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Flying Crane

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How do you know?

That makes it more likely that it is, in fact, something that would fall into the broad category of spring steel. That includes pretty much any low-manganese, medium- or high-carbon content steels. Which is pretty much all the best blade steels.
Agreed. A shorter blade like a butterfly sword could be thick enough that it does not flex, but is made from a steel with a springy temper. I have some kukhri made from 5160 spring steel, but are thick and do not flex.
 

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Agreed. A shorter blade like a butterfly sword could be thick enough that it does not flex, but is made from a steel with a springy temper. I have some kukhri made from 5160 spring steel, but are thick and do not flex.
The issue is that in modern Wushu performance, springsteel has a very specific connotation, often referred to as "Wushu steel".

That connotation with people who train with real dao is "that's a fake sword". It's slang that came about to differentiate real swords used for sparring and the flashy tinfoil fake ones we've all seen in performances.

I won't sully this wonderful Wing Chun thread with a fake Wushu tinfoil sword.
 

Flying Crane

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The issue is that in modern Wushu performance, springsteel has a very specific connotation, often referred to as "Wushu steel".

That connotation with people who train with real dao is "that's a fake sword". It's slang that came about to differentiate real swords used for sparring and the flashy tinfoil fake ones we've all seen in performances.

I won't sully this wonderful Wing Chun thread with a fake Wushu tinfoil sword.
True, especially in more recent years. Some of the modern wushu items are swords in shape only, the quality of materials and construction are abysmal. In some cases I am unable to determine what kind of metal the blade is made of, I am doubtful it is steel at all, could be cut from a sheet of aluminum with a chrome plating or something.

However, some of the older items that are light, wushu pieces, are a different animal. They probably date from the 1960s and 1970s before the truly atrocious stuff became the norm. They are made from a real spring steel, which is probably high carbon steel with a spring temper. They are simply thin and light, but could take a real edge and could be genuinely dangerous weapons. I have rebuilt a couple of them, trimmed the blade a bit to narrow the oxtail which gives it a better balance, lined up the point with the grip so they stab more efficiently, then gave it a functional and strong hilt with a solid steel pommel and 1/4 inch steel plate for a guard. I cleaned up and polished the blade and put an edge on them. They are still flexible but having trimmed the blades a bit they are somewhat less flexible than they were, and they balance and handle better. Those are real weapons, just on the lighter side.
 

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I think you're thinking of "sprung steel" spring steel.
IMG_0676.JPG
No. I am not. There is one blade in this picture that I did not make. As a result, I know something about steel as it applies to blades.
In kung Fu springsteel is slang for crappy fake blades. This is is an old kung Fu topic. Wushu springsteel is the kind that flaps around like tinfoil and used for performance.
You may find that sticking to standard definitions aids in communication.

Mine is basically a blue collar version of this one (not spring steel in the modern Wushu sense), and can kill a man pretty easy, especially when sharpened. Which I avoid for obvious reasons.

As stiff and we'll balanced as the blade is, its got the slightest flexibility, which I always assumed was some metallurgic additive other than steel. But I could hit a brick wall with this and it would be fine.
It's all about the heat treat. Blades with no spring in them bend and stay bent. Or they just snap.
 

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Agreed. A shorter blade like a butterfly sword could be thick enough that it does not flex, but is made from a steel with a springy temper. I have some kukhri made from 5160 spring steel, but are thick and do not flex.
They will if you apply enough pressure... A blade that will not flex will snap. A short, thick blade will certainly be more difficult to bend, but if it's been properly heat treated, it will definitely flex.
 
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Oily Dragon

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You may find that sticking to standard definitions aids in communication.
What's the proper term for "Wushu springsteel" blades?

I guess they're not even technically "Blades" then? Or are they? (I imagine a reasonable sharp performance Wushu blade is still pretty dangerous from a slashing POV).

Is it just really, really thin springsteel vs reasonably thickly crafted like the quality training sabers? End of day one of them will stop another weapon, the other won't have a chance.
 

Flying Crane

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They will if you apply enough pressure... A blade with that will not flex will snap. A short, thick blade will certainly be more difficult to bend, but if it's been properly heat treated, it will definitely flex.
Yeah, I guess it should say I cannot get them to flex and they wont flex under normal use, it just wont apply enough pressure. Meaning: they seem like they are not spring steel, but they are.
 

