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Thread: SGC and TENCHI

  1. #1
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    Question SGC and TENCHI

    hey im really close to buying one of these wonderful swords. Now i can say im a begginer in the respect that i have owned 1 sword and it was a $ 50 katana that i put a huge chip in (the story is rather embarasing). anyway i would like to know what people think of these swords and their thoughts on 9260 spring steel in general. now please dont come on here to bash on cheness cuz i have read plenty, and if u have something to say about cheness i would like to hear about them from someone that owns one of their swords and personally knows the problem...i would also like to chat with anyone who is willing to tell me all about either of these swords.

    thank you for your help
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  2. #2
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    I think just about everything to say about Cheness' 9260 swords has been already said; durable blades, substandard (and occasionally downright dangerous) koshirae, make for nice budget cutters once re-fitted.

    Prime example is forumite Jim Anestasi who has been cutting a lot of bamboo with his SGC Yamakami, until it broke down, and is now being re-fitted by Skip, after which it should have a lot of mileage in it.

    Of course since you've read plenty you already know this.
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    SGC & Tenchi

    Hi Casey,I do not know anything about the Tenchi but do know about the sgc.I have cut with it and thoiught it was ok.I did not expect it to be as heavy as it was,and the fittings are the cheapest fittings i have ever seen. It handled ok but not to my liking so i sold it.If i were to ever get another one(not that i would...but) i would deffinatly have it refitted.So that being said it would be better and more affordable to get a better quality cutter in the first place as refitting a blade isn't cheap as many of us have learned... the hard way ..lol.Hope this helps, Rich

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    I already typed this once but it didnt post 1st time around -

    I owned a 9260 blade in shirasaya from cheness - same blade as the shura and tenchi ( both have the same blade just different fittings )

    I had it for about 7 months as Skip Gardner bought it new and mounted it with one of his own tsuka -

    I liked it , it was a light , agile cutter and due to the quality mount it was rock solid .

    I traded it back to Skip for a wakizashi as at the time I had too many katana with BoHi - apart from that I loved .

    Kris Cutlery sell a really good user katana - tougher than a coffin nail - no hype , no fan fare there KC 26 & KC 29 II lines now have a more tr5aditional , removable tsuka and the steel they use
    5160 is the steel of choice for a lot of custom sword smiths .

    also I doubt you have read this thread yet _

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...hlight=cheness

    Think about a new tsuka if you buy a tenchi , I read that Cheness now over builds their tsuka to solve the cracked core issue ( paul Southren SBG ) but maybe still use the nugget/stone theme fuchigashira .

    Mick
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    ok fine.....i ask u then if the sgc or tenchi arnt very good what is a good, durable, sharp, katana for under 300 USD. or how much would it cost to remount it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    ok fine.....i ask u then if the sgc or tenchi arnt very good what is a good, durable, sharp, katana for under 300 USD. or how much would it cost to remount it.
    I'm loving my PK (Paul Chen "Practical Katana") to death; very sharp, keeps an edge pretty well (differentially hardened), safe as they come (tsuka epoxied on), cuts single and double mats like crazy, and the blade looks quite nice for the price. On the downside the tsuka is thick, has fake samegawa that looks horrible, uses plastic menuki, and some don't like the fake-suede tsukagawa (I personally think it's great). You can get one on eBay for ~$150 (-ish).

    Remounting costs are going to be pretty much the same on any sword in that price-range, apart from the very cheapest where you'd be wise to upgrade the fuchigashira (the cheapest swords use poorly made cast fittings).
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    I have owned four Cheness 9260s and each one needed a new tsuka core. I have recored two of them already(one I sold) and I'm working on the other two. I love the blades and hate everything else.

