Thursday, January 28, 2016

Swords: Forging, Tempering, and Folding


Swords are produced following given procedures which ensure they’re perfect for various uses. Swords involve the fundamental three processes to manufacture; Forging, tempering and folding. 

The forging process involves the combination of iron and carbon that’re heated together to enable the sword to be strong. This process determines how sharp the sword will be. The mixture of iron and carbon combined with sand is heated up to the temperature of 1200- 1500 degrees Celsius inside a furnace that’s traditionally made. The process gives the sword the versatility and the strength that it needs to make it active and avoid bending when being used. It was discovered by Japanese smiths whereby when iron and sand, that doesn't contain much Sulfur and phosphorus, when heated together with carbon, gives the steel the firmness that it should have. Hot forging is the best forging that iron and coal undergoes for the best results.

Tempering in the process when making swords involves treating the iron swords with high temperatures or heat so that it can increase its toughness. Tempering comes after hardening of the sword, also known as forging as illustrated above. It aids in reducing the extra hardness of a sword after the forging has been done. The process involves heating the sword to a given temperature but below the critical for a given length of time and later cooling it in still air. The tempering process will determine the hardness of the metal that was used to make the sword. Active metals are tempered at low temperatures while swords that are made out of springs or softer metals are tempered to higher temperatures. When the hardness of a sword is reduced, there is increased the ductility of the metal that made the sword which decreases the brittleness of the sword giving it a firm posture and stronger sword.

Folding in the sword making process is involved in the forging stage of a sword. Forging which is the heating of the metal that is used to make the sword. Folding increases the stability of a given sword. Folding is usually done by the Smith to ensure that the sword its firmness. The number of times a sword is wrapped is determined by the type of the steel and the shape and strength of a given alloy or metal. Smiths in the ancient past had to ensure that the sword is folded several times and hammered several times so that it can be stronger.


Combining different metals to form the best sword needs a lot of folding of the blades and metal that is used. Stiffness is the best quality that’s required in manufacturing a sword.

Overall, swords need a lot of concentration when making them.

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