Pics of 2 antique Chinese sabers with ridged cross-sections:
The first 2 pics show a Chinese saber with pattern-welding; these pattern-welded effects can be observed in the repetitive feathery and swirling patterns. Notice also the heat treatment-derived crystalline effects on the cutting edge.
These types of pattern-welded sabers have surface grain patterns that are distinctly different visually and were created by different techniques of manufacture, when compared to the typical Chinese swords with the straight or wooden surface grain.
The last 5 pics show another superb Chinese saber, of qiangang (inserted edge) laminated construction, differentially heat-treated and with beautiful martensite crystalline activity on the cutting edge.
It should be noted that the revival in the use of the ridged cross-section (as seen in these 2 sabers) was attributed to Japanese influence.
All these pics presented here, are courtesy of Alex Huangfu of www.Chinesearms.com