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300 gram Shakudo ingot .5" thick.

 

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This is one of the few alloys I work with that can go directly to the rolling mill. Most of the alloys I work with respond better to the hammer and some simply cannot be rolled at all.

 

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After a few anneals and careful cross rolling.

 

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If I estimate the volume correctly it will be large enough to fit the pattern when its about 3mm thick.

 

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Trimming off the excess with the jewelers saw.

 

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I file in some undulations in the outline this help make the raised rim more organic when I am done.

 

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Then I can raise the rim. I also put a slight taper in the plate and left it in a smooth hammer finish.

 

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After a few hammer and anneal cycles I have raised enough meat to begin filing it back down for the desired effect.

 

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Ready for the next stage B)

 

Patrick :)

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Very cool Patrick.

I love your little ball vice. I need to get me one of those.

While I'm not a lover of the rounded rectangle shaped tsuba, anything in shakudo these days is very special.

I look forward to the progress.

Have fun.

 

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Very cool Patrick.

I love your little ball vice. I need to get me one of those.

While I'm not a lover of the rounded rectangle shaped tsuba, anything in shakudo these days is very special.

I look forward to the progress.

Have fun.

 

Mark

 

Thanks Mark,

I bought that vise back when they were $250 new.I am quite suprised by todays prices on that same unit. The Tsuba shape and size are made to the clients spec so I can't help you on that ^_^

Patrick B)

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I've seen some very cheap versions done by flattening part of a bowling ball and then bolting on a small vise of whatever form you want, then placing the ball on a ring of metal or other material.

 

 

The thing about engraving style ball vises is they are not simply a hemisphere with a vise on top. You may notice the seam about half way up the ball. The upper half can rotate freely on a large bronze cone bearing inside. Since Japanese techniques that I use require both hands to hold tools, this kind of vise is not very useful. It requires a hand to stabilize it. Otherwise it shifts while your trying chisel. It does make a great third hand for fileing as you see in the pictures. In part two you will see my pitch bowl which is more akin to the bowling ball idea.

Patrick :)

 

edited to add,

Grizzly sells some smaller inexpensive self centering vises that would work well on top of a bowling ball half. My work requires something with more weight for stability so I would look for something like a used whisking bowl which are usually hemispherical. Then fill them with something dense, lead and steel scrap work well for ballast. You can in a pinch fill a plastic bowl with concrete or plaster as well.

Edited by Patrick Hastings
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So, ah, what's gonna happen to the cut off pieces..?

 

As usual, very informative and inspiring. How do you hold the piece when you're raising the edge?

 

I have a pana-vise knock off which was 'hecho en China'. It just barely works enough to be dangerous.

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So, ah, what's gonna happen to the cut off pieces..?

 

As usual, very informative and inspiring. How do you hold the piece when you're raising the edge?

 

I have a pana-vise knock off which was 'hecho en China'. It just barely works enough to be dangerous.

 

Thankyou,

On this piece I raised the rim while holding the Tsuba in my hand.

 

Patrick :)

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The ones I'd seen made from the bowling ball don't move all that well unless you make them move.

One I'd seen recently was using his to hold a handle while he did the wire inlay on it.

Part would also depend on ball weight and what material it sat on.

 

I like that pitch bowl!

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

Custom knives

Bcarta Composites

Stabilized Woods

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pitch bowl is fab !

 

very cool wip

 

i've only tried my hand once at homemade shakudo.. seemed to give me big problems with cracking with little forging ..despite annealing

 

can't wait to see where you go with it both shape n patina

 

 

Greg

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The ones I'd seen made from the bowling ball don't move all that well unless you make them move.

One I'd seen recently was using his to hold a handle while he did the wire inlay on it.

Part would also depend on ball weight and what material it sat on.

 

I like that pitch bowl!

 

The amount of tack the cradle has is a big factor also. To be honest the tilting aspect of the bowl is overkill. I could work just as easily on a chunk of timber or a Pitch block. For my Japanese metal working students I am making pitch blocks rather than bowls. the tops will be just like my pitch bowl, but the bottoms will be flat. The variable tilt I find adds more difficulty for the beginner.

 

Patrick :)

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pitch bowl is fab !

 

very cool wip

 

i've only tried my hand once at homemade shakudo.. seemed to give me big problems with cracking with little forging ..despite annealing

 

can't wait to see where you go with it both shape n patina

 

 

Greg

 

Thanks,

Too much oxygen in your Shak. This material was made in a gas shielded electric melter. it works like butter. In fact its so clean you can completely skip the hammer breakdown and go directly to rolling. Any other method I have used to make shakudo and it will crack up if you go directly to rolling.

Patrick :)

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Heating the pitch with a torch.

