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Old 27th July 2008, 01:51 PM   #1
katana
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Default Stainless Steel and genuine Ethnographic weapons.

With the 'invention' of stainless steel around 1913 and the amount of 'colonial' trade around the world, I wondered if this had an impact on ethnographic weapons.

Although early stainless could not hold an edge as well as carbon steel, the advantages in humid/wet conditions may have been advantageous. Also in situations where culture dictated that blades were highly polished and were kept in such condition....stainless would retain the 'finish' much longer.

Stainless steel ethnic blades (of some age)......do they exist ?

Any thoughts...or examples ? Thank you

Regards David
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Old 28th July 2008, 05:03 PM   #2
mross
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The answer may depend on your definition of stainless steel. I book somewhere that said the blades made by Masamune had level of Chromium or Vandium, (I can't remember which and don't have any references handy) in them.
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Old 28th July 2008, 05:40 PM   #3
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Stainless generally means 10-12% or more of Cr from what I've been told, less than that and it won't help much with the rusting.
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Old 28th July 2008, 06:26 PM   #4
Rich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mross
The answer may depend on your definition of stainless steel. I book somewhere that said the blades made by Masamune had level of Chromium or Vandium, (I can't remember which and don't have any references handy) in them.


IF Masamune blades had any chromium (which I doubt since the forging
of a Japanese sword is designed to remove impurities from the steel), it
would have been microscopic amounts and purely by accident since chromium
wasn't even known as an element or pure metal when Masamune worked.
Certainly not enough to give any "stainless" properties to his swords. Known
Masamune swords rust and have been repolished just like any other
Japanese sword.

Rich S
The Japanese Sword Index
http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/nihonto.htm
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Old 28th July 2008, 07:54 PM   #5
Andrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
IF Masamune blades had any chromium (which I doubt since the forging
of a Japanese sword is designed to remove impurities from the steel), it
would have been microscopic amounts and purely by accident since chromium
wasn't even known as an element or pure metal when Masamune worked.
Certainly not enough to give any "stainless" properties to his swords. Known
Masamune swords rust and have been repolished just like any other
Japanese sword.

Rich S
The Japanese Sword Index
http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/nihonto.htm


I had a feeling we'd be hearing from you on that one.
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Old 28th July 2008, 11:35 PM   #6
katana
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Thank you all for your input.
I have seen a Jambiya recently that had old fittings that appeared to have been there for 'quite' awhile, yet the scabbard had suffered water damage with the blade inside. The blade had not been cleaned or polished or even dried since the 'water damage' and yet there was no sign of rust,(the scabbard had been saturated and the blade was not oiled or waxed) so I assumed 'stainless', realising that 'stainless' was available very early 20th C it could have been possible that the hilt was as old as the blade. I have no expertise on Jambiya, but do 'know' age patina and could easily see the hilt being circa 1930's.

That being a possibillity, I was curious as to the use of stainless in Ethnic weapons.

Kind Regards David
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