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C.Anderson

First Full Length Katana

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Continued from the Japanese Blade Thickness thread:

 

Dude!

Don't get upset over this. Sorry, couldn't help myself. Stack two pieces and forge weld them together. Now you have half inch stock and can draw it out to the thickness you want.

 

Tony G

 

Cute lol.

 

Seriously though, I don't have any kind of setup for forge welding, and wouldn't want any sort of random weld lines coming out in the polish and etch on the finished katana. I did manage some small measure of success though. I water forge, and so what I did was cooled the top and bottom (the bottom moreso) edges before upsetting. This made most of the steel bulge out at the top. Sort of ended up a cross between that and what I was doing yesterday.

 

Anyhow, here's some pictures of what I've got done so far:

 

DSCF7984.jpg

Two as delivered sticks of 1/4"x1 1/2"x60" 1075/1080 from Admiral. Should be beautiful sword steel, and produce incredible hamon. Only sucky thing about this picture is I wish my rough forged stuff looked that nice lol.

 

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1" wide! And the top of my lovely, lovely anvil lol.

 

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Opposite edges. The top picture will be the mune. It actually gets thicker a bit down the blade (where I started hitting only one side)...and is about 5/16" here. Bottom picture is the edge at 1/4".

 

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You're looking at nearly 5hrs work here lol. Well, I did work a little bit on the bevels on my Uncle's dagger just to get back into hammering again...but still. Tomorrow will go smoother I'm sure. Hope to finish out the sunobe at my chosen length (26" nagasa, 11 1/2" nakago), and see what's left over out of 30". I've been having a hard time determining how much steel will go how far lol...so by starting with a 30" piece...I should get some idea.

 

That was last night's work...here's the pictures of the damage from tonight:

 

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Overall length...I gained more length than thickness by a lot...but not as much as I expected. The piece I started with was 30".

 

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Sunobe with my drawn out template. Not bad. Once again I have to give credit to my awesome new anvils lol. Keeping a straight edge with these things is SO much easier. This sunobe is the best shaped of all of them so far by a long shot I think.

 

DSCF8014.jpg

Kissaki picture. I'm going to shoot for something of a large chu kissaki. Somewhere in the range of 1 1/2"-2" from the yokote to tip.

 

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Thickness of the edge side of the sunobe as compared to an untouched 1/4" blank.

 

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Thickness of the spine side of the sunobe, around the machi area...as compared to that same untouched blank. Thickness is actually a bit above 3/8"...but that won't last lol.

 

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Thickness comparison of the spine side near the tip.

 

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Just a picture to show how much width was beat out of the original blank.

 

So...tomorrow we're on to the bevels, and finishing up the nakago. I don't want to cut the blade from the parent stock until I have the blade length set lol, and I'm thinking I may as well finish forging it down since I don't have any decent tongs and it's easier while on the longer bar. I never know quite how much steel it's going to take to do what I need...which makes some things awkward sometimes lol. At least this time there won't be a ton left over...probably enough for a nice sized tanto.

 

Anyhow, more pictures tomorrow evening I'm sure. Hopefully it'll look like a blade by then and I can get to filing! As always, if you guys see anything I need corrected on PLEASE jump in and tell me. This is only my fifth blade, and will hopefully be my fourth successful blade =D. The last one turned out far beyond my expectations (thanks in part to all of your help), but I'm sure I'll need any and all advise you guys are willing to give lol.

 

Cris

Edited by C.Anderson

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Keep it up, Cris. Interesting stuff.

 

Tony's got a viable option there, we just don't know everyone's set up. Stacking the two and welding, or could put a different steel in the middle for a san mai style. I roll out round bar, 'cause I can, for mono steel. Getting the right dimension steel is a PITA. I did order some 5/16" 1050 from Admiral one time for stock removal and forging, but that was a long time ago.

 

Dan

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Well, my opinion isn't worth much. ( I haven't forged yet, still setting up my forge. ) But it looks nice to me. That is how I was planning on doing my blades. Wet forging with flat bar stock. But thanks for all the pics. Keep up the good work and keep us updated OK. You have a new fan.

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Looks like you have been keeping really busy Cris :D (I have as well, but not much with blades :( )

 

That little wak/tanto you finished up before this came out great! From the look of that first spike knife I knew you'd be making some fantastic blades.

