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Everything posted by DaveJ

  1. ...and another piece of shear steel, sankaku yari with suguha hamon. nagasa 190mm, moto-haba 28mm, moto-kasane 8.5mm (natural clay with water quench, charcoal forge, natural waterstone finish, no etch...click to see more of the hada detail) more here: bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=31981 and here: islandblacksmith.ca/2015/07/hatsu-sankaku-yari/
  2. thanks, @Ben! i knew i had to get this one done because you were waiting on the results!
  3. "Appreciation for detail in everyday utilitarian objects is one of the elements that shows up in traditional Japanese craft. Historically, this was expressed by attention to the precise development of form, line, and detail, and is found even in components or areas that were hidden from view or secondary in importance." This yari is made from reclaimed shear steel from a horse-drawn carriage axle. The axle has evidence of forge welds on it and may have been repaired by a blacksmith at some point using locally available materials. The blade was hand forged in a charcoal fire, shaped with f
  4. This project began as a personal challenge and an exploration of the beauty and symmetry that can be found in the sankaku style yari. The cross section of the blade is triangular in this style, the spine quite thick and strong, and the tip is centered on both axis. The basic form is fairly defined, but there are several historical variations on the lengths of the blade and tang as well as the style of sculpting the neck area. Historically, this type of lance would have been mounted on a sturdy hardwood pole about two metres in length, though there were examples up to six metres for defens
  5. yep, i find that is the best way to think about it: (start with a classical/antique kata) profile/outline the tang, then bring the bevels back from the blade so that the nakago-no-ha is the right thickness all the way along, and then the distal taper of the tang has already established itself for the most part...
  6. quite happy with this little tanto's subtle shear steel hada, suguha hamon, and ko-maru boshi. nagasa 13.2cm, moto-haba 2.4cm, moto-kasane 0.7cm (clay with water quench, charcoal forge, natural waterstone finish, no etch)
  7. ...i think i meant a wee bit more taper from the side or "profile" view, so that you get a firm registration without any play as you carve inside the handles... but yes, along the other two axis as well; the nakago-no-mune should have a distal taper and from the nakago-no-mune to the nakago-no-ha should taper at the same angle as the blade bevels do... here is the specific one on those details, with photos: islandblacksmith.ca/2014/06/classical-tanto-geometry-nakago-tang/ ...but get those photos up, you may be way ahead of me on this already... ^__^
  8. ...one of my favourite design elements of the sgian dubh is the way the blade swells out subtly following the line of the handle...and you have it pretty much dialed here...
  9. Materials: lawn mower blade steel, steel pipe, copper pipe, Sapele wood, Walnut, natural urushi lacquer, red Bamboo Blade construction is muku/hon-yaki with a kiriha-zukuri profile and hira/kaku mune. The blade is 7.25″ long and 1 7/8″ deep with a 7/64″ spine, overall length is around 12.5″. 長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 185mm (blade length) 元幅 Motohaba: 47mm (blade depth) 重ね/元重 Motokasane: 5.5mm (spine thickness) 中心/茎 Nakago: 80mm (tang length) 柄長 Tsuka: 134mm (handle length) ____ Update: Photo of the reversible Black Walnut and Sapele scabbard...
  10. Someone gave me a couple of nice old lawn mower blades...nice because they are from a ride-on and are a little thicker, old because they are stamped,"made in USA"...I figured half of one looked quite a bit like the nata I often use for yard and forest work when visiting family in Japan. Nata come in various sizes and shapes, but most fit the description of a light brush hatchet or heavy camp knife. Common characteristics include thick spines and heavy blades, often with single beveled edges similar to Japanese wood chisels. This type work well for medium duty camp tasks, carving hatchet w
  11. here is a slightly more cohesive version of this answer, with the addition of some more quotes from pierre: islandblacksmith.ca/2015/05/on-swordsmith-apprenticeship/ and his article on the subject is absolutely required reading for every craftsman or apprentice: soulsmithing.com/index.php/2007/10/how-to-become-a-swordsmith-apprentice-in-japan ...also fixed the video links above.
