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Re: armour making too

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  • Douglas Shannon
    I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but want to avoid plastic if I can. Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel
    Message 1 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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      I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but want
      to avoid plastic if I can.

      Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be used
      as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?

      Sylvester Burchardt
      East Kingdom


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    • Ash Smith
      ... used ... I would try about 16 ga. 14 ga gets heavy, and 18 ga, while closer to period armor, is easily bent. Might want to make a test section and whack
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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        > Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be
        used
        > as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?

        I would try about 16 ga. 14 ga gets heavy, and 18 ga, while closer to period
        armor, is easily bent.

        Might want to make a "test section" and whack the snot out of it and see how
        it does, then decide in accordance with it's weight where you'll be happy.
        ...
        The only reason I would avoid steel is that, especially in larger formed
        sections, it gets dented and bent, and etc form blows.
        Of course if you made it, not such a big deal to fix it, but this gets
        anoying imo. Plastics will usually stay put once formed, they will deform
        with the blow, but then return to shape. (typically :) ).

        There is the weight difference, but depending what type of armor your
        making, you may not evn notice the difference once your wearing it (as the
        weight is distributed).

        But, steel does sound cooler when thwacked :) And is easier, imo, to work if
        you have the tools. (I prefer a hammer to a heat gun hehe).

        Though in my experiance steel costs more.

        Good luck,
        Ash
      • Zach Schneider
        I used 16 guage hot rolled stel on my torso.After I got the blue scaling off of the cut pieces, I formed them and then ruseted them. The places I gte hit the
        Message 3 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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          I used 16 guage hot rolled stel on my torso.After I got the blue scaling off
          of the cut pieces, I formed them and then ruseted them. The places I gte hit
          the majiority of the times in the torso are the hinges. They take quite a
          beating and I haven't had to repair the hinges yet for the year or so I have
          been wearing it.
          I used really basic stuff to form the pieces of the torso and only have
          one crease in my left side. I decided to leave it there for character but if
          I wanted to tap it out, the 16 guage is a lot more workable than most ppl
          think, using a rubber mallet and a section of pipe will take any and al
          dents out of the harness. If you really get into it, I suggest buying a shot
          put of the net for $16 and welding it to a piece of 1 inch bar. Drill a hole
          in a stump or put it in a vice and this works nicely for tapping out rounded
          surfaces or making pieces like knees and elbows in the future. It even works
          well for forming and smoothing out pieces in helms.
          Another item I found very useful is a bowling ball. A 16 pounder, or
          something close, works great for the larger curves and helm pieces. besides,
          you can get used to the weight of the 16 guage and it's not really that
          heavy, nor does it crack in cold weather. Repairs are a lot easier than
          replacing whole pieces too.
          Yoshida Takezo
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ash Smith" <chronoknight@...>
          To: <sca-jml@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 2:20 PM
          Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Re: armour making too


          > > Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be
          > used
          > > as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use
          steel?
          >
          > I would try about 16 ga. 14 ga gets heavy, and 18 ga, while closer to
          period
          > armor, is easily bent.
          >
          > Might want to make a "test section" and whack the snot out of it and see
          how
          > it does, then decide in accordance with it's weight where you'll be happy.
          > ...
          > The only reason I would avoid steel is that, especially in larger formed
          > sections, it gets dented and bent, and etc form blows.
          > Of course if you made it, not such a big deal to fix it, but this gets
          > anoying imo. Plastics will usually stay put once formed, they will deform
          > with the blow, but then return to shape. (typically :) ).
          >
          > There is the weight difference, but depending what type of armor your
          > making, you may not evn notice the difference once your wearing it (as the
          > weight is distributed).
          >
          > But, steel does sound cooler when thwacked :) And is easier, imo, to work
          if
          > you have the tools. (I prefer a hammer to a heat gun hehe).
          >
          > Though in my experiance steel costs more.
          >
          > Good luck,
          > Ash
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          >
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          >
          >
          >
        • Park McKellop
          The only reason I can give (good? bad?) is that someone may not have the tools/skill/money to make or buy something better. Alcyoneus du Battenhelm/Kondei
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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            The only reason I can give (good? bad?) is that someone may not have the tools/skill/money to make or buy something better.
            Alcyoneus du Battenhelm/Kondei Ichimusai Niten
            Douglas Shannon
            wrote:Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be used
            as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?

