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 The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword

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azrael

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The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 7:09 PM ( #1 )
I found on youtube that marvelous video on the making of the ulfberht sword and the viking sword




i learned so much on the metallurgy, geometry, old times technology etc....

that great, and i wonder if Lynn know as much or even more than what was showed in that video
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Adolfo

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 7:32 PM ( #2 )
I saw this too. Its pretty interesting.
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Gary

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 9:21 PM ( #3 )
Wow!  Crucible steel without a vacuum furnace.  Go Vikings.     
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Ti lite

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 11:19 PM ( #4 )
Yeah, that was one of the best swords ever.
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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 5:50 AM ( #5 )
Gary


Wow!  Crucible steel without a vacuum furnace.  Go Vikings.     



No need for vacuum if you fully seal the crucible, and construct the furnace properly. As this guy clearly can!!! I suppose we should not be surprised to learn from this video that hundreds of 1200 year old fakes have been excavated. I immediately thought of Ebay and all the poor quality Cold Steel fakes.

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 9:05 AM ( #6 )
Thanks for posting.  I watched this on PBS when it first aired.  Fascinates me how people were able to figure things out before modern science through trial and error.  "Hmmm...deer antlers and bear urine didn't work.  Next time let's put carbon, sand, and glass in the crucible with the iron."

Also cool to watch an experienced smith at work.  He put all that time and work into pounding out the blade then heat treated it with a charcoal forge using a bellows.  I'm afraid I'd have to opt for a temperature controlled kiln after spending all those work hours.
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azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 9:35 AM ( #7 )
and people said that modern steel don't worth the forged steel of the time, but what they don't know is that today steel is much more pure and the heat treatment are more constant . 

so by using today steel we can make a modern Ulfberht sword that will be as good as the original, but without the story and historical value 

i wonder if the 1055 tempered that cold steel use would be as good as the one used to make the Ulfberht ? 

since the metallurgist specialist said the steel made for the sword was a "good steel" , but he didn't said the best. 
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Bangalangs

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 11:06 AM ( #8 )
I'm so happy when he talks about the Katana being exaggerated.
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azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 12:44 PM ( #9 )
the katana IS  a great saber, and is well made

but that it, many others saber and sword were as well made and perform as good as a katana, but since the katana was the best saber of his style then you have to compare to other "best of their kind" 

i'm 100% sure that the Ulfberht , a damascus scimitar, a Gurkha kukri and many others well made weapon could all compete again the katana

what gave the katana such a high prestige is not even the saber itself, but the man whop wield it, Samurai were practicing with it during HOURS and also YEARS, perfecting their technique, so it more about the technique than the weapon used

i'm sure that if you would give any kind of saber to a samurai , give him a few hours to play with it, he would be able to perform as much with the saber than with his katana

people often mistake high level of technique with performance of the weapon . 

give a high quality weapon to a beginner, the weapon will not perform at all

give a simple machete to a professional and he will use it to the maximum limit of the machete. 
"freedom is to be able to choose the way your life will go." 
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baeleg

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 1:56 PM ( #10 )
I think that is a great point, but I wouldn't overestimate the skill of the samurai either.  They were fantastically skilled warriors, but there have been many fantastically skilled warriors throughout history.

Not really sure why the katana enjoys the mystique it has.  That might make for an interesting study.
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azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 3:00 PM ( #11 )
i never said that the samurai are the best warrior, 

they ARE skilled, but they aren't the best, (which to me were first the Spartan, then the viking ) , but as for pure skill, they were at least in the top 5. they had such precise move and cut and were real old times snipers with their bow. 

i used to be a huge fan of the katana, when i was younger , but then i learned about others warriors that could give a bad day to a samurai. 

i understand why the katana got such a strong fandom, you can thanks the samurai movie (such as the 7 samurai, the last samurai and Zatoichi) , action movie (many Stephen seagul, kill bill, Matrix etc..) and others , where they present as skilled and even more powerful warrior as simple barbarian almost only using club to fight. (but thanks to the 13th warrior movie they were showed as much better warrior and intelligent too )  

they all present the katana as a so perfect and well made weapon that ANYONE can wield it and become the perfect warrior , with such power and sharpness that you can split a tank in two with it. 


but back to the main subject of the thread, the Ulfberht sword

here some image i found of them 















"freedom is to be able to choose the way your life will go." 
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Adolfo

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 3:31 PM ( #12 )
...like that last image of a deer! Heh heh
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azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 4:00 PM ( #13 )