    If you can afford $300, I'd go with a PPK Elite. You can find them on ebay or through model number browser searches fairly regular for that amount and they are a fantastic value.
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    well i dont want a sword with the fittings glued together. and i also want the 9260 spring steel an the blade material. now maybe i forgot to mention this but this sword is going to be my beater(not that i intend to break it or anything but it will be my main cutter). i dont really care about the tsuka as long as everything works. and aslo for the remount can anyone give me a general price (USD)?
    Did god create man and everything around him, or did man create god and his enviroment.

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    i dont really care about the tsuka as long as everything works.

    If the tsuka is no good then nothing works , its as important as the blade - more in fact , the tsuka
    (hilt or handle ) is the interface between you and the blade - its where the blade ceases to be a disjointed inanimate object and becomes an extension of you and your will.

    I hope you dont think we are being a lot of old women Casey - really we are just trying to help you arrive at the best sword you can get for your budget while helping you avoid some of the problems and issues we have all experienced - I didnt know about SFI 5 years ago and wasted hundreds of pounds on cheap dangerous wall hangers .

    Paul Chen - PK , PPK and PPK elite are all in your buidget, as is the cheness kaze with 9260 differentialy hardened blade .

    if your set on a through hardened 9260 blade get the shura as it not only looks better than the tenchi , its got better fittings as well IMO and it has the same blade.


    Good luck

    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."



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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    well i dont want a sword with the fittings glued together. and i also want the 9260 spring steel an the blade material. now maybe i forgot to mention this but this sword is going to be my beater(not that i intend to break it or anything but it will be my main cutter). i dont really care about the tsuka as long as everything works. and aslo for the remount can anyone give me a general price (USD)?
    A remount is going to cost more than the sword. Simple fact of life. A lot of work goes into making a quality tsuka core, fitting the samegawa and fittings and then wrapping it properly and with quality materials. Just a wrap will cost you upwards of 200.00 from a decent artist, the really good guys will charge upwards of 250.00....just for the wrap. Woodwork and fittings would be extra on top of that. Fred Lohman's shop will do it for around 450.00 not including the price of new fittings.

    So keeping all this in mind, think long and hard before you buy a sword with a track record for being delivered with cracked tsuka and thus are unsafe to use. Pay 300.00 for a sword that will need 400.00 in upgrades, or pay 500.00 for a decent sword that won't need that upgrade work. I know where my money would go.
    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
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    Duce et regere servum tui, Domine, ab omnibus temptationem, ita ut honor purus et donum meum incontaminatus sit.
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    ok u guys misunderstand me...not that im being wreckless im just saying that i dont really care if my tsuka isnt perfect as long as it gets the job done....now i do know a few people that own cheness swords and they say its not that big of a deal...and ive spoken with the guy that runs sword buyer guide and he tells me thats its not something that i should worry too much about. not to sound like im being stubborn or anything its just that im hearing two different conflicting statments about these swords and the tests i have seen him do with them also conflict with what u guys are telling me...lets put it this way if anyone wants to talk to me one on one on an instant messanger about cheness and other possible sword suggestions im all for it...but for now lets just keep off the topic of the tsukas and more onto the blades and their overall performance.
    Last edited by Casey Sutherland; 02-04-2008 at 06:20 PM.
    Did god create man and everything around him, or did man create god and his enviroment.

    When thinking about anything one must keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    ok u guys misunderstand me...not that im being wreckless im just saying that i dont really care if my tsuka isnt perfect as long as it gets the job done....now i do know a few people that own cheness swords and they say its not that big of a deal...and ive spoken with the guy that runs sword buyer guide and he tells me thats its not something that i should worry too much about. not to sound like im being stubborn or anything its just that im hearing two different conflicting statments about these swords and the tests i have seen him do with them also conflict with what u guys are telling me...lets put it this way if anyone wants to talk to me one on one on an instant messanger about cheness and other possible sword suggestions im all for it...but for now lets just keep off the topic of the tsukas and more onto the blades and their overall performance.
    I don't know what kind of liability Paul/SBG take but if people on SFI would condone Cheness' flaws and recommend it to someone, and that person's sword was to fail, there could be legal repercussions. Besides, I've never understood SBG's mentality of going cheaper and cheaper and being only worried if it cuts or not (they even cut with swords in shirasaya, which is as unsafe as it gets).