            Sylvester Burchardt
            East Kingdom


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          • Yamashiro Kato'
            I know I am biased, but I prefer leather. Waxed leather is strong, it bends, relatively light, and is easy to work with. However, leather can be expensive.
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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              I know I am biased, but I prefer leather. Waxed leather is strong, it
              bends, relatively light, and is easy to work with. However, leather
              can be expensive. If you can find a wholesale place, or if you can
              find it cheap, I'd vote for leather. But that's me.

              -Kato

              = = = Original message = = =
              Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be
              used
              as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use
              steel?

              Sylvester Burchardt
              East Kingdom


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            • Ii Saburou
              ... Really depends on what you want to make. I am generally for steel, although if I want to get a nice, false ribbed appearance that would have been built up
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 20, 2002
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                On Tue, 20 Aug 2002, Douglas Shannon wrote:

                > I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but want
                > to avoid plastic if I can.
                >
                > Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be used
                > as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?

                Really depends on what you want to make. I am generally for steel,
                although if I want to get a nice, false ribbed appearance that would have
                been built up with laquer, I think that plastic may be the way I have to
                go. If I do that, though, I plan to add enough lacing that the plastic is
                hopefully not noticeable much. Date was working on a wonderful piece like
                this and I can't wait until it is finished!

                As for the guage of metal, that also depends on what you are looking for.
                Remember, Society minimums are really very little. On top of that, the
                only time I've seen a thickness for the metal of Japanese armour was in a
                Turnbull book--"Samurai Warfare" and, IIRC, it was about 0.8 mm. I seem
                to recall that being about 22 ga. although I can't remember off the top of
                my head.

                My current suit is 18 ga. steel. I wish I had work-hardened it beforehand
                because there are some dents I have to work out, especially in the sode.
                Nonetheless, I don't feel pain from blows at that thickness, which is one
                thing I look for in an armour--the fewer bruises the better. Personally,
                I don't think I would go any thicker than 18 ga. for most of the body.
                You will need thicker metal for other areas, however.

                Hope that is helpful. I'm not much of an armourer, and you may wish to
                listen to what those with more experience have to offer.

                -Ii
              • jim e grunst
                I found some great ALUMINUM at work, cut a dozen plates. Looks like it ll work, total Do will weigh about 22-25 LbsTakeda
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 21, 2002
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                  I found some great ALUMINUM at work, cut a dozen plates.
                  Looks like it'll work, total Do will weigh about 22-25 Lbs

                  Takeda Tochiro

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                • Douglas Shannon
                  ... Thanks to one and all who offered advice, it s truely appreciated! Now I need to find someplace to buy steel plate for relatively cheap in the New York
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 21, 2002
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                    > From: "Douglas Shannon" <Professor03@...>
                    >Subject: Re: armour making too
                    >
                    >I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but want
                    >to avoid plastic if I can.
                    >
                    >Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be used
                    >as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?

                    Thanks to one and all who offered advice, it's truely appreciated!

                    Now I need to find someplace to buy steel plate for relatively cheap in the
                    New York Metro area...

                    Sylvester Burchardt
                    East Kingdom



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                  • Susan and Frank Downs
                    ... Greetings to all, Here s why I like steel armor: it s period! When I made my hotoke-do eighteen years ago I used fourteen gauge mild steel for the front,
                    Message 9 of 23 , Aug 21, 2002
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                      > Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 13:12:33 -0400
                      > From: "Douglas Shannon" <Professor03@...>
                      > Subject: Re: armour making too
                      >
                      > I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but want
                      > to avoid plastic if I can.
                      >
                      > Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be used
                      > as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use steel?
                      >
                      > Sylvester Burchardt
                      > East Kingdom
                      >

                      Greetings to all,

                      Here's why I like steel armor: it's period! When I made my hotoke-do
                      eighteen years ago I used fourteen gauge mild steel for the front, because
                      it's what we happened to have a big chunk of lying around the armory, and I
                      may have made a bit of a mistake. But eighteen years later, I still have
                      that same do. I have still had to pound a few creases out of it, and I've
                      had to play with how it's strapped and hinged (neither entirely period, I'm
                      sorry to say, I've just resorted to strips of leather), but it's the same
                      metal. It desperately needs repainting and relacing (not the first times, I
                      assure you), but it may even have saved my life one time when I was charging
                      in a woods battle, tripped and fell on a pointy root that was sticking
                      straight out of the ground like a pungee stake aimed right at my heart.

