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Thread: Tanto Customization

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Hong Kong

    Tanto Customization

    Hello Everyone,

    I was recently commissioned to customize a tanto, and I wish to share some of my experience in here.

    Started with a sharpened high-carbon steel blade with decorative hamon, a finished saya and plain tsuka woods, this project aimed to build a tanto with brass mountings that were made by myself.

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    After I had all measurements of each component, I began to do little adjustment on the tsuka woods, so that the tang would sit inside perfectly well. The mekugi-ana position was decided after pasting same on both sides of the tsuka.

    While the blade and tsuka woods were sent into a milling machine for mekugi-ana drilling and mei engraving, I focused on the construction of brass mountings.

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    The kashira was shaped by punching a piece of brass through an oval hole. The fuchi, on the other hand, was a result of having two brass strips soldered. As a theme design, I applied lining texture on both the surfaces of kashira and fuchi.

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    Considering the tanto was bought as a gift for someone’s wedding anniversary, I made a pair of menuki featuring the yorokobu design (a Chinese/Japanese word rendered as “happiness”). All the brass mountings were waxed, but did not go through the traditional patina process, because I intended to keep their gold-like appearance of brass.

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    The only difficulty to me, as a metal smith, was the tsuka-maki process. It really took a lot of works to make the wrapping tight and constant. I give my greatest respect to all tsuka-shi!

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    So, this is it, the customized tanto is on the way to its new home.

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    This is my very first post in SFI. Hope you like my sharing!
    Last edited by Oliver Tong; 06-06-2015 at 06:02 PM.
    一は全 全は一

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Wow, you even made the menuki yourself, that's impressive amount of work. Nicely done, and welcome to SFI!
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

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