Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Custom tsuba - redone koshirae

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Posts
    8,650

    Custom tsuba - redone koshirae

    After buying the monstrous Shinshinto katana, I began a search for koshirae. The blade can actually use a slightly larger than average koshirae set for the tsuka, a 42-44mm fuchi, nothing odachi sized. The mouth of the saya though is about 43mm, so I'm using a 42.5mm fuchi I have that was custom made / cast by someone (not sure who). I used the kashira on another katana, so I made a matching one by grinding down an existing kashira and copper plating it. Both were buffed clean, and left in a natural copper state. I'm allowing natural elements to dark them. I can blacken them, but copper plated steel always blackens darker than pure copper.

    The tsuba I cut from a piece of recycled plate steel. One day I noticed scrap metal from the welding class at the college I worked at, usually tossed in a large bin waiting to be disposed of or reused. Asked the instructor if they needed it, and he told me to help myself to it. Also found some copper (unsure of the purpose) which could be hammered out straight and flat, then ground smooth. Good way to get a decent pair of work hardened copper seppa.

    Anyways, the tsuba is about 4 mm thick. I only had a few limited tools including a hacksaw, dremel with steel cutting attachments, metal rasp, several steel files, and 100 - 220 grit sandpaper.

    The template for it was the Paul Chen Bushido katana tsuba. I love kaku gata tsuba. The Bushido katana tsuba is nice, but due to the flashy saya, gets maligned. Plus I don't want to use a production tsuba on a fully restored Shinshinto blade.

    Traced the shape, cut some guidelines, then cut out the general shape with a hacksaw. Clamped it to a vice (with two pieces of wood to sandwich and keep the tsuba from being smudged) and used the rasp to get the entire shape defined. Sanded the edges smooth, then filed it to a rounded shape with the metal files. Flat sanded the tsuba with a palm sander, then hand sanded it with 220 paper.

    Took 2 days of free time while other projects were glued and drying. I am planning on cutting out the nakago ana (big job, nakago is about 9 - 10mm thick) with a tungsten bit. Not looking forward to that. Total the weight of the tsuba will be about 140 grams. I wish it were a tad heavier, but the tsuba isn't the thickest on the world. about 3 1/16ths inches wide, 3 and 1/8th inches tall. The sides are slightly less rounded than the top and bottom of the tsuba.

    The seppa were also scrap copper, hand hammered flat and ground smooth. Spent a while making minor adjustments to finally get it perfectly flat.

    The Shinshinto blade is going to have a 14 inch tsuka, antique same, brown suede ito, and still thinking of the saya color, probably dark red in a matte finish. The saya is almost a complete circle in shape, going to send it off to get reshaped by a professional since I don't want to mess it up and be without a saya. The margins on the ha and mune sides for the saya are already slim, don't want to accidentally break through the seam.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Aaron Justice; 11-20-2010 at 10:52 AM.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

    Ronin Outpost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Stockholm SWEDEN
    Posts
    702
    Hallo Aaron, good to see that you and the others are still at it, I have been busy with other things, (not “swordthings”) you know life, kids that sort of things.

    Enough of that, about the tsuba, i love to see the outcome of it, but you must try to get a jewellers saw, its really quite easy to use in simpler patterns (like nakago anas) even on steel.

    And it´s not very expensive, I bought one on Dick Biz, they call it Coping saw, but I am sure you can find one nearer to you

    http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/cate...691/detail.jsf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Posts
    8,650
    After seeing your thread (and being told countless other times as well) I decided I probably need to get a Jewelers saw. Also a Dremel Engraver, I might make a second, more ornate tsuba soon.

    I finished the tsuba last night. Enlarged the nakago ana with a dremel tool and a tungsten bit that grinds through steel like nothing. Luckily the nakago is HUGE so I didn't have to be that careful, it left a lot of room for error.

    Slowly sat down with a few metal files and fine tuned the opening until it was about 90% in shape, then even more slowly smoothed it out until it wnt on all the way and *clicks* into place. A perfect fit.

    Look at how thick the nakago is. This tsuba is slightly over 3 inches wide, but the thickness of the nakago makes it look like a tiny Wakizashi tsuba. The nakago ana looks slightly pointed off center, but it's just the camera angle.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Aaron Justice; 11-24-2010 at 11:34 AM.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

    Ronin Outpost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Posts
    8,650
    More pics, on the katana.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

    Ronin Outpost

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Stockholm SWEDEN
    Posts
    702
    I like the shape of that tsuba, with it´s nice rounded corners, squared tsubas can sometime be to squared, if you understand what I mean but this one looks soft, almost sensual.
    Perfect choice for that beefy sword.
    (you call that kasane?? This is kasane!!!!)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •