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Thread: Custom daito by Rick Barrett (pic intensive)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Custom daito by Rick Barrett (pic intensive)

    First, a word of apology to those with slower connections. The pictures (hosted on photobucket to save bandwith for SFI) are rather large and numerous. Second, I am not a very good photographer and the pictures do not do the sword justice. At all.

    The blade was made to fit a somewhat valuable two-stage antique habaki. The design is of crashing waves and the inner piece is solid silver and the outer piece is gold. I've rarely had the privilege to come across antiques in such absolutely pristine condition, and I knew that I just had to have this one mounted on a deserving blade in order to give it a new life. The two pieces still fit together very tightly like two puzzle pieces, coming together to form a very stable and sturdy habaki. More abused two-stage (niju)habaki I've come across had been loose and flimsy feeling by comparison.

    It must be noted that there are not many smiths in the US who are willing or even able to make a sword around an existing habaki (since it's clearly "backward"). Rick Barrett did an admirable job despite my unusual request. The munemachi is not 100% flush with the habaki (by ~1mm), but otherwise, the word "Perfect" comes to mind.

    This is, without a doubt, the finest sword that I have ever had the privilege of owning or studying in person. Period.

    Here is a picture comparing the blade pre-polish -- made from 1075 -- to one by Kiyomaro(p. 26 of Yoshindo Yoshihara's "The Craft of the Japanese Sword").



    Some basic stats:

    - 1075 monosteel katana
    - 27.5'' nagasa; shinogi zukuri
    - Extended chu kissaki (borderline o-kissaki)
    - ~0.8'' sori
    - Midare hamon
    - Enough nakago for a 10.5''~11'' tsuka.

    There's quite a bit of nie activity and I am more than pleasantly surprised by the blade's balance and nuance. It should be an incredible sword after it is professionally mounted.

    A picture taken by Rick Barrett before the blade was sent out to me:

    Last edited by Joo-Hwan Lee; 04-12-2007 at 01:03 AM.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  2. #2
    A shot of the habaki. One under normal light and again with flash (to show off the hamon).



    Another shot of the habaki along the mune.



    An overall shot. Again under normal light and with flash.



    A shot of the kissaki.

    Last edited by Joo-Hwan Lee; 04-12-2007 at 12:59 AM.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  3. #3
    Another kissaki shot. This time at an angle along the mune.



    A shot of the blade. Beautiful.



    Another.



    And one more.

    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  4. #4
    One more of the kissaki.



    And a parting shot~ Note the graceful sori.



    It really breaks my heart, but I may not be able to keep this sword for long due to a number of very important upcoming expenses....

    Still, it was a pleasure and privilege to have this opportunity to view a blade by Rick Barrett in person as its temporary steward.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  5. #5
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    Wow, thats a wonderful habkai and sword, congrats, do you know anything moore about the habaki???

  6. #6
    I purchased the habaki about a year ago from another collector in Japan. He could not provide me with the specific history, only that he had also acquired it from another source many years prior. As far as I know, this habaki had originally been mounted on a rather ostentatious and important sword... probably why it remained in such great condition.

    -Edit to add-

    I almost forgot to mention. Whoever made the shirasaya (not sure who) did a phenomenal job. Some of the best woodwork I've seen in a long time.
    Last edited by Joo-Hwan Lee; 04-12-2007 at 01:11 AM.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  7. #7
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    Thanks Joo

    As Always mate - simply a pleasure to view those pics !

    I never cease to be amazed by Joo's taste and the beauty of that habaki is typical Joo - amazing piece , amazing blade .


    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  8. #8
    Beautiful sword Joo. I was also surprised that Rick would do what he did around the habaki, but it turned out great.

  9. #9
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    It breaks MY heart to imagine having to part from this piece of absolute art..

  10. #10
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    Very Nice Sword Joo.
    I have to admit I was skeptical at 1st when you had mentioned having the blade made around the habaki. It definitely is a testament to Rick's skill to accomplish that.

    -Karl
    .................................................
    www.karljunitz.com
    Have a look around.....

  11. #11
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    Stunning work...thanks for sharing, Joo-Hwan!
    Some stories can't be told by words.
    Some legends are meant to die.
    Some bloodlines must come to an end.

    - Old Snake

    Whoever wins, the battle does not end. The loser is freed from the battlefield, the winner must remain there, and the survivor must live his life as the warrior until he dies.
    - Big Boss' final words to Solid Snake

    A name means nothing on the battlefield. After a week, no one has a name.
    - Naked Snake

  12. #12
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    WOW.
    Are you sure you need a honeymoon?? Try convincing her the sword is more of an investment!
    "I wear my soul at my side"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joo-Hwan Lee View Post
    The blade was made to fit a somewhat valuable two-stage antique habaki.
    Joo, likely you're the first one to order a custom sword that fits an habaki...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joo-Hwan Lee View Post
    It must be noted that there are not many smiths in the US who are willing or even able to make a sword around an existing habaki (since it's clearly "backward").

    You can bet the Daito on this ! Great word by Rick and congratulations to
    you. Astonishing pieces.
    Last edited by Carlo Giuseppe Tacchini; 04-12-2007 at 02:24 PM.
    Please forgive my english.

  14. #14
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    double post.
    Please forgive my english.

  15. #15
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    Incredible. I love the habaki, very cool, plus that kissaki...perfect. I would love to have that blade......I think anyone would.


    Very Nice Joo, Man I really hope you don;t have to sell it. Talk about the ultimate in seller's remorse!

  16. #16
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    DAMMIT JOO! Joo, joo got a great sword there! I am friggin lovin that habaki, dammit that is gorgeous..............
    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

  17. #17
    I *think* that's the one I saw in person a little while back, it sure looks like it... it's a gorgeous blade. I really like Rick's work.
    RHGraham
    Swordsmith, Evolution Forge

  18. #18
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    Great stuff Joo. It's a shame ya may have to let it go. Well if you do, you never know man. I always love Ricks work.

  19. #19
    My wife and I actually already had a mini honeymoon.... Don't worry, guys, I wouldn't even be contemplating selling this beauty unless it was for a very good reason.

    But we're going to sit down with the checkbook again tonight and see if I can justify keeping this sword. :crosses fingers: Even if it stays, it will probably end up waiting on my kake for a long while to be mounted though...

    Rick Barrett clearly did some fantastic work here, and I'm sure that he'll appreciate everyone's kind words so far. He put a lot of careful thought and work into this one. Take a look again at the comparison between this sword and the one by Kiyomaro!! Now, we both wish the munemachi was a just a couple of hairs more flush with the habaki, but it still turned out extremely well and without compromising any structural integrity.

    I just can't get enough of looking at the activity in the steel-- There's definitely more happening here than what I could capture on camera. One day, when I can afford it, I'll definitely have to commission a folded blade from him! (Hey, a guy can dream, right? Haha )
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Gorgeous.
    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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    I love bumping old threads.

    ... and I miss Joo
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  23. #23
    Yup, Rick's work speaks for itself, but I think he particularly outdid himself with this one.

    It may interest someone to know this blade is currently available, here:

    http://www.legacyswords.com/fs_gen_sword13.htm

  24. #24
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    Beautiful as usual

  25. #25
    Awesome work, as always. I have a piece by Rick that I got to do a lot of the work on being polished right now. Should have picks really soon I hope. All these threads lately are killing me with anticipation.

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