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This is my First attempt at producing Japanese sword fittings or any sword fittings. Im really enjoying this and welcome any feedback to enrich my journey into a deeper understanding of the art. the following photo was taken of the porous structure after breaking the shibuichi into manageable sizes following is some in progress of forming annealing and rolling the following is tsuba layout cutting and building an edge profile menuki plates pre forming cutting holes in kashira in progress as a whole the bench i work at in disarray layout of undercut pockets to be made for a cold connection inlay setting the silver inlay i also use fine punch to further secure the inlay and texture the surrounding area. making about 2 dozen a2 tool steel repousse tools was a little overkill because i ended up only using about 5 this adjustable jig aids in cutting wire and tube at a set length over and over again, great tool very handy i switched to an engravers ball vice because its so versatile and a thermolock plastic due to my lack of expirience with red pitch witch led to more clean up than i wanted to put up with. these three photos show a bit more detail of the inlay process where i use a small chip of metal to further secure the silver inlay similar to what i know as a blind rivet. this next set is just a different technique than the last at better setting the inlay into place. this time a metal rod was inserted into the silver tube and both cut at the same time. both techniques have their own pros and cons, number 2 helps prevent tube distortion while number 1 has less clean up work just to name a few points sorry no pictures of patina in process but these are small so it went quick, just got them hot on a glass stovetop and dunked them into liver of sulfur. the following photos are of completion ready for the customer.
This is a project I have been on over the past seven months and finally completed today. According to my job card it took about 50 hours. It is an "utsushi", a faithful copy, of this tsuba: http://www.shibuiswords.com/haynesTsu10.htm. The aim, as it should be with any copy, was to "not to do what the maker did, but to seek what the maker sought". It is a very dynamic design, and I was about halfway through when I realised exactly how the original maker managed to portray the movement of the leaves. My only deviation from the original was the use of mild steel. All the other processes and tools are period correct. Questions and comments welcome!
I recently viewed some tsuba, and one reminded me of a technique I used during my blacksmithing days; a thin coating of brass is applied to red hot steel or iron to give it a golden sheen by either rubbing it with a bit of brass at red heat, or brushing it with a brass wired brush. I decided to give it a go and used an iron tsuba blank with raised rim. I coated the blank with some brazing flux, heated it dull red, dropped some brass pieces on it and then heated it to bright red. I did this both sides. On the one side most of the iron was covered, on the other I got a "quarter moon" of brass. The general idea was to carve through the brass and reveal the iron below, the brass become a highlight on the black iron. A note of caution: I used a gas forge that is situated in a very well ventilated studio to melt the brass. After pickling I could see that the zinc has burned of in some places, leaving a layer of copper. Zinc fumes can be fatal! Do not try this in an enclosed space! Your questions and comments are welcome Tiaan
Looking for a tsuba to complement a wakizashi blade? Wrought iron with brass overlay "Moonlit reeds" Hand carved using traditional methods. Wrought iron with brass overlay. Diameter: 74mm Thickness at rim: 3.5mm Thickness at seppa dai: 2.5mm Price: $250. Please follow this link if you wish to purchase this tsuba: http://igg.me/p/693616/x/6492187