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Thread: First work in the Japanese style...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, Wisconsin
    Posts
    35

    First work in the Japanese style...

    I thought I would share some work I'm doing to begin a study of Japanese methods for the construction of a blade. I wanted to start with something that is A. small and B. more 'fusion' to accommodate a transition from Western to Eastern ways of thinking. But I'm hoping the next one will have more traditional lines. I've recently discovered the moroha-zukuri style and fell in love with it.

    So here is the blade with pre-heat treat grind.



    I made some mokume-gane for the habaki from copper and nickel. The intention is to do a deep etch for texture but then a uniform dark/brown patina across the alloys:





    I then decided that I needed to make traditional tools to do the shirasaya. Knowing myself and my skill with the mill.. I knew I would never get an accurate recess in the wood using machines. So I made a couple of saya nomi (saya chisels) as well as a special chisel for engraving my signature in the nakago. This picture shows these things.. although not that well. You can also see the osage orange that will be the shirasaya.



    And then the habaki. This went well for a change.



    And a closeup of the blade with pre-hand polish finish:



    Here is the habaki after deep etch:



    And then starting the construction:







    Working on the polish and here is where I am now. 800 sandpaper, 1000 loose silicon carbide. Vinegar etching followed by Flitz and counter polish with 1000 silicon carbide. This is as fine as I currently have in my shop. So need to make decisions on how to proceed, how far to take it. It's not the most spectacular hamon.. but it seems typical of when I try to do hamons on laminated steel. Not sure why the laminated steel construction affects my hamons.. but it does. I also used very little clay. Just some blobs on the spine. Aldo's 1075 usually does fine without much clay. This picture makes the blade look dark.. but it's actually a mirror polish.




    So..I've made a few mistakes mostly related to not planning properly for absolutely every step in the process. And I've also since broken the saya.. a natural delamination in the ebony at the koiguchi gave way after thinning the shape down. So I will be constructing a new saya. But I'm pretty happy with the fitment of the nakago in the tsuka and after adding a very thin layer of horn over the ebony I get a good solid mount when placing the mekugi. I've since fashioned a bamboo mekugi after realizing the one from ebony would probably fracture with time. More pictures later..

    I'm looking forward to feedback as this in an endeavor that I would like to progress in.
    Scott A. Roush... bladesmith at Big Rock Forge
    http://www.bigrockforge.com
    For recent work and what's on the bench: http://www.bigrockforge.com/blog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sintra, Portugal
    Posts
    1,119
    It looks exceptional! Great job! I cannot offer any advice on how to proceed, but I love what you made. The polish is crisp, love that. You can probably play a bit with some acid or ferric chloride to see if you can get more contrast.
    Oblivion is the shield of the mind

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, Wisconsin
    Posts
    35
    Thank you Angelo. I've had to hold off on the fine details of the polish as I've been working on the new saya. In retrospect I'm glad that this happened as I now have a much better understanding of the process.
    Scott A. Roush... bladesmith at Big Rock Forge
    http://www.bigrockforge.com
    For recent work and what's on the bench: http://www.bigrockforge.com/blog

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