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Re: [SCA-JML] Digest Number 803

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  • James Eckman
    ... Not a bad start. ... What period is this quote from? Just curious. I agree that steel was used for some armor, it s just not possible for it to be common
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2002
      > From: "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: Re: armour making too
      > On the whole steel vs. iron debate, we need to go right to the source:
      > Japanese armourers.

      Not a bad start.

      > 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."

      What period is this quote from? Just curious. I agree that steel was
      used for some armor, it's just not possible for it to be common in any
      pre-industrial society. For one thing it takes about 10 times the fuel
      and this is a very limiting factor for all societies of the period. It's
      actually one of the forces that kicks off the industrial revolution.
      Having almost denuded Europe of forests, they are forced to switch to
      coal as fuel, which means they need pumps to empty out mines, steam
      engines, etc. I'm pretty certain that the common armor was either iron
      with some plate being case hardened and rarely made with steel and iron.
      Note that wrought iron is fairly tough stuff, unlike cast iron so it's
      really not that much inferior to steel and has some properties that are
      superior to steel.

      I'm also curious what words do they use for steel and iron in period? I
      know the modern ones, hagane or KOU for steel and kurogane or TETSU for
      iron, when do they start making the distinction? I also know there are
      some slightly strange names that the modern handtool makers use like
      shirogane and the like, apparently based on the color of paper their
      steel comes in!

      However for recreation purposes it probably doesn't matter, are you
      going to let your armor rust? ;) That would be the only visible
      difference between hot rolled steel and wrought iron. The difference
      work the fabricator does is invisible to the observer.

      Jim Eckman
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