc. 440avor 440b should do well too... if you do the heattreat right
 
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