                      So here are the gauges I used on all the parts of my armor in 1984 (All of
                      which are still in use, except for the haidate):

                      hachi 14 ga. (had to pound out a few creases)
                      shikoro 16 ga. (gets bent, has to be straightened)
                      sode 14 ga. (wouldn't change, works great)
                      do (front) 14 ga.
                      do (back) 16 ga. (some dents, but works well)
                      kote 14 ga. (heavy, but I like them)
                      kusazori 16 ga. (protect well -- I've taken pole arm crotch thrusts --
                      but tear up the haidate; I'd like to try leather)
                      haidate 18 ga. (a mistake, I've since gone to leather)
                      suneate (knee) 14 ga. (good)
                      suneate (shin) 18 ga. (a surprisingly good choice; they've taken shots and
                      sprung right back)

                      Yes, my armor is very heavy, but it's well distributed and I'm a pretty
                      heavily built guy, so it doesn't bother me. A whole lot depends on what you
                      can take and what you're willing to put up with. Steel armor needs
                      repainting and it shows that pretty quickly -- it doesn't keep that factory
                      showroom finish the way plastic seems to. My armor is very hard on its
                      laces and fabric components. There may be some tricks to getting laces to
                      last, something to do with the painting or really filing out each hole, but
                      I don't know them. The biggest change I would make is some kind of very
                      stiff heavy leather kusazori, because those metal ones swinging around
                      really tear up the cloth part of the haidate and go through a lot of laces
                      (They sound great though, and provide real peace of mind when those
                      inevitable crotch thrusts come your way).

                      Good luck!
                      --
                      Takenoshita Naro
                      Marinus, Atlantia

                      Frank Downs
                      Chesapeake, Virginia
                    • Zach Schneider
                      You should be able to find a sheet of 16 guage steel, whether hot rolled or cold rolled for about 35 bucks and is 4 feet by 8 feet. Yoshida Takezo ... From:
                      Message 10 of 23 , Aug 21, 2002
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                        You should be able to find a sheet of 16 guage steel, whether hot rolled or
                        cold rolled for about 35 bucks and is 4 feet by 8 feet.
                        Yoshida Takezo
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Douglas Shannon" <Professor03@...>
                        To: <sca-jml@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 2:09 PM
                        Subject: [SCA-JML] Re: armour making too


                        > > From: "Douglas Shannon" <Professor03@...>
                        > >Subject: Re: armour making too
                        > >
                        > >I too am looking into doing a bit of Japanese kit over the winter, but
                        want
                        > >to avoid plastic if I can.
                        > >
                        > >Can anyone suggest an appropriate gauge of steel (probably mild) to be
                        used
                        > >as SCA armor or can someone give me a REALLY good reason to NOT use
                        steel?
                        >
                        > Thanks to one and all who offered advice, it's truely appreciated!
                        >
                        > Now I need to find someplace to buy steel plate for relatively cheap in
                        the
                        > New York Metro area...
                        >
                        > Sylvester Burchardt
                        > East Kingdom
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > _________________________________________________________________
                        > Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com
                        >
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                        >
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                        >
                        >
                      • James Eckman
                        ... I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity of steel until the industrial revolution. ... Very neat table with results
                        Message 11 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                          > From: jim e grunst <scadragon@...>
                          > From: Susan and Frank Downs <sfdowns@...>
                          > Subject: Re: armour making too


                          > Here's why I like steel armor: it's period!


                          I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity
                          of steel until the industrial revolution.

                          > So here are the gauges I used on all the parts of my armor in 1984 (All of
                          > which are still in use, except for the haidate):
                          >
                          > hachi 14 ga. (had to pound out a few creases)

                          <snip>

                          Very neat table with results listed! Are these all mild steel? One wacky
                          idea that I'm going to suggest is to use high carbon steel plates that
                          are tempered. I've used various scraps from the steel banding that they
                          use to wrap and secure crates for woodworking tools, it's a tough spring
                          steel which will probably have to be bent instead of cut and have the
                          edges ground smooth and rounded. Unlikely to be bent or dented! This is
                          even less period in one sense!