    Regarding re-fitting, you could consider contacting some of the DIY-people here on SFI if you're on a budget, quality may not be of pro-level but it won't kill your wallet (or you) either.

    Do you have your mind set on a 9260-blade or will any durable blade do? If so, I can recommend Kris Cutlery's 5160-blades, tough as a coffin nail. Paul Chen's are not so forgiving on bad cuts and without a lot of niku are subject to chipping, which I suppose is why you won't consider them. Oni Forge's "Tonbo" performance-katana is also through-hardened, and has a good track record of cutting anything in it's path (apart from dry cow femur, lol), there is one on Classifieds right now for $275, no need for re-fitting unless you want different koshirae but the Tonbo looks pretty nice as is.

    Too bad Masahiro Bamboo's (the original ones) are sold out, you would've got a durable blade with better-than-cheness fittings for $50..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    ok u guys misunderstand me...not that im being wreckless im just saying that i dont really care if my tsuka isnt perfect as long as it gets the job done....now i do know a few people that own cheness swords and they say its not that big of a deal...and ive spoken with the guy that runs sword buyer guide and he tells me thats its not something that i should worry too much about. not to sound like im being stubborn or anything its just that im hearing two different conflicting statments about these swords and the tests i have seen him do with them also conflict with what u guys are telling me...lets put it this way if anyone wants to talk to me one on one on an instant messanger about cheness and other possible sword suggestions im all for it...but for now lets just keep off the topic of the tsukas and more onto the blades and their overall performance.
    It strikes me that a person telling you that cracked tsuka core are "noy something to be worried about" do not really know what the hell they are talking about. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the tsuka of a japanese style sword is not just a handle. It is an integral part of the sword and its proper construction is critical to the safety not only of the weilder, but of bystanders. There are numerous accounts of swords whose tsuka have failed due either to user neglect, abuse or poor construction, failing and allowing the blade to fly free. In a few situations, the consequences were fatal, in many others, people were seriously injured, including one of our own forumites, who took the flying blade of a Cheness sword right in the lung, almost killing him.

    If you see one crack under the fuchi. how do you know there aren't others around the mekugi ana? You don't without tearing down the tsuka completely? If you see a crack under the fuchi, for safety's sake you must downcheck the whole thing and fit a new tsuka, and not just buy another one of the one-size fits all tsukas that failed in the first place.

    Other serious failures of Cheness "super tough" 9260 blades was a sword that had broken in the nakago before ship;ping. the blade had been welded back together, stuffed into a tsuka and sold without any warning that the blade was a welded up broken blade. The blade failed in use, though no-one was injured, and the story is posted in SFI somewhere. That's a serious quality issue. Now Paul Chen made a fantastic effort to make things right and no one can fault his customer service. However, what good is customer service if someone dies, or loses a body part, because a faulty sword failed?

    The construction and integrity of the tsuka is very important, regardless of what SBG is saying.
    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
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    Duce et regere servum tui, Domine, ab omnibus temptationem, ita ut honor purus et donum meum incontaminatus sit.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    ok u guys misunderstand me...not that im being wreckless im just saying that i dont really care if my tsuka isnt perfect as long as it gets the job done....now i do know a few people that own cheness swords and they say its not that big of a deal...and ive spoken with the guy that runs sword buyer guide and he tells me thats its not something that i should worry too much about. not to sound like im being stubborn or anything its just that im hearing two different conflicting statments about these swords and the tests i have seen him do with them also conflict with what u guys are telling me...lets put it this way if anyone wants to talk to me one on one on an instant messanger about cheness and other possible sword suggestions im all for it...but for now lets just keep off the topic of the tsukas and more onto the blades and their overall performance.
    If you are satisfied with people telling you don't worry about this or this isn't a big deal and you are not happy hearing opinions here then you already have your and made up and won't be happy unless you hear what you want to hear. No one has bashed your choice or tried to move you into a higher price range, all suggestions have been incredibly valid and would be in your best interest in the long run. If price is a concern then it seems you would want to get the best you can for the money you are willing to spend, I think some of the suggestions here would accomplish this for you. Why spend more on a remount if you can get it all up front and be happy with the blade?

