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Everything posted by RedNeckLeftie

  1. Amen, Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! Thanks,
  2. Yes, Howard is quite a resource to take to heart. You are welcome to try cold-chisels, but I have personally found them useless. Unless, of course, you re-grind them. My current set of "mei" chisels are home-made of hardened 1060. Even so, they are not very good (or more likely, I am not very good). I don't know how you got katakana to show up here, but my present sig is (theoretically, based on bi-directional translations) "Red Left-handed," in kanji. "Redneck Leftie" takes 4-5 Kanji plus a katakana, and I'm too lazy, especially while I'm on the hamon hunt...but I have no "loose" blades... Thanks,
  3. Bruce, I hate to disagree with you, but it has been my experience that hardened steel is MORE attacked by acid than softer steel (Specifically, I mean by ferric chloride). That is to say, the hardened portions of a blade turn black far sooner & easier than the soft bodies of my Japanese-style blades. From polishing and hardness testing files, I find this to be the case... This would mean that darker areas=martensite & lighter areas=pearlite...Please correct me if I am wrong... Thanks, Stick, That is a nice falcatta. Is it at #1500 polish, AFTER etch? It looks to me to not be polished at the photo'd stage. But I think I see a hardening line in there if I am seeing the right stuff...
  4. Hi Guys, Please make sure that you do not actually "ground" yourselves (short circuit to ground). Anti-static wrist-straps (AKA "conductive cock-rings") provide a limited-current path to ground, through a 1Meg-ohm (million ohm) resistance. In other words, the normal connection is person->1Meg-ohm->ground. The resistance provides safety by limiting the current that can flow if the person is accidentally connected to a power line or voltage surge. It is current that kills/maims/injures. Using a properly-connected computer wrist-strap has the side benefit that Van de Graaff generation is quenched, meaning no static charge may be accumulated on the person.
  5. Hi Jacob, Not sure of the question; Of the 2 Chinese-made, Japanese-style blades I have, both appear to use the same material for both the ito and sageo. I have yet not begun to understand the "knot" used for the sageo...is the knot or material your question?
  6. Thanks for fielding that Shannon, I'm runnin' a little slow. When I first started polishing--with just water--I actually had blades literally rust before my eyes in minutes (especially bad here in Texas). I don't like using oils, so I found out about adding baking soda.
  7. This would be the other key aspect of hybrid polish, acid etching to bring out the hamon. Just polishing a blade with stones and paper won't make the hamon easily visible. I recommend doing a search here for "hamon etch." You'll get quite a few threads, and here are just a couple: Topic1 , Topic2 . The basic idea is to take the blade to 600 grit or better (I go at least 1000), clean and degrease the blade thoroughly, then acid etch at least the hamon area. The typical acids folks have used include vinegar, lemon juice, and ferric chloride (there are probably others). After a good etch, the hardened area of the blade will turn dark. Just after etching, the acids must be neutralized with something like ammonia or baking soda. The darkened area is oxidized, and the oxides must be removed with a polishing agent (polishing pastes, abrasive powders, etc.). Often this will leave you with more of a sashikomi type of polish. Above all, you have to experiment. In fact, I am still experimenting to dial in a more hadori-looking polish. Be careful if you try ferric chloride. Use all eye/face/skin protection. It will discolor flesh for ~2weeks, and clothing permanently. It may not burn like hydrochloric, but I don't want it on me (or you)!
  8. Hmm, I can't answer the torch question, as I've never done it that way. Otherwise, the process you describe actually is the basis of "hybrid" polish. One thing though, have you picked a way to make the hamon "pop" (stand out) from the polishing?
  9. Clint, Upon further thinking/remembering, you can do a counter-polish of the kissaki with the hybrid methods. You just have to be real careful and don't flatten the ji at the yokote. And naturally, it's not going to look the same as a traditional polish. However, you could still finish off the kissaki with the narume-dai. Feel free to experiment, who knows, you might "find another way." Definitely look at getting Walter's videos, they're worth it. The reason I jumped the gun a bit is that I've been tinkering with shobu- and hira-zukuri "blades" lately, just because they're faster to polish. I'm still trying to "find" a decent choji hamon... Brian K.
  10. Well crud, Looks like I need to pull my Asahi Kongo-do #180, Bester #500, and Norton #1000 from their baking-soda water domains in order to preserve their lives... Brian K. P.S. Since I work with knife-sized pieces (<6"), I also tend to use the EDM stones (Orange EDM from Boride Abrasives, + the 900F AlOx sticks).
  11. Hi Clint, I recommend Walter's videos highly (I still need to get the mounting video). He mostly does hybrid polish (as do most of us in the West). With hybrid you can separate the ha from the ji, but not the kissaki. The kissaki of a shinogi-zukuri sugata requires a polish orthogonal to the edge/ha/yakiba. The kissaki is not just a "tone," it is also a physical demarcation. Normally, the kissaki will be formed, forged, and polished differently from the rest of the blade. To get a taste, check out Togi Process Thanks, Brian K.
  12. Yeah, they used to have a good selection of full-sized sword stones, but apparently stopped carrying them. At least they still list the finger stones...
  13. Depends also on what you are willing to use (natural/synth/sword/"woodwork"). As John mentioned, Japan Woodworker has both natural and synthetic stones, I've gotten both kinds from them and been pleased. Of course, these are not specifically sword stones, they're more for chisels and planes--but work nonetheless. Along the same lines are the offerings from Woodcraft, WoodCraft Getting more exotic is Building for Health, they carry both kinds of stones including some specialty ohmura, amakusa, and awase-to. I bought a suita stone from them, but they don't seem to carry anymore. BFH I have never tried Hida Tool, but they have similar products to BFH, including the suita stone I mentioned. Look under woodworking, stone. Hida Tool Of course, for full-on sword stones, Howard is right: Namikawa is THE man (probably more than one person, though...) Thanks, Brian K.
