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Old 11-19-2011, 09:24 AM   #31
Bruno
 
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

A water wheel might be more useful to power a hammer and save the smith some physical effort there, rather than grinding (At least before steel became cheap enough). But I don't think it would make it any faster, and there's a lot of the hammering would still have to be done by hand because it wouldn't be straight up-and-down hammering. You couldn't eliminate the skilled labor part with just a powered hammer either.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

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Especially not with manufactured items. How much does it cost to get a vacuum tube made these days? If I heard correctly, the last factory in the Ukraine shut down, so at this point you're getting an artisan glassblower to make the glass part, and an electrician to solder and assemble each one by hand. Because the demand dropped.
Part of the BBC's decision to abandon longwave broadcasting is that it is now insanely expensive for them to replace the vacuum tubes in the transmitters. Apparently.

As for the water wheel not being fast enough to turn a grinding wheel ... isn't that just a matter of gearing?
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:57 PM   #33
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As for the water wheel not being fast enough to turn a grinding wheel ... isn't that just a matter of gearing?
If you've got TL 5+ gears, sure...
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:03 PM   #34
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If you've got TL 5+ gears, sure...
Antykthera (sp)?
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #35
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Just because a TL2-3 culture used a TL5 technology doesn't suddenly make that technology TL2-3. Roman engineering was arguably TL5 but that doesn't make the Romans a TL5 society.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #36
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Antykthera (sp)?
Show me a high power low tech gear.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #37
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

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Show me a high power low tech gear.
I don't think that gears have power, per se. It would not be hard to get a big waterwheel to spin a small lathe with fairly primitive gearing.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #38
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

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China didn't have blast furnaces earlier than TL4, China just happened to be TL4 when Europe was struggling with TL3. I think there's merit to the idea that the TL guidelines for dates shouldn't be taken as literal, everywhere at the same time dates.
You mean like Age of Sail Eurpoeans encountering Stone age cultures?
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #39
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

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How big is the grinding part of the blade-smithing process?
On a forged blade?

Less than what you would think, usually. You can get the blade shape really close to finished with just the hammer.

Getting the edge geometry correct is a stones and files thing.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #40
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I don't think that gears have power, per se.
They're limited in the amount of power (and force) that can go through them
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