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I need help saving some old katanas


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#1 kbkgreen

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:24 PM

A few years ago my Sensei and I were given the honor of cleaning and caring for two Katanas at my local University. I tried to get them to let us clean them again before Christmas and the director said that he just wants to put them under glass and leave them there. I am in the process of creating a written argument to present him with to let us continue with there cleaning.

Do any of ya'll know of good sites/books that I can use to back up our assertion?

The man was my professor and the only way that I know of that I can get through to him will be in this manor.

For a little back history the swords where in a mess when we go to them. To this day there are still rust finger prints on them. Professors and students alike where allowed to handle the blades. All that we were doing was to stop the decay and to reverse what little we could with the oiling. We were also in the process of translating the kenji when the Director put on the brakes.

Please help us save these beautiful peaces of history!

#2 Pat B

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:56 PM

My best advice would be to contact a fellow who does sword polishing on the stones, best not risk it yourself if you are not experianced. not to say that you might not be as I cant comment on your skill as I do not know it. I believe that Howard Clark would be a fine fellow to ask advice on his since he does a lot of the japanese blade work and may be able to assist you in the right direction of searching. either that or John Smith may be of help when looking for sources of information to present your professor.

Best of luck tho, if you can get them please post us some pics, Id love to see some older blades.

Pat B

Edited by Pat B, 22 February 2011 - 08:58 PM.

Gnáthamh na hoibre an t-eólas
(Knowledge comes through practice)

Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through the forging fire, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion. - Morihei Ueshiba

my site: http://lfcforgeworks.webs.com/

#3 dan pfanenstiel

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:52 PM

I think Keith Larman would be someone you should talk to about your dilema. He is a polisher and a teacher and can really state your case as eloquently as anyone I know.

I'll see if I can direct him here.

He also hangs around the swordforums and could be contacted there as well.

Dan
Dan Pfanenstiel

#4 John Smith

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:52 PM

Also try Chris Osborne he hangs out on the swordforums as well. But your best bet is to try and get the blades done by a traditional Togoshi, it will be expensive to say the least. I will dig for you and try to find out the best approach.

First thing though is to make sure the blades are oiled using choji oil this will help prevent any further rust.

If the blades have any kind of historical value the Swordforums will be the place to go. Take a picture of each blades nakago on both sides, and I mean by that is a good photo showing the kanji then have it translated, this will start you on the path to the history of the blade and who the master smith was who forged the blade and possibly who it was forged for. Plus a possible date can be established and which if the 5 traditions it was forged under.

Plus try here

Nihonto Message Board

keith Larman

This is a good place to start


John W Smith
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Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.

[Points to sword]

This you can trust


#5 Patrick Hastings

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 03:53 AM

I second Keith Larman. You won't find a better spoken person that has the proper background for this. He will lay it out thoroughly and persuasively...
Patrick B)

#6 Howard Clark

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:01 AM

I will add my voice to the chorus suggesting Keith. Good man, honest, and very bright. Fine polisher and craftsman as well.

#7 kbkgreen

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:49 PM

My best advice would be to contact a fellow who does sword polishing on the stones, best not risk it yourself if you are not experianced. not to say that you might not be as I cant comment on your skill as I do not know it. I believe that Howard Clark would be a fine fellow to ask advice on his since he does a lot of the japanese blade work and may be able to assist you in the right direction of searching. either that or John Smith may be of help when looking for sources of information to present your professor.

Best of luck tho, if you can get them please post us some pics, Id love to see some older blades.

Pat B


We are very skilled when it comes to cleaning blades. As to polishing them, we are not trying to get that done anytime soon. Our goal is to convince the director of the necessity of cleaning the blades on a regular basis. To do that will require a more academic response. I have some pics that I'll try to post latter.

By the way, we have all of the kenji translated save one. It looks to be a very old one that has not been in much use in the last 100 or so years.




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