 

I got myself some of Admiral's 1075/1080 whith my last steel order awhile back, and finally got around to using some of it here recently. I am pretty pleased with it. I started forging a big fighter/bowie originally, but through the process it has evolved into something entirely different, and I'm not sure how to classify it. Pictures will surface when I finish it. I also found a refractory supplier somewhat close to me and grabbed a big bag of satanite. So as you can probably guess, satanite + 1075 = finally did a differential hardening. I am quite pleased with the hamon given in the 1075, it will follow your clay pattern quite closely, mine has very crisp lines that followed the clay pretty much exactly. I havent taking it into the polishing phases yet so I don't know what awesome supprises await in the other activity, but after knocking off scale with a 45 grit belt I could visually see the hamon, I took it to about 120, then threw it in the FeCl3 for a rough etch and the nice profound hamon appeared. Im sure it will only get better as I polish on it.

 

Thought I would tell you what I ended up doing for the HT. It took acouple of times to get it right since I underestimated the insulating factor of the satanite. First time I covered the whole blade with a very thin coat then put the thicker pattern on the spine. The edge did'nt end up hardening completly that time and I got a couple of cracks. Luckly they occured in places where I could completly grind them out (due to the original stature of the blade I had pleanty of material to begin with). I determined to correct this I needed to firstly, leave the edge uncoated completly (for satanite), modify the interrupted quench (main reason for cracking), and quench from a lower temp (been awhile since I HT'd, did it durring the day which fooled with my colors, so I think I got a little hotter than what should have been). So after finding all the cracks, regrinding the blade, re-normalizing, and re-applying the clay I re did the HT. The most crucial thing is to interrupt the quench. For my blade (relatively thin cross-section) I did about a 3-4 second agitated water quench (in heated water, about 120-150 F, whatever my hot water heater in the house is set to ;) ). Then I finished the quench in oil, knocked the clay off, and threw it directly into the tempering oven. You katana has a bit more mass to it so it will cool a bit less quickly, so you might alter your interrupted quench slightly. Maybe an extra second or two in the water (but don't push it). I also tried an interrupted quench back into the water the first time (I think the main reason for the cracking), 3 in, 5 out, 2 in, out, in, out, until cool, which after about the 3rd or 4th time in I heard the evil ping.

 

You had a successful quench with the 1060, so whatever method you used there should work here too.

 

Anyway, thought I would throw that out there in case you find any of it useful. Look forward to seeing how this one turns out.

 

Oh, and BTW, I have been considering stocking up on refractory in bulk, and selling it in smaller quantities on the side. Inswool, satainte, fire brick (can get hard & soft, in all the standard sizes), I can get just about any of the other castable refractories, and I am going to check on ITC100 (or something fairly equivilant) and some of the bubble alumina. I've got a more in-depth description on my homepage on what I am thinking about doing. I don't know if there would be enough legitimate interest to make this work, so if anybody thinks they might be interested, send me an email @ fredeenblades@hotmail.com . If there seems like enough people to make this viable I might do a trial run of the stuff and see how it works out.

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Keep it up, Cris. Interesting stuff.

 

Tony's got a viable option there, we just don't know everyone's set up. Stacking the two and welding, or could put a different steel in the middle for a san mai style. I roll out round bar, 'cause I can, for mono steel. Getting the right dimension steel is a PITA. I did order some 5/16" 1050 from Admiral one time for stock removal and forging, but that was a long time ago.

 

Dan

 

Thanks Dan =). I actually took him very seriously...my comment was for his pun lol. I've been considering what would be more useful...some kind of power hammer, a belt grinder, or a rolling mill. I'm thinking grinder, hammer, mill, in that order lol. I'll be building my own tools so it will take awhile, but in the end I think it will be very well worth it. The ability to use thicker stock to start with would have saved me almost 7hrs on this piece alone. That's fuel savings, and savings on my tired rear as well lol. Definitely worth it =D.

 

Well, my opinion isn't worth much. ( I haven't forged yet, still setting up my forge. ) But it looks nice to me. That is how I was planning on doing my blades. Wet forging with flat bar stock. But thanks for all the pics. Keep up the good work and keep us updated OK. You have a new fan.

 

Thank you Will! I wet forge as well, and the bar stock was a good start. Just not thick enough =/. I'll definitely keep everyone up to date lol...if anything I'm sure I'm guilty of giving TOO much information on what I'm doing =). I just hope that my posts can help others out, whether by showing them actual pictures of what TO do, or just as importantly, what NOT TO do. It's good to know that it's appreciated.

