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Traditional Hatori Polishing Tips

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Hi all,

this is my first post on any forum so forgive me if i accidentally break any rules, i't totally unintentional... :)


Here's my situation, i have a decent quality katana, which from years of use with low-grade uchiko powder, tameshigiri and general fading from cleaning, had developed some minor scratches and the finish was more prominant on one side than the other.


so as i cannot afford a professional polish, i did alot of research into finish polishing myself, i bought some waterstones, and finer waterstone-pastes, with grits similar to that of hyuza and jizuya stones. with these and the technique used for hadori polishing, i have, to a decent enough standard eliminated the scratches, and now the finish is very fine, almost mirror like, with the hada and hamon still barely fisible but no matter what i try i cannot bring out the hamon or hada like they were and thus i need some advice.


Attached is a picture i found online (courtesy of google images), this is almost exactly what my sword used to look like, and what i'm trying to regain.


My thoughts whould be to purchase the uchimogori stones and some nugui mix, and try to do it with those (putting cost aside), is this what you guys would reccommend? Please note it's a traditionally made blade and i need a totally traditional finish (or as close to as possible) i dont want to use any modern polishing agents if i can help it, and etching is totally out of the question....



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Nothing works like the real stones!!!

You can buy some finger stones on line, and try again.


Smooth hadori, is not an easy thing to do. It's all about the best stones, and knowing the amount of mud to have under the stones.
Jizuya, then Nugui, then hadori.
It takes some practice, but if you have good stones, you can learn In time.
Best of luck.



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mark is right about using the right high quality stones in the proper fashion. it takes knowledge of how to prepare them, how to use them, and some experience to know which stones work on what steel.


having said that, you say the blade is traditionally made, but the image that you posted looks like one of the bugei swedish steel blades. to the best of my knowledge, all of the hanwei blades are etched to highlight the hamon and to bring out the coarse hada of the folded swedish steel. ethcing is a whole other topic.


finally, i wouldn't call the polish that they put on those blades hadori. i believe it is a straight etch.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Speaking from experience, you're not going to get a traditional polish with modern abrasives. There's just something about tojiru goop, and fingerstones that does things that nothing else will. My theory is that modern abrasives are too uniform and too hard to break down properly.


Also, don't forget to make or buy decent nugui. Dry iron oxide artist pigments make a reasonable substitute.


If you're going to buy finger stone material, do it from Namikawa Heibei and no one else. The shipping costs are abominable, but you WILL get what you order.

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