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Japanese sword fittings in shibuichi and silver (full set and many in progress pictures)

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This is my First attempt at producing Japanese sword fittings or any sword fittings. Im really enjoying this and welcome any feedback to enrich my journey into a deeper understanding of the art.


the following photo was taken of the porous structure after breaking the shibuichi into manageable sizes



following is some in progress of forming annealing and rolling



the following is tsuba layout cutting and building an edge profile



menuki plates pre forming



cutting holes in kashira



in progress as a whole



the bench i work at in disarray



layout of undercut pockets to be made for a cold connection inlay



setting the silver inlay i also use fine punch to further secure the inlay and texture the surrounding area. making about 2 dozen a2 tool steel repousse tools was a little overkill because i ended up only using about 5




this adjustable jig aids in cutting wire and tube at a set length over and over again, great tool very handy




i switched to an engravers ball vice because its so versatile and a thermolock plastic due to my lack of expirience with red pitch witch led to more clean up than i wanted to put up with.




these three photos show a bit more detail of the inlay process where i use a small chip of metal to further secure the silver inlay similar to what i know as a blind rivet.




this next set is just a different technique than the last at better setting the inlay into place. this time a metal rod was inserted into the silver tube and both cut at the same time. both techniques have their own pros and cons, number 2 helps prevent tube distortion while number 1 has less clean up work just to name a few points



sorry no pictures of patina in process but these are small so it went quick, just got them hot on a glass stovetop and dunked them into liver of sulfur.


the following photos are of completion ready for the customer.




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Nice work man, this makes me want to get a pitch bowl and get more in depth than I usually do on fittings.

I like the patina's contrast to the inlay- I also like the texturing.


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I think my brain just seized up.

Great tutorial. Thanks.


Haha, that happens to me too.

That is great work man! I think it turned out pretty damn nice, first go or not.

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first go at Japanese fittings, but you obviously have a great deal of experience with jewelry or other non-ferrous work. That was awesome. Now, for the circular inlays, how exactly did you make the cavity? I need some detail to understand, please. Was it as simple as drilling a hole and then flattening the bottom with something like a tiny end mill or burr, and then undercutting?


How did you undercut?


What was the chip/blind rivet method?


Hope you don't mind the specific questions. I want to learn inlay some day.



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Very nice !!
​ Shibuichi is my favorite.

​ Thanks for sharing.



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