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Just for comparison I measured the flex of my dao, it's about 15-20 degrees applying significant pressure. It could probably go more, but I'm not going to test that with this old hunk of (apparently) springsteel (not to be confused with "Wushu spring steel").

Also giving a brief shout out to Wing Lam who sold me this weapon..don't mind the ripped up poster, it's a long story.

The blade has about 20 odd years of experience.

1654094103560.png
 

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What's the proper term for "Wushu springsteel" blades?
From the description, I'd suggest "junk" would be a good choice. Or "demo" if you like.
I guess they're not even technically "Blades" then?
That is correct. Although common usage uses the word "blade" to refer to the whole thing, technically "blade" refers specifically to the cutting edge. No cutting edge, no blade.
 

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Just for comparison I measured the flex of my dao, it's about 15-20 degrees applying significant pressure. It could probably go more, but I'm not going to test that with this old hunk of (apparently) springsteel (not to be confused with "Wushu spring steel").

Also giving a brief shout out to Wing Lam who sold me this weapon..don't mind the ripped up poster, it's a long story.

The blade has about 20 odd years of experience.

View attachment 28483
On close look at this photo it appears to me that the blade was manufactured without a tang, and the tang was attached as a separate piece with the sleeve that appears to be bolted onto the base of the blade. If my observation is correct, then this sleeve could be a weak point that might work loose and detach, which could be hazardous. It also appears that the tang is not fully hidden under the guard and grip. My instinct tells me that the exposed bit of the tang could also represent a weak spot that could be more likely to break. When I build a new hilt, I actually cut a slot in the face of the guard so that the bottom shoulders of the blade fit into it, encasing the entire tang under the grip. I feel it creates a stronger attachment.

Just a word of caution, based on what I am seeing in that photo.
 

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On close look at this photo it appears to me that the blade was manufactured without a tang, and the tang was attached as a separate piece with the sleeve that appears to be bolted onto the base of the blade. If my observation is correct, then this sleeve could be a weak point that might work loose and detach, which could be hazardous. It also appears that the tang is not fully hidden under the guard and grip. My instinct tells me that the exposed bit of the tang could also represent a weak spot that could be more likely to break. When I build a new hilt, I actually cut a slot in the face of the guard so that the bottom shoulders of the blade fit into it, encasing the entire tang under the grip. I feel it creates a stronger attachment.

Just a word of caution, based on what I am seeing in that photo.
Here's the stamp in case you can identify it.

I think there a full tang based on the handling and weight. You can feel it, one piece.

What looks like a sleeve is actually 2 separate pieces bolted on either side of the blade. So more of a supporting element for the blood cup.

For a practice blade it's not bad. And yes I always consider it dangerous.
 

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Dirty Dog

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On close look at this photo it appears to me that the blade was manufactured without a tang, and the tang was attached as a separate piece with the sleeve that appears to be bolted onto the base of the blade. If my observation is correct, then this sleeve could be a weak point that might work loose and detach, which could be hazardous.
More likely, since this attachment is not solid, moisture will collect between the blade and the sleeve, leading to rust. It can be done if it's welded together, and the screws added as decoration.
It also appears that the tang is not fully hidden under the guard and grip. My instinct tells me that the exposed bit of the tang could also represent a weak spot that could be more likely to break.
For a short slashing weapon (like a small-medium Kukri) you can get away without full tang. I don't know the dimensions of this blade, but by eye, I wouldn't trust it without a full tang. For waving in the air for demo purposes, sure. But not actually hitting anything.
When I build a new hilt, I actually cut a slot in the face of the guard so that the bottom shoulders of the blade fit into it, encasing the entire tang under the grip. I feel it creates a stronger attachment.
Pretty much standard. For a strong blade, round off the junction of the blade and tang. Slot the guard. Drill and pin the guard in place. For the best result, braze the guard to the blade.
 

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More likely, since this attachment is not solid, moisture will collect between the blade and the sleeve, leading to rust. It can be done if it's welded together, and the screws added as decoration.

