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Thread: A loooong thread about homemade sword

  1. #1
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    A loooong thread about homemade sword

    1
    BLADE
    Finally after more than 2 years this sword is ready.

    I made this sword in honour of my father who went ill 2 years ago and he past away in the fall last year. The theme is a little forest lake surrounded by high pine trees. (The needle in the saya came from those pines) where he use to fish perch when he was a child
    Hope you like it.

    I started with a good bar of plain carbon steel (0,7%) I do my swords similar to the good man Bob Egnath use to do it, my first “sword teacher on the net” I mention this just to point out that you can do good blades without being a smith. (though, if I could I would smith)
    I then ground shaped it with angle grinders, after that it’s a LOT of file work..
    The blade is inspired by the Kanbunstyle in the Edo period. Except for the kissaki that is a exact copy from a sword made by Miyari Akihira ( later Yukihira)
    It has double hi, (is it called fujutsa-hi something??
    The specs are modest; mihaba 30 mm (1,18) to 20 mm (0,78) nagasa 680 mm. (26,7)
    It´s trough hardened by professionals and is very springy and very sharp.
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  2. #2
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    More pics of the blade
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    Of course you need tsuba F/K and menuki on a J sword so here it goes;

    The steel tsuba is from an old PK, the pattern with waves and a flower is taken from an old Edo tsuba, I love this simple design. First a draw the design on a paper and glued it to the steel, then I drilling some holes, and get away with my jewellers saw, it’s not very difficult but time-consuming. I think I used about 15-20 saw-blades on this bugger.
    (it’s my son’s finger you see, so it wont blow away you know)
    When I had the pattern ready I filled up the kodzuka/kogai holes with brass.
    The patina is rust and then boiled.
    The habaki is nickel-silver and not much to say about it, it’s traditionally made and decorated with a simple groove. (the menuki on the same pic is an old one I made years ago)

    The F/K (you only see the fuchi here) is from Fred Lohman, really high quality, dragon in water, I just saw out the fuchi-dai and replaced it with a more traditionally one out of copper and added some golden water drops.
    The Menuki is brass, and suppose to be perch-fish, its made again with help of my jewellers saw ( 10- 15) blades this time).
    The one you see with the paper on turned out to be the dead one in the end. They are gilded with real gold “paper”. I am not so happy with that; it´s difficult to applied that stuff in the proper way’
    The seppa is just sawed (5 blades) out of brass.
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  4. #4
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    Excellent work Mats!

    Maximum Effort for a great piece.
    Bartender and Brewmeister for the Pub


    Stranger in a Strange land

  5. #5
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    More F/K menuki
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    and more
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  7. #7
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    Saya

    I used birch-wood in this one, I try to used what I can find where I live, just like they did in old Japan. I don’t think birch wood is as good and easy to work with as honoki but that’s what I used. My son is helping me this time.
    Not much to say really , I saw and chiselled out the form and glued it together with a glue that I think is similar to white “elmers” glue, ( extremely strong, stronger than the wood it self).
    The inletting of the habaki is ok but not perfect (is that what separates the amateurs from the pro guys?)

    Before gluing it I write a little poem inside. (The theme of this sword is a forest lake)
    If I would dear to translate it, it says; the lake bide it’s time, thinking of memory’s long gone, waiting fore new ones to come.
    For the koiguchi I did not choose traditional, it’s made of micarta, strong stuff made out of flax pressed together.
    I shaped it and fitted it on the saya (again you see the difference between pro and amateurs)
    The kurigata is horn (from Namikawa) I glued it on the saya after I lacquered it.
    The kojiri is brass, and has a setting copper sun in water on it, looks really cool, the pic don’t do it justice.
    The saya is lacquered with shellac, it’s very inferior to urushi, but it’s easy and healthy to use.
    And when dry (if ever) and car waxed it’s really ok.

    I used an old Japanese technique on this one, pine needles in bedded in the lacquer, the needles come from pines growing around the lake that’s in the theme.
    It was a real PITA to do this, don’t know how many layers it took 50? 60? (take about 4-5 months to dry.)But in the end I got a sort of wavy surface with the needles in bedded, some of the needles are highlighted in gold.
    It turned out really nice but I will never do it again.