 

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shaping the pitch with a hammer head. The cold steel does not stick to the pitch.

 

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Useing the cold Tsuba to mold the pitch. This makes sure that there will be good support under the entire Tsuba.

 

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Setting the warmed up Tsuba in so it will stick. Then I flame polish The pitch so everything is nice and neat.

 

Patrick :)

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On this piece I raised the rim while holding the Tsuba in my hand.

 

It now occurs to me that this is the easiest way :) I looked at my tsuba blank went at it. (not posting pic here because it's Patrick's thread!)

http://lightbox-photos.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/5929c307991c0591bb33fe3cd95d37e5_77914_lrg.jpg

 

I can see why steel (even mild steel) is not so good for this. Once it work hardens it takes a while to anneal it again.

Copper alloys take minutes to anneal.

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It now occurs to me that this is the easiest way :) I looked at my tsuba blank went at it. (not posting pic here because it's Patrick's thread!)

http://lightbox-photos.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/5929c307991c0591bb33fe3cd95d37e5_77914_lrg.jpg

 

I can see why steel (even mild steel) is not so good for this. Once it work hardens it takes a while to anneal it again.

Copper alloys take minutes to anneal.

 

yea for tougher materials I use a wooden block with a groove in it. It supports the Tsuba so you can hit it a little harder. It also keeps the part contacting the wood from deforming as you hammer on the top. For good control you only want the metal under your hammer to move.

Patrick B)

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Cleaned up and ready to start drawing on the design.

 

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Using my sketches as a guide I draw the design on free hand. The ink stays wet a long time and can be wiped away cleanly with my finger. That way I can make adjustment or corrections. When I am satisfied I Wave a torch over the ink and cooks on so I can work without fear of wiping it out.

 

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This style of carving is called shishiaibori. It is a sunken relief carving technique. The chisel is ironically called a Shishiaibori Tagane ;) . It is a modified square chisel where all the ridges have been rounded right up to the cutting edge. Ford sometimes calls it a safety chisel.

 

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This tool leaves less damage on the outside face of the cut. This is handy a since the outside of this cut is a finished surface.

 

Patrick :)

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Evening Patrick,

 

Thanks for the info. Would you consider a tutorial on making a pitch block?

 

Art

 

 

The pitch block is the simplest. A chunk of just about anything solid heavy enough not to shift while you work, but light enough to push around when you need to rotate it. Pour hot pitch on top. A piece of heavy wood will do and you can put a pancake of lead on it and cover that with pitch if the wood is not heavy enough. A piece of scrap steel might work if the shape is right. Scrap yards often have drops and cut outs that will do. Like I said its just ballast. The rest is about comfort and looks.

I am making a batch of pitch blocks for my upcoming class. They will weigh in around 27 pounds. They are approximately 3" thick 6.5" diameter solid steel sections. In the top there is a 5" diameter .5" deep pocket. All the edges rounded for comfort.

Patrick :)

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The pitch block is the simplest. A chunk of just about anything solid heavy enough not to shift while you work, but light enough to push around when you need to rotate it. Pour hot pitch on top. A piece of heavy wood will do and you can put a pancake of lead on it and cover that with pitch if the wood is not heavy enough. A piece of scrap steel might work if the shape is right. Scrap yards often have drops and cut outs that will do. Like I said its just ballast. The rest is about comfort and looks.

I am making a batch of pitch blocks for my upcoming class. They will weigh in around 27 pounds. They are approximately 3" thick 6.5" diameter solid steel sections. In the top there is a 5" diameter .5" deep pocket. All the edges rounded for comfort.

Patrick :)

 

Edited to remove all the dumb questions that a foregoing picture you posted of your custom made pitch block answers fully. Very cool.

 

Thanks a bunch, Art

Edited by Art Lawrence

"My sword and my shield are at your command"

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I'm a little dense so let me confirm...you are talking about a 6.5 inch solid round that is 3 inches thick with a half inch deep pocket 5 inches in diameter that holds the pitch, yes? Are you talking pine pitch? I have a 1 pound block that I use for my leather sewing thread. Is that the same I wonder?

 

When you make the pitch blocks for your class would you please post a picture? That would help. I think I'm a visual learner.

 

Thanks a bunch, Art

 

Yes,

"Pitch" Is shorthand for the various sticky compounds that people use to support and hold there work pieces. Not all of them actually contain pitch. I use Mastuyani which is the name for Japanese "Pitch" It is a pine resin base mixed with powered clay, Powdered Charcoal (for color) and a little oil to adjust the toughness/hardness. When making the Matsuyani you have to start with resin rather than pitch. The Turpines have to be boiled out of the pitch before you can start mixing in the other ingredients. You can see a little more about it on my site. Tagane Arts Mastuyani page

Patrick :)

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