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Thread: JW Hot Steel Forge?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    If there is a real hamon underneath some lemon juice could bring it out
    For howlong should this juice be in contact with the blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    Hardly a surprise at $60 price-range..
    It is indeed not a surprise but i'm a bit because of the fact that is was sold to me as having a "cley quenched blade with real hamon"
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian J. View Post
    For howlong should this juice be in contact with the blade?
    I haven't tried any of this stuff so no comments, but check out this thread:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...ighlight=lemon
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  3. #28
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    I tried the lemon eching

    Well i tried to use the lemon/dishwashliquid method and the results are a bit strange. On one hand you could say that there is indeed a differentially tempered blade under the "wire-brush" hamon but i'm not fully convinced.

    What do you think?

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  4. #29
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    Thumbs up

    Very interesting results. IIRC some people hybrid-polished their wirebrush-hamon Zhi-Swords and found real hamon underneath there too. Based on Kenneth's post I think that the reason this is done is to save time (and consequently money), since wirebrushing a hamon is much faster than even hybrid-polish. The hamon is not very pronounced, even with acid etching.
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  5. #30
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    Why do they "waste" time in making a differentially tempered blade and covering the blade with a wire-brush hamon?
    Why not fully temper the blade if you do not want to bring out the real hamon with an etch or polish?

    I don't think there are a lot of people who want to start cutting with a $40 sword...
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian J. View Post
    Why do they "waste" time in making a differentially tempered blade and covering the blade with a wire-brush hamon?
    Why not fully temper the blade if you do not want to bring out the real hamon with an etch or polish?

    I don't think there are a lot of people who want to start cutting with a $40 sword...
    Here's how I see it. Blades have to be heat-treated in any case, even TH requires time and attention to be done properly. Non-hardened blade could not be used (and believe me, a lot of people do use even $40 swords).

    "Differentially tempered", "clay tempered" etc. are current eBay hot-sales-words. To be able to use these words in their sales-pitch and avoid complaints they have to actually have a hamon on the blade. Bringing it out requires a LOT of work, however, and the sales-pitch of a cheap sword doesn't mention anything about the polish bringing out the natural hamon. So they machine-polish the blades and wire-brush a fake hamon on the blade. And there you have it: a cheap differentially tempered blade that shows a hamon.
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  7. #32
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    A couple of thoughts... there might be a real hamon there somewhere, but it might be highly irregular and unusually thin. Not because they were being artistic (obviously), but because it wasn't done with a lot of care. I'm just making that assumption based on the price.

    Also, what is likely is that the hamon ends before the machi, so you're polishing at a place where there is no hamon anyway. So, you might find the hamon a couple of inches further up the blade in front of the habaki. I've seen similar things in pictures of other low-end blades.

    Just my 0.02 cents..
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  8. #33
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    I went ahead and moved this thread to the Production Katana forum (don't know why I didn't earlier; must've been sleeping).

    And I'll just say, as the old saying goes: You get what you pay for. How much effort do you think a production sword seller is going to put into a $40 blade...really?
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Yabut View Post
    I went ahead and moved this thread to the Production Katana forum (don't know why I didn't earlier; must've been sleeping).
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Yabut View Post
    How much effort do you think a production sword seller is going to put into a $40 blade...really?
    That is not the issue, if they did not mention anything regarding a differential tempering i would have bought the sword also because there are hardly any other options for this kind of sword.
    The issue is that they promised something which they (possibly?) did not fulfill.

