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Hybrid Wakizashi WIP


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Hi, I am very excited about this project. The whole thing has been a bit of a long shot from the start. It went into water during heat treat with me fully expecting it to crack. I couldn't temper till the next day because I don't have a way to temper at home(I use the oven at work) so I figured it would crack then. Then to boot it had a major "S" curve and to my great suprise I managed to straighten it. Any way I am very happy to have made it to this point. 18" blade of w-2, just finished polishing today. I have to say it is one of my best hamons yet, lots of activity and my control is improving. The plan is a western style hidden tang handle, just long enough for two hands. Just waiting to find the right piece of wood.

 

wak1.jpg

 

wak2.jpg

 

wak3.jpg

 

wak4.jpg

 

wak5.jpg

 

wak6.jpg

 

So thats where it's at. Hopefully I can get it finished up in the next couple weeks.

Thanks for looking, all feedback is appreciated, -Justin

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Congratulations on your successful water quench. You certainly have a wild hamon going on there.

 

I am not really sure what a hybrid wakizashi is supposed to look like. One of the problems that I see with going after Japanese-style blades is that the shape and geometry of Japanese swords is extremely prescribed, e.g. how the tang or kissaki are supposed to look like, etc. Based on the picture, neither the nakago nor the kissaki seem to follow what you would find in Japanese swords. BTW, there is the great circle diagram from the book "Sword and Same", linked here, that gives you some idea on the kissaki geometry. In any case, I am looking forward what you end up doing with this.

 

Niels.

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Matt, thank you for your kind words.

 

Niels, Since I am not a Japanese bladesmith I don't feel that I am bound by the Japanese traditions. That is the beauty of being a modern smith, If you want to put a o-kissaki on a hira-zukuri blade you can. I do however have great respect for smiths doing things according to strict Japanese protocol, and I have future projects in mind that hopefully will fit those criteria.

By calling this blade a hybrid-wakizashi I am refering to it's length and the general "Japanese" shape to the blade. The current plan is for the handle to be of western style, with the only Japanese influence on the furniture being that I am planning for a habachi of sorts. Truthfully the tang wasn't planned out well, as I forgot to take into account the sori in relation to handle orientation. That said I have checked and it will work out. Hopefully it will all come together as I envision. Thanks, -Justin

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