 

=D

 

 

Looks like you have been keeping really busy Cris :D (I have as well, but not much with blades :( )

 

That little wak/tanto you finished up before this came out great! From the look of that first spike knife I knew you'd be making some fantastic blades.

of the stuff and see how it works out.

 

Thanks a ton Graham =). I'd wondered where you'd gotten off to lol. I still blame you (and Sam Salvati for buying a gas forge for you to comment on lol) for all of this you know! If I hadn't wandered through SFI and saw you commenting on Sam's new forge, then clicked on your webpage...I may never have set foot on this path at all lol. Right place at the right time I guess!

 

Definitely get pictures up of that blade...I can't wait to see it. Still waiting for you to finish your sword and dagger set too lol. Love the profile of that blade.

 

On the refractory supplies...I may very well end up wanting to pick some up, and...since we may be moving to Colorado sometime this year lol...I'll be close enough to grab it in person =D

 

 

 

As for my little blade here...I got a lot done this evening (I think). All of my bevels are set, and all I have to do tomorrow is finish the nakago really. the blade is soaking in vinegar now, so as soon as I'm done with the nakago I can start on the file work. All of my other rough forged blades I've been worried about turning out right. This is the first one I'm actually proud of =D.

 

Anyhow, here's some pictures:

 

 

DSCF8024.jpg

Overall profile. I'm shooting for a 26" final nagasa (blade length), so I'm going to forge the machi to tip length at about 26 1/4" to make up for sori. I'm figuring as much as 3/4" sori on this (if I get extra I'll actually beat some out)...so 1/4" extra length should make it about right. Tomorrow I'll forge out the nakago, and since the blade is sitting in vinegar now...probably begin filing.

 

DSCF8033.jpg

Straightness and taper in the spine. I've got a small amount of 'clean up' work, but overall it's pretty straight. I figure the tiny bit that's left is more suited to file work than hammer work.

 

DSCF8041.jpg

Edge. I couldn't seem to get a picture of the full edge...but it's all that straight, and I impressed myself with how centered it is lol. Thickness of the edge curently is right at about 1/8", giving me room to clean up the blade while still leaving a safety margin for heat treat.

 

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Thickness at the machi, mid blade, and tip...as well as a clearer profile picture of the tip. All the fancy stuff gets done with files after the fact. I forged in a bit of taper just to set the bevels, and that's it.

 

DSCF8028.jpg

Width at the machi. Here is where you can see the difference in the sunobe versus the finish forged blade. The upsetting process wasn't totally controlled, but it put just enough meat where I needed it, so it's all good.

 

DSCF8027.jpg

Width at mid blade. Honestly the whole thing came out a tiny bit wider than I intended...which is ok. I'm debating on leaving it, or filing it down to my intended width. Honestly I'm leaning toward leaving it...with just a little bit of trim. 1 1/8" (instead of 1 1/4" as it is now) at the beginning of the monouchi would make for a very good cutter.

 

DSCF8025.jpg

Width at the tip...which came out just right. Like I said I was shooting for a somewhat overlarge chu kissaki...and I think I hit the nail on the head. I'll need to trim a bit of the belly off with the file to place the yokote where I want it, but too much wiggle room is always better than too little =).

 

So there we are. So far I've got 15 1/2hrs into it, and as I said, tomorrow I have the nakago and as much of the file work as I can stomach lol. Good thing too as I have this nasty little blister on my right hand (hammer hand lol) index finger, UNDERNEATH the callous on the base pad lol. Guess all that hammering in three days was bound to result in something hurting =). Glad it's just my finger lol! Thanks again for all the support guys...it really helps to keep one moving along on a project!

 

Cris

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I almost forgot! I made a couple of small videos this afternoon while in the process. I thought some of you guys might be interested =D.

 

I know it looks like I was forging WELL into a black heat...and to some extent, I did...but only light finishing blows. I've found this does WONDERS to keep my work straight and true. Any moving of actual steel was done while there was still color in the metal lol.

 

 

 

So that's what it's all about! Forging long blades has to be about the simplest most complicated thing on earth lol. That probably wouldn't make much sense to most people lol...but I'm sure most everyone here has some idea what I mean =).