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    Exclamation

    ok guys please, i have not ignored ur opinions.....so dont think i have just written off ur contributions....i have been looking into it finding people that own a cheness sword and talking to them....so how many people here actually owned a cheness and can tell me personally what happend....or how old is it? because here i am trying to get all the facts, so im cross referencing everything u guys tell me with other sources. instead of just taking your word for it im sending e-mails, talking to people, and researching everywhere to get all the information i can. i have taken all of ur suggestions into account. i went and looked at the ppk and other hanwei (think i spelled it right) swords. so please dont think im just ignoring what u have to say. if i were to just take your word for it, it would be the exact same as just listening to the SBG guy. i havent baught anything or made any final choices. i came to u guys for help and information which i read thoroughly (sry if i mention this alot but im trying to make it extremely clear). so please dont be cruel or mean im just skeptical at this point.
    Did god create man and everything around him, or did man create god and his enviroment.

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  16. #16
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    Hi Casey,

    Are these your words, or is someone using your moniker without your knowledge.

    ok ever heard of ... ( 2 weeks ago by darkslyde504). ok ever heard of 9260 spring steel well that stuff is amazing i own a katana made from this stuff and ...
    Needless to say, there is more out there for all to read. If you do own a 9260 blade, then you seem to be simply looking for a good time. If you don't own a 9260 blade, why (assuming the use of your handle is your own) are you broadcasting that you do and touting a steel barrel video?

    If nothing else and intentionally or not, you are seemingly playing one forum against another. That would fit a category in of itself. Using the search term and Cheness will yield a lot of reading material here. Pro and con, that is the easiest way to find it. if you are not interested in taking that time and measure, I'd assume others shouldn't willingly spend time for you.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; up front totalitarian forum ninja, meany and otherwise nice guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Sutherland View Post
    ok guys please, i have not ignored ur opinions.....so dont think i have just written off ur contributions....i have been looking into it finding people that own a cheness sword and talking to them....so how many people here actually owned a cheness and can tell me personally what happend....or how old is it? because here i am trying to get all the facts, so im cross referencing everything u guys tell me with other sources. instead of just taking your word for it im sending e-mails, talking to people, and researching everywhere to get all the information i can. i have taken all of ur suggestions into account. i went and looked at the ppk and other hanwei (think i spelled it right) swords. so please dont think im just ignoring what u have to say. if i were to just take your word for it, it would be the exact same as just listening to the SBG guy. i havent baught anything or made any final choices. i came to u guys for help and information which i read thoroughly (sry if i mention this alot but im trying to make it extremely clear). so please dont be cruel or mean im just skeptical at this point.
    Several people (in this thread and elsewhere) have told their Cheness-stories; almost invariably they all tell the same tale, that of a durable blade and a bust tsuka. If you need more convincing, or indeed have made the decision to get a Cheness anyway then that's OK, all I can say then is "be very very careful". I know I freaked out after reading of just two bust tsuka, not to mention when I came across the fact that Cheness has 1% fail rate! (Compare to one in every hundred hand grenades blowing up unexpectedly or one car in every hundred manufactured having the brakes fail at any time, and you don't know if yours is that one; if that's not Russian roulette I don't know what is)
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    There is no denying that Cheness tsuka have had some quality control issues in the past. But so have Oni Forge (I have seen cracks in their tsuka so big that you can put a