    Anyway, Benjamin P. suggested that there is no hamon under the Habaki, he might be right but how can you explain the hamon structure that arised after the acid treatment?
    And in most production katana's I have, the hamon does go beyond the ha-machi (be it for only a few cm..)
    Also in pictures of nihonto you can often see the hamon going beyond the ha-machi.
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian J. View Post
    Anyway, Benjamin P. suggested that there is no hamon under the Habaki, he might be right but how can you explain the hamon structure that arised after the acid treatment?
    From what I've gathered so far, not all hamon are created equal... just because it looks like hamon, doesn't mean it is actually heat-treated correctly or with much attention. In fact, some of what you're seeing might be completely by accident and not deliberate, if that makes any sense. I read somewhere that low-end blades are sometimes heat-treated more than once or something like that if it doesn't go "right" the first time around... so you sometimes end up seeing more than one hamon line or things that look like hamon but is just really poorly heat-treated part of the steel. Anyway that sounds like a really bad practice.

    And in most production katana's I have, the hamon does go beyond the ha-machi (be it for only a few cm..) Also in pictures of nihonto you can often see the hamon going beyond the ha-machi.
    Well, most production katanas that deserve to be something more than wall-hanger... cost a lot more than what you paid (no offense!) for this one... and let's not even compare nihonto... they're not even in the same league/planet. Anyway, the hamon is supposed to go past the machi, from what I've seen and read... but it's doubtful some underpaid factory worker really cares about all those details... especially when he has probably never seen or held a truly decent sword in his life.
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  11. #36
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    A hamon (or any kind) forming where it should be due to bad forging and/or heat-treating technique? AFAIK that's like winning a lottery while getting struck by a lightning.. twice.

    Benjamin, please look at the picture: the polished "window" *IS* beyond machi (under habaki)..
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    A hamon (or any kind) forming where it should be due to bad forging and/or heat-treating technique? AFAIK that's like winning a lottery while getting struck by a lightning.. twice.

    Benjamin, please look at the picture: the polished "window" *IS* beyond machi (under habaki)..
    Oops, my bad. That'll teach me to look at pictures more closely. Thanks, Timo.

    Anyway... what I was saying about bad hardening doesn't really apply to this one anymore. Still I was told that, sometimes, when the heat-treating or quenching isn't done right on one of these low-end blades, it creates something that might appear to be hamon with strong etching but really isn't at all... which forces the worker to just do another one over it. Or something like that, anyway.... ::shrug:: Maybe I got wrong info., or didn't understand it right (which is quite likely).
    REAL Star Wars fans HATE Star Wars (and Lucas)... but LOVE the idea.

  13. #38
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    I promised some pictures when I got my Katana. It's ready to ship now apparently and Hot Steel Forge have sent me some pics of my sword for approval. I asked for the Katate Maki wrap, they said send pictures and they could do it for $10. If it looks as good in the flesh as the pictures I will be a very happy customer.Name:  P1010003.JPG
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    The journey not the destination

  14. #39
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    Guy, do you want opinions..?

    How much did you pay for it, BTW?
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  15. #40
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    I would welcome opinions, although I'll be better able to respond oonce I actually get the sword. Total cost was $297 including the $10 for the Katate Maki and shipping of $88 (ouch). I know you get what you pay for and this would be classed as a low end producton katana. I sometimes think that by paying little and structuring my expectations accordingly I have a better chance of having those expectations exceeded. It will be interesting to see how it compares with the Bugei Bamboo I am expecting shortly
    The journey not the destination

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy C View Post
    It will be interesting to see how it compares with the Bugei Bamboo I am expecting shortly
    It doesn't.

    Seriously though.. Cheap alloy fuchigashira, shoelacey-looking tsukamaki which looks quite wrong (and not in "correct" proportion, but IMHO that's a matter of taste really), wirebrushed hamon (over a real one like Christian's, or not)..
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  17. #42
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    o.O thats a real hamon under a wirebrush.....

    Saved cost of polishing...

  18. #43
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    Hello. Iv been reading the posts on this thread and iv bought some of JWs swords and i see no evidence of clay temper, Just the wire brush hamon( wire brush kissaki!!) I see the san-mai line and folding where its offerd and do look genuin. I also had a sword made(there best, most expencive) without the wire brush hamon and still no evidence of clay temper or diferrential hardening of any kind. I do like there swords, the ones i bought have good steel and are well put together.
    Looks like they use machines to do a lot of the work (bench grinders, angle grinders and buffing wheels) also the cutting edge is a plain razor sharp one. No bevel or camber to the cutting edge. I had to wait 3months!!! for delivery of one of the swords.
    I hope this helps. Regards Philip

  19. #44
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    Thumbs up Hot Steel Forge arrived at last

    Well it arrived today and I am pleased with it. Nice light blade p.o.b just under 5 inches so it feels quite handy. It seems well put together, full tang double pegged. The lamination line line is evident under the hamon (which does appear wire brushed, real underneath or not) The Katate Maki I asked for is tightly done, in fact everything seems very tight, no rattles or wobbles. No it doesn't compare with the Bugei Bamboo (top in some pictures) but then nor does the price.
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    The journey not the destination

  20. #45
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    Wink Hi everybody !

    First, i would like to salute everybody took the time to comment a few ebay sellers as i was searching for it ... !!!

    Secondly, i will now explain what i am here about ...

    This is my first post here but not my first visit ...
    In the beginning, i was searching for JW...
    I found a few comment, sometimes good, sometimes bad ...

    First, i decided to order my sword from JW ebay Store ...

    One month later, as they could not reply to my emails, i decided to ask them to refund my money back (377 $ including shipping)
    The order was for a SANMAI SILICON ALLOY with REAL YOKOTE, "Battle" wrap tsukamaki as they say ( hehe ! ), NO COUNTER POLISH, NO WIRE-BRUSHED HAMON (I don't really know if the hamon is real ???), they say it's differentialy tempered (i understood water quenched after heating ...), and tsunami tsuba, real ray skin, red wood saya.
    They sent me the money back, and told me they will send pictures of the blade ...

    After this, i decided to go to BADTRACK ebay Store ("dgspirit" exactly) and get focus on the "clay tempered kobuse A museum quality polish" as you can see in the end of this page :

    http://stores.ebay.com/dgspirit/About-Japanese-Blades.html
    This Store could make it for 430 $ including shipping ...

    After reading a few posts in a few forums ...
    i decided to forget him and turn back to the high rated MASTER ZHISWORD...

    What i ordered from ZHISWORD is this piece :

    THE ORDER IS FROM : #488 ebay item
    Sword Name: MURASE Katana

    - NO Grooves
    - NO Engravements
    - Real Shaped Yokote
    - Clay tempering process (with OMARU boshi)
    - 13 process traditional hand polishing ...
    - Double mekugi
    - Battle wrap Tsukamaki
    - COTTON ITO (color from 180187045395)
    - SILK SAGEO (color from 180187045395)
    - Koshirae of picture attached
    - Genuine RAY or SHARK SKIN on tsuka
    - Buffalo Horn Koiguchi (saya from 180155910725)
    - Silk Bag (with or without : it's not a problem,
    but could be still nice with it ;o))
    - Shipping to France = 48$



    TOTAL AMOUNT = 430$

    And i think i will be happy with this one !!!

    Yesterday, as i wanted JW to send me pictures of the finished blade ... i received these ones ...
    You can send opinions about it ... and you can send emails to tell me more about the choice i made ..??

    Last edited by X.Campano; 03-19-2008 at 05:20 AM. Reason: Bad formatting

  21. #46
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    Arrow Two more pictures

    As i needed more close up pictures of the hamon ... they sent me those :

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    Feel free to comment the faint hamon ...
    There's always bigger fish than you ...

  22. #47
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    X.Campano, I think you made the right choice (out of these options, at least). Nice recently got his custom Zhi and it looked quite nice. Please post a review with pictures when you get the sword, I'd love to see what the "13 stages" polish looks like. Did you specify the steel for the blade, nagasa/nakago length, sori, type of hamon, etc.?