 

Cris

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Well, Thanks for the videos! I observed very closely. I see you made nice progress! I am excited to see what happens next! This is worse than being addicted to soaps. I think that your blade is going to turn out very nice IMHO. Again, thanks for sharing and know that we are all enjoying your pics and info of your progress. Keep the videos coming if at all possible. Oh and there is no such thing as sharing too much information. I sometimes find myself learning new minor things just by reading the forums and paying attention. Keep up the great work.

Will

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Thanks a ton Graham =). I'd wondered where you'd gotten off to lol. I still blame you (and Sam Salvati for buying a gas forge for you to comment on lol) for all of this you know! If I hadn't wandered through SFI and saw you commenting on Sam's new forge, then clicked on your webpage...I may never have set foot on this path at all lol. Right place at the right time I guess!

 

Definitely get pictures up of that blade...I can't wait to see it. Still waiting for you to finish your sword and dagger set too lol. Love the profile of that blade.

 

On the refractory supplies...I may very well end up wanting to pick some up, and...since we may be moving to Colorado sometime this year lol...I'll be close enough to grab it in person =D

 

If you want to blame me thats fine, however you still have to accept the consequences of your own actions and it doesn't change any bit of the trouble you're getting yourself into :P;) I'm glad you found something of enough value from me do take the leap, and whether it came from my site or not, still glad to have you as part of the community.

 

You must be thinking of that longsword and viking sword I was fooling around with. The viking sword has passed away (developed a thin spot in the fuller so I used it as a destruction test). The longsword is HT'd, though it has a few warps I'm not pleased with, and I'm not satisfied with the fuller either. I don't know if I will attempt to finish it, or just let it lay about. Feels kind of futile to mess with it when I know it will not live up to my standards (or it doesnt look like it will. You never know though, a couple hours of grinding can make a huge difference sometimes :rolleyes: ). Main reason, due to the excessive lack of time I have available, I've decided to try and keep things small for awhile so I can actually finish some blades here and there, instead of having big, half-finished projects laying about for years on end. Plus I want to upgrade the HT equipment so I can get the HTs right on the big ones. I still want to do swords, but just have too much conflict with time (and funding ;) ) at the moment. Hopefully a few years down the road I will be a bit better off in those departments and can get back into them.

 

You might be moving to CO? That'd be great, gets kind of lonely here all by myself ;) . Where in CO, do you think?

 

Anyway, looks like you're moving right along with this katana. I enjoyed the videos, especially the one of your son. You will have a great kid there if he keeps going down this road ;) .

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Little warning for ya. I started off forging a few years ago and bought some of the Admiral 1075/1080. It was a good steel to work with, BUT from what some folks have told me, the carbon content can be down in the lower range of what is acceptable for that particular steel, so make sure you do a test piece so you know what temperature to temper your katana. It would suck to do all that work and find out that the edge was too soft. :wacko: I found this out the hard way. Imade a bighunter that didn't turn out quite right, so I decided to "test" it. It had been quenched in Tough Quench and tempered at 400F in the kitchen oven.....yeah, yeah, I know. I put a big finishing nail on my bench and whacked it four times. The blade had four nice little semi circular dents in the edge. Not chips, but mushed out dents. Think that edge was a bit on the soft side? :rolleyes:

Edited by jdm61

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If you want to blame me thats fine, however you still have to accept the consequences of your own actions and it doesn't change any bit of the trouble you're getting yourself into :P;) I'm glad you found something of enough value from me do take the leap, and whether it came from my site or not, still glad to have you as part of the community.

 

You must be thinking of that longsword and viking sword I was fooling around with. The viking sword has passed away (developed a thin spot in the fuller so I used it as a destruction test). The longsword is HT'd, though it has a few warps I'm not pleased with, and I'm not satisfied with the fuller either. I don't know if I will attempt to finish it, or just let it lay about. Feels kind of futile to mess with it when I know it will not live up to my standards (or it doesnt look like it will. You never know though, a couple hours of grinding can make a huge difference sometimes :rolleyes: ). Main reason, due to the excessive lack of time I have available, I've decided to try and keep things small for awhile so I can actually finish some blades here and there, instead of having big, half-finished projects laying about for years on end. Plus I want to upgrade the HT equipment so I can get the HTs right on the big ones. I still want to do swords, but just have too much conflict with time (and funding ;) ) at the moment. Hopefully a few years down the road I will be a bit better off in those departments and can get back into them.