  12. @Dan...sorry forgot the short answer summary (these are harder for me than long)...yes, it is relative! ^__^ though this is about polisher's apprenticeship there are some glimpses into the structure and daily life as well as some of the thought processes involved in the journey:
  13. @Dan that is Pierre you are quoting, not me, but i think the context is important there... he is specifically speaking about the selection process and desired qualities for an apprentice...but in a larger context he is also speaking of the cultural perspective on the importance of effort as a major contributor to success, how it is possible that someone who thinks of themselves more highly than they ought is liable to fall into trouble on account of false pride or a false sense of ability...
  14. input from Pierre via email from Japan today: ...ganbatte!
  15. thanks, @Tiaan, yes...residual emotion is an interesting concept! very much appreciated, @jd!
  16. @Alan, i didn't do a formal apprenticeship, i had been blacksmithing and making knives for several years before i went to japan...but i did live there for several years and spent some of the time studying the craft (and even more seriously since then, the more i learn the more i realize i know nothing!)...in hindsight i ended up being there long enough that i could have committed to a proper apprenticeship! pierre the soulsmith did do a proper swordsmith's apprenticeship, he was also there for about a decade (and it was four years before he was accepted as an apprentice...get ready to lea
  17. @Wesley i want it to take a traditional hamon, so will see if it does as is...if not i may have to mount it on a pole and keep it at the back door for the cougars... @pieter-pauld this is based on niiro recipe #4 from the hallam paper, it seems to work fairly well for copper if the "real thing" is unavailable @Collin there is a lot of old steel out there, go for it...working with unknown (but old) steel is a good way to develop a sensitivity to carbon content and other factors in the way traditional smiths would have had to understand and use their own-made steel... @Alan thank
  18. Thanks, @Wesley! it is a lovely colour indeed...the finished shots look a little more terracotta because i used a polarized filter to help with reflections, the final shot in the process post looks closer to the real thing on my screen... yes, the sankaku yari is a lovely form and a challenge to forge!
  19. Thanks, @John! i've often thought if you had enough of them saved you could use the oxide as a raw material or at least a supplement to a smelt...
  20. Suguha in century-old shear steel mounted in aikuchi koshirae from reclaimed and natural materials. More info: islandblacksmith.ca/2015/05/yozakura-tanto/ and bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=31676
  21. A single stylized sakura petal graces the copper fuchi, a reminder that even a single petal falling to the ground does not go unnoticed and is not without significance. One of the elements of traditional Japanese aesthetics includes the appreciation for the natural process of wear, decay, and patina. Historically, this was expressed in the use of materials that bear the marks of longevity and even the creation of new objects that appeared to be aged, rugged, or bearing certain types of imperfection. Materials: Century-and-a-half-old horse carriage spring shear steel, copper electrica
  22. Hounoki (Japanese Magnolia) forms the core of the handle, local Nootka Cypress for the scabbard, and carved horn for the mekugi (peg). The handle is lacquered with multiple layers, first a bark-textured crimson and then overlaid with thin layers of natural and black in the kurodamenuri (tamenuri) style which reveals the interior only in strong sunlight. The shape of the kashira (pommel) is in the style of keito kashira (圭頭). A stone textured surface created with natural urushi lacquer and crushed iron oxide reclaimed from discarded kairo (hand warmer packs) gives a crimson-rust appearance
  23. The nightime viewing of cherry blossoms by moonlight is cherished for the unique perspective and focus it brings to the experience. The dark tones of the sky and the gentle light of the moon provide subtle variations in colour, texture, and detail that cannot be fully appreciated by day. This kotanto is made from reclaimed shear steel from a horse-drawn carriage leaf spring and is housed in a koshirae that is somewhat reserved in its combination of materials and colours, evoking the feeling of a familiar and treasured object. The raw material for this blade spent more than the las
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