For a short slashing weapon (like a small-medium Kukri) you can get away without full tang. I don't know the dimensions of this blade, but by eye, I wouldn't trust it without a full tang. For waving in the air for demo purposes, sure. But not actually hitting anything.

Pretty much standard. For a strong blade, round off the junction of the blade and tang. Slot the guard. Drill and pin the guard in place. For the best result, braze the guard to the blade.
I pretty sure it has a full tang, based on the handling, and it's survived decades of practice against identical blades so I think it's proven itself. Never seen one break.

Would more pictures help the analysis?
 

Dirty Dog

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I think there a full tang based on the handling and weight. You can feel it, one piece.
It is not a full tang. A full tang is the full width of the blade. You can SEE the tang. The grips on a full tang are pinned or screwed to it along the flat.
1654108914051.png
 

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I pretty sure it has a full tang, based on the handling, and it's survived decades of practice against identical blades so I think it's proven itself.
You're also pretty sure it's aluminum alloyed with non-spring steel...
Would more pictures help the analysis?
Not really. It would need to be disassembled, hardness tested, etc.
 

Oily Dragon

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It is not a full tang. A full tang is the full width of the blade. You can SEE the tang. The grips on a full tang are pinned or screwed to it along the flat.
View attachment 28485
I think it's a full tang, full width of the blade too.

I don't think this one is visible, it's encased in a leather hilt and a steel pommel.

Hard to tell either way without taking it apart. I agree. But based on weight and handling, it's a full tang, and I base that on my dao training.

This is getting off topic but it's been enlightening thanks Dog.
 

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I think it's a full tang, full width of the blade too.

I don't think this one is visible, it's encased in a leather hilt.

Hard to tell either way without taking it apart. But based on weight and handling, it's a full tang.
Can you post a picture of the handle and a bit of the blade, showing the flat side of the blade?
The weight and handling don't tell you anything at all about the tang construction.
 

Oily Dragon

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Can you post a picture of the handle and a bit of the blade, showing the flat side of the blade?
The weight and handling don't tell you anything at all about the tang construction.
Let's do it in a different thread. I'm genuinely curious. I've always considered it one of my higher quality training pieces, and I've used a buttload of them.

Honestly I'm much more of a short staff dude. Sword crafting dudes are very particular, I know you dudes well.

Wing Chun is largely based on bits and pieces of southern Shaolin Dragon, Mantis, Tiger Crane, and White Eyebrow, and other influences (Judkins et al., 2015).

Gong Sao Wong was legit (ibid.)
 

Flying Crane

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More likely, since this attachment is not solid, moisture will collect between the blade and the sleeve, leading to rust. It can be done if it's welded together, and the screws added as decoration.

For a short slashing weapon (like a small-medium Kukri) you can get away without full tang. I don't know the dimensions of this blade, but by eye, I wouldn't trust it without a full tang. For waving in the air for demo purposes, sure. But not actually hitting anything.

Pretty much standard. For a strong blade, round off the junction of the blade and tang. Slot the guard. Drill and pin the guard in place. For the best result, braze the guard to the blade.
Im actually slathering the entire tang in JB Weld, sliding up the guard, sliding up the grip, screwing a 1/4 inch hex nut behind the grip, putting the pommel behind the grip (space cut in pommel to receive the nut), then a final recessed nut behind the pommel, cut of level with tue back of the pommel and polished smooth. All underneath is covered I. JB Weld, including hex nuts and threading. Nothing will take thato apart without destroying it. No moisture will get inside. Photos taken From the sword I am working with right now, I interrupted training to respond to this.
 

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Flying Crane

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I pretty sure it has a full tang, based on the handling, and it's survived decades of practice against identical blades so I think it's proven itself. Never seen one break.

Would more pictures help the analysis?
I suspect the tang runs the full length of the grip, which is important, and probably held on with a hex nut on the end. But since part of the tang is exposed where it enters into the guard, I feel that exposed portion may represent a weak spot. The fit to the guard should be tighter and closer.

Photos showing the edge view at the guard, as well as closeup of the flat at the guard would be helpful. If those pieces were bolted onto the blade and the tang was single-piece construction with the blade, meaning it was not welded on separately but is all one continuous piece, then it might be ok in that aspect.
 

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