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Making folks happy, associating with great craftsman, being satisfied with good craftsmanship, and getting to see swords in polish!

 

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nagasa: 20 3/4"

nakago: 5"

motohaba: 1 1/8"

kasane: 7/16"

mune: iori-mune

boshi: tsukiage w/ long kaeri

sori: saki-sori right at 3/4"

hamon: choji-midare featuring areas of saka-choji in nioi-deki

 

I forged this wakizashi last year and, after the commission fell through, I put it away. I studied it a bit and thought it would be a real looker, so I thought I might hang on to it. Then my wife and I found a house, so I decided to offer it for sale. I just finished the polish and wanted to share her with everyone before she ships off. The polish is only an iai-grade polish, but I kinda took it up a notch because I kept finding neat stuff. It didn't get a lot of nugui, so you can see some minute "reflective" scratches here and there in the photos that aren't as apparent with the naked eye.

 

All that is left in the photos is to drill mekugi-ana and punch my mei. This is offered in the spirit of sharing and improving, so any improvements that anyone might see that could be made, I would appreciate your input. Thanks to everyone that looks and thanks to all those that contribute to this wonderful community.

 

Thanks,

 

Shannon

 

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Rest of the album can be viewed here:

 

http://s202.photobucket.com/albums/aa182/jshannonhill/Nick%20Stathopoulos%20HZ%20Wakizashi/?start=all

 

Mods: I hope I did the photos correctly. They are hotlinked, so that doesn't eat up bandwidth, right? Let me know if it needs correction.

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Hey Shannon

 

Great looking blade!!! Can I ask what kind of steel? And I also noticed that you have a unusual(to me)style of ending your nakagos and was wondering what it's called and what made you decide to do it that way.

 

Matt

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Thanks for all the comments!

 

Matt, all my blades have my (hopefully) distinguished variation of furisode nakago, a kesho-style variation of taka-no-ha yasurime for blades w/ shinogi and kesho-style variation of katte-agari for blades w/ no shinogi, and my nakago-jiri is a variant of iriyamagata, except sort of in reverse. I like the way my particular nakago-jiri gives the unmounted blade a dynamic feel--it LOOKS like it wants to cut, to me, anyway. I have done these same traits in most all my work where it is feasible and plan to continue to do them on all my blades. It is my hope that, someday, someone will recognize my work w/o even having to see the signature.

 

The steel is 1075 from Admiral--from the days BEFORE Aldo had the really good stuff. The heat treatment is special in that I reduce the grain until it is almost un-hardenable, then grow it back slightly, then yake-ire. That is how I control the stuff inside the yakiba that makes it worth fooling w/ hamon in the long run.

 

Thanks, again for the positive comments. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Shannon... breathtaking. Really. Wow.

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Really nice work Shannon! I've done similar heat treatments with 1084, many normalizations and long soaks at low austenitizing temps but combined with clay and marquenching to try and coax more activity from it but I haven't achieved as much activity as you got with that 1075 (or at least I haven't managed to figure out a polishing routine yet). I honestly should just learn to work with the W1 and W2 I have but you have cooked up a great heat treating/polishing recipe for that particular steel! You've obviously done your homework. Are you quenching in fast oil or water?

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Guy,

 

I quench in water only. I don't know them all, but most versions of 1084 have a higher manganese content, which is detrimental to hamon formation. I can't wait to try Aldo's lower manganese 1075 and see what it does for me. I have some blades in his new barstock W2 that I also can't wait to see in polish.

 

As far as polishing technique--you just keep doing what you do that works until it looks right. That's my technique! Jim, I will have to look into that "dry nugui" you spoke of in the other thread. Might be helpful on future projects.

 

Thanks again for all the comments--any positive criticism?

 

Shannon

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I'm glad you took that polish up a notch. Great activity in that blade. No criticism here, sorry.

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JS: Hira Zukuri??

 

JPH

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JS: Hira Zukuri??

 

JPH

 

 

JPH,

 

Yes, hira-zukuri. Nice, wide canvas to create such hataraki and very traditional for wakizashi.

 

Shannon

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Shannon:

 

Yeah Hira Zukuri works really well on Tanto and Wakizashi, but I have found that it doesn't cut all that well in Katana lengths, too much "drag" on the blade, even when you start to "play around" with the Niku. Still that is a dynomite piece of steel never the less... I LIKE IT!!

 

Now do a Unokobe Shobu Zukuri (or Unokobe Shinogi Zukuri) with the same level of activity and THAT would be the "uber-cutting" sword as far as I would say...very little "drag" in the cut and with the right amount of Niku...man that would slice and dice for days and days...And if it had the same level of "stuff" going on as this waki..man that would be something to be seen...

 

JPH

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J.S. just :excl::excl::excl: I am stunned :blink: cross-eyed :excl:

 

After Monument Fire here in SE Arizona, we also get to build a new home as the old one with my forge and stuff is well toasted now.

Edited by Sam D.
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Salem, George, JPH, Sam--thanks to all for the compliments. I am glad you like the sword and enjoyed seeing it.

 

George--I don't want to create any backlash, but I don't necessarily "believe" in ni-juba. The effects demonstrated on this piece are a very wide nioguchi and billowy habuchi with the "nether-tween" being the ashi-work.

 

Salem--I wish I could justify more polishing just so it would be even nicer. However, this was purchased at a discount, so the extra polishing was complimentary because I wanted to see it all....

 

JPH--thanks for the compliments. I would gladly make un-nokubi zukuri if only someone would commission it. They are pains in the rear to polish, and difficult to justify without a dedicated buyer.

 

Sam--So sorry to hear about the fires getting to your home and forge. I trust everyone is safe? I sincerely hope everything goes well and your transition into your new home and forge is without trouble.

