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Some advice for a Wak I bought


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I was at a knife show last weekend and on the table next to me man had the blade for what I think is a Wak that he said he bought at a garage sale. He was laughing and saying that he was going to make a blackberry cutter out of it, so I gave him the $50 he had on it. It's completely dismounted, and the surface is very bad, and someone has done a butcher job on the tang. There is no signature or any other mark that I can see. OTOH, it's got a very nice shape and some really beautiful lines, and under all of the scratches there appears to be a hamon of long, lazy, cloud-like curves.

 

My temptation is a give it a clean 220 base polish and see what is there, but I'm open to better advice.

 

Geoff

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Edited by Geoff Keyes
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Geoff given that this is a Japanese blade I know it can be a touchy thing with some people... I'd say rather then doing a full blade grind cause you said it has nice lines, why don't you polish a little 1 inch window and take it up to 2000 grit. Shouldn't take too long.

I'd love to see the outcome!

Edited by MLenaghan
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I'm certainly not a good resource for Japanize blades but before I did anything, I would take it to someone who is and find out just what you have. If it is an old blade then I don't believe that I would do anything to it. More times than not, refinishing an antique of any type can diminish the value.

 

If you confirm that it has no collectable value then you can refinish it however you like.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Just from the pics, it looks like it could be a decent older blade. Tang looks severely shortened, almost like it was a long blade cut off, re shaped and new peg hole. Usually they would not shorten that much, which is why you see two holes on a lot of shortened blades. Either that or someone recently hacked the end off.

 

Geoff, you can get some much clearer pictures and post on nihonto message board, or find someone in your area (not antique stores) like a nihonto club to look at it.

 

Or, If you were coming to Visalia for the hammer-in in a couple of weeks, my buddy could tell you lots about it. We like looking at old blades :-)

 

Dan

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I don't think this is a cut down blade (except for the tang, which is just square on the end, and ragged). I'm not up on Japanese sword terminology, but I'll do my best.

 

It has a Kissaki, though badly eroded by misuse. The Mune is Mitsu and comes up to a point just behind the Kissaki, so there is a short (about .5-.75") of reinforced tip. The Machi are clean and well defined. 18" to the Machi, 22 to the end of the tang.

 

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There are some features here that I didn't see in natural light. Right at the end of the tang there is a flat triangular transition in the grind. It's on both sides. Forward of the hole is an odd bulge and discoloration, almost like a piece had been welded on the tang?

 

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You can see a bit of hamon under all of the dirt and scratches, and the fact that the blade tapers toward the tip,

 

I will try the nihanto board as well.

 

Geoff

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Edited by Geoff Keyes
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The end of the tang does look weird. The whole tang looks off to me.

 

On the welded tang idea, does the yasuri mei, the file scratches, all follow through or look interrupted at the discoloration? Altering or welding the tang was done, but usually to preserve a signature on a good blade being shortened. I don't think this is the case with your blade.

 

As can see, I have a few 'special' cases myself.

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The filing is present through the area, but very faint or worn. The bulged area is hard to see by eye, it just popped up in the photo. Does anyone know someone in the Seattle area who might be willing to look at it? If not, I'll hang onto it until the spring, Mike Bell and several others should be at the Eugene show.

 

Geoff

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