  14. [quote Geoff Ooops, missed a question. Non-magnetic for those steels should be about 1550 F, but you might want to confirm that. g Yeah, that's a Big 10-Negatory. The Curie temp (non-magnetic point) for steels is about 1414F (for hypoeutectoids--think 1050) to ~1423F for hypereutectoids (think 1095). In any case, AC1 (essentially Austenite-Start temp) for 1050-1070 is 1340F according to the Heat Treater's Guide, and AC1 for 5160 is 1310F (assumes heating at 50F/hr). I have no experience with 5160, but in my experience with 1050 and 1060, I cannot make a decent blade by simply heating to non-mag without a soak and quenching. Keep in mind I do clay-coat quenching to get hardening lines, and use a HT kiln. I recommend some destructive post-HT testing to make sure you get good, quality hardened edges. With a rapier-style blade, you probably need multiple refractory supports in the furnace. Happy Hunting, Brian K.
  15. It's a special mill preparation. Don't know about the 1095, but in the case of the 1084, Aldo had (or let) them add Vanadium to the melt. Apparently, it was enough to make the "official" designation "FG" since the V is real good at pinning the grain size. See here Racca, Glad to see you got your blower and getting your forge into action! Thanks, Brian K.
  16. Just kinda shootin' from the hip here, but: 1. Oiling the blade is best for preventing rust, etch or no. 2. Etching actually "opens the pores" of the steel, providing more nucleation sites for moisture and rust to develop. A mirror polish is more rust-resistant (but obviously not as scratch-resistant in many cases). 3. I have not tested this, but someone (I think Walter) said lemon juice etches were not as robust in use as ferric. My guess would be the same is true for vinegar-type etches 4. Do you neutralize the acid after etching and clean (polish) off the oxides? I think remnants of either would contribute to #2. 5. I did a "test blade" with hadori polish (fingerstones on hardened edge). The polishing "scratches" were all parallel to the edge, but ab/use-testing scratches--all wood/paper, no metal--were perpendicular, so they show up quite well. YMMV. Wasn't supposed to be a test piece, but it revealed more HT shortcomings...could be why it scratched. Hope this helps, Brian K.
  17. Some guys use it to clean off the remaining oxides from a ferric etch. Also, a chief ingredient in Lava soap, marketing slogan "the Power of Pumice"--great stuff. Thanks, Brian K.
  18. Hey Guys, You think Aldo's 1084FG (with Vanadium) work in place of straight 1080/1084? Thanks, Brian K.
  19. Simon, how exactly do you define "fire clay?" I tried making my own "clay" with hi-temp potter's clay, charcoal & limestone, but it fell off way too fast in the quench, and generally just didn't work none too well. Thx, Brian K.
  20. Oh yeah, #1 with some bow-dark and brass, that'd do it fer me! I am working on a Texas-legal Bowie that is waiting for some good 'ol bow-dark...and my brother to do the woodwerks... Thanks, Brian K.
  21. I've never used APG#36, so this may also be true for it Satanite is reuseable--until it gets fired (thank goodness for these forums, I learned that here). In other words, if you screw up a coating before HT, or let your pot dry, no problem. Just re-soak with water, stir, and (re)apply. After HT though, it's done fer. Brian K.
  22. I like Dave's edit--mentally "feels" better than the original blade pic, which is not to say the original blade is "bad" or anything. Just like the alternative better. Brian K.
  23. Sam, One thing I just realized, the wrap here is not folded at the crossovers, so that could lend some asymmetry. But, to do a folded wrap I believe requires some extra support like the hishi-gami. All the examples of tsuka maki I've seen do have the top-most wrap alternate left-right-left-right-etc. From what I've noticed, the softer and more pliable the wrap, the less well it behaves. By the way, I have not tackled much "real" tsuka maki yet, though I have a WW2 gunto that needs a new tsuka. I been reeeaaal slow at getting around to it... This is a test section I started with soft nylon shoestring, without the gami--you can see it has "issues." (Then I learned just how much shoestring I would need, and "found" something else to do Thanks, Brian K.
  24. A good set to start with is something in the 300-600 range for coarse work, 900-1200 for medium cleanup, and ~2000 for a good sharp edge. (Jumping from ~1000 to 3000 is a bit of a stretch, and would take more time and effort to clean up the rougher scratches, at least in my experience.) If you want a well-polished edge, then you can go to a stone in the 3000-5000 range. Some folks go hog-wild and get up into the 6000 up to 30,000 grit ranges, but I think that's getting into diminishing returns. Be careful, when you start down the waterstone route, acquiring more and more of them can become an addiction. Norton has a good comparison of stone grits and standards in one of their 2005-2006 catalogs, do a search on "norton stone catalog." If you can't find it, PM me (the .pdf is 1.8MB, so I didn't want to post it here). Thanks, Brian K.
  25. I have that very same stone--it's JIS (Japanese-made water stone). That stone is relatively soft, so it will remove metal "quickly." In water stone terms, quickly means about 1 hour of work to set the bevels on a 6" blade. Just remember to move around to use the full surface of the stone, to minimize frequency of having to flatten it. Thanks, Brian K.
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