I have been practicing sword arts for a while now and some of the fellow students have found out I am into sword modification/repair. Increasingly I am finding with the de-construction of katana (low to mid prices), the Tsuka cores are cracked, like 80 to 90% !! and the fit has acres to spare without shims. One of the pictures below is of 4 brand new sword tsuka! not sure what wood is used but it is horrible and some cracks run the whole length to the kashira. I always remove the wood core and re-make one with furniture grade hardwood, when time permits I like to make custom fuchi and kashira but otherwise re-use the mass produced as some are decently thick enough. I always replace the Tsuba with my own custom steel Tsuba, I feel it changes the look of the sword a bit more, even with mass produced hardware elsewhere.
My tsukamaki is ok for beginner status and I could get it better with enough time allowed, but lately I have found that a gangimaki style wrap is ultra quick and better for practice/class and im finding others I do repairs for are tending to agree as the last 5 or so have requested it. some with menuki, some without.
anyway, just trying to contribute to the forum without annoying people too much. feel free to give feedback, I like to think im always in pursuit of betterment and feedback pushes that along.
I've been having a shot at a bit of hand engraving lately and I feel I am slowly improving.
One thing that has been troubling me is smoothing of the engraving, I just cant smooth it out enough. Through flat chiselling, sanding and light burnishing its getting to where it is, but I feel there must be something else I have not tried. Does anyone have some tips or methods for smoothing engraving?
5th week in, tried some inlay... worked... but Ive learnt what I did wrong and how to make it better... next one hopefully will be better. Im thinking of selling these trials at a local fair, do you think id get $50-$60 for one? hoping to recover some cost and get money to further my self teaching.
A bit more complicated than the last one. Looks ok, but what I learnt doing this was invaluable. The inlay material/quantity verses the dovetail trench required to hold the inlay is not what I expected. I also think that the inlay material may need to be anealed during the install... especially using brass, but may be a case of me needing to hammer more efficiently. Had a scare also with the different melting points of the various materials as I heat and oil blue the tsuba. I didnt have silver so used aluminium which has a melting point very close to the blued steel
You certainly are, these look very nice. Apart from manual skills that show improvement, I very much like the designs themselves.
Thank you Madmartigen, Im currently working on making the designs flow or relate for both sides of tsuba, previously i felt they have not been obvious enough to others, although they make sense to me, i admit I have an oddball way of thinking of things
Those are looking great, may I ask what you do for a patina?
Thank you, yes of course you can ask. It sounds maybe a little silly (and probably is) but I actually place the Tsuba in a small sealed bag of sand and play around with it for some time (watching tv/you tube etc) sometimes days sometimes hours, its the long long long version of sandblasting im guessing, but doesn't seem to take too much detail from features and is usually very even. Once taken out of bag I heat tsuba to desired temp (or colour) and twizzle it round in a bucket of very old sump oil (wearing gas mask - ohs). after it is all degreased and cleaned I use the thinnest coat of natural beeswax, that's it! this finish I have been doing for years on all sorts of things, some with daily use and some with none, all cases (bar one) have not yet rusted.
Im still trying to get a good finish using accelerated rust, but have not yet.... frustrating but I feel im getting close.
Had another practice of a flat inlay and tried to get a bit of a flowing theme one side to the other. The flat inlay went ok, but you can see the raised metal either side of the inlay. Not sure if I should be accepting this or not, could probably stone grind it down a bit more but wasnt sure if id accidently expose buried inlay. The plus side of this tsuba is im confident I can join separate inlays well enough to (almost) look as one.
Below is the second attempt on a tsuba i tried once before, but broke. Still mounted the broke one on a waki, i think its posted here above.
ouroboros: Cooler tonight but crossing fingers no snow
Mar 23, 2019 22:41:44 GMT
christain: I guess you guys up North will be seeing the 'light-show' tonight. Supposed to be a big one.
Mar 23, 2019 16:23:30 GMT
christain: Warm and drizzly morning here in E. Texas. I'm thinking of fencing in my yard and getting goats...'cause I'm never going to get to mow my grass if it keeps raining!
Mar 23, 2019 16:08:52 GMT
ouroboros: Minus 5 on the celcius this a.m. someone remind me again...spring??
Mar 23, 2019 14:04:09 GMT
nerdthenord: Well I’m free for the weekend and only work Monday and Tuesday next week. It’s nice!
Mar 22, 2019 18:24:26 GMT
ouroboros: Just sold 4 old Panasonic toughbooks. Yay....project funding...
Mar 22, 2019 2:36:08 GMT
christain: Good night, all. Morning comes early and the night grows late.
Mar 22, 2019 2:33:44 GMT
christain: Well, now $800 poorer. I worked out a payment plan of $200/mo. So, that saved me a couple hundred...then my wife spent most of it on groceries! Oh well, no new toys just yet, but I CAN EAT.
Mar 22, 2019 2:31:10 GMT
redscorpion: I can't wait to get the property tax bill for the new car this year. It's going to be a lot of fun stroking that check to the State. Probably could buy another car with that money...
Mar 22, 2019 0:20:53 GMT
ouroboros: Howdy Red, i didnt send much last year...that might be a problem.but then again I disnt make much either
Mar 21, 2019 22:11:41 GMT
redscorpion: Paying taxes is easy. Just ask yourself two questions: Did I make money last year? And: Did I send most of it to the government? If you answered "yes" to both questions, relax, you're a good citizen and the government will leave you alone.
Mar 21, 2019 22:04:43 GMT
ouroboros: I still have to work my taxes out for the year...being the lesser of two breadwinner s might actually see me get a return this year. Yeah...riiiight
Mar 21, 2019 21:36:44 GMT
William Swiger: Taxes suck major ass. I claim 1 deduction at the higher single rate and still have to pay a little more on both federal and state.
Mar 21, 2019 21:21:32 GMT
christain: ...and the tax-man taketh away.
Mar 21, 2019 20:59:33 GMT
christain: Got a nice refund from the Fed's though, but the state takes it right back. Oh well, at least I'll have a house for another year.
Mar 21, 2019 14:07:17 GMT
christain: G'morning, all. This day sees me spending $1000. Too bad it's going to the state of Texas for property taxes. I could buy a lot of toys for a grand....or one reeeeeally good one.
Mar 21, 2019 14:03:21 GMT
ouroboros: Morning from the bloodlab and later the gym. 0 degrees C ....
Mar 21, 2019 13:47:32 GMT
zabazagobo: christain Now that sounds like an adaptation of "A Bug's Life" worth watching
Mar 21, 2019 7:00:10 GMT
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