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Thread: Custom Orchid Katana Handle is complete

  1. #1
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    Custom Orchid Katana Handle is complete

    Well I finally completed my orchid katana handle, it was a little too slim for me so I put some veener around the handle and then I did a full same wrap which came out perfectly, you can not even see the seem.

    Step 1: original handle



    Step 2: Full Same wrap



    Step 3: Full Same wrap after being Black Lacquered



    Step 4: The full wrap






    The ito is actually green but it shows up a little blue in these pictures. I would love to know what you guys think, this was only my forth wrap but I am very happy with the unformity of the diamonds.

    This handle is perfect now for me it is the perfect girth and I did shorten it to about 10 1/2 inches. I will post pictues of the fully mounted katana fairly soon.

    Comments welcome!

  2. #2
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    Looks quite nice, but "why not make a whole new tsuka" springs to mind.. It's still a straight "ax-handle", which to me is almost as unpleasant as the lack of girth on my Orchid. BTW, how does the green ito work with the blue saya (or has it been repainted)?

    Diamonds look uniform enough, maybe a bit wide, is the wrap tight? The biggest problem to my eyes is that the ito isn't flush with fuchigashira. Did you use hishigami?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    Looks quite nice, but "why not make a whole new tsuka" springs to mind.. It's still a straight "ax-handle", which to me is almost as unpleasant as the lack of girth on my Orchid. BTW, how does the green ito work with the blue saya (or has it been repainted)?

    Diamonds look uniform enough, maybe a bit wide, is the wrap tight? The biggest problem to my eyes is that the ito isn't flush with fuchigashira. Did you use hishigami?
    The only reason I didn't make a new handle was because I am way to busy to do that right now and I just didn't feel like it. Especially since I was hoping this handle would turn out as nice as it did. You know how thin a orchid handle is and I would have had to have made it even thinner just to make the ito line up with the fuchi and kashira. I don't know if you have taken yours apart, but compared to other fuchi and kashira the orchid's are quite a bit smaller then any other due to the thin handle size. So making a new one really would have been just a waste of time because it would have turned out EXACTLY like this one.

    Ha, I figured somebody would say something about how straight it is. Unlike the majority of people on here I find that I cut best with a straight handle, curved handles are definately NOT my thing. I do like hourglass shaped handles but not more then a straight handle.

    Yup, I did repaint the saya it is a mirage purple and green saya and it looks incredible. It is definately not traditional. And the dark green ito and black same look amazing with it.

    And yup, I used hishigame and the itopis super super tight, I actually thought I was going to break the handle/ and or ito a couple of times because I pulled it so tight. That is why my diamonds are a little wide, due to me pulling it sooo tight. As for the F/K not matching up with the ito, I addressed that above, the F/K are as small as the original handle. So my ito doesn't really overlap it is just barely outside the F/K due to my veenering and the full same wrap. I increased the girth of the handle by about 2/3 inch.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I know the fittings of Orchid are small, but again, why not change them too while you're at it? Sorry if I seems obsessive but what I'm going to do if I change my Orchid's tsuka is get larger f/k-set and make a new, thicker, curved, and hourglass/tapered shape tsuka to fit them. I'll be keeping the original tsuka, along with it's fittings, as is.

    BTW, from my experience with PK, I like cutting with a straight tsuka too! I haven't cut enough yet to decide which is best for me, but I think my next cutting-session will sort that out.
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  5. #5
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    Thats some very good tsukamaki there! Well done indeed. However something to point out is that the ito is not flush with the fuchi or kashira.

    Will

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    As for not switching out the fuchi and kashira for a bigger set, I was very tempted to switch them with the tsunami katana's F/K since they would have fit perfect, but I like the kojiri that goes on the end of the orchid saya and so I wanted to keep the F/K matched with it Gotta LOVE that gorgeous kojiri on the saya. I absolutely love this koshirae, minus the tsuba, I sold that. In person however it does not look as extreme (the ito Over the F/K) as it does in person, in person it looks very clean and nearly flush.

    (not to mention those menuki cost me $85, but I think they match the F/K PERFECTLY)

  7. #7
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    Very nice David, looking forward to seeing the entire sword.
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  8. #8
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    Hey David,

    you did a good job with the rayskin there. Did you sand down the ha and mune sides at all before you did the wrap? That could help bring the ito a little more flush with the fuchi and kashira. I agree, do whatever you can to keep the Orchid FK.
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    Which reminds me, I gotta take out my Orchid. Mmm. Nice. Aaron, is yours still in standard-koshirae or have you "justiced" it yet?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Justice View Post
    Hey David,

    you did a good job with the rayskin there. Did you sand down the ha and mune sides at all before you did the wrap? That could help bring the ito a little more flush with the fuchi and kashira. I agree, do whatever you can to keep the Orchid FK.
    Yeah the koshirae on the orchid is the best thing about it!


    As for the Ha and mune being sanded, the reason that I did not do that was because if I did the handle would have been as thin as it was to begin with so all I would have accomplished was making a full wrapped handle (with a very thick ura and omote) which is most definately not what I wanted. The handle NEEDS to be bigger on the orchid. The handle girth is absolutely perfect for me now. And I was willing to sacrifice a little cosmetic look for perfection. The ito definately does not stick out as bad as it looks in the last picture, the second to last picture shows it the closest to the actual look, I would say it only sticks out by about 1/64", which is VERY minute. Lets put it this way, the ito will NOT slide off during use at either end.

    Here are the dimensions of the handle girth, I increased in by a full 1 inch.

    3 2/8" Original Size
    3 4/8" After being veenered
    3 7/8" After applying the Same
    4 2/8" After tsukamaki

    (left it all in eighth's for simpliclty)

    And for me a 4 1/4 inch girth is EXACTLY what I like in a tsuka...and that it is arrow straight


    Oh and everything about this sword is complete except for the blade, I have a fair amount of work to do on it. I still need to resharpen it and take the 1/64" nicks out of the blade. I have some delicate work on my hands coming up. Other then that this blade is complete, New Tsuba, New handle, New saya, now only the blade is left.

    I actually want to finish this blade before the end of august so I can submit in the dog days photo contest, I can't submit an incomplete project, expecially with the blade looking the way it does. The saya is absolutely breathtaking.
    Last edited by David Buck; 08-15-2007 at 08:43 AM.

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    removed...
    Last edited by David Buck; 08-15-2007 at 04:56 PM.

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