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Found 2 results

  1. A question came up on another forum about proportions of handles to blades and the ensuing discussion was rather diverse. It did lead me to put together a short step-by-step of how to design a knife from scratch and I thought I might post it here for those of you struggling with freehand sketching and getting the form and profile to flow. First I decide on what type of knife it will be. For this one, I will do a smallish Bird & Trout/EDC knife. In the first step, I draw a cross on a piece of plain paper. This represents the Center line of the handle and the front face of the guard. Now I make two lines perpendicular to the center line to denote where the end of the blade and grip areas are. Then I decide on the width of the blade and draw parallel lines to create a design box. This B&T will have a 3/4" wide blade so the lines are 3/8" either side of center. Take a French curve and put in the edge. Decide what type of point (in this case I decided to drop the point a little) and define the ricasso if you have one, and the guard thickness. Add the Choil, the guard length and the spacer (again, if you have one) Start sketching the handle profile freehand using the box as a guide. Make a bunch of erasures, change it a little here and a little there until it looks like it might just work. Then I place the drawing on the floor and walk around it to get multiple perspectives. I will make more subtle changes to this drawing as I go. Once I have the profile set, I start adding more details in the form of notes along the side of the drawing. Handle materials, furniture material, pins, handle type (frame, solid, etc.) any embellishments (file work, multiple spacers in a package, etc.) Then I'll add a top and bottom view sketch and a cross section of the heel and the guard. Then I make photo copies and add the tang inside the handle/spacer and prepare templates for the blade and handle from the copies. Then I am ready to start forging the blade.
  2. Hello all, I have been studying most aspects of Katana making for about 8 years now, and have been using them as a martial artist long before that. I have just now got the guts to try my hand, and as I attained so much valuable information from this forum I figured it was the least I could do to give a little back by documenting my progress here. First I would like to show a process I've used to analyze swords digitally. I use Google Sketchup to do this. I import images (finding good images is half the battle) after turning on high resolution in sketchup, then scale it to size based off of the nagasa measurement. Then I can trace the edges with curve tools, which allows me to analyze the radius of every part of the blade. Here are a couple of the Sue Bizen katana I studied for this project. This coupled with a lot of reading on the shapes and characteristics of katana at the time period I was looking at allowed me to come up with my own plan for a sword that fits this style. The curve of a katana is not defined by a single radius, but several. The most important 2 are the main curve along most the length, and the heightened curve along the first 5ish inches from the machi (often the term fumbari is used here, which is confusing because that can also relate to taper in width overall and not this specific area, correct me if I'm wrong?). From studying many swords I have found that the smaller radius in the first 5ish inches is almost always very close to half the radius of the larger one. Making me think that exactly half is what they went for. The next couple photos will hopefully make sense of what I am talking about. Two circles, one of 100" radius, one of 50" radius Zoomed in, 3 sections created. Where the circles meet, 5" before, and 21.5" after. A little trimming and here is the final desired spine curvature (the only change later will be the kissaki, which curves slightly up) From here I can add my desired blade widths from my 3 major points. The first 5" contains about 1/3rd the overall taper from machi to yokote. I can also use a geometrical shape to consistently lay out my shinogi. The main curve on the ha mimics the radius of the main curve of the mune, and the curve in the fumbari area is a tangent to this and is usually in between the radius of the the large and small circle Once I had all this worked out, I needed to create a sunobe that would turn into that shape once the bevels are formed. This is actually fairly simple. The sunobe is straight and curve comes from forging the bevels or quench, so make everything straight and add or subtract curve where you want more or less in the final shape. In this case, I left everything straight in the sunobe except the first 4-5 inches on the mune which will have a slight radius already, accounting for the non-even taper. After a lot of back and forth forging, drawing out more and cutting back down due to lack of experience, here is my rough sunobe made from Aldo's 1075
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