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Shannon, I was out of town and missed this. I am truly impressed.

 

Kevin

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wow. You are bending my mind with this talk of grain refinement amok and then growing again... Gives a guy a lot to think about.

 

I just picked up some Aldo 1075 and 3/32" W2.

 

Your knowledge and skill are impressive... thanks for sharing this.

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Thanks Kevin and Scott!

 

Kevin--I hope it was the blade that impressed you and not my psyche!

 

Scott--The definition of artwork (any art-piece): an original, man-made object that, when experienced by another human being, evokes an emotional response--any emotional response. Quite deep when you think about it. Even if my work affected only one person, it was worth the effort. You will love Aldo's steel. Not only is his material of excellent quality, but he is one terrific, generous guy. Wouldn't trade him for any of the Admirals or Pacifics out there.

 

Thanks, again, everyone for looking.

 

Shannon

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Guy,

 

I quench in water only. I don't know them all, but most versions of 1084 have a higher manganese content, which is detrimental to hamon formation. I can't wait to try Aldo's lower manganese 1075 and see what it does for me. I have some blades in his new barstock W2 that I also can't wait to see in polish.

 

As far as polishing technique--you just keep doing what you do that works until it looks right. That's my technique! Jim, I will have to look into that "dry nugui" you spoke of in the other thread. Might be helpful on future projects.

 

Thanks again for all the comments--any positive criticism?

 

Shannon

 

 

I seriously need to start learning how to water quench! Yes the manganese in 1084 does tend to muddy things up in the hamon arena but I was under the impression that the amount of manganese in Admiral's 1075 wasn't much different than standard 1084? I may have been mistaken about that. In any case I was trying to get around that issue with many thermal cyclings before quenching using a method not generally used for 10XX series steel (i.e. marquenching). This yielded a bowie style blade with loads of crazy activity that I haven't gotten around to polishing yet and a tanto blade with decent activity that I haven't developed the right polish for yet. I just happened to be into 1084 at the time and had some whacky ideas on how to use it. :D

 

If you have any pertinent tips on polishing modern monosteels with hybrid methods I'm all ears! I do know that is takes lots of different approaches and every blade is different. Do you use heated vinegar? Any powdered commercial SC abrasives?

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I seriously need to start learning how to water quench! Yes the manganese in 1084 does tend to muddy things up in the hamon arena but I was under the impression that the amount of manganese in Admiral's 1075 wasn't much different than standard 1084? I may have been mistaken about that. In any case I was trying to get around that issue with many thermal cyclings before quenching using a method not generally used for 10XX series steel (i.e. marquenching). This yielded a bowie style blade with loads of crazy activity that I haven't gotten around to polishing yet and a tanto blade with decent activity that I haven't developed the right polish for yet. I just happened to be into 1084 at the time and had some whacky ideas on how to use it. :D

 

If you have any pertinent tips on polishing modern monosteels with hybrid methods I'm all ears! I do know that is takes lots of different approaches and every blade is different. Do you use heated vinegar? Any powdered commercial SC abrasives?

 

Water quench is pretty essential for spectacular hamon. Ummmm....the batch of 1075 from Admiral that I am working off has manganese of .28, I THINK....it has been a while since I got it and the specs. You were on the right track, in my opinion, as the repeated thermal-cycling is how I am getting this activity. I have never marquenched, so I don't have any experienced opinion on how that affects hamon formation. What I DO know, without a doubt, is that low-alloy 10XX steel + correct thermal cycling and yake-ire + water-quench = spectacular hamon vs. sleepy hamon or quench-line. I also know it can be done pretty-much close to same results as water with Parks 50, as I have seen many of Mr. Barrett's blades--but he has a specific heat-treat regimen that accounts for the Parks 50 quench....

 

As far as polishing, I use a really traditional method for all the foundation. Then a modern / hybrid approach for the finish. It is really different EVERY time for the finish polish. Vinegar is OK. Lemon juice (or lime juice) is better. Dozens of very mild etches w/ cleaning the oxides between, not soaking in FeCL for hours--which CAN make for a durable cutting polish. No SC abrasives, but have found aluminum oxide abrasives in the 1 micron and .3 micron variety helpful for art-polishing. But the topic blade of this thread was not art-polished, so it received less finish-techniques. You wanna come up from Tallahassee and learn? Then I can pay you to do all my polishing! Email me at jshannonhill@hotmail.com, or PM me with specific polishing questions and I will do my best to help.

 

Shannon

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Shannon,

 

Thanks for posting this... I really admire your knowledge you have gained and the results of it... TOO COOLtongue.giftongue.gif So fun to see..

 

Dick

 

Thanks, Dick. I am glad you enjoyed seeing it.

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Shannon,

 

Thank you so very much. I appreciate the complement. I also appreciate the beautiful blade you've created. I'm hoping that,with the steels we've put together,there will be a lot more beautiful blades being made.

 

The thought of water or brine quenching has always got me worried. I've, pretty much, stayed away from it. Last week one of my customers in NY state called me to tell me that he successfully water quenched 31 out of 32 1095 blades.(He said that # 32 was way to hot but wanted to know what the steel would tolerate). Perhaps it's time to try getting comfortable with it.

 

I can't make any claims as to the formulas for the 1075 and 1095,other than the fact that I looked over billet certs. for a few hours before picking them out. The W2 was put together after a lot of phone calls and inquires about the best formula for the job. I pray that future heats yield similar results. I think that the smelting and rolling practices of the mill that made them all is top notch and we should look forward to a lot more "WORRY FREE STEEL" in the years to come.

 

Aldo

Edited by Aldo
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