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SBranson

Moroha Zukuri Tanto

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I just finished this piece that has taken me months to complete. I tried some new things on this one and when asked how long it took, I couldn't really say as some work sessions were 75% staring into mental space trying to imagine the final product. :)


This one is a moroha zukuri blade and is double edged. Though this is considered a rare geometry, some of the earliest Japanese swords had a variation of this for the tip. My inspiration for this piece was a wonderful version by Yoshindo Yoshihara in the recent book "The Art of the Japanese Sword: The Craft of Swordmaking and its Appreciation"

I have a couple great books on tanto koshirae. I think the tanto has the most daring mountings and some of the most beautiful.


The steel is W2 and the blade measures at about 8 3/8" (guard to tip not the traditional measurement)

and the OAL is about 12 1/2".


For the tsuba or guard I used a piece of low layer damascus and the fuchi/kashira/kojiri are wrought iron. Copper for the seppa and accent spacers and horn for the kurikata and koiguchi.

The Seppa have coined edges. I didn't realize, until done, how much of a visual effect the coining has on the seppa. This was a first and I will certainly do this again.


The saya is Sapele lined with poplar. Sapele has an understated beauty with a nice flash of golden undertones. I think I chose it for the smell though. :P When working it, it has a nice spice like scent.


The handle is leather that has multiple coats of lacquer over a poplar core.


The mekugi (the real name escapes me at the moment) was purchased from Japan and is threaded and tapered.


The stand is Wenge.


Thanks for looking.


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Stuart--you did a fine job with this one-----i really like it----mike

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wow! that is absolutely stunning!!! I dig the coined edges as well. Such a nice active, beautiful Hamon. Love the whole package!

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wow this is very beautiful i was wondering if you coul piont me in the direction of double edged katana wich is also very early if im not mistaken or to some threads that would be helpful.

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So many captivating details here. The various lines, colors, and textures come together so well but are at the same time distinct so there is real energy to it all. Lovely!

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very very nice Stuart!

 

Where do you get your woods from??

 

Geoff

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eye candy! for bladesmiths. Great achievement I commend you!

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Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate them.

 

Geoff... the Sapele came from work but WestWind hardwoods in Sidney has a fair amount of good woods.

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Really nice work. The hamon looks great. I especially like the saya. Very elegant and clean. I like the fuchi/kashira set, too.

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Stuart, that is deceptively simple and elegant. The fit and finish are spot on and all the proportions reflect how much you have studied the form of the originals. As Walter said, the hamon turned out very nice. I imagine that forming the iron koshira and the habaki were challenging.

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Thank you! I admire both of your guys' work so much. There were many challenges, some more obvious than others. That habaki for instance... I think I still have to tweak the fit a little. With 2 hamachis, it's hard to index properly.

I am very happy with the saya too. If you've not noticed, the grain bends almost exactly in line with shape of the saya. It's a subtle but the strong lines of the grain and the saya's shape don't conflict this way.

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Stuart this is really exceptional, from all the beautiful lines and elegant proportions to the choice of materials and finishing. Very deceptively simple looking. Your care and attention to detail is very satisfying. Really well done!

 

Jim

 

edit: The 75% staring into space paid off!

Edited by Jim Kelso

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That, sir, is beautiful. The restrained elegance is stunning!

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Stuart,

 

That is beautiful.

 

Would you share how you wrapped and textured the handle?

 

Thank you,

 

Bill

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WOW !!!! WELL DONE!!

 

very clean and simple looking at first but then when you really kook at it you see a bunch of details that are really impressive, I love the little copper spacer between the fuchi and kashira and the wrap! Sorry but I'm gonna steal that one!

 

Was the leather brown to begin with and you put clear lacquer over it?

 

Matt

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Very refined and elegant piece.

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I agree with everyone else. that is a stunning piece of work. understated and elegant.

kc

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Thanks again for the comments.

 

@ ShawnShaffer - One of the earliest masterpieces is the Kogarasu Maru, the little crow and dates from the 8th century. It's about 1/3 double edged. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kogarasu_Maru

 

@ Bill... I used a leather lace and glue to keep it in place and lacquered with multiple coats. It took a lot of tries to get the sheen I wanted to complement the saya. It was brown to start with but was toned somewhat to give it more depth.

 

@ Matt... see above about the handle... as for the copper, be my guest. Those damn spacers were tough to make and not destroy in the process. They are very thin and they have the centers removed to fit over the handle and saya parts only leaving 1/16" to 3/32". Trying to fit them snug so I could make sure to get the outer dimension to match the corresponding fuchi/kashira/kojiri was a little trying, hoping I wouldn't deform it horribly in them process.

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thanks for the help and cant wait to see more of your work

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This is my favorite of all your work Stuart. It might be my favorite tanto period.

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You are master Stuart... perfect craftsman and excelent designer!

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