will52100

Thoughts on steel for sword?

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Been a blade smith for over 15 years or so, and have yet to make a sword.  I'm thinking of trying a Roman Gladius for the first attempt.  I've done a few largish brush blades out of leaf springs, but nothing quite as long or refined as a sword.

My concern is heat treat.  For most knives I stick with 52100 or 1084/15&20 damascus, on occasion wire rope damascus, and sometimes 5160.  I'm thinking that since I don't have a large enough heat treat oven for a sword length blade I would use 1075 for the blade and do the old temper color method of tempering.  My reasoning on the 1075 is that it would be more forgiving than the other steels I use.  A possibility is 5160, but not sure which would be easiest to get rite.

Thoughts?

Thanks

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1075 is fine, personally I like 5160 for large blades, and tempering is easy, dont you have a BBQ ?  Just add/remove coals until your wifes digital kitchen thermometer says the temp is correct :) I find a little more than a handful is plenty

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I do have a BBQ, and might go that route, or I was thinking of putting a pipe in the gas forge and heating it up to act as an oven.  The other option that got me to thinking was putting say 3 toaster ovens in line with holes in the ends and doing it that way.

I'll likely go with 5160 since I have it on hand.  I'd love to do one in damascus, but think I'll stick to a mono steel to start with and get the basics first.

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Dig a trench forge for the hardening heat and use an oven for the tempering heat?

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There is a 120 year old house in inner city Columbus Ohio that had a coal and coke filled trench in the back yard that was re-excavated as needed.  Now I believe the new owners built a garage over it...As the house originally had a coal furnace it would be hard to tell the ashes/clinker apart...

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I was thinking I'd be able to reach critical with the gas forge, maybe, by working it back and forth.  Maybe not, will try an experiment with a mild steel bar and see if I can get an even temperature.  If I was to do very many I'd either build a dedicated forge or HT oven for this.  For a one off I may very well end up digging a trench charcoal forge, hadn't thought of that, thanks.

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