                          Good luck
                        • Ii Saburou
                          ... ?? You see a log of lacquered leather, but also a lot of steel in later period armour. I ll look up sources if you would like--why would you say that it
                          Message 12 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                            On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, James Eckman wrote:

                            > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity
                            > of steel until the industrial revolution.

                            ??

                            You see a log of lacquered leather, but also a lot of steel in later
                            period armour. I'll look up sources if you would like--why would you say
                            that it would have to wait until the industrial revolution? They
                            obviously knew how to make it, although mass producing it for everything
                            we use it in (cars, homes, etc.) was beyond their reach.

                            -Ii
                          • dateyukiie
                            Greetings to all on the list, and especially thos I finally met either on the battlefield or in private at Pennsic from Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie; I
                            Message 13 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                              Greetings to all on the list, and especially thos I finally met either
                              on the battlefield or in private at Pennsic from Yama Kaminari no Date
                              Saburou Yukiie;
                              I fight heavy weapons alot.
                              I would like to submit that I have had a sengoku jidai style nimai do
                              since just before the Gulf War that I made entirely out of 16ga cold
                              rold mild steel. It is laced in the kebiki style, which absorbs an
                              awfull lot of the impact. I have had to minorly straighten out
                              slightly bent sode, and have had to repair edge lacing, but have never
                              had to entirely relace the harness. My kabuto is also ga cold rolled,
                              and the shikoro is laced kebiki. Minor reforming on the shikoro, but
                              no structural problems with the hachi (bowl).
                              I wear haidate made of the same material over a close quilted fabric
                              base, and only suffer bruises in the inside of the leg, if I get hit
                              there. My somen is 16ga cold rolled, and has multiple compound curves
                              built into it, which add to the rigidity. It has never so much as been
                              dented, although I have taken numerous hits to the face.
                              With a smile, I suggest that a good kinetic defence will help protect
                              your armor, and your body, but I have never had any real problems with
                              the mechanical functionality of the steel.
                              I would also like to thank those who posed for pics for my web pages.
                              They can be found if you follow the links marked "other projects" on
                              the www.kabutographics pages and aim towards the Knowne World Samurai
                              pages.
                              Thanks also to Yumi for his wonderful demos of kyudo, and his sage
                              advice with regards to period archery.
                              respects to all...
                              Yama Kaminari no Date Yukiie
                              Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equall in the grave





                              --- In sca-jml@y..., Ii Saburou <logan@m...> wrote:
                              > On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, James Eckman wrote:
                              >
                              > > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great
                              quantity
                              > > of steel until the industrial revolution.
                              >
                              > ??
                              >
                              > You see a log of lacquered leather, but also a lot of steel in later
                              > period armour. I'll look up sources if you would like--why would
                              you say
                              > that it would have to wait until the industrial revolution? They
                              > obviously knew how to make it, although mass producing it for
                              everything
                              > we use it in (cars, homes, etc.) was beyond their reach.
                              >
                              > -Ii
                            • elsyr@attbi.com
                              Of course, if you wanted to be _really_ period about your armor construction materials (especially for munitions grade armor), you could go around to garage
                              Message 14 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                Of course, if you wanted to be _really_ period about
                                your armor construction materials (especially for
                                munitions grade armor), you could go around to garage
                                sales and pick up old rakes, shovels, and various other
                                implements of destruction and cut your iozane out of
                                those. :-)

                                Sumiyori
                                > > From: jim e grunst <scadragon@...>
                                > > From: Susan and Frank Downs <sfdowns@...>
                                > > Subject: Re: armour making too
                                >
                                >
                                > > Here's why I like steel armor: it's period!
                                >
                                >
                                > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity
                                > of steel until the industrial revolution.
                                >
                                > > So here are the gauges I used on all the parts of my armor in 1984 (All of
                                > > which are still in use, except for the haidate):
                                > >
                                > > hachi 14 ga. (had to pound out a few creases)
                                >
                                > <snip>
                                >
                                > Very neat table with results listed! Are these all mild steel? One wacky
                                > idea that I'm going to suggest is to use high carbon steel plates that
                                > are tempered. I've used various scraps from the steel banding that they
                                > use to wrap and secure crates for woodworking tools, it's a tough spring
                                > steel which will probably have to be bent instead of cut and have the
                                > edges ground smooth and rounded. Unlikely to be bent or dented! This is
                                > even less period in one sense!
                                >
                                > Good luck
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                                >
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                                >
                                >
                              • Ash Smith
                                ... While it is true that steel was not mass produced untill the industrial revolution, swords and armor have been steel for as long as we ve been working iron
                                Message 15 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                  > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity
                                  > of steel until the industrial revolution.

