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Japanese Fusion blade for my son
Geoff Hardy posted a topic in Show and TellI have not posted in a while I have been busy. Anyways I made this blade for son who wanted something Japanese so I decided to do an East meets West blade with some cheeky pop culture thrown in. My boy is 6 and loves Pokemon so I made some wrought iron menuki poke balls. 1095 differentially heat treated blade 6"ish Wrought iron tsuba and kashira Copper seppa and fuchi which I attempted to chase a little.
Aikuchi Tanto Koshirae
DaveJ posted a topic in Show and TellSeeing 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 6 bu (291mm) 拵 Koshirae: aikuchi, issaku Material: Hounoki, samegawa, reclaimed buffalo horn, reclaimed copper wire, silver, natural urushi
Hatsu Sankaku Yari
DaveJ posted a topic in Show and TellThis 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 defense against cavalry. The top of the pole would have a lacquer finish, several iron bands, and a strip down each side, and like a tanto, the yari would have a copper habaki and a bamboo peg through the tang to hold it in place. (click the centre photo to see the hada in more detail...) Blade construction is muku with a sankaku profile and a raised/centered tip. The blade is approximately 7.5″ long, the tang is 10.25″ long, and the overall length is about 17.75″. Specifications 長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 6 sun 2 bu 7 rin (190mm) 元幅 Motohaba: 9 bu 3 rin (28mm) 重ね/元重 Motokasane: 2 bu 8 rin (8.5mm) 反り Sori: straight 中心/茎 Nakago: 8 sun 5 bu (258mm) 形 Katachi: sankaku 刃文 Hamon: suguha 帽子/鋩子 Boshi: ko-maru 中心/茎 Nakago: kaku, no mekugi-ana, signed midway 銘 Mei: hot stamped katabami-ken kamon read more: islandblacksmith.ca/2015/07/hatsu-sankaku-yari/
Yozakura Tanto & Koshirae
DaveJ posted a topic in Show and TellThe 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 last century as a leaf spring for a horse-drawn carriage. This "secret source" pile is located on a former homestead of a blacksmith so it has a high proportion of carbon steel, saved for its value and usefulness in making tools and implements. A comparison of the steel before and after forging, the area between the chalk lines was forged into the blade. The material to the left of the chalked area is rusted too thin to be forged, and the material to the right will become a larger tanto. There is a divot on the spring which can still be identified as a dark line in the tang just behind where the habaki sits. The clay mixture dried on the blade in preparation for traditional yaki-ire style hardening. The thicker white layer delays cooling and the thinner charcoal-rich layer speeds up cooling, causing the blade to form two types of steel crystal, harder for the edge and tougher for the rest of the blade. Immediately after hardening, the blade has been heated to critical temperature and then plunged into a hot water bath to cool. Once the clay is removed it will be tempered slightly to remove some of the stress along the edge.
Its been awhile so its time to pull back the curtain again...i am adding these photos to the "process" section of my website as well... The blade in question is the last of my "new old stock" from a couple of years back, forged at an outdoor demo, originally as a scaled down piece but I decided to mount it as a regular kotanto. Unusual geometry for tanto, shobu-zukuri is generally reserved for larger blades but it seemed to be where the steel wanted to go. This thread will document the mounting, working from the habaki, then back through fuchi/kashira/tsuba/seppa/tsuka/gangimaki, etc...I will try to add a couple more technical notes here. A scrap of copper bus bar hot and cold forged into a butterfly, this will be the outside, note the step down from the mune and that the front is much narrower than the back all the way along each "wing". This will be the inside, note the mune has a concave distally to prevent high centering when bent, and a smaller radius concave laterally. As much shaping as can be done before bending is good, but too much is trouble! The "wings" are far too long, but the scrap was already cut off from another project. Annealed and bent in several stages, then trimmed closer to final size. The machigane is cut and forged from one of the scraps. Machigane more or less in place, fluxed with borax and a strip of hard silver solder set on top of it. The rusty/oxidized steel wire provides pressure when heating but is less likely to stick to any escaping solder. The habaki is formed and soldered slightly undersized (just a little ways back on the tang) so it can be hammered to the finished dimensions later. Heating in the charcoal forge, surrounding it with charcoal away from the air blast provides a nice carbon-rich reducing atmosphere. As soon as the solder flows well, it is removed to cool slowly, this avoids unnecessary stress on the joint. Hammering stretches out the habaki to its final size while hardening the copper. The goal is to arrive at both at the same time. Files and water stones refine the exterior geometry polished the surface, then it is frosted with a stream of poured stone chips about the size of large cat litter...half masked with my thumb to create a transition zone. My thumbnail has a similar frosted pattern...the habaki will be given a final polish and patina after all the saya work is finished.