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Oak leaf sword fittings.


Patrick Hastings
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Here is a project that I am currently working on. It is 1018 steel, forged down and filed to a lense shape. Its about 3 inches in diameter. The holes were cut out with a hand saw and cleaned up with files. The decorations were carved into the surface using Japanese hammer and chisel techniques followed with various punches and scrapers to compliment.

Oakleafwebunfinished-.jpg

The 24K gold "rot" is Nunome Zogan. It is an overlay technique where the ground is cut with a chisel in a sort of cross hatching pattern. The gold is pressed into this texture and it locks into the tiny cuts in the iron. It can be tricky to get it to stick, but if done right it is very permanent.

Oakleafwebunfinished--2.jpg

The brown color is a SabeTsuke patina. It is basically a cured and sealed rust. Over a period of weeks the Steel is repeatedly rusted and rubbed down twice a day. Then it is boiled in a tannin rich solution. Finally I seal the patina with an application of Ibota (waxy substance secreted from the belly plates of Japanese cicada). It is quite wear resistant and pretty much rust proof at this point.

 

The remainder of the set is done in an alloy called Shakudo and will have similar gold highlights applied. Shakudo is primarily an alloy of Copper and gold. When treated properly grows a dark blue black patina. Before its treated it is hard to tell from plain old copper. It will tarnish quite differently than copper though. I often come back after a couple days to find previously clean sheets of metal "bruiseing" with purple splotches.

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Oakleafwebunfinished-187.jpg

These parts are waiting to have the gold highlights applied. I am bringing all of the shakudo parts up to this point then I will process the gold work all at once. Once that is complete I will prepare the surfaces by scrubbing them with a horse hair brush soaked with fine abrasive slurry. Then the patina process can begin.

 

Oakleafwebunfinished-00260.jpg

Forms like this Kojiri (scabbard tip) Are formed cold from a single flat sheet of metal about 2mm thick. Then the decorations are drawn on the surface and the carving begins. First the lines are established and then bulk removal with the chisels. Thats followed by Successive passes with the Chisels, Punches, Hisage, and Burnishers. each refining the forms and eventually bringing the details into focus.

Oakleafwebunfinished-00259.jpg

Now the surface is fairly smooth and the contours all flow neatly with no chisel marks left. I go to the polishing stage which will tell me if I need to go back and address anything. When I am happy with it I come back and add appropriate textures on top of the polish. Then the final polish for patina prep begins. This softens the texture just a bit and gives me the final look I want.

 

I have the kirikata prepped and its now on to the last pieces, the menuki. I am still waffling on the designs for the menuki. I will post more on them as I go if there is interest...

Thanks for looking

Patrick B)

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wow that is some impressive work. please post more wip's and some examples of the "brusing". is the brusing a desierd finish? what kind of metal is the Kojiri, copper or the copper/gold alloy?

"fire can be a tool of destruction or creation, the difference lies in the hands of those who wield it". me

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Hi Jason thank you,

first let me ask you what does "wip" stand for? I see it getting used all over forums, but must have missed what it stands for exactly?

The "bruising" is just natural oxidation for Shakudo. Basically the beginning stages of tarnishing. It has to be scrubbed off before it goes in the patina bath.

All the parts in this set beside the Tsuba are Shakudo alloy.

patrick B)

 

wow that is some impressive work. please post more wip's and some examples of the "brusing". is the brusing a desierd finish? what kind of metal is the Kojiri, copper or the copper/gold alloy?

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Patrick, WIP stands for "Work in progress" That is a sweet wip by the way!!! :D

 

Fred

A bad day forging... is still better than pretty much anything else

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Hi Jason thank you,

first let me ask you what does "wip" stand for? I see it getting used all over forums, but must have missed what it stands for exactly?

The "bruising" is just natural oxidation for Shakudo. Basically the beginning stages of tarnishing. It has to be scrubbed off before it goes in the patina bath.

All the parts in this set beside the Tsuba are Shakudo alloy.

patrick B)

 

WIP is an acronym for 'Work In Progress.' WIP's a really great way for those of us less skilled in particular methods to see step-by-step how pieces from more skilled artists evolve and develop from start to finish. On the flip side someone trying out something new and posting a WIP is able to get better feedback on their processes, how they may be able to refine particular steps or what they may be able to work on to improve their work overall.

 

Thanks for sharing you work, those are some amazing pieces.

 

Could you maybe go into more detail on how you produced the rust finish on the guard; for example what you used to used to accelerate rusting on the piece (water, saline, peroxide?), what is used to rub the rust twice daily (sandpaper, cloth, polishing slurry?), and how you make your tannin bath (tea, oak leaves?) An even, deep, durable rust finish like that is a personal goal for me and any tips I can get will help me dial it in a little closer. Thanks again!

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Yes ,me toobiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif I agree beautiful work.... Don't I remember you saying you gave up TV? Looks like you found a better alternative...

Dick

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Could you maybe go into more detail on how you produced the rust finish on the guard; for example what you used to used to accelerate rusting on the piece (water, saline, peroxide?), what is used to rub the rust twice daily (sandpaper, cloth, polishing slurry?), and how you make your tannin bath (tea, oak leaves?) An even, deep, durable rust finish like that is a personal goal for me and any tips I can get will help me dial it in a little closer. Thanks again!

 

Thank you Cylivre for the kind words.

 

I don't always use chemical to induce rust. I find that the environment I live in is very rapid in producing rust so I often take advantage of that when conditions are right. when I have to use something I use a solution that was passed to me in confidence.

I find that how you grow the rust is not as important as making sure it is grown gradually. For me the ideal is only to color the metal rather than mutilate it with the pits and bumps of aggressive rusting. I want to be able to see the finest detail and metal character through the patina. Working gradually day by day fosters this.

I use a hand scrubbing brush for the rub downs. They are good because the bristles are staggered in irregular patterns. they are designed to wash your finger tips. With a regular brush your fingers fall in between the rows and so do the edges of parts... These brushes work really well for rubbing down the rust. The nylon bristles are just right for knocking off loose material and burnishing whats left.

For the solution I use chips from oak burls I harvested in the forest. I boil them until the water is black. All kinds of tannin solutions can be used. Most use Tea leafs.

The final step is to seal with a wax while the piece is hot enough to melt the wax. This makes sure the wax penetrates deeply into the patina. Once its cooled you can buff it up with a soft cloth. I use a clean Horse hair brush to do buff it up as the last step...

 

patrick B)

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Yes ,me toobiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif I agree beautiful work.... Don't I remember you saying you gave up TV? Looks like you found a better alternative...

Dick

 

Yea Tv is not a big part of my life anymore. I am the only person I know without cable or satellite TV we don't even have an antennae.I also gave up a pretty strong gaming habit (computer games}. Life is full of distraction...Now its just family, metal,,,,,,,,, and forums :P

patrick B)

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