                                  While it is true that steel was not mass produced untill the industrial
                                  revolution, swords and armor have been steel for as long as we've been
                                  working iron in a forge.
                                  Steel = Iron+Carbon
                                  Swords and armor are made from iron worked over a flame... usually coal.
                                  Anyway, the fuel put carbon into the iron.
                                  Now, it's not high carbon steel or anything, but armor and most definately
                                  swords were steel... and no longer iron.

                                  Iron would not work very well for armor or swords... it won't hold an edge,
                                  and it's relatively brittle... plus it'd be hard to get it into shape
                                  without using a forge... which would then make it steel.

                                  Humbly,
                                  Ash
                                • lost90804
                                  ... quantity ... you say ... Lords may have steel armor, but I m sure the grunts used iron. Before the newer style furnaces, making steel was a very laborious
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                    --- In sca-jml@y..., Ii Saburou <logan@m...> wrote:
                                    > On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, James Eckman wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great
                                    quantity
                                    > > of steel until the industrial revolution.
                                    >
                                    > ??
                                    >
                                    > You see a log of lacquered leather, but also a lot of steel in later
                                    > period armour. I'll look up sources if you would like--why would
                                    you say
                                    > that it would have to wait until the industrial revolution?

                                    Lords may have steel armor, but I'm sure the grunts used iron. Before
                                    the newer style furnaces, making steel was a very laborious process
                                    that wasn't very productive and required a great deal of fuel.

                                    If you know some percentages, it would be very interesting. Also was
                                    it steel or was it case hardened? Turning a thin layer into steel. A
                                    process still in use for things like Pinto crankshafts ;)

                                    They
                                    > obviously knew how to make it, although mass producing it for
                                    everything
                                    > we use it in (cars, homes, etc.) was beyond their reach.

                                    Mass production in the West didn't come about until fairly recently as
                                    well. It's not like the Japanese were backward in this respect, most
                                    people were using similar processes in period.

                                    Jim Eckman
                                  • lost90804
                                    ... Depends on how the carbon is dispersed. Iron can have carbon nodules in large numbers. For it to be steel, the carbon and iron atoms have to link. Usually
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                      --- In sca-jml@y..., "Ash Smith" <chronoknight@m...> wrote:

                                      > While it is true that steel was not mass produced untill the industrial
                                      > revolution, swords and armor have been steel for as long as we've been
                                      > working iron in a forge.
                                      > Steel = Iron+Carbon

                                      Depends on how the carbon is dispersed. Iron can have carbon nodules
                                      in large numbers. For it to be steel, the carbon and iron atoms have
                                      to link. Usually in the old days this meant packing iron in an
                                      airtight container with a carbon source (like hoof parings) and
                                      cooking it for a day or two at high temperatures. There are other
                                      period methods, none of them are fast nor do they produce any great
                                      quantities. People with money could have steel, it's just not very common.

                                      > Swords and armor are made from iron worked over a flame... usually coal.
                                      > Anyway, the fuel put carbon into the iron.
                                      > Now, it's not high carbon steel or anything, but armor and most
                                      definately
                                      > swords were steel... and no longer iron.

                                      > Iron would not work very well for armor or swords... it won't hold
                                      an edge,
                                      > and it's relatively brittle... plus it'd be hard to get it into shape
                                      > without using a forge... which would then make it steel.

                                      It would make poor swords, but there probably were poor swords for the
                                      average ashigaru. Wrought iron which is the vast majority of metal
                                      items in period is not brittle, it works and welds in a forge easier
                                      than steel does and is far more corrosion resistant than steel. Cast
                                      iron has totally different characteristics, it can be brittle, it
                                      can't be forged or welded, etc. It was quite common, (indeed I own
                                      some) for tools to be wrought iron except for a tiny piece of steel
                                      forge welded on as a cutting edge. The more expensive Japanese chisels
                                      are still made this way!

                                      Yours,
                                      Jim Eckman
                                    • Susan and Frank Downs
                                      ... It s very clear that by my period (late Momoyama) Large quantities of steel were very common. I don t really know when that came about, but I suspect it
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                        Quoth James Eckman <FUGU@...>:

                                        > I suspect iron armor is period ;) Your not going to see a great quantity
                                        > of steel until the industrial revolution.

