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Found 4 results

  1. A true and accurate understanding of the past is an important step towards a good future. 温故知新 (on ko chi shin) is an expression that most directly translates to, "study the old to know the new". This blade began as a reclaimed piece of a damaged antique sword and was carefully hand forged in a charcoal fire, smoothed with files and a sen scraper, differentially hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and polished by hand with natural Japanese water stones. Materials for the chisagatana style koshirae mounting include Japanese hounoki wood for the handle and scabbard, copper bus bar for the habaki, reclaimed brass from the original mount for the fuchi and kojiri, forged brass kick plate for the kashira and seppa, black lacquered samegawa and kangaroo leather for the tsuka, lacquered steel for the mekugi, buffalo horn for the koiguchi and kurikata, and an iron spike salvaged from thirty feet under the Pacific for the tsuba. The saya is finished with ishime-ji (stone surface) made from natural urushi lacquer and tea leaves, the kurikata was carved from reclaimed horn button rescued from a vintage coat, and the sageo cord comes from an outdoor antique market in Kyoto. Specifications 長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 11 sun 3 bu (341mm) 元幅 Motohaba: 8 bu 5 rin (25.5mm) 重ね/元重 Motokasane: 1 bu 5 rin (4.2mm) 反り Sori: uchizori 中心/茎 Nakago: 3 sun 6 bu (109mm) 柄長 Tsuka: 4 sun 5 rin (123mm) 拵全長 Koshirae: 18 sun (545mm) 形 Katachi: hira-zukuri, iori-mune 刃文 Hamon: hoso suguha 帽子/鋩子 Boshi: yakitsume 中心/茎 Nakago: futsu, suriage, one mekugi-ana, mumei 銘 Mei: mumei 拵 Koshirae: chisagatana, issaku 3.03022 cm = 0.1 shaku(尺) = 1 sun(寸) = 10 bu(分) = 100 rin(厘) More photos and info: islandblacksmith.ca/2017/08/on-ko-chi-shin-tanto/
  2. 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 6 bu (291mm) 拵 Koshirae: aikuchi, issaku Material: Hounoki, samegawa, reclaimed buffalo horn, reclaimed copper wire, silver, natural urushi
  3. 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 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.
  4. I don't often have enough footage to follow right on through, but this project gets close...there are a couple of exceptions, the main one being the blade forging which is actually footage of the sister blade, forged around the same time from the other half of the same spring, to a similar kata...others will be noted as i go...enjoy 100 some hours in 22 minutes ^__^ This style of koshirae is a first for me. Though there are examples of several variations right up through Edo and beyond, the lines on this one are inspired by a muromachi piece, the clean, austere "boldness with restraint" makes me think of a gentleman's tanto. Normally I would want to add a very slight bit of embellishment on the saya, but because of its next stop I left it unadorned for now. The blade is forged from a reclaimed horse-drawn carriage spring made from century-old shear steel. Materials for the koshirae include copper bus bar for the habaki, driftwood Nootka Cypress with natural urushi lacquer finish for the tsuka and saya, reclaimed Congolese silver jewelery for the mekugi pin, and local Oceanspray ironwood for the ki-fuchi, koiguchi, and kurikata accents. going from here: to here: Charcoal Making (may or may not be the actual charcoal used for this blade) Forging the Blade (the sister blade, forged just before this one, from the other half of the same shear steel leaf spring, full 28min. version is here: ) Yaki-ire (this is a montage of several blades, possibly including this one) Blade Overview (this is another montage, but starts with the sister blade--same spring, and shows more of the stages involved after forging) Koshirae (the real deal, starting from driftwood) Urushi (the real deal, with several repetitive stages omitted...apologies for the low lighting in some of the shots) The full photo essay with far more detail and info is here: islandblacksmith.ca/process/making-aikuchi-tanto-kuro-urushi-koshirae ...i don't have blade photos without reflection yet, "kimono fold" double mizukage, suguha hamon with small turnback, lots of blistery shear steel hada...(shown with tsunagi and ki-habaki)
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