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From Katana to Cutlass

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Well here it is at last.... the voyage for this build has come to an end. Thank you all very much for your support, feedback and assistance esp Alan who has helped me so very much from the day I

Thanks Josh. Well this is what I decided for the guard. I have used a dremel but get very frustrated with it. I think i will take the step and make some gravers next time as i just cant get the accu

Now for heat treat....I suppose you can see by now I have a very dodgy,crude and basic forge but it is where i work my magic.   Got a good quench with just a slight bend which I will fix in the temp

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Here is the guard as it sits (after many many hours)and i have decided (after adding some test patina) that i am happy and will keep it as is rather than attempt to refine it too much further as i think it will loose more than it gains and may look over done. Sometimes (i find it a hard line to know when more is less)


For me it is really starting to get a great feel to it. Like it is an ocean relic with old narly ropes. i am enjoying this one.


In any case i am going to move on to refining the blade then final furnishing like seppa etc. I also am not sure about what to do with the little nub at the top of the shell yet so will come back to it.

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Aye, very groovy indeed.

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Very well done.


That "little nub" might look good if you just open a hole and make it a continued loop from your rope below.

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After much consideration and indecision i decided on a more traditional type nib at the top of the guard (not sure of correct name). Forged the copper to shape. Still got to engrave it but happy with it so far.


Taking longer than I thought it would but I know I got a good heat treat on a blade so suppose it really is time worth spending. Still got to do a seppa of sorts for sure too.

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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  • 1 year later...

Well its been ages since I worked on this project and have finaly once again got a bug to get things progressing.

I am sure I am not alone in having unfinished projects tucked away in the back shelf gathering dust and spiders or perhaps they are like wine left to mature until the time is right.

Anyhow here is some progress.

I have decided I will make this sword able to be taken down so have gone with a threaded pomel.

So here is the tang thread cut.

I then made a spacer for between the habaki and guard..looks a bit odd as it is shiny and the rest is aged looking but I will fix all that later.

More to come soon..I am cooking a slow cooked roast.



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Found an old something with round bar about the right size for the pomel.

Then got some rebar and cut a thread for a pomel grinding handle.

Then ground a rough pomel.

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Here are all the bits.

I decided to use leather as spacers which i will dye brown or black and seal.

Put it together for a rough fit check and it is all very solid and tight with nice balance.

Now got to clean up the blade which still has a few scratches ( and blood )  got a bit more engraving etc then age everything and pretty it all up before final pics.




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Thanks guys for the coments and feedback.

I have strayed from the path in recent times as I have done before but eventually seem to find my way back.

Here is todays effort I decided the pomel needed something.

Filed groves with wire brush finish.

One thing though. I am finding that the loss of feeling in my left index finger from this years knife mishap frustrating as i cant gauge how tight I am gripping or how hot things are getting but it could have been worse so I will stop sooking and get on with things.


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Rob, when I clicked on this thread, I am on page 3 and trying to figure where we are and how we got there.  So after feasting my eyes on this one I had to go back and look at page 1 and how this progressed. I discovered a comment from myself that I had forgotten about. Wow, this one has come full circle and it turned out to be an awesome piece of work! Let me pat you on the back on this one mate, cause I am afraid you are too humble to do it, and you damn sure deserve it on this one!! You rocked this one!!!!!!!!

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Thanks Victor and CC really appreciate the feedback.

As the blade sat so long it had a coat of rust (which is what I am after) but it is uneven and has lines where it rested on a rack and some blood spots which rusted too. So I have sanded it right back today and will do a forced more even rust patina and also on the pomel.

When it was all shiny I put it together and for a second considered leaving it that way but it just does not fit with the guard and I want it to looked aged like the old sea dog I imagine would wield it.

more to come........

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I love the aged concept. It is a great look and I wish more people would use it in the right context.

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If you're lookin' for a very even patina might I suggest my process. I use the rusting solution from a Walter Sorrels video.

 Mix 16oz. Hydrogen peroxide with 12oz. White vinegar and 2 tsp. table salt in a spray bottle

1:sand to 2,000 grit

2: polish with fast orange hand soap

3: etch in ferric chloride 

4: remove oxide with 2,000 grit, and fast orange

5: Heat the blade in the forge (a few fast passes past the mouth) spray with the same home made rusting agent until cold

6:repeat until the rust is thick

7: put on rubber gloves, get a rag wet with pure ferric chloride. Have your windex handy!

8: rub the rust off of the primary bevel of the blade, but leave it kind of sloppy around the edges. Blast with windex, and do the other side. Be fast! Sand the oxides off the primary bevel, but gently, focus on the hamon area only.

9: heat the blade again, but not very hot, and do one more spraying

10: Temper the blade at 350° (seems to make the patina pretty tough)

11:Oil the blade while hot.

it leaves a very attractive brown finish with a dark brown hamon. I'll find a picture for ya.


Edited by Zeb Camper
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Wow Zeb, what a great finish and really fantastic looking knife. Thanks for the info too. Need to source some ferric chloride but have everything else on the list.

I have watched Many a clip of Walters on YouTube and am a fan but I have not seen this.

thanks again,


Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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