                                        It's very clear that by my period (late Momoyama) Large quantities of steel
                                        were very common. I don't really know when that came about, but I suspect
                                        it involved European influence. My understanding is that before this was
                                        possible they used steel from "old rakes, shovels, and various other
                                        implements of destruction," to quote Sumiyori, and especially from old, worn
                                        out saw blades and files to make kozane. Clearly, extremely high quality
                                        steel goes way back in Japanese history, but it also seems clear that
                                        quantites and particularly sizes of pieces were limited (as Ii mentioned).
                                        I'll admit that this baffles me, but I'm no student of industrial history.

                                        Further quoting:

                                        > Very neat table with results listed! Are these all mild steel?

                                        Glad you liked the table; yes, it was all cold-rolled mild steel as I
                                        recall. Your suggestion seems interesting and even more period in the sense
                                        of reusing materials. I gather, though, that you're talking about making
                                        kosane to be laced together, and I was refering to a two-piece hotoke do
                                        (solid breast and back plates hinged together).

                                        Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie mentioned:

                                        > I fight heavy weapons alot.
                                        > I would like to submit that I have had a sengoku jidai style nimai do
                                        > since just before the Gulf War that I made entirely out of 16ga cold
                                        > rold mild steel. It is laced in the kebiki style, which absorbs an
                                        > awfull lot of the impact. I have had to minorly straighten out
                                        > slightly bent sode, and have had to repair edge lacing, but have never
                                        > had to entirely relace the harness.

                                        and:

                                        > With a smile, I suggest that a good kinetic defence will help protect
                                        > your armor, and your body, but I have never had any real problems with
                                        > the mechanical functionality of the steel.

                                        I congratulate you on the durability of your armor and the skill of your
                                        defense. I would like to point out that I was talking about 18 years of
                                        use. I have noticed that after about 5 years of fighting my laces are much
                                        more drably colored, and many have begun to fray and break (I'm estimating
                                        here, but it feels like about five years; of course it depends on many other
                                        factors, like how often my "dead" body is dragged through muddy fields and
                                        whether or not I'm in a royal guard. Both those events seem to cause me to
                                        relace sooner).

                                        If your kinetic defense adequately protects your armor in a bridge battle,
                                        or even a hot and heavy field battle, I'm frankly impressed. I know mine
                                        doesn't, but then I sometimes enjoy going out in a suicidal blaze of, if not
                                        glory, at least foolhardiness. The gaijin seem to enjoy it! ;)

                                        --
                                        Takenoshita Naro
                                        Frank Downs
                                        Who used to believe he knew a little about samurai armor, until he was asked
                                        to proofread Anthony Bryant's articles!
                                      • lost90804
                                        ... of steel ... I suspect most of that is iron, not steel. ... Europeans don t have any decent methods to mass produce steel in this period either. I can bore
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                          --- In sca-jml@y..., Susan and Frank Downs <sfdowns@p...> wrote:
                                          > Quoth James Eckman <FUGU@p...>:
                                          >
                                          > It's very clear that by my period (late Momoyama) Large quantities
                                          of steel
                                          > were very common.

                                          I suspect most of that is iron, not steel.

                                          > I don't really know when that came about, but I suspect
                                          > it involved European influence.

                                          Europeans don't have any decent methods to mass produce steel in this
                                          period either. I can bore everyone with a timeline when I get home to
                                          some reference works. There is steel, just not lots of it and it's
                                          very pricy because you need lots of fuel to make it compared to
                                          wrought iron.

                                          My understanding is that before this was
                                          > possible they used steel from "old rakes, shovels, and various other
                                          > implements of destruction," to quote Sumiyori, and especially from
                                          old, worn
                                          > out saw blades and files to make kozane.

                                          ??? Reuse of iron was very extensive. I suspect old steel was reused
                                          for smaller tools until it virtually disappeared from wear as was the
                                          case in the US until recently.

                                          > I'll admit that this baffles me, but I'm no student of industrial
                                          history.

                                          I'm a bit of an otaku on the subject, I'm also an engineer by trade.

                                          >I gather, though, that you're talking about making
                                          > kosane to be laced together, and I was refering to a two-piece hotoke do
                                          > (solid breast and back plates hinged together).