 

You might be moving to CO? That'd be great, gets kind of lonely here all by myself ;) . Where in CO, do you think?

 

Anyway, looks like you're moving right along with this katana. I enjoyed the videos, especially the one of your son. You will have a great kid there if he keeps going down this road ;) .

 

Thanks Graham =).

 

Yeah, Cristopher's a great kid lol. Sharp as a good blade and enough like his Dad to keep his mom perpetually pulling her hair out and cussing me like there's no tomorrow lol. Very well worth it though =D.

 

As far as Colorado...we're thinking Colorado Springs. We're both just so sick of AZ it's not funny. It was a good place when I grew up here...but the atmosphere has changed so much for the worse that I refuse to inflict it on my children anymore.

 

And then there's the heat lol. 82* today. I'd rather shovel snow than live in a perpetual oven. Enough said.

 

 

Little warning for ya. I started off forging a few years ago and bought some of the Admiral 1075/1080. It was a good steel to work with, BUT from what some folks have told me, the carbon content can be down in the lower range of what is acceptable for that particular steel, so make sure you do a test piece so you know what temperature to temper your katana. It would suck to do all that work and find out that the edge was too soft. :wacko:

 

Thanks a ton. I'd heard that about Admiral too. I was going to treat the steel like the 1060 I made my last blade from, only raise the final tempering heat up 25*. So two cycles at 350*, then one at 375*...break it down to sharp, then test the edge. I figure I can always temper more if it chips...but rehardening a clayed blade that you've broke down to a sharp edge is a recipe for tears lol. That was another reason I was thinking of leaving the blade a bit wide. I can always thin it out if it chips...but there's no putting metal back on if I thin it down all the way, THEN it chips. I'm going to have real fun figuring out how to temper this thing anyhow lol. Probably have to rig something up over the HT forge.

 

Anyhow thanks again...definitely something I'll look out for =).

 

Cris

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So I didn't get a lot done on the katana tonight. No forging at all...and only a bit of file work. It really is cleaning up easily...even with my DULL AS ALL HELL files lol. I shut everything down early, and will go pick up some new files tomorrow.

 

I also realized that the bit of remaining sori from the forging was more than I thought. So even though it's filed down some already...the final thing I'm going to do tomorrow once I get the forge heated and the nakago finished is bring the whole blade up to just below scale forming temp, and beat it flat with a baseball bat and 2x4. This will give me a nice, straight base to begin from for heat treat, and ensure that I don't get even more sori than I want.

 

Anyhow, here's the pictures of the results:

 

DSCF8094.jpg

As forged.

 

DSCF8091.jpg

DSCF8097.jpg

DSCF8098.jpg

Here's the blade with just a few light passes with the file to true things up. There's still a bit of scale pitting left...but it's all very minimal in depth. A few passes with a good, sharp file will get rid of them all.

 

 

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I'm particularly happy with how the kissaki and yokote are shaping up. I will need to bring the profile of the whole blade down some though, to make sure it works out. It wasn't until I installed the tip that it became apparent how it clashed with the wide, wide profile of the blade. A strategic 1/8" starting 6" down from the tip should do the trick!

 

Anyhow, that's where things stand right now. Tomorrow it'll be new files, then forge work, then hopefully final filing to shape by tomorrow evening! Total time in it as of right now is about 17hrs.

 

Cris

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Ooooooh, Aaaaaaah, that is looking real nice. If you don't mind I am curious as to what the weight of the blade is now, and what weight you might be trying to shoot for. It looks very nice so far though. Don't forget to include pics of the baseball bat and 2" x 4" technique that you are going to use. I think I would learn a lot from that. I have heard about it, but have never seen it. Keep up the good work. And for what its worth my 4 year old daughter thinks its pretty.

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Ooooooh, Aaaaaaah, that is looking real nice. If you don't mind I am curious as to what the weight of the blade is now, and what weight you might be trying to shoot for. It looks very nice so far though. Don't forget to include pics of the baseball bat and 2" x 4" technique that you are going to use. I think I would learn a lot from that. I have heard about it, but have never seen it. Keep up the good work. And for what its worth my 4 year old daughter thinks its pretty.

 

The little ones opinions matter the most lol =D.

