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Austin Mys

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Everything posted by Austin Mys

  1. I have come very far in my research of these swords as it relates to the construction thickness wise. This due to finding incredibly detailed photoshoots on Japanese websites of sword dealers. I discovered the following: The originals were thick. The most unaltered example I could find still had a thickness of near .34" at the machi and around .216" at the kissaki after 500 years. Most the swords without bohi were around .3" at the machi and .24-.25" at the yokote, though I haven't found a blade without bohi in such healthy condition as the one I found with bohi. The precision of
  2. Thanks Chris! On Suburbs... they are certainly are not ideal! I am thankful that my neighbors have been very supportive. though I also have other more spacious places to go when I am planning on a noisy week (my whole setup is currently very portable). Some of my neighbors are close friends, most are gone at day jobs during most my forging hours. Lately I've been too focused on my main job (piano tuning) to do much smithing anyway, so the occasional day setup in the driveway isn't interpreted as such a big deal. Kooky... I have a feeling that a handful may think that! Most the men who've
  3. Alright, after a lot of various life circumstances keeping me from starting sword # 2 (including my old forge being totally worn out and building a better one) I have finally got the ball rolling again! I am once again working with 1075 from New Jersey Steel. Here is the sunobe (preform) finished yesterday: Hizukuri got off to a bit of a rough start as I haven't forged since January... I finished half the blade then took some rest and went back at it the next day. I finished the rough forging today. Next I will go back over all the surfaces to make sure
  4. For hard use I prefer a fine satin, around 1200 grit to minimize rust and friction during cutting. For looks, I like Japanese sashikomi finish (you'll have to google, I don't have a great photo). This knife is an old knife with some combination of the two... Most my user knives get a 5-600 grit satin though to keep the cost down.
  5. I've debated on whether to start a new topic for the new sword, but since it is the same project to me, and the discussion is still going, I think I'll just keep it all here for simplicity. Realizing it would be hard to organize photos of forging techniques as I work (take tons of extra time) I decided to just show some things in diagrams. I'm currently on vacation, so I've got lots of free time to do that kind of stuff right now anyway When you forge any single edged blade, you run into the issue of induced curvature due to the expansion of the edge. With knives, we use a preform wit
  6. Hi Kevin, what you are seeing was only visible after an hour or so with hazuya under very careful lighting, it's caused by ashi. All the extra details became invisable with smallest use of nugui (powder grit/dye of various recipes suspended in oil). In a typical hybrid polish it looks more like you're probably used to, bright white with a distinct habachi and pretty boring underneath the habachi. Hazuya work shows all the little details created by ashi, but hazuya also clouds the ji which makes the ji look white against the ha. Which is why in a full polish jizuya is normally used to make the
  7. Thanks Caleb, I hope to share much more in the future! I have already started my work on katana 2, and have adjusted my forging techniques while working on tanto and other knives. I hope to share some more by the end of February, including some observations on forging straight that I think will help people new to Japanese blades. For now, here's a sneak peak of where I'm heading with the hamon Hazuya finish on this knife to show all the hardening details -Austin
  8. Obviously each part of that knife is downright impressive, but out of it all I really love the work you did on shaping that handle. I hope to get good enough to produce so many facets and curves with so much control some day. Reminds me of some carved handles on old swords, but taken to another level. Outstanding all around!
  9. Wes, exactly! Just a bummer when you get to heat treat and things go down hill, but I guess it's an inherent part of the craft whenever you do something new. Kevin, thanks for sharing that! I think this is the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I finally managed a decent hamon (over 3/8" high) after getting the steel a little hotter, but it still wasn't as high as I would have normally expected. When I have smaller knives I usually soak for at least 5 minutes, but did not think it would be that necessary with the 1075. Plus I had a heck of a time getting it all up to temp... I'm really wi
  10. I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who has taken a look, and given input to this thread. Making a katana has been a long time dream and passion of mine, and this has been a very fun and rewarding process even though this blade wont have so glorious of an ending. It has certainly jump started me on the path to making something I can be very proud of. I hope I have provided some level of valuable information to people here, and hope to refine my abilities to share knowledge in a more streamlined fashion in the future. Thanks again! -Austin
  11. Well, I said I'd quench until I get a good hamon and that's just what I did! ​The sword itself is bent out of shape past any amount of worth, but it still had value for learning. I ended up quenching 3 times last night, once with clay, two times without. After the first which yielded the same result of too low a hamon near the point of percussion, I brought the steel up to 1800, then 1600, then quench heat in an effort to eliminate the grain size variable that had me worried. Same Result. After the 3rd try, which yielded the hamon bellow, I figured out my problem... Up until this point the on
  12. Hey Connor, that's exactly what I did. I need to adjust the hot spot in my forge (I'm thinking of converting it to a double burner) so I don't have to draw the blade in and out as much, that way I can run it closer to the exact temperature I need and the edge won't heat up too fast.