    The saya looks jet black in ordinary light, but in the sun you see that it’s really a dark brown.
    Just like the water in the forest lake, the lacquer looks really deep and gives the impression of the needle disappearing in the water. ( I just can’t get this on picture)
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  8. #8
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    more saya
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  9. #9
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    yeah there is more
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  11. #11
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    THE TSUKA

    Is made out of alder, chiselled and sawed out as usual, it’s in “rikko”, hourglass shape, nothing special,
    On this one I made it just a hair overdone, witch mean the nakago slides in easily, then I put hard glue( araldite) in the halves, put foil over and then inlet the nakago, if I remember right I got this idea from Brian Van Speybroeck or maybe Don Fogg, anyway, when the glue has cured it fills up every irregular that is, and gives a perfect fit of the nakago.
    (BTW the tsuka is not that much longer than the nakago I shortened it down before the tsukamaki)
    Well as you see it’s only panels on this one. It’s wrapped with suede-ito, it’s was really hard doing this because the width of the ito vary, it got thinner and then wider. Considered that I think it ended up fairly well.
    I did got the Menuki on the ura side wrong though, it should had been one diamond down toward the fuchi, I checked tons of tsukas and almost every one had the start or the end of the Menuki in the third diamond from the kashira.

    Sorry about this silly loooooooong thread, I’m sure it´s illegal.
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  12. #12
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    more tsuka

    Well thats it.
    If you like it i am glad, but even more; if you don´t like it, let me know in a constructive way, that´s the best way to learn.

    Ps Mat. i see why you have a rabbit in your avatar, you are really fast
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    Last edited by Mats Gustavsson; 02-14-2008 at 05:50 AM.

  13. #13
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    Wow Mats, very nice work there..
    sticky this one mods.
    More Sweat In Training Less Blood In Combat
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  14. #14
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    An impressive labor of love and a fitting tribute. Congratulations on a job well done.
    "Without a sign his sword the brave man draws,
    And asks no omen but his country’s cause."

    ---The Iliad of Homer, Book xii, Line 283


    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner; Liberty is a well-armed lamb."
    ---Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry G. View Post
    An impressive labor of love and a fitting tribute. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Well said Jerry.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry G. View Post
    An impressive labor of love and a fitting tribute. Congratulations on a job well done.
    That's really all that needs saying I think.
    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    "Not to us Lord, Not to us, but to Thy Name be the Glory"

    Adsum, Domine: Totus ingenibus meis ad pedes tuos proponeo.
    Duce et regere servum tui, Domine, ab omnibus temptationem, ita ut honor purus et donum meum incontaminatus sit.
    "Here am I, Lord: All my talents at Thy feet I lay. Guide and guard Thy servant, Lord, from all temptation, that honor may be spotless and my gift unstained."
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  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Thread "stuck". You did *everything* yourself? I'm very impressed. Your father would've been proud of this sword.
    "Impossible" is a word that humans use far too often.
    - Seven of Nine

  18. #18
    Niiice. Bookmarked. I don't think I've ever seen an informative set of pictures as these are. I totally love the choice of fittings and tsuka length. Very nice job.
    Michael Mann is the greatest director to ever walk the Earth.

  19. #19
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    remarkable,

    Thank you for sharing this with us

  20. #20
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    Simply Amazing. An inspiration to all of us who know not how to forge, but wish they could.
    Oblivion is the shield of the mind

  21. #21
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    GREAT work Mats! If you ever are out NY way, let me know and we'll see about getting you some time on hot steel.
    I dunno. Iron is sort-of the Paris Hilton of metals, and carbon, nickel, chromium silicon, etc. are a bunch of good looking guys she just met at a party. - Al Massey

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Yabut View Post
    Thread "stuck". You did *everything* yourself? I'm very impressed. Your father would've been proud of this sword.


    I am honoured; thank you all for the kind words.
    My father would have been proud, he liked sword to, but where more in to old guns and western swords.
    And yes every part except for the F/K, shitodome and kurigata is “homemade”.

  23. #23
    Mats,

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! on a terrific project. I am struck dumb with admiration! A great, great tribute to your father.

    Could you tell us, or better, show us with pictures, how and with what tools you carved the double hi, and kept them so exactly smooth and parallel?

    Thanks again for sharing this!

    L.

  24. #24
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    Truly impressive!

    I look forward to seeing future work from you!
    REAL Star Wars fans HATE Star Wars (and Lucas)... but LOVE the idea.

  25. #25
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    About the double hi, I do those when the steel is still straight, I am doing bar-steel sword remember? And I cut them with the angle-grinder, with an another steel-bar on top to guiding the grinder it’s really difficult because the grinder is big and heavy and its so easy to do a mistake here, I have reject several bar-steel “sunobi” over the years because the grinder wobble a bit or cut to deep.
    After that I widen them with round files in different sizes to the width I want and then it´s just sandpaper until its looks good. I usually use 80-180-240-400-600-800-1200-1500. I use files that you use to sharpen ¨chains on motorsaws.
    I am afraid I don’t have any pics one the making of them, hope this makes sense
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    Last edited by Mats Gustavsson; 02-18-2008 at 01:14 AM.

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