 

The process of straightening the spine is about as straight forward as it gets. Heat the blade to a middle red (higher if you're still in the forging process...I'm going middle red ecause I don't want scale), lay the spine on a 2x4, and beat the edge with a baseball bat lol. Eventually there's no gap between the spine and the 2x4 and you're done =). If the curve is large enough, this will sometimes cause the edge to deform like a potato chip (all wavy). If that happens I just take the same baseball bat (a wooden mallet would be better), and lay the flat against the board and tap it straight. There's usually some flame from the 2x4 lol, but that just makes it more fun!

 

As for the weight...it's kind of inaccurate to guess because it still has that chunk of steel hanging off the back lol. It weighs 2.9lbs right now (after the file work on one side), so if we calculate the roughly 6" long piece of 1/4"x1 1/2" steel at about .65lbs, plus the extra that will be removed from the nakago...we can take roughly 3/4 of a pound from that weight to get a guess as to the weight of the blade right now. A little over 2lbs sounds about where it should be at this point. A few of my other bare blades I have laying around are in the 1.4lb-1.7lb range, so that's about where it will probably finish after heat treat and polish.

 

I've got a ton to do today, and class tonight so I probably won't be able to update till late, or even tomorrow...but hopefully I'll get enough done to make it worth it lol.

 

Cris

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Thanks Graham =).

 

As far as Colorado...we're thinking Colorado Springs. We're both just so sick of AZ it's not funny. It was a good place when I grew up here...but the atmosphere has changed so much for the worse that I refuse to inflict it on my children anymore.

 

And then there's the heat lol. 82* today. I'd rather shovel snow than live in a perpetual oven. Enough said.

 

Thats where I am (at least some of the time :rolleyes: ) . The Springs is a decent city, not too big (yet). I like Colorado a good bit and its not a bad place to raise a family. Definately not the furnace AZ is, but it'll get up there in the summer (you'd probably be cold LOL ;) ). And I don't know how much snow you'd be shoveling, the winters are getting more mild each year it seems, we don't get as much snow, and the stuff we get disappears quick. It'll be in the 50's here tommorow, which is unseasonably warm (but good for forging :D ). If you do get up this way some day looking at houses, vacationing or whatnot, let me know and I'll try to shove some things around in my schedule (and in the shop :rolleyes: lol) so we can beat on some hot steel for a bit.

 

The katana is comming along great. You'll be done with that before you know. Though do you think you got the edge thick enough, looks a little on the thin side ? lol. Glad its not me trying to file that down by hand ;) (though I understand your reasoning).

 

Keep at it! And I'll try to get some things done myself (picking up a 100 # LP tank tommorow, no more iced over 20lbers :D ). Going to try to progress some more on a damascus billet in the works (and doing a pattern welding tutorial with it as I go).

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Thats where I am (at least some of the time :rolleyes: ) . The Springs is a decent city, not too big (yet). I like Colorado a good bit and its not a bad place to raise a family. Definately not the furnace AZ is, but it'll get up there in the summer (you'd probably be cold LOL ;) ). And I don't know how much snow you'd be shoveling, the winters are getting more mild each year it seems, we don't get as much snow, and the stuff we get disappears quick. It'll be in the 50's here tommorow, which is unseasonably warm (but good for forging :D ). If you do get up this way some day looking at houses, vacationing or whatnot, let me know and I'll try to shove some things around in my schedule (and in the shop :rolleyes: lol) so we can beat on some hot steel for a bit.

 

The katana is comming along great. You'll be done with that before you know. Though do you think you got the edge thick enough, looks a little on the thin side ? lol. Glad its not me trying to file that down by hand ;) (though I understand your reasoning).

 

Keep at it! And I'll try to get some things done myself (picking up a 100 # LP tank tommorow, no more iced over 20lbers :D ). Going to try to progress some more on a damascus billet in the works (and doing a pattern welding tutorial with it as I go).

 

 

Good deal on the damascus...some of the things made from that stuff are just incredible =). I'm sure yours will be no exception!

 

On the blade...it'll actually be thinner. Remember, I haven't gotten through the scale on the side I'm working yet, and on top of that I have the whole other side to do lol. I'm shooting for the thickness of a nickel or slightly less all the way down the edge. Remember also I've got some profile work to do (I'll rough that in with a bench grinder, then clean it up with the file) on the edge side...so the thickness is really a pretty variable thing for now. In the end, my goal as I said is slightly thinner than a nickel all the way down, with my overall profile being just a bit narrower than it is now. The best thing...is I actually enjoy the file work...it goes very quickly with a magic cut, I have perfect control over what's actually removed, and it's somewhat relaxing. Plus I can hear my music lol. I save the grinder (sander in my case!) work for when the edge is so freaking hard it eats your files =).