"freedom is to be able to choose the way your life will go." 
I AM WARMONGER AS  WE ARE MANY 
 
"we stopped to look for monster under our bed the day we realized that they are inside of us" 

azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 4:38 PM ( #14 )
"freedom is to be able to choose the way your life will go." 
I AM WARMONGER AS  WE ARE MANY 
 
"we stopped to look for monster under our bed the day we realized that they are inside of us" 

ToolMan

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 5:22 PM ( #15 )
HAH! Museum Replicas got the "+ULFBHERT+" signature wrong!!! That form is from one of the many Medieval fakes. The real deals were signed "+ULFBHER+T", with the second "+" between the R and the T. And, the real +ULFBHER+T swords had a sharp point rather than a rounded one.

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azrael

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 5:38 PM ( #16 )
well they made a replica of it, so it normal that they give it the replica name on it instead of the real deal 

at least they are honest right ? 
"freedom is to be able to choose the way your life will go." 
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Gary

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, April 04, 2013 5:40 PM ( #17 )
What made the Japanese swords go great was not the steel which was just medium carbon or at the low end of high carbon.  It was the fabulous things they did with the layering and the differential clay hardening.  Some of their swords had as many as 5 different layers.  The soft core backing, the two side slabs, the edge of the best steel they had, and the back edge of the softest.  Then the different thickness of the clay distributed over the entire blade which affected the hardening when quenched.  
All of this had to be learned by apprentices from master sword smiths none of whom had any of the advantages of modern science to aid them.  Over the thousand years or so of the development of those magnificent swords many secretes were passed down to the master smith's followers or lost seemingly for ever.  And not just the blades, the handles, the sharpening, the wrapping, the sheath making, the decorative additions all were arts learned at great effort.  The whole process turned a craft to great art.  And there are no equals to the Japanese when it comes to fanatical devotion to a craft or art.  There is so much to it that you could study for a lifetime and never cover it all.  But what a fascinating thing to study.  And many have devoted a lifetime to just that.  Maybe not the greatest swords ever but IMHO the most romantic and graceful of all.  
Sturgeon's Law  "90% of everything is Crap" 
 
 Real heroes don't wear capes, they wear dog tags. 

 
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin 
 
Imhoff's Law:
 The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank ... the really big chunks always rise to the top.
   
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference 


In March of 1953 there were 53 kilobytes of random access memory on planet earth.  Thirty years later my first computer had 64K of RAM




Franko Fantasma

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Saturday, April 06, 2013 6:35 AM ( #18 )
Great video.

Too bad they didn't actually test the sword out after all that hard work, I was pretty disappointed to see the credits roll without a test. 
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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Saturday, April 06, 2013 8:07 AM ( #19 )
I've personally come to look at swords much like i look at cars. Which one traveled the furthest and lasted longest?

  Unfortunately (for my love of Japanese blades), it wasn't a katana. In fact, the katana may have traveled the least for its duration. Maybe that is part of the strong global love for it..... the little blade that couldn't.

 The viking sword on the other hand.... 
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brassnautilus

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:32 AM ( #20 )
  "sharper isn't necessarily better"... If one couldn't hold its edge, sure. The folding of katana, or wootz steel isn't just about purity and carbon distribution, rather sectioning a sword and to have the best steel for each individual part, while forming nano-tube reinforcements to improve the performance of each section. Sure, some of that came from pure luck, it doesn't change the fact "ladder" pattern was particularly sorted after not because it was more pure than other forms of damascus steel, rather it held its edge better because the nano-tube like molecular structures were better oriented. Chinese were mass producing pig iron as early as 1st century AD and quench hardening steel at least 250 years before that. Perhaps just me, but having crucible steel 1000 years later just didn't strike as anything impressive or extraordinary. Even east africans (tanzanians) were able to produce temperature in excess of 3300F in the furnace at time of Christ, and before that, Alexander already saw wootz steel swords when he conquered india. I'm not saying katanas were all that impressive either, from metallurgy POV they were just end products of the long evolution. It was however, a lot more than finding the right type of charcoal to reach a certain temperature.60+ HRC, perfection, as well as complexity, can sometimes be measured mathematically...
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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Thursday, July 11, 2013 11:59 AM ( #21 )
I've seen this one before, Great watch.
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Alero

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Re:The making of the Ulfberht sword and the story of the viking sword - Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:37 PM ( #22 )
Just so you know, this is also on Netflix streaming. I just saw it last week for the first time. Awesome stuff!

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