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Forging naginata


uhrs2
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Hey guys, I have been looking for a site or a forging tutorial that talks about Naginata from a bladesmith's perspective. I would like to know about forging a naginata sunobe, blade styles, proportions etc. If anyone has any info. it would be deeply appreciated.

-Uhrs

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Never seen anything on it, from that perspective. Best bet is to study the shape and backwards engineer based on experience. Lacking that, can always pound on it 'till it gets there.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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naginata are challenging to forge to shape.

 

With a "regular" sword, the sunobe tapers away from the machi in all directions. With a naginata sunobe, the tip is big, and sort of rounded, and then the taper is all one way back toward the nakago from there, gradual, all one direction, smaller as you progress toward the tip of the tang. Remember to taper in both dimensions, width and thickness. If you get the mass distribution right at this stage in the sunobe, the rest of it is much simpler to do.

 

Proportions are usually about 1:1 for tang/blade length. Thickness varies tremendously, as can the style. Good old ones (not cut down) to look at are tough to find in person.

Edited by Howard Clark
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I got to see an old one (17th cent?) in the possession of Mike Bell at the Eugene show last year. It swelled toward the tip, giving the tip a bit more mass (for cutting and strength?) and otherwise had a mild taper from about mid-blade to the end of the tang. The tang had 2 holes, one at the tip and one about 6 inches from the habaki (sorry, I don't have all of the blade terminology in my head :wacko: ).

 

The thing that really caught my eye was the mass and geometry of the blade. There was a distinct medial ridge line about 1/3rd of the way down the flat from the spine, the spine had a pronounced taper to diamond shape. The taper to the edge was quite steep and the thickness of the blade at the spine was 1/2 an inch, perhaps more. The overall width of the blade was not more than 1 1/4 inches (sorry, I didn't have the chance to make exact measurements). The blade to to tang ratio was 1:1, the whole thing was nearly 4 feet long.

 

The complete package makes sense when you look at it. The fairly heavy blade is balanced by some cast and formed fittings on the other end, plus this one had a full set of mounts (habaki, seppa, big tsuba). The length of the shaft also balanced things, letting you get your hands a long way apart when you are working down the shaft. But you need the robust blade so that you don't snap it off if you strike something hard (armor, say, or bone, or the ground).

 

I have studied a mixed art T'ai Chi staff form. The form contains staff, spear and halberd (Kwan'do, actually) techniques. Holding this Naginata made my hands itch to try it out. You'd probably want a practice blade (right weight, no edge) and a bit of space :lol: . But you could really see how devastating it would be in a crowd.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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Oh not that bad an arm here a leg there.

 

I myself would love to see pics or even a video on someone forging out a naginata blade. I don't know if I'll ever try it, but it would be interesting to see. Just to see if there are any little tricks to it.

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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Southern California Naginata Federation Edited by Geoff Keyes

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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  • 3 years later...

what type of wood would you use for the handle, this looks like a fun project

The ability to make good decisions is the result of eperience, which comes from making bad decisions.

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