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Everything posted by DaveJ

  1. i think the chemistry has something to do with reducing the acidity that leads to corrosion on the fresh cut steel surface as you polish...that is why the common denominator in the solutions is some type of base...and it needn't be very strong to do the job (so dilute and save those fingernails, tyler!)
  2. sawyer's anvil? perfect for bladesmithery...that's a lovely machine and a great everyday-use/shop weight...
  3. props for forge welding those guard parts together!
  4. haha...the horse mat will have other good uses around the shop... little cutting board is very cute! かわいです!
  5. go for it! ...that was pretty solid profile forging up there, forge in some bevels on the next tanto and you can almost skip the belt grinding step ^__^
  6. nice work with a file! the blade cross section looks good, it is called hirazukuri ("single bevel/flat") and the peaked spine is called iori mune ("roof shape")...i think what you are referring to as a cross section name is a recent western term to classify (and sell!) small "disposable" tanto manufactured during WWII, not a great form to emulate...best to try to work from classical or antique forms, whether it be blade geometry or habaki and handle construction --a thousand years of design and field research is a good foundation to build on! i would agree with scott and others that you s
  7. this shear steel tanto will be awhile on the polishing stones yet, but here is a quick post yaki-ire look into the hamon using a torajirushi #120 synthetic japanese waterstone...looks promising, a nicely proportioned straight-laced suguha with a lovely turnback at the tip... info on my process: islandblacksmith.ca/process/yaki-ire-clay-tempering/ and a video in condensed form: vimeo.com/98307184 ...keep up the rad!
  8. Thank you, gentlemen, much appreciated and glad to hear the contribution is constructive!
  9. thanks for following along! meet the uzumaki kotanto...more photos and info: http://islandblacksmith.ca/2014/07/uzumaki-kotanto/ yoroshiku!
  10. Urushi, The Final Layers Each time a layer is added to the surface, a minimum of one to two days is required for curing, and then the surface is wet polished and dried before adding the next. The saya is placed in a warm and humid place, kept as dust free as possible, to ensure the urushi will cure properly. (a simple solution is a cardboard box...the interior walls are lightly misted with water and a damp cloth is placed on the bottom, then the piece placed inside on a stand, the box in a sunny window) Two layers of raw (natural colour) followed by a layer of half natural and hal
  11. put this little clip together today, a bladesmith's lunch break...had to edit it pretty short for instagram... http://instagram.com/p/phT_iYGGXp/
  12. ...just went back and added some of the final photos for the tsuba, after rust patina, boiling in tea, and applying fukiurushi... http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=29365#entry282040 or here for a little more detail: http://islandblacksmith.ca/process/koshirae-tanto-mounts/#tsuba
  13. Shitaji, Preparing the Foundation for Lacquer There are two distinct stages to using urushi (traditional Japanese lacquer, made from the sap of a tree). The first stage is to prepare the base material by sealing, filling, and polishing, and the second is to coat with a smooth finishing layer. Urushi is used in several ways to prepare the surface, first by coating and wiping off, known as fukiurushi, and also as an adhesive and gap filler when blended with other materials such as sokui (rice glue) and finely powdered clay and earth. Each time a layer is added to the foundation, a mini
  14. @stuart, i think playing with the air and running it really quite hot are variables that seem to help...with the charcoal forge i can set the piece right in front of the air blast and crank it up so things get very hot and very oxidized in a hurry...i'm not sure if the dunking and brushing is part of the classical approach, but i wanted to get the slag layers to really pop rather than just get an even depth of scaling over the surface...
  15. great style on all counts!
  16. Wrought Iron Kurikata A friend of mine dives 50' down holding his breath, sometimes he brings back old iron he finds in the ocean...this old piece of wrought iron has a nice low-res grain to it so i used it as a compliment to the wrought iron tsuba (guard)by forging a kurikata from it. Kurikata translates "chestnut shape" and in its basic form is the tying off point for the sageo (cord) that attaches the saya to the obi (sash/belt) so it stays in place on a draw. They are often made of metal or horn, and sometimes wood depending on the type of knife. Here is the chunk of wrought i
  17. i should probably get in the habit of calling it by its proper name rather than its local nickname...this is actually a cypress, cupressus nootkatensis, a.k.a. nootka cypress or yellow cypress as far as i know, eastern red cedar (aromatic cedar in these parts) is a juniper, and western red cedar is not a cedar but also a cypress! i chose yellow as my locally-sourced hou no ki stand-in as the grain, density, hardness, and finish is quite comparable, it is also fairly resistant to decay and insects. similar is some ways to hinoki, its most common uses in japan are for building temple
  18. Horn Koiguchi and Kojiri **This segment sponsored by @Wes Detrick who made it possible to recover these deleted photos from the camera card...thanks!** In the 80's every tourist stop gas station gift shop had these pairs of buffalo (or possibly even bison) horns mounted on hardwood bases and incised with maple leaves and the word, "Canada"...I found a pair recently in a secondhand shop and decided to put them to use making the reinforcements for the saya... it's tough on delicate saws but nothing like bone...the main feature of horn is the smell...its like filing fingernails
  19. yes, forging for fun! let it flow...
  20. nice turnback...and a little tobiyaki on the ura!
  21. very slick! one of my favorite shapes...if you need some more practice, i may have use for one of those someday... オカエリ♪(ノ´∀`*)ノ
  22. Saya Found a yellow cedar 2x6 in the reclaimed lumber pile, used it for some furniture at our place and saved the scraps for such a time as this...nice straight, clear grain, relatively tight. carving the omote half first, starting from the spine and moving across to the edge...note the oil reservoir to collect excess oil and pull it away from the blade. the edge sits against this half fully which puts any potential stress against wood rather than against the glue joint. the edge just floats on this half...i usually carve the blade space first and then put
  23. good to hear! the tang blade conjuncture looks well formed and nicely aligned, good to see in a first round...i can tell you have been studying! often when you think it's time to move to a finer grit/new angle you can only spot the leftover scratches by turning and tilting various angles in a direct light source...for good measure spend some time looking hard for them and then go a little extra even beyond the point of being sure you got them all...if you are tempted to move on too quickly it might be enough polishing for one day, as you now know, there are no shortcuts \(--)/ マイッタ ε
  24. @stuart thanks! i haven't been able to find an example yet either, but i am on the lookout...i have always liked the style because it is so utilitarian but can be done so elegantly too... sounds good!
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