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Forged titanium san mai ring dao

Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
8,892
Hello all,

Here is a large two-handed ring dao sword, with a blade made of titanium san mai construction. The style is a futuristic version of the Chinese ring dao that became popular during the Sui Dynasty, a short but potent transitional period between the Han and Tang dynasties. Toward the end of the Han dynasty, straight dao with a ring pommel started to replace the jian double-edged sword as a primary infantry weapon. This type of sword was made ubiquitous during the Sui Dynasty which united China, and was carried into the subsequent Tang Dynasty period.

The blade is forge-welded san mai, with a core of Russian body armor titanium alloy, clad with USA tank armor titanium alloy. Dan Keffeler and I made this billet and some others last winter, during a huge burst of effort facilitated by Ed Schempp. I think a san mai construction is pretty much the pinnacle of titanium alloy sword blade construction.

OAL: 40.75"
Blade: 29" full convex
Hilt: titanium alloys
Handle: rubber, nylon, leather

As with most of my swords, the handle can flex a bit along with the blade so the entire piece can flex as one and absorb shock.

Sorry about the weak pics. The sword was difficult to photograph.


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VIDEO!




Thanks for looking!
 
Last edited:

WValtakis

Hand Engraving, Ti anodizing, and mods
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
12,968
What's the weight?
 

Mecha

Titanium Bladesmith
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
8,892
Awesome! I'm sure a ton of thought went into the use of the 2 alloys, can you tell us more about the choice and benefits??

While both of the alloys are quite tough and springy, the cladding alloy is tougher, softer, and more resistant to cracking or chipping. However, the cladding alloy is possible to bend in a malleable way if subjected to hard impact as a very thin edge. After HT, the core alloy is harder, and will not gall or take a set. If subjected to enough force it will instead break or chip, which is what the hard crystalline form Alpha Prime (also called 'titanium martensite') does if the right ti alloy is heat treated to produce it. The cladding supports the harder alloy and toughens the billet, as a true, proper san mai blade, not just for looks, but for structural effect.

These two alloys are similar enough to weld without issues, which can (and will) arise when attempting to fuse ti alloys that are too different from each other. The two alloys also both heat treat roughly the same, which isn't the case for some other ti alloys. Ti 8mn, for example, is wildly different than any other ti alloy in HT.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
Dude wow. Absolutely spectacular work.
Didn't know that about the 2 TI alloys. Very cool stuff.

Its even more awesome that the san mai is functional for performance.
 
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