 

On the Colorado thing...my family has a house in LaJunta, so if we do actually get to move, we'll probably stay down there until we get the work and housing thing going in Co Springs. It's still not 100% set, but that's definately where we're leaning towards going. Either there or Carson City NV (where I was born). It's a tough call, the climates are very similar...but I think the economics are better in Colorado. That will probably be what decides us in the end. Regardless of where we do finally move...we visit LaJunta very often, and if I recall it's not that far a drive to Co Springs. We'll definitely have to get together one of these trips =).

 

Cris

Edited by C.Anderson

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Hey Cris, I found the post on the Katana your making. Pretty dang cool Dude! I'm going to keep track of this one for sure! Great work by the way.

 

Willie

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Hey Cris, I found the post on the Katana your making. Pretty dang cool Dude! I'm going to keep track of this one for sure! Great work by the way.

 

Willie

 

Thanks man lol. I'm working my butt off on getting it right...but apparently, no one really knows what 'right' is to tell me, until it's done and can be picked apart =). Not that that's a bad thing at all...just makes for a more interesting build process lol. I think it's turning out pretty well so far though.

 

Also, just out of curiosity...what the )(#*$(#*$ is up with Nicholson files? Just spent $10 on one today thinking it would be better than my old crap Harbor Freight ones, and after about an hour and a half on ALREADY CLEANED steel (meaning no scale whatsoever), it's getting dull.

 

Bleh!

 

Guess I go back to Harbor Freight. I get three 12" files for $5.99, so even if they wear out just as fast (which they actually don't), I get almost 6x the freaking use out of the money as I do buying one Nicholson.

 

Cris

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So I gave up about 5 more hours today to shaping. All in all things are going well, although there are a few tiny little 'holes' for want of a better word that are kind of worrying me. I'm not sure where they came from. They are small, about the size of the tip of a rounded off pencil lead (you know, when it's just 'soft' enough to write nicely, but not dull?), but they seem quite deep. I'm sure they'll come out...but they're just really annoying me because I can't just file them out...I have to bring the WHOLE freaking level of the blade down to their level. Luckily I have a large amount of profile to work with. If the edge starts getting too thin I can just shrink the profile some. Right now it's 1" at the yokote, 1.2" at mid blade, and 1.3" at the machi.

 

Anyhow, here's the pictures:

 

DSCF8133.jpg

DSCF8130.jpg

This is how I layout my bevels. First I get everything filed down to the planes I forged in (correcting any small mistakes or large deviances as I go). Then, once everything is very roughly clean (as you can see in the below last set of pictures from the previous post), I'll decide just how high I want the shinogi. On this blade, I chose .350". My sensei's tameshigiri blade has a shinogi set at .400", but his blade is less thick. Anyhow, I'll then take the calipers and, using them as a guide by sliding one side along the mune, and running a sharpie marker along the shinogi (which is usually just a bit oversize at this point...at least I try to make it that way). This creates the black line you see in the first picture...with the edge side of the line being a perfect .350". I'll then work my blade flat right up to that line using a straight drawfiling technique. Once everything is set and as close to the line as I can make it...I'll take a blue sharpie, and scribble over the line as you see above (the black line is still there at that point though). I can then use the OUTSIDE of the black line as my guide to get the shinogi ji flat and straight, using angled strokes with the file. This leaves the shinogi blade looking like the above picture. Then I just redo the black line, and rinse/repeat until I'm happy with the results. Also during this time I'm working the kissaki in a different direction from the both of the above, paying close attention to the yokote formation and positioning.

 

DSCF8144.jpg

DSCF8145.jpg

A few pictures of the results lol. Keep in mind I just worked out how to do this today =D.

 

So there we have it. I did get the other side about 3/4 of the way done...but there's still those pits to deal with, as well as centering the edge and spine properly. More to come tomorrow I'm sure =).

 

Cris

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OK Cris,

That will be one, nice katana!

What I want to know, is what is with the sprint car/dirt track tires in the back ground!

