Quantcast
Why are so many knives 'clad' (san-mai or others) - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: Why are so many knives 'clad' (san-mai or others)

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    641
    Quote Originally Posted by bkdc View Post
    The old samurai implementation would be to take two steels (one hard and one soft) and fold it over and over and over again until you're left with 2 to the nth power of folds in steel. This would result in a brittle steel and a soft steel in many microscopically thin layers. I don't think this is economic or in line with modern manufacturing. But it sure would be expensive.
    I think you're confusing this with damascus steel. AFAIK the soft and hard steels were not folded together, rather the soft steel would be encased in hard steel where it would serve as a flexible backbone the sword. According to wiki (yes yes, I know), blacksmiths would fold the soft steel to purify it. They would also separately fold two harder steels, tamahagane and nabe-gan, to make make the hagane (cutting edge) and kawagane (sides and and back).

    Here's a nice diagram from wiki:


  2. #12
    Yeah +1
    Tamahagene is folded only to remove impurities.

    PS for the steel cost, i ordered ones in same steel hand-forged Laminated blade and mono steel knife from same make and forged Laminated was more expensive.
    So steel price is definitely not the factor !

    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I think you're confusing this with damascus steel. AFAIK the soft and hard steels were not folded together, rather the soft steel would be encased in hard steel where it would serve as a flexible backbone the sword. According to wiki (yes yes, I know), blacksmiths would fold the soft steel to purify it. They would also separately fold two harder steels, tamahagane and nabe-gan, to make make the hagane (cutting edge) and kawagane (sides and and back).

    Here's a nice diagram from wiki:


  3. #13
    You can also take as example Mizuno Wa Gyutos Blue 2 steel laminated is $340
    And they Solid Pure Sweden Stainless is $280
    In same sizes. In fact in Japan Sweden Stainless is more expensive steel then Blue 2. And much more steel was used there

  4. #14
    WillC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    herefordshire uk
    Posts
    1,610
    I do find it interesting that people consider that san mai must be some cost saving measure. San mai adds many more processes and complications to producing a blade in mono steel. These processes add cost which far exceeds to extra cost in materials to produce a blade in mono steel. Thats just the way it is today. San mai is a value added process. It adds interest and uniqueness to the piece. It has some benefits and downsides compared to mono. We have covered all that before.
    When done well with correct balance on core and cladding, correct forge tapering of the blade and geometry, san mai is wonderful and artful done right. Each maker has there own way of doing things.
    I have always loved making san mai. I made san mai before i made any mono blades. But im a forge freak like that
    Just from my point of view as I often make san mai and mono blades which are ground and finished back to back.
    It is not quicker to grind or hand finish soft clad knives. It moves quicker but much higher care must be taken because of this. I have noticed no difference in speed to hand finishing clad or hard steel. Modern abrasives cut both. Today hand finishing hard 14c28n vs soft 304L stainless. The 14c28n took a polish easier. More care was needed with the soft material with pressure to avoid gauging.
    On straightening. Ha ha this is a two headed monster. Yes it can be a little less stressful gheat treating san mai, as it can be straightened easily. Towards the tip though it will want to sit where the core wants to point. A warp towards the tip in san mai can be more of a pig to sort out than mono as you have more forces at work. Sometimes I feel I have to give san mai blades time to settle, as in a difficult warp clad and core can want to point in opposing forces. So its not as straight forward as all that. I suspect someone doing something one way, will always think someone doing it another has it easier, until they try for themselves.
    Finally. If you have a floppy, warp prone blade in san mai. It is because the geometry of the blade and possibly the core balance is overly thin, ( Or designed that way for a reason) Soft steel gives as much stiffness as hard steel, up to the point it bends. It comes back to geometry designed for purpose. If you want a stiffer knife, you use a thicker stronger geometry. This can still of course be as thin as can be at tip and edge.

    Those are my thoughts anyway, from direct practical experience.


    Love the diagrams of different constructions btw, very interesting. I have seen some wonderful construction diagrams also for Saxon Swords and sea axe.
    These constructions were never about saving money, they were about saving precious core material when it was more valuable than gold or anything else. Besides any structural advantages.

  5. #15
    Thanks, Maxim. I stand corrected regarding cost.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    Posts
    907
    Thx, WillC. Doesn't seem as simple as some folks make it sound.

  7. #17
    Spot on Will

    Bit of topic but in old days as cladding for knives and tools they used Watetsu and Rentetsu from UK, they are the softest cladding out there softer then normal iron. But it was super difficult to polish more then any hard steels. Because of scratching and digging you could not use any power tools on it. But it was super popular because for carpenters it was sooo fast to sharpen and swarf helped the process. Now good old quality Watetsu cost more then new Tamahagene

  8. #18
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    732
    Thank you all very much for your answers. Very interesting and informative. I have definitely learned something here

  9. #19
    Senior Member ChiliPepper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    169
    Yeah, understood prob just half of it but enlightening and interesting nonetheless. As usual, when you scrape the surface a whole new dimension appears...

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    charlotte, nc
    Posts
    1,371
    what knives use watetsu and rentetsu cladding?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •