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dan pfanenstiel

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Modesto, CA
  • Interests
    Bladesmithing in japanese style. Learning stone polishing. I make some western knives.

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  1. This looks to be a nice sword from Japan. my kanji-fu is not what it should be, but the first signature pic I get “resident of”, then second character would be the province or village, like Bishu or Osafune. I couldn’t figure it out. The other side looks like “Kane” then “shige” maybe? This would be the smiths name, Kaneshige. reading sword kanji is a PITA, which is why I’m not so good at it. The other advice here is solid. I’d love to hear what comes from your research on this. Dan
  2. To quote the late Keith Larman, “stay off the shinogi”. I have never masked off, as suggested, nor heard of it. I have used black marker to color the surfaces to see better what I’m doing. This helps most with poor lighting. The skill is in polishing each of the surfaces separately from the other. In traditional style polishing, holding the blade and working on stones, there is a tactile feel and micro adjustments you learn in the hands from a lot of experience. Long story short, lots of practice. Dan
  3. Been using this setup for years. I don’t fold up for the traditional polishing position anymore, getting old. The tray that catches the water under the stone drains into the bucket. The clamp hold whatever size stone you want. I copied the design from a buddy who’s been polishing for 30+ years. Dan
  4. Outstanding work, sir. You have had my attention through this whole thing. Dan
  5. Legacy scratches are the bane of my existence, and the polisher’s reason for the saying “the slower you go, the faster you’ll get done”. Dan
  6. Yes on the thermocouple. I would have a PID control with thermocouple reading directly in the sand. I was hoping to have somewhere in the 24” long range for the pot, dunno if that long a probe (nichrome sheath, etc.) is doable. Don’t know why not. The electric coils are in hopes of getting even temps down the pot, rather than one or two burners. There’s a slim hope that having the coils spiral just around the outside of the pot with a half inch air gap, that target temps of around 1500 deg was possible with 110v and 1500 watts of power. I may be dreaming. I had not heard of sand quenching, interesting. Dan
  7. Interesting, Jerrod. I was thinking about bringing the air supply in from the bottom of the pot. Your comment about the air cooling factor made me remember that some of the first iterations of home built sand pots ran the air line down from the top, inside the pot. Pre-heated air. Just for clarity, the air coming up from the bottom is to agitate the sand. In my test pot, it took very little air. Like needle valve almost closed. Just enough to get the sand gurgling, but not blow the sand out the top, and allowing a blade to move down into the sand mass easily rather than being shoved into it. The mass of the sand, at temperature, provides the thermal transfer to the blade. This is one of those things that could be good, or not work at all. I wish there was a full set of plans. Dan
  8. I have done salt pots in the past, propane fired, and it does work well. In an effort to move away from that, the sand pots made sense. I cobbled together a small sand pot, with gas burner, and had trouble with it. Like Gilbert, getting it tuned in was a problem. In an ‘ah ha!’ moment, thought why not an electric version. Since I had pieces and parts from past electric oven builds, I started thinking about it. I know Paragon offered an electric version sand pot, but big and cumbersome and pricey. The sand does offer up even heating and temperature control. If the electric version can get stable temps and proper sand fluidization, the only downside would be scaling on the blade unless an inert gas (argon) is used for the air supply, or protective coating on the blade. I think of it as an improvement over an electric heat treating oven, sort of like putting a tube in the forge to do heat treating. More thinking and tinkering... Dan
  9. There has been a few sands tried, Alan. Most common is aluminum oxide in 120 grit (sand blast medium). Think of a salt pot, but with sand and a way to introduce air from the bottom. Takes very little air. Eliminates most of the danger of salts, but introduces decarb potential if not using inert gas. There’s a few YouTube vids on the subject. I played with home built salt pots and there was just enough anxiety over it to give it up. I keep with the forum regularly, just not a lot to say. Finished work has been sparse, trying to correct that :-) Dan
  10. Hey guys, I’ve been mulling a design in my head about a high temperature sand pot and thought I’d ask. If one were to build this, pretty much a 24” vertical heat treating oven with a pot (muffle tube) running down the middle, PID and SSR control, is there any reason why the coils can’t be very close to the pot? Not touching the pot but running in grooves in the soft fire brick with say a half inch of space to the pot? Everything I see has some sort of chamber size, which is correct on a gas burner design, but electric? Thanks Dan
  11. I asked a friend, who's dealt with nihonto for more than thirty years, and he thinks the functional benefit to burnishing is to minimize scuffing of the mune and shinogi-ji (if there is one) when entering and drawing from the saya. Otherwise, he mirrored what's been said about it being a later period "fashion" thing, like hadori style polish. I personally could take it or leave it. Looks good when done well, but I like to see the steel and it's flaws too.
  12. Mune-yaki, or hardening of the spine would be much more effective than burnishing for combat parrying, so I still don't think so. I could be wrong. I checked some of my books and still couldn't come up with a reason for burnishing. I'll ask around, as you've piqued my interest :-)
  13. I don't think so, Al. The burnishing would do little or nothing for blade to blade contact. Intreresting question though. In all my reading and research I don't recall a reason for the burnishing. I would guess that it was a visual thing that caught on, maybe in the later era, much like hadori polishing. It just seems like a technique to highlight the shinogi. I can't imagine burnishing on a blade meant for combat. Dan
  14. No, that would wipe out the effects of etching. I finish to final grit, 1200 is fine, then the etch process. Stopping polishing at various final grits give different surface looks. Stopping at 600 grit as opposed to all the way up to 2500 grit will look different. Why I'll etch between grits to see how things are looking. Doesn't hurt anything.
  15. The process I use is similar to the lemon juice one, only with dilute ferric chloride. I'll etch for a minute on the first one, rub out with finest paper. Second etch, ferric for 30-60 seconds, rub with paper. Third etch 30 seconds, rub with 600 grit loose abrasive. Last few etches are quick and move to 1200 grit loose. I might even leave the last one, without rubbing for a darkened effect above the hamon and rub the hardened section below the hamon to whiten it. You could finish with lemon juice to highlight activity. So many variables, but it is a progression. I just talked to a very knowledgeable fellow that said rubbing Simichrome on a finished blade, vigorously, would give a blueish color so desired in koto blades. Something new to try. Always something new to try. Just thought of something, make sure you're using lots of water when rubbing out with paper. Just dry paper smears the surface. The loose abrasives can be a paste to very watery depending.
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