Samurai Sword with 1 million layers OMFGBBQTURNIP

I swear to Christ if I read one more comment by an idiot talking about Damascus Steel layered 1 million times, and the ultimate Japanese sword I am going to scream.

How it’s done:

You take four billets, if you don’t know what a billet is, then stop talking about forging. You fold those four, they become 8, hammer it down and fold those 8 they become 16, hammer it down and fold those 16 they become 32. As it turns out, to get 1 million layers you only need to fold it 18 times (Thanks to Dan for pointing out the error, at 28 folds, it would be 1 billion layers!).

Fold: 1: 8
Fold: 2: 16
Fold: 3: 32
Fold: 4: 64
Fold: 5: 128
Fold: 6: 256
Fold: 7: 512
Fold: 8: 1024
Fold: 9: 2048
Fold: 10: 4096
Fold: 11: 8192
Fold: 12: 16384
Fold: 13: 32768
Fold: 14: 65536
Fold: 15: 131072
Fold: 16: 262144
Fold: 17: 524288
Fold: 18: 1048576

1. Japanese forging methods are not particularly better than any other.
2. The type of metal you use has a lot to do with it.
3. Basic types of steel used in crow bars, car springs, and such are leaps and bounds ahead of swords made more than 100 years ago.
4. There were no advanced secrets of metallurgy 500-1000 years ago that made those swords magically stronger than a sword you’d make today out of spring steel. STOP ACTING LIKE THERE IS.

The inspiration for this rant came from a post on the perfect filipino sword it’s the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

The reasons for this are pretty simple:

1. Japanese people traveled to the filipines
2. Chinese people traveled to the filipines
3. The spanish and various europeans traveled to the filipines

If anything Filipino sword making, and southeast asian sword making in general would be at least equal to those other methods because they had constant exposure to those vaunted cultures. This whole idea that the philipines were some kind of backwater is retarded. There is evidence linking filipinos to every major culture, including the Persians (and therefore damascus and India (wootz steel)). Going back a thousand years! Or More!

I am not an expert on forging, sword making, or south east, the above is just my opinion based on my limited understanding of the various subjects.

About Jason

I am a 31 year old programmer living in the south of France. I currently work actively in the fields of Ruby/PHP/Javascript and server/website administration.
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  • Jamie Walker

    Very well put. Well said as well. I enjoy your candor.

  • Dan

    At fold 16 you have one million layers, at 28 folds you have over 1 billion layers.
    1 bilion, 73 million, 741 thousand, 824 to be exact.
    I especially like the stories where all a guy did in his whole lifetime is make one sword.
    And sometimes, the stories go, it took three lifetimes.heheheheheheh. (DANtheKNIFESMITH)

    • Hey,

      Thanks for pointing that out, I had been messing around with different variables and copied the wrong one over, it’s now fixed, though it seems, it will take 18 folds, starting with 4 billets. However, I could be off again…

      The point still stands, even with a bit of egg on my face.