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Hey guys here is a wakizashi that I'm working on currently. I'm in the process of polishing and I'm thinking I'm just going to sell it with blade only. I tried making a saya and it was soooo much more challenging than making one for a tanto...I'm not sure if I can make one for this blade that will do it justice...I need a lot more practice on my shirasaya making...anyways tell me what you think . I forgot to mention, this was water quenched and I must say...getting that whole blade up to temp and even in my tiny forge was a challenge for sure! As you can see the boshi is a little too far back on the blade but oh well...ill do better next time

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Thanks guys! The only thing really stopping me is I can't plane the inside of the saya flat and I have ugly seems when it is glued. That and I always seem to over chisel the Habaki area. Maybe you guys could give me some tips to alleviate these problems. Thanks!

 

-Jeff

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You could cover up the seams by using lacquer and some opaque coloring. As for the habaki fit, I just take the habaki off, flip it around so the base of it is touching the mouth of the scabbard, then trace it. Then you can carefully chisel it out until you get close to the line and start test fitting periodically.

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Find an antique store that has a booth selling woodworking tools and buy a #5 plane. A #7 is much better, but those are hard to find. You can clamp the plane in a vise upside down and carefully shave the joint surfaces perfectly flat. Or you could use a piece of granite countertop and sandpaper.

 

The brand of plane doesn't matter that much. The number will be cast into the nose of the body. A #5 is about 14" long and a #7 is about 20" long. The longer the sole of the plane, the easier it is to get a long true flat. Which is why the #7 is called a jointing plane. It's what they used before electric joiners.

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Excellent work! Great activity in the hamon. When I was making saya I'd saw the plank down the middle by hand or on a bandsaw and leave it rough. That way it fits back together perfectly. No planing or flattening on the gluing surfaces, just chisel out the inside until the the blade clears and the habaki has a nice friction fit.

Fitment is easier said than done though.

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That looks great, keep it up man.

Brian is dead on with the habaki and having it be a friction fit, it tends to set the tone for the tsuka etc as you probably know from the tanto you did.

My advice for the saya is practice, practice, practice and don't skimp- always attempt to master each step in the process and the repetition will work itself out- I think of it as different projects, first flat boards, then getting the sori just right and as even as possible etc...

for me it makes process seem less overwhelming.

(the test I use for the habaki is putting the sword upside down in the saya and it shouldn't fall out if you give it a shake)

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Yep, the habaki should be tight at the top and bottom. If the contact is on the sides it puts stress that can cause the saya to split along the seam. It also wears away any nice patina you may have applied to the habaki.

If the habaki isn't a perfect fit add a horn collar. It will catch the top and bottom and it's easier to not remove too much material on the horn vs wood. If you are going for a more natural shirasaya, instead of horn you can use a harder wood in a similar way.

You can also use wood shims on the bottom of the habaki contact area. Any blade that is actually used will get loose over time and the shims are the way to go to tighten it back up. If done cleanly and with care it can look deliberate and not sloppy.

 

No comment on getting the two halves clean for gluing; I have trouble with that myself. That is why I never stop at the shirsaya stage- too hard to make it look clean at my skill level.

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Oh, and that blade is very nice. I don't think there is anything wrong with the boshi turning back in the shinogi. Still, to avoid that I usually put more clay there and closer to the edge. The geometry of the kissaki has it cool relatively fast and the extra clay helps. Also avoids some stress cracks I've had in the kissaki area on smaller, thinner blades.

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You got some very nice activity in that blade! Is this a specialty low manganese 1075? (I was under the impression most 1075 wasn't too far off from 1084 in makeup.)

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If it's Aldo's 1075 it is indeed low-Mn. The specs are: C- .760 Si- .240 Mn- .350 P- .0100 S-.0010 Annealed Structure: 92% spherodized carbides. Great stuff for a water quench!

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If it's Aldo's 1075 it is indeed low-Mn. The specs are: C- .760 Si- .240 Mn- .350 P- .0100 S-.0010 Annealed Structure: 92% spherodized carbides. Great stuff for a water quench!

Thanks Alan! Yet another steel I want to acquire (like I don't have enough as it is!)

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Aldo's 1075 rocks when it comes to swords with hamons. I used it all of the time (or for a fun effect, mix it with W2, and you have a great combination of hamon and hada).

 

That is a very nice blade. Just practice with the saya. I have the same issues with Chinese sheats, because I never cover mine in shagreen, and just go with polished wood. Rosewood, usually.

 

practice, practice.

 

fine blade, though!

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Thanks a lot guys! Im working on the saya right now and It still isn't perfect but this is attempt 2 and its killing me :blink: I shimmed it up but i can see I'm very slowly improving with it...in the end it will be a very functional shirasaya :D

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