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Ethan P.

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  1. Hey Joseph! This blade has already been hardened? It looks like you've got hardness at both the edge and the spine. Not really bad things, and it's good that you got a soft steel center, so good job on that! A couple of design things, though. Typically, tanto aren't of shinogi zukuri geometry, but what's called hira zukuri, where the blade cross-section is essentially triangular. I'm not used to seeing straight shinogi zukuri pieces. Are the blade and spine parallel? Generally Japanese blades have an extremely subtle taper where they're wider at the base. It almost looks like the spine is
  2. Here's a talk he did at a Blade show where someone asks this very question:
  3. I know of several smiths that use multiple quenches. On somewhat varying ends of the spectrum, for example, are Tai Goo and Ed Fowler. I believe Tai Goo uses it to form something of a spring temper in his blades, each time dipping the blade deeper into the oil. This leaves areas of varying hardness from edge to spine, as can be seen in some of his camp blades. Here's an example: https://plus.google.com/photos/111314075172198610978/albums/5979148708739297105/5979210091732935378?banner=pwa&authkey=CLyZ2rD5qI_bfg&pid=5979210091732935378&oid=111314075172198610978 Ed Fowler, who
  4. Can you show us what you don't like about it? Very impressive work anyway.
  5. Hey Mark! I'm really excited to watch this progress. I really like the pieces you've chosen for inspiration, too! I said this in another thread, but I'd really encourage you to try to replicate what you like about your examples as closely as possible. I especially struggle with the point shape and profile taper (which is really all of it, when you think about it...). It's these details that I think really make all the difference between something that looks "right" and not. I haven't made something that looks right yet, but hopefully you'll have better luck than me! Can you give the name of t
  6. The hamon looks nice, but, if you're trying to get down traditional shapes, I would recommend finding an authentic piece, printing it out to full size, and trying to replicate it. That's what I've been up to, and it's kicking my butt. This is my favorite place to look: http://www.aoijapan.com/japanesesword/tanto This way, it makes self-critique much easier, as the piece either looks like it should or it doesn't. Just my thoughts, -Ethan Perry
  7. Well, it looks like it's just as Luke and Alan said. The first time I ground on it to inspect the weld, the spine welded, but not the edge. Since I was pretty sure this wasn't going to work out anyway, and I seemed to be on a roll, I cut that section out and shortened it again, this time being sure to hit the edge first to make sure it welded, then refluxed and rewelded across the rest of the thing. Some grinding later, it looked like I was gonna get away with it, but, after reading the comments, I decided to try bend it a little, and it summarily crunched in two again. The grain didn't look t
  8. So, I finally got that heat treating forge put together, and it rocks. It holds a marvelous, even, controllable temperature. Since it's made from a water heater tank, I was able to fit that o-tanto I've had lying around into it. I welded on a piece of rebar to dangle it, quenched it, tempered it, started polishing. It had a magnificent hamon. It also had a definitive cant to the right. I tried the three-point straightening technique in the vice. No dice. I tried hitting it with a hammer, both right out of the quench and still warm from the temper. There was nothing to straighten this sucker, i
  9. Thanks for the great link! I was thinking along those lines, but it really puts all the factors into one place. -Ethan
  10. Hello everyone, There I was, watching knifemaking videos on youtube. when I stumble across Walter Sorrells' channel and promptly made it my business to watch everything there. The last video I watched confused me, though. It was a performance test of a hira zukuri katana he had made, and it stands up to being chopped repeatedly through a 2x4, taking only cosmetic damage. I'm not doubting this test at all, and I have the utmost respect for Mr. Sorrells. The question I have is, if hira zukuri is a perfectly fine blade profile for a long sword, why weren't more of them made? Here's th
  11. I'm about to heat treat something that I can't fit all at once in my forge. It's an o-tanto with about 14 inches of blade, and I can only get about six inches heated at once by putting it in the forge and letting it come up to heat. I've had success turning my vertical forge sideways and getting more length up to heat that way, but it's still uneven, and, with this blade, the tip is surely to peek out the back even this way. So, my question is, how do I pump the blade in and out of the forge to bring it up to heat? For shorter blades, I have a thermocouple hooked up so I can just turn the fo
  12. Gosh darn it! I originally wanted to be a materials engineer, but my college didn't offer it, so I went with chemical instead. Materials science is still my jam, though, so it's nice to see what it would have been like! Looking forward to hearing more from you, -Ethan Perry
  13. This is a question that's been rolling around in my head for a while now. When you polish something with niku, it's acceptable to leave the edge thick before heat treatment, then give it a bevel, then smooth the bevel back to a rounded shape, right? But what about something with a flat grind, like a hira zukuri tanto? I hate to say it, but I don't have the patience to work down that thickness on my grinder, and I doubt that's how it's traditionally done. Past experiments have either had ugly, badly-blended bevels or left the blade too thin to be anything but a fillet knife. Is there some elega
  14. D-guards aren't completely unheard of in northern India, where the fittings just seem to be mix-and-match at times... http://oriental-arms.co.il/item.php?id=2129 http://oriental-arms.co.il/item.php?id=2052 -Ethan
  15. Thanks, Eric, but I want to see antiques. Where is the historical data supporting that that's what a bisento looks like? I'm not arguing with the form or anything, but I just wanna see something with some age to it. Thanks, -Ethan
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