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Thread: Cheness Habaki

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    BC, Canada
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    196

    Cheness Habaki

    Getting ready to start the rework on my Cheness Kaze and I was wondering if there are any openions here regarding the quality of the habaki on Cheness swords. Mine has no visible sauder lines or cracks however it does scuff up in a nasty way when any contact is made with the inner saya, I never have that problem with my Japanese made iaito so I do find that curious. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I am really just wondering if the habaki should be replaced as well, if so I would have that done for me as I do not feel that is something I could do as I am more comfortable with the wood work than the metal. Thanks and Happy New Years to all at SFI!
    My guess is that you are reading this in English on a computer of some sort and if that is the case I hate to be the one to tell you but you will never be a samurai nor a ninja, any more than you may apply to become a 12th century French Knight or an Emporer of China. Some jobs are simply no longer hiring.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Brazil
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    427
    Cheness habaki are the most sturdy I've seen on production piecess. It is a personal preference, but I like that. No visible solders, not paper thin, like I've seen on many high end...

    A custom habaki (and saya) will have a better fit of course, but I'd leave the original habaki alone and perhaps try to shape the inner saya - you said to be confortable with wood work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Järvenpää, Finland
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    The habaki on the Tenchi I'm working on won't come off at all, probably it's been forcibly jammed in place at the assembly line.. not a good sign. No visible cracks in the machi on the visible parts of the blade but I'm kinda concerned.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Loganville GA
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    130

    No solder line

    AFAIK the habaki on the Cheness katana (and most other production swords from China and the far east) are brass cast in one piece. A good habaki made and fitted to your blade will most likely cost about a third too a half of the total cost of the Cheness katana.

    I am not even going to get into the pros and cons of cast verses forged habaki.

    Dave P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Brazil
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    Lohman uses cast habaki or am I wrong?
    Of course they are specificaly fited to each sword, what makes the whole difference...

    Anyway, Lones, Cheness are still better than most production habaki I've seen... If you are not going to fix the uneaven hamachi and munemachi, I'd leave it as is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
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    658
    Not sure if they are fitted to each sword. More likely there are a bunch they choose from and "fit" them to your sword.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
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    8,650
    Every production outlet has cast habaki from what I've seen. I have about 8 or 9 Dynasty Forge katana. Most habaki fit well or decently, some fit really tight, some are loose but they seat well when assembled but when the tsuka is off they wiggle. Those can be fixed, I've even seem some people jam leather into a loose habaki, but I think something more solid need to be there to tighten it. Plus leather can absorb moisture and cause rusting under the habaki.

    Most places cast 10 or so different sized habaki and fit the right ones to the right blade. Dynasty Forge katana all usually have different widths and thicknesses, but a relatively regular size and shape. Hanwei usually has spot on sizing, but with tiny variation. Masahiro style stuff all seem to have the same size habaki, every now and then you see a habaki with the machi of the blade sticking out a tad.

    In the end, not much else you can get from production habaki. Minus the smaller details about how the mune machi and ha machi sit, the absorption of shock, etc, Chinese makers see only two reasons for a habaki usually. To keep the fittings locked in place, and to grip the inside of the saya. Beyond that, the other benefits are just side effects of the production.

    Then again if production swords equaled or closely rivaled custom katana, then a lot of good people would be out of business.
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