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Everything posted by DaveJ

  1. Seeing as it has been awhile, here is a recent custom koshirae for a small antique tanto blade belonging to a client. Crimson lacquered samegawa handle, fukiurushi horn fittings, a silver mekugi, and polished black lacquer scabbard in a classical aikuchi style. Materials for the custom red and black aikuchi style koshirae mounting include lacquered samegawa over hounoki for the handle, a silver and copper mekugi, and lacquered buffalo horn fuchi, kashira, koiguchi, and kurikata. Overall length when sheathed is about 11.5″. Specifications 柄長 Tsuka: 3 sun 3 bu (100mm) 拵全長 Koshirae: 9 sun
  2. @Lukas MG i was trained to use surface oxide colour, but with certain steels/blades for differential yaki-ire the tempering level occurs is before the colour kicks in...i mainly rely on "feel", colour, but as an additional check use the sprinkling technique though i do not consider myself qualified in it at all...others do it better...the best way to learn the right sound/movement of the water dance is to practice with a steel scrap at light straw and listen/watch over and over many times in a row until you get the right level each time (you will need to sand the steel bright each time for the
  3. thanks, @Steve, i cant wait for Pierre to be able to get back to work at his craft! @Wesley Pierre explains that in one of the videos but i can't remember which right now, one of the last two i think...the back part of the swordsmith style forge serves two roles, the lower area to hold charcoal fines so a long blade can be pushed through without moving the fire, the upper to store charcoal for use in the fire...
  4. part 4 - For this particular project, the essence of “hitech-lotech” is to use available technology and equipment to overcome the challenges of swordsmithing without apprentices and assistants, in a cold climate, and still maintain the simple and peaceful environment of a traditional workshop. Pierre’s solution was to use the space behind the forge wall which is out of sight of the smith and the area under the fuigo to locate and conceal equipment that does not need frequent accessing. An in-floor heating system and related equipment is installed under the back of the fuigo and
  5. @aweller the normal process (as i have seen it with shirasaya) is to put the hole in the tang first, then to mark it on the outside of the tsuka but lining up the habaki, etc, and then to drill through the tsuka while the tang is in the handle which allows the tang to guide the kiri to stay within the right location, then a round file enlarges the hole to final size... in this case because there is a lacquered cord wrap i wanted to have the tsuka hole quite accurate first so i could lacquer the cord in place and re-open it later when cured...not recommending it but it is possible to do tha
  6. part 3 - laying bricks for the swordsmithing forge During the long cold Quebec winters, the ground can become very cold and tanren could become difficult or impossible with an earth-grounded forge. Pierre’s solution to combat cold and moisture is to enclose the forge in a concrete box, insulate inside the box with ceramic fiber, pour a castable refractory floor, and then install the hard firebrick walls inside. The bricks came from a former pottery kiln in the area and have lovely wabisabi textures and colours that record past projects from their earlier use. A blend of sand, refracto
  7. you can give it your best polish for now to see what is going on in there, you can always send it out in the future if you like...
  8. the tang/blade juncture looks better, much less "kinky" now...keep at it! ...if you shorten the tang by a good couple of inches you can forge a lovely mekugi-nuki or two from your pattern-welded steel...^___^
  9. this longer format video is useful for the observant student as it retains some of the more futsu operations that generally get left in the editing room...cleaning the surfaces with water and te-boki, allowing the aku and clay to evaporate while resting on the anvil, etc... you won't find a japanese swordsmith that has anything to hide in terms of process, though certain subtleties of technique sometimes remain hidden in each school...the edits are for the viewer (for example, between 11min and 11m 30s was a couple of hours of slowly operating the fuigo!) as the whole video spans 3 long da
  10. yeah, practice runs! slow and steady wins the race...the race is not always to the swift... ^__^ here's some antiques to study and measure: http://www.aoijapan.com/japanesesword/wakizashi http://www.seiyudo.com/wakisashi.htm
  11. part 2 - During the early stages of tanren, the air must be slow and constant for a couple of hours straight for thorough heating without oxidization of the steel. A task traditionally reserved for an apprentice in order to allow the smith to carry on other work, Pierre’s solution is to install an electric fan under the fuigo with a valve system and manifold that allows him to leave the fuigo during this stage. In the video, the manifold and valve housing can be seen, the blower is yet to be installed. Wiring for a power switch to the blower runs up the front of the forge wall. Su
  12. I had the honour of being able to observe and assist as Pierre Nadeau of soulsmithing.com works on setting up his new smithy in Canada. The last time I saw Pierre and his wife was when they (and we) were packing to move from Japan in late 2011. Pierre spent several years working as a swordsmith apprentice in rural Japan and is ready to continue his research into traditional Japanese swords and historical crafting techniques. part 1 - first look at the shop The workshop has an interesting blend of "high tech" and "low tech" elements to allow him to work in the location and circumstances of t
  13. some of that charcoal looks pretty clean and solid!
  14. @the professor - very cool, we need more folks who care about and know that kind of stuff...glad you have the eye for those details in the classical style...and keep filing! @pieter-pauld, @wesley, @grpaavola glad to hear it, thanks!
  15. good style, nice lines and controlled, well-placed hamon!
  16. and a full size tanto version of the mountain:
  17. ...this project has been a long time coming but is finally off the ground...some of the background and concept: Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated fields and the mountain wilds in Japan. Historically they provided fertilizer, firewood, edible plants, mushrooms, fish, and game, and supported local industries such as farming, construction, and charcoal making. Balancing the interaction of wetlands, streams, forests, and fields is an important component of the satoyama landscape and allows for sustainable use of the rich resources they offer. About the Tools
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