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Thread: The anatomy of a *wallhanger* katana

  1. #51
    Originally posted by Brandon H
    Thanks for the pics of the plastic-handle wakizashi! Is that a United Cutlery product? I have one just like it -UC1283- except it is a katana. I could tell just by holding it that the tang was only half way through the handle. But as short as it is, the tang looks pretty sturdy!
    It needs more than just a "strong tang" - the handle, tang length, the fit, compression from the ito, etc. all combine to make a katana work. A strong short tang won't get you anywhere without a very good tsukamaki... and there's no reason really to try, just make the tang long so it's easier.

    As to historically I have no clue. I think I saw some temple pieces that had rather short nakago.
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  2. #52
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    This thread inspired me to take apart my wall-hanger katana which I believe is from United Cutlery

    It is identical to Jennifer's Wak except it's a Katana. I made the mistake of cutting off the wrap (ito?? I'm new to this) when I didn't really need to. Simply taking a punch to the roll pin in the handle was sufficient to take it apart. The handle and endcap come off as one piece.

    The tang on my katana was thick steel (still stainless though!!) and was 4 1/2 " in length. I was looking at it and thinking about the Bugei katana's having 10" tangs. Wow!!

    This picture shows the holes in the tang and the handle lined up as they would be when the sword is assembled.



    The ruler in this picture is slightly over 6" long.

    Last edited by Chris Lampe; 03-27-2005 at 09:45 AM.

  3. #53
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    Yes! That looks very much like my UC1283.
    Yours looks quite weathered, though- picture quality, maybe? The inscription on mine is different, too. The guard over time has loosened up enough to turn slightly.
    Anyway, when I mentioned the tang being sturdy, I was comparing it to a rat-tail. I could feel without disassembling mine that the tang was not of sufficient length. But it's a decent, non-functional piece for the price.

  4. #54
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    Originally posted by Brandon H
    Yes! That looks very much like my UC1283.
    Yours looks quite weathered, though- picture quality, maybe? The inscription on mine is different, too. The guard over time has loosened up enough to turn slightly.
    Anyway, when I mentioned the tang being sturdy, I was comparing it to a rat-tail. I could feel without disassembling mine that the tang was not of sufficient length. But it's a decent, non-functional piece for the price.
    I'm pretty sure this sword is about 10 years old. The tsuba is black and bronze with most of the raised areas being bronze. The picture does make it look worse than it is.

    I'm pretty sure I paid less than $50 and maybe closer to $40 for it.

    It's been a good toy.

    When I put it back together the tsuba was much more solid.

    Taking it apart is as easy as using a hammer and a punch to knock that pin out. If you have a spacer of some kind you could easily tighten it up if it's worth it to you.
    Last edited by Chris Lampe; 03-27-2005 at 04:12 PM.

  5. #55
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    more SLO pics

    another forum member asked if I would include some pics of a SLO I bought over a decade ago in Scotland. Here is the actual thread regarding it, but I'll post the few pics I have here as well.

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...139#post582139

    Here's the overall sword:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #56
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    the hilt:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #57
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    and the rediculous rat tail the manufacturer thought adequate for a blade this long, wide, and heavy:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #58
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    That is brass solder in the middle...yes, the rat tail snapped off on me one day when I was fooling around with the slab of steel. To call it a sword is insulting real swords everywhere. This wouldn't have held up just being worn in a back hanger for the Ren Faire. It was terrible. One of the brass quillons snapped off, so i just broke the other one off for aesthetics and symetry's sake.

    I'm still looking for someone to try and salvage the blade into something vaguely useful. The thread i linked will explain more about it.

    If it's not worth saving, at the very least someone who does presentations or demonstrations could use it as a prime example of what NOT to buy, or as an example of what historical swords were NOT. In that case, I'd give it away, less the cost of postage to someone.

    Dave

  9. #59
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    Thanks. I have never seen such a huge sword with such teeny tang. I really felt your SLO would be a fine addition to this sticky thread.
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  10. #60
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    Originally posted by Dave Womble
    and the rediculous rat tail the manufacturer thought adequate for a blade this long, wide, and heavy:
    Oy! Good thing you didn't try swinging that...thing...around! Almost looks like the rat tail tang of my Braveheart claymore knockoff:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Impossible" is a word that humans use far too often.
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  11. #61
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    For comparison's sake, this is the tang of my AT1211:
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    "Impossible" is a word that humans use far too often.
    - Seven of Nine

  12. #62
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    tang. . . itty bitty. . .


    so small.

  13. #63
    well a long time ago i bought a few wall hangers 3 to be exact a ceremonial tachi sword very nice but a piece of **** unless its on the wall. A i think sun sword katana? whatever and a Full tang katana, you know the one that looks like a steak knife handle. anyways i modified the full tang slightly sanding it and wraping a shitty job on it. and as for the sun sword it snapped during a test of the plastic handle. THere was about a half tang in it wich i rebuild using a cedar hammer handle from the store and put 4 special bults into and then compressed the handle and wraped it in metal tape. The construction is still very light and effective however the handle wouldnt last long in a fight regardless of the reconstruction.