  13. Haha! Exactly Brian! Unfortunately, I may have to scrap this sword Hamon was not high enough, so I forged the curve back down and normalized at 1600 thinking I got the grain too fine. Same result on the next quench. Took me a third try without (this time no clay) before figuring it out. The ha and mune were up to temp but the ji was not as it turns out. This was partially on purppose trying to go for utsuri (a blackish area above the hamon that looks like a reflection of it), but that heat zone was exaggerated too much. I was able to see utsuri though, but could't get it on camera with su
  14. It's finally born! 26.125" nagasa, 1.825", a healthy sword with lots of personality! It just didn't want to curve downwards this one! I think this is due to needing more oil in my quench tank. I'll try to get some pics of what the hamon looks like tonight, I've been traveling with all my gear so I need to get my grinder and stones unpacked from the car before I can clean it up and get a look...
  15. Well, I have been real busy preparing for the retry on yaki-ire. So far I have built a new heat treat forge, heat treated a cheap 1060 katana several times as practice (then broke that up to check grain and make tools out of), made 2 small W2 knives playing with hamon patterns, and 1 1084 tanto purposefully broken in a water quench for curiosity's sake. I ended up having to do a bit of re-forging on my katana in order to get the excessive curve out and re straighten every thing. I then normalized 3 times, ground the scale out, filed it down, and clayed it up. After a bit more study I
  16. While, it didn't go too hot... Literally! Forge not big enough, so I'll be building a bigger one and will update when I have successful yaki-ire. In my stubbornness I tried it anyway and the top 6" did not harden. Also, I got positive sori with parks 50 oil... I'll have to grind out decarb, fix the curvature, normalize, stress relieve, and retry I suppose. Probably not before Christmas... Editing to say, sori went from about 1.25" to about 1.5" in the oil. Reread through Jesus' post "Inducing positive curvature (upward sori) in a shinogi-zukuri katana using OIL" and figure I got my o
  17. Accidentally chipped a piece of clay off last night right before quenching, so I didn't quench. Gained an extra thermocycle, blade is still totally straight, and I removed all the clay last night. Will reclay and attempt yaki-ire again tonight!
  18. All clayed up. Debating on heat treat tonight or tomorrow as it's 8° Fahrenheit outside right now...
  19. Al, you are right. I was just reading through the heat treating section in "The Craft of the Japanese Sword" and sure enough he talks about fine tuning the curvature by heating or hammering the spine. This is significant because it shows that the final shape can be very finely controlled if the smith desires, which adds weight to the idea of exactly planned curvature.
  20. Well, I got the mune completely filed and all the high spots leveled. However I did not get to thermocycling or putting clay on as I decided to rebuild my forge this weekend (it was getting real rough). I ended up converting it to a vertical forge with a 6" diameter chamber, plus 3" long chambers where the doors are. So I should have a 12" long hot area with a 6" even hot spot. I'm hoping this will be enough to get the whole thing up to even temperature with passing the blade back and forth, but ordered extra inswool to make a bigger forge if needed. Hoping to quench Monday night depending on
  21. This is a hidden tang 5.5" Fighter with a Loveless style handle made from African Blackwood with nickel silver hardware and a G10 spacer. The blade steel is Aldo's 1075.
  22. Update: I have almost finished all my file work! Today I finished getting the sides symmetrical, with the shinogi placed right where I want it. Now all that is left before heat treat is to finish filing in the mune and file a high spot out near the tip on the left side. Then I may or may not go over everything one more time with a fine file to make sure everything is even. I expect to be putting clay on tomorrow night. Not sure on when heat treat will happen due to weather here in Michigan... Dimensions pre heat treat: Nagasa (blade length tip to machi): 26.5" (67.31cm) moto-haba (wi
  23. Hi Steve, yes I am! Knowing there are many Nihonto owners there I was considering asking for photos of mune there for koto katana, but that may be a project for the future.
  24. Jesus, I appreciate the reply! I will continue to look for such opportunies. For this sword I think I will try not to change what I have too much as I seem to be real close to what Sukesada smiths' made based on some additional photos and measurements I was able to find. J Broddrick, thank you for the photo! What a place to visit that would be!
  25. I applied the idea of relating the radius of the mune to length preportions on a Mino school katana also of the Muromachi period, and the resulting circles gave me nagasa and nakego perfectly, but not an obvious placement of the funbari. However, the placement of the funbari change near the machi as well as a change in radius further down the length were placed at exact 1/3rd increments of the total length. This is getting quite interesting. Editing to say "funbari" is correctly spelled with an "n". My bad, I have seen it spelled both ways and did not check which was correct. Also, this
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