                                          I suspect buying a piece of high carbon steel that large would be
                                          quite a bit more expensive than mild steel! Yes I was thinking of
                                          smaller scales and plates since the largest stuff I see tossed away is
                                          about 1 1/2" wide. The price is right!

                                          Jim Eckman
                                        • Ii Saburou
                                          ... Okay, I finally got a chance to delve into my books. Stephen Turnbull mentions that armour was either leather or iron , with an obvious tendancy for
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Aug 23, 2002
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                                            On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, lost90804 wrote:

                                            > It would make poor swords, but there probably were poor swords for the
                                            > average ashigaru. Wrought iron which is the vast majority of metal
                                            > items in period is not brittle, it works and welds in a forge easier
                                            > than steel does and is far more corrosion resistant than steel. Cast
                                            > iron has totally different characteristics, it can be brittle, it
                                            > can't be forged or welded, etc. It was quite common, (indeed I own
                                            > some) for tools to be wrought iron except for a tiny piece of steel
                                            > forge welded on as a cutting edge. The more expensive Japanese chisels
                                            > are still made this way!

                                            Okay, I finally got a chance to delve into my books. Stephen Turnbull
                                            mentions that armour was either 'leather or iron', with an obvious
                                            tendancy for metal later in period. I don't see any reference to steel
                                            being using in the armour, only in the weapons; I do see plenty of
                                            references to the iron armour and iron scales. Thus, I have to agree with
                                            you that most armour appears to have been iron, rather than specifically
                                            steel. (I'm not sure if this is true in Europe as well)

                                            However, steel seems to work very well for our purposes. Does anyone know
                                            if you can get iron to use to make the plates? I would be very interested
                                            in what light more research might shed on this.

                                            -Ii
                                          • Arthur Raymond
                                            I ll put in my 2 koku for aluminum. Its light and strong, plus a little thicker than steel, so it makes a nice built up effect without any work. Togashi Ichiro
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Aug 24, 2002
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                                              I'll put in my 2 koku for aluminum. Its light and strong, plus a little thicker than steel, so it makes a nice built up effect without any work.

                                              Togashi Ichiro
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: jim e grunst
                                              Sent: Wednesday, 21 August, 2002 12:40
                                              To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                                              Cc: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Re: armour making too

                                              I found some great ALUMINUM at work, cut a dozen plates.
                                              Looks like it'll work, total Do will weigh about 22-25 Lbs

                                              Takeda Tochiro

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                                            • James Eckman
                                              ... Finding wrought iron is a bit difficult, the Japanese toolmakers mentioned earlier salvage pre-1890s anchor chain for theirs while I ve heard rumours that
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Aug 24, 2002
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                                                > From: Ii Saburou <logan@...>

                                                > However, steel seems to work very well for our purposes. Does anyone
                                                > know if you can get iron to use to make the plates? I would be very
                                                > interested in what light more research might shed on this.

                                                Finding wrought iron is a bit difficult, the Japanese toolmakers
                                                mentioned earlier salvage pre-1890s anchor chain for theirs while I've
                                                heard rumours that a mill in Europe makes small batches every once in a
                                                while for speciality markets. Old buildings can be a source as well as
                                                old artifacts, most of which are approaching or have obtained
                                                collecter's status since they are over 100 years old.

                                                Here's one supplier, the web's a great thing!
                                                http://www.realwroughtiron.com/
                                                Includes a nice history and explanation of wrought iron.

                                                Jim Eckman
                                              • Anthony J. Bryant
                                                On the whole steel vs. iron debate, we need to go right to the source: Japanese armourers. Sakakibara Kozan says this: The method of forgin armour plates must
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Aug 24, 2002
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                                                  On the whole steel vs. iron debate, we need to go right to the source:
                                                  Japanese armourers.

                                                  Sakakibara Kozan says this: "The method of forgin armour plates must first
                                                  be considered. A plate should consist of an outer surface of steel and an
                                                  inner of iron, the former being half the thickness of the latter. ...
                                                  Disused hoes and spades afford the best inner iron for plates. Any steel
                                                  remaining at the edge of the implement is stripped off and the part that
                                                  remains, being very flexible, must be folded and forged for its new
                                                  purpose."

                                                  Kozane, however, were apparently primarily iron or leather, not steel.


                                                  Effingham
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