(urth) Fuligin invented

brunians at brunians.org brunians at brunians.org
Thu Jan 17 12:20:58 PST 2008

I know what you are talking about, here, but if I am right it should be
possible by making the middle part extra thick. You might even want to run
a brass tube up it after you bore it out and put the mercury inside the
brass tube. That should do it. And you could maintain it if you ran the
end of the tube up into the tang and put a screw cap on it.


> I've never heard of an actual mercury channel in a sword. I can ask on
> a swordsmanship forum I frequent (where several smiths post) to see if
> it's feasible. From what I understand of sword structure, it's not.
> You need the center part of the sword to be the strongest part, and
> that usually means it needs to be softer and more ductile than the
> surrounding steel. Cutting a big channel out of the middle of it might
> weaken its structural integrity to the point where it would be useless
> for cutting.
> The idea is that the edges, the parts that need to be sharp, should be
> harder. When steel hardens, it becomes more brittle. Brittle steel
> will sharpen and hold an edge. But it's also weak. If you made the
> whole sword out of really hard steel it would chip and shatter
> whenever it made contact with something. So you make the non-edge part
> of the sword out of softer, more flexible metal so that it will
> actually absorb shock. But cutting a big channel out of the middle
> would remove a lot of the shock-absorbing material.
> Lane
> On Jan 17, 2008, at 12:01 PM, Matthew Keeley wrote:
>> On Jan 17, 2008 4:58 PM,  <brunians at brunians.org> wrote:
>>> That sucker in the wiki article was as long as TE. Couldn't tell if
>>> it had
>>> a mercury channel, but that kind of thing would be obvious. I have
>>> heard
>>> of swords with sliding weights also.
>>> So Severian wasn't joking when he said the horizontal stroke was
>>> harder
>>> than the vertical one....
>> According to the Wikipedia article, "The Sword of Justice at the
>> Higgins Armory Museum is a fine example of such ceremonial weapons
>> used to designate status and authority." If that's the sword in the
>> picture, that's really neat, as the Higgins is only about fifteen
>> minutes' walk from my house. I'll check it out next time I'm at home
>> (i.e. in six months) and ask about weights and mercury in blades of
>> that type. If anyone would know about that sort of thing, it's the
>> folks at the Higgins. I'll see if I can get some relevant pictures as
>> well.
>> I recall that Wolfe mentioned basing TE off real swords, so I wouldn't
>> be surprised if the Higgins had something similar.
>> So... report forthcoming I guess.
>> -Matt
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