Out with it man. I know what you do on a Saturday night! ;)

Edited by Bennett

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Cris

 

I am digging this katana. if I did not have several commision pieces on the stove right now I would be racing you on the forging and profiling just to see who gets done first.

 

So once I have these two smaller japanese blades done and out the door. The race is on LOL just kidding. But I will say you inspire me to forge like a scalded dog.

 

I will say that i love the kissaki, do not over work that area. Nor the Hamachi either.

 

Over all I think you have a nice healthy katana. I want to see some pictures of you heat treat. As I am trying to build a drum forge for heat treating, like Don's just not forced air but an Venturi style burner, just waiting on some insawool to arrive. and a down payment on the one blade hehehe have to have cash to pay for it.

 

I wish you and I could get to gether some day?

 

 

Any how keep us all informed with lots of warm fuzzy pictures

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OK Cris,

That will be one, nice katana!

What I want to know, is what is with the sprint car/dirt track tires in the back ground!

Out with it man. I know what you do on a Saturday night! ;)

 

Thanks Jerry!

 

The tires belong to my Dad's unlimited dirt late model. 429ci small block, 985hp, methanol fuel, 2100lbs.

 

Kinda fun =).

 

Cris

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Thanks Jerry!

 

The tires belong to my Dad's unlimited dirt late model. 429ci small block, 985hp, methanol fuel, 2100lbs.

 

Kinda fun =).

 

Cris

KINDA fun./??? Swords and race cars... jeeez, can't get any better than that! :lol:

 

EDIT: BTW, dad was a modified, dry track champ, several years in a row. That's how i recognized the tires.

Edited by Bennett

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That is looking very nice. Keep up the good work. There is a lot of good info on how you do things. Thank you for sharing. I myself am planning on forging a me a sen first thing and use it instead of draw filing. But that is some nice work. Are you planning on finishing this up yourself with some tsukamaki and koshirae. Can't wait to see the finished blade.

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Cris

 

I am digging this katana. if I did not have several commision pieces on the stove right now I would be racing you on the forging and profiling just to see who gets done first.

 

So once I have these two smaller japanese blades done and out the door. The race is on LOL just kidding. But I will say you inspire me to forge like a scalded dog.

 

I will say that i love the kissaki, do not over work that area. Nor the Hamachi either.

 

Over all I think you have a nice healthy katana. I want to see some pictures of you heat treat. As I am trying to build a drum forge for heat treating, like Don's just not forced air but an Venturi style burner, just waiting on some insawool to arrive. and a down payment on the one blade hehehe have to have cash to pay for it.

 

I wish you and I could get to gether some day?

 

 

Any how keep us all informed with lots of warm fuzzy pictures

 

Thanks John =).

 

I'm pretty pleased with it too. Funny story here...I've never really paid any attention to my Sensei's sword other than of course to say how nice it was lol. Well, this weekend he had to go out of town right after class, and asked me to take it home with me until next week. So, being me lol, and knowing it's a quality piece and one incredible cutter...I took a bunch of measurements lol. The kissaki is PRECISELY the same...literally. The profile is identical within .025", other than this blade is 26", and his is 28.5". When I laid them side by side I was like....wow lol. I'll take some pictures tomorrow to show you guys lol.

 

Anyhow, if you have some time tomorrow give me a call =). I'll be home all day working on the sword, and we can compare some notes lol.

 

Talk to you later man,

 

Cris

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That is looking very nice. Keep up the good work. There is a lot of good info on how you do things. Thank you for sharing. I myself am planning on forging a me a sen first thing and use it instead of draw filing. But that is some nice work. Are you planning on finishing this up yourself with some tsukamaki and koshirae. Can't wait to see the finished blade.

 

Thanks!

 

Actually this blade was sold bare with a habaki (which I of course will be making), so no koshirae for me this time around. I would like to try my hand sometime soon though. I've made my own tsuba, and think I could pretty easily make fittings, so all that leaves is woodwork. I'm sure if I can file a katana to shape lol, shaping wood into a tsuka and saya shouldn't be too much problem =). Just need the time to do it. I've got one more blade to do after this one...and then I'll be forging my own. I'll probably try mounting that one myself.

 

Anyhow...I'll be working on this thing all day tomorrow...so, if we're lucky, I may be normalizing, claying it up, and heat treating tomorrow night!

 

Cris

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