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Mark Green

Japanese style sword from bloom wip

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Hi Gang,

 

Back in Sept. I did my best magnetite smelt ever. The steel bloom was a fair high carbon mix, and the bloom compacted very nice from the first run through the press.

 

So, I had been wanting to try a Japanese style sword for some time. I was just waiting for the right bloom. My local Magnetite is remarkably similar to the Japanese high Ti magnetite, in analysis. This seemed to be the right bloom, so I started folding up a bloom quarter to see what I would/could get.

 

This was the smelt:

https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Fall13MagnetiteSmelt#

 

 

I have always loved Japanese swords, and I am lucky enough to have a fair collection of "real" Samurai swords from back in the day.

A style I have loved the most, but never been able to acquire, is the wonderful, short, fat, flat sided wakizashi of the very early period when Wakizashi first came into use.

Like these, from the great Masamune, and his students, book.

 

001.JPG

 

002.JPG

 

These were made by a couple of Masamune's students. I'm not sure, but I don't think there are any Wakizashi made by Masamune himself. They were not used during his times. But shortly after his time, they came into use.

Anyway, something like these is what I will attempt.

 

These were the initial compaction bars, twice through the press. 1.9kg

002.JPG

 

After a dozen folds, in the shoshu tradition (hopefully), I had a good solid billet.

 

010.JPG

 

Today, I made it into my 'begin forging' billet. 1.25"x.40"x15". Right at 1kg. (I forgot to reset the tray weight)

I was pretty happy with the loss rate with this steel. I thought it may loose more then half it's starting weight, with 12+ folds.

 

007.JPG

 

I will continue my progress here. Wish me luck.

 

Mark

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Cool, I' definately whish you luck!

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You have my support.

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Mark I always love seeing your steel making and have always loved Japanese style blades(they dont like me... :rolleyes:) and been meaning to try one again, this may have given me the kick in the butt!

 

best of luck!

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That billet looks like a candy bar! M! Can't wait to see the continuation.

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Nice looking steel Mark. 12 folds should have some nice hada. Can't wait to see it progress.

 

Zeb

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You got my attention.

I hope you are going to do a version of the engraving in the side.

I know you do Tagane work from your Tsuba so this is gonna be fun to watch.

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I hope to see this in person in a week or two!

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I have no doubt this is gonna be good. B)

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How's the carbon holding up?

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Well Al, we will see. It looked good on the inside, when I did the angle cut for the point. It will likely be a water quench. :)

I'm protecting it best I know how, with flux, and wet sweep, and wet anvil.

 

I worked on it some today, I got my Sunobe forged out.

 

001.JPG

 

003.JPG

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Watching. Looks great so far…….

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Hey Mark! I'm really excited to watch this progress. I really like the pieces you've chosen for inspiration, too! I said this in another thread, but I'd really encourage you to try to replicate what you like about your examples as closely as possible. I especially struggle with the point shape and profile taper (which is really all of it, when you think about it...). It's these details that I think really make all the difference between something that looks "right" and not. I haven't made something that looks right yet, but hopefully you'll have better luck than me!

Can you give the name of the book you reference? People are always posting these beautiful books they have with very nice photos, but I don't have any idea how to go about getting one!

Thanks, good luck, and keep us posted!

-Ethan

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Mark,

 

It is very nice to see you and Andrew post a project as it goes through the process ( I am actually a little envious ). I am giving the Wootz project another 2 months and I will start 2014 working with bloomery iron. I have just about got my arms around the wootz phenomenon but I need a change of scenery.

Good luck on the project.

 

Jan

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Wow..looks great..watching with interest

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Coming along nicely...the antisipation is killing me!

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Ahh, this is going to be very interesting. What a great start!

I´ll make sure not to miss your progress reports on this one.

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Thanks Gang,<br /><br />I got it all forged to shape today after work. Of course my camera is dead, maybe pics later. For sure tomorrow.<br /><br />One good thing, I put the edge on the grinder to shape it a bit, and it's still sparking nice. I'd say at least<br />.6, maybe more.<br /><br />The wakizashi of the Nambokucho period, were really large Tanto. Usually around 36cm blade length. They were wide, sometimes as much as 3.5cm. at their widest part. Bohi were common, to reduce the weight of the fat little tanto, that wanted to be swords.<br /><br />So far so good.

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I remember seeing some waki of this style in at various castles and museums in Japan and I was very impressed at their presence. I think you have picked an exceptional template for this project; looking forward to seeing it progress.

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OK, here is a bit of an update.

 

Something is going on with my camera, but I got a few shots.

 

I put the sword on the grinder, with some old belts to remove the scale, and see if I had many hammer marks, or dreaded openings in the hada.

 

All went well, 99% of the hammer marks came out with the scale scrub, and no visible goobs in the steel. Ok then.

 

Now I will decide on the final shape, and taper. Of course the back is straight just now, and I need to decide if I will pre-curve, the opposite sori. Or just go with straight, and see what the sori does. I think that is the toughest decision. I will consult with my mentor, and decide.

 

Other then that, it is just the taper, and pointiness of the tip. I feel it is close to what I want now. Just need to let it sit a few days and look at it. I can grind to heat treat thickness while I decide that.

 

A couple crappy pics. Even in the worn out 36 grit, the hada is jumping out. Couldn't get the Camera to take any close shots. Oh well, next time I should be able to show it off better anyway.

 

 

004.JPG

 

005.JPG

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