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.
christain: Don't feel alone, Scott. I gotta work Sunday while the rest of the family has Easter dinner. That's okay though...I'll just eat double when I get home.
Apr 21, 2019 0:11:34 GMT
ouroboros: Sorry Scott. Hope time off comes soon
Apr 20, 2019 18:33:48 GMT
Scott: I'm working all weekend
Apr 20, 2019 17:39:39 GMT
ouroboros: Easter Greetings to you too!
Apr 20, 2019 14:32:37 GMT
brothersteel: Finishing up "The Robe" as we're prepping for tomorrow. Seeing the one sword fight in the film last night, I laugh inwardly at how much Olympic fencing still reigned in Hollywood in those days. A blessed Easter to all!
Apr 20, 2019 14:23:49 GMT
ouroboros: Highway between us and Ottawa that follows the river is closed today for some flood proofing and sandbag work ... and 6 of 6 seedlings are showing their first set o leaves in the grow space under 600w of led lighting...
Apr 20, 2019 12:34:26 GMT
ouroboros: Got 2 crazies of 11 and 7 years home with me today. Just ended morning tachikaze session and the weathers gearing up for another wet day.
Apr 20, 2019 12:32:51 GMT
redscorpion: yeah, cars. Always spending money on those things. I just had to put spark plugs in my older Jag. $300 just about covers cost of materials (plugs and gaskets) - then it's a 4 hour job to change them out.
Apr 20, 2019 11:02:17 GMT
christain: TGIF, y'all....Anyone have any cool weekend plans ? Perfect weather tomorrow for Ren-Fest here, but after having to drop $300 on car repairs ....maybe next weekend/paycheck. Even had my kit packed up and ready.
Apr 20, 2019 3:09:55 GMT
redscorpion: Ah, I see now. I stand (or rather sit) corrected. Nice seax. Been thinking about picking one up for myself.
Apr 19, 2019 1:16:10 GMT
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