    If enough of you reply with a yes i'll do a tear down of the suppossed full tang katana and expose it to you all as i make a more propper handle for it.

  14. #64
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    I used to have a few "wallhangers" back in my late teens and early 20's. Then I started hearing about the swords by Paul Chen and others. Knowing what is out there, there is just no effing way I could ever consider buying another el cheapo. I had a PC practical ninja, but sold it to a friend of mine.(I am saving up for a much better sword this time.) The pictures in this thread reminded me of the wallhangers that I used to have. This is a really good thread for those who don't know the difference.

  15. #65
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    I had a standard-issue wallhanger katana bought for me before i knew about 'real' swords. Curiousity led me to stripping it down (lots of glue and nylon shoelace ito). But interestingly enough, the tang was a good 6 inches and quite thick. The blade (though only stainless) wasn't bad. A few hours with a drill and rivets made from tent-peg cuttings, and i fixed a home-made (better) hilt to the tang. And do you know, for a 'project', it's not bad!

  16. #66
    Originally posted by jacobmurphy
    [B<snip>
    If enough of you reply with a yes i'll do a tear down of the suppossed full tang katana and expose it to you all as i make a more propper handle for it. [/B]
    <raises hand> Aqui. Si. Da. Jawhol. Hai.
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  17. #67
    Ok I'll go gather parts to recraft the tsuka later.

  18. #68
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    IMO companys can be real selfish. How much would it cost to make a tang an inch longer to make it that little bit more secure?
    'Someone once asked me'..."Is Kingdom of Heaven more realistic than the anime in KillBill?"...Well what kind of question is THAT!?

  19. #69
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    Originally posted by Rob R.
    IMO companys can be real selfish. How much would it cost to make a tang an inch longer to make it that little bit more secure?
    Most companies that make wallhangers don't know how to make a real sword. The rattail tang makes it easier for them to slap on an assembly line hilt. I've had wallhangers where the hilt didn't fit the sword very well. All of them were massed produced, and there wasn't much thought about how well the components fit together.
    "Impossible" is a word that humans use far too often.
    - Seven of Nine

  20. #70
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    well these wall hangars can be be a real cheap way to scare unarmed house robbers

  21. #71
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    but, thats just a waste of steel. think of all the more useful things you can make with all that metal. and they waste it on cheap, fragile wallhangers. the world has better uses for steel then just for making these pieces of crap.

  22. #72
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    Here is a checklist of ways to tell if a katana is crap without tearing it apart.

    1. Cost less than $300 (I've NEVER seen quality blades less than that)

    2. Has a repetitive, pyramid shaped hamon (very good sign of mass produced crap)

    3. Flashy gold on the fittings, mainly tsuba (fairly good sign, sometimes nice blades have flashy gold, but very rarely)

    4. Has un-traditional fittings (about 90% of the crap katana's I've seen have these)

    5. Made after some sort of movie (like Kill Bill or Zatoichi)

    These are probably the most obvious signs of crappy katanas.
    I hope it helps!

  23. #73
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    I had one of the United Cutlery katana like objects similar to the wakizashi Jennifer posted. Looked okay for the price and it was my first sword purchase... It was a piece o something, though... Broke it by dropping it on the ground after a very light swing... Snapped right in the middle of the blade. So, I had another blade bought from Atlanta Cutlery that fit the thing perfectly. Took the tsuka ish handle off and repleaced the blade and it is a wallhanger that my brother still has. No cutting with it, though, as it is dangerous as can be. Funny thing about it was that blade cut as well as anything I've ever ownded, knife shaped v edge and all. It was razor sharp (Knowing full well that that isn't alwaways a good thing, but still, it was impressive on soft targets. Grain was enormous in the blade, though, and it was very hard and brittle.... I found the plastic on the handle to be very sturdy, though. I couldn't damage it trying to remove the roll pin which actually held in there like it was gluied in with cement... All in all i twas a whole step up the ladder in wallhanger quality from the worst ones I've handled and toyed with...

    Stil, kids, don't try using these at home.. lol

  24. #74
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    Smile

    As a beginner, thank you for the pics. It helps with a warning, and should help people like me not to get caught !

    I guess you get what you pay for !
    Regards,

    Joe

  25. #75
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    It's a shame this site isn't more popular in New Zealand. We have a site called TradeMe where you can buy and sell just about anything (I mean anything, one lady put her husband up for auction) and the amount of cheap wall hangers that are passed off for actual 'high quality' swords is disgusting.
    If you want to see what I mean, follow this link:

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/structure/a...sp?id=36852464

    I hope it works ok. This guy is advertising his 'high quality katana' with a starting bid of $80, saying that in specialist shops they're sold for $599.90. I know for a fact that you can buy them in malls in australia for a fraction of that price.
    It's one thing to produce and sell this rubbish, but to try to pass it off as an actual sword....

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