    One thing, though: item 180187045395 has silk tsukaito, while you listed it as cotton; if it's not silk I suggest you upgrade it, it's only $10 or so extra and is much nicer (although not high grade silk).
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  23. #48
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    Thank you for comments .. !!
    I did not specify any modification on the blade ... Mr. Zhang told me they will use better steel than the one in the auction, in order to have a nicer hamon and better result on the whole blade ... the sizes are the ones on the auction... I asked him for bigger sori, but he told me that could be far longer to forge it. As i told him i needed to have tachi sori on the whole blade, he told me he could only make bigger sori on the blade, but not as a tachi style (in a tachi style, the nakago has the same sori as the rest of the blade)... For the type of hamon, i asked him if it could be possible to have a midare choji hamon and he told me it could cost way too much as it's ok for me with irregular hamon (notare).

    Well, for the item number, it was the first choice, but i decided finally to have the tsuka ito in a black cotton, as i love the cotton touch ... and for sageo the black silk on the item# 180188004498 !!! As the saya will be red with black koiguchi ... i decided to have a basic black configuration, as the one i have yet ... and not only for cosmetic reasons but i think the black will show less the dirt parts on the ito than any other colour !!!

    YES, I WILL AUTOMATICALLY PUT A REVIEW WITH PICTURES AND YOSEIKAN IAIDO SENSEI'S OPINION HEHE !

    Good end of week !
    Last edited by X.Campano; 03-21-2008 at 07:43 AM.
    There's always bigger fish than you ...

  24. #49
    First, let me say that JW offers a few different "levels" of sword. They offer various >100 generi-looking Chinatanas, $175-$250 san mai 9260 katanas, and <$250 forge-folded katanas. Of course the cheaper blades are gonna be just that: cheap. But their higher end blades are a different story...

    All of their katanas come with cheap and generic fittings, but the quality of their higher-end blades is quite impressive...very impressive actually. They absolutely make their higher-end katanas individually, and will do a complete custom katana to your specifications if you request and will pay for it (real yokote ridge, any size kissaki, shorter or longer blade, niku, etc.).

    I have a folded tanto that I bought from them last year. It came with the same type of wire brushed hamon (and kissaki) that we see earlier in this thread. I was very disappointed in this, so I immediately began a hybrid polish, with the intentions of removing the fake hamon and seeing if there was a real one underneath. Here are the results:

    Before (looks horrid):


    After (intensive hybrid polished and etching):








    As you can see, there is a very nice true hamon underneath. I bought this tanto standard, and did not make any special requests, so I think we can assume that their [higher end] blades really do have a true hamon...and a pretty nice one at that.

  25. #50
    Sorry in advance for the double-post. But I have a friend who has taken the plunge and has made a custom order with JW Hot Steel Forge. He purchased one of their 9260 San-mai katanas through ebay, and then made some additional custom requests through e-mail (which they were happy to accomodate). He requested an O-kissaki with real yokote ridge, no counter-polish on the hamon, and slightly more niku than they generally forge. He also requested a fully customized koshirae. They were happy to take his requests, at a total damage of just under $500. and After 3 months, they are actually on their third attempt at creating exactly what he wants (at no additional charge!!)

    First attempt:





    (beautiful, but it developed a [non-fatal] forging flaw, so they abandoned it.)

    Second attempt:



    (Another beauty, but the kissaki was too "straight" for the customer's liking...and now they are working on a third blade.)

    Both the first and second blades are indeed fully-functional, and there is nothing inherently wrong with them.

    I will also note that upon completion they had actually delivered the second sword to the post office, but [on their own notion] made a special trip to get it back so they could send him photos of the blade first (just to make sure it was to his liking before sending). Good thing they did.



    In conclusion, it looks to me like JW Hot steel Forge has a really good thing going for them. They will go to extreme measures to make their customer happy, and seem quite competent in their abilities (which can only get better with time). We'll have to wait and see how my friend likes the final product when it finally comes, but don't turn up your noses just yet!!
    Last edited by Andrew G.; 03-27-2008 at 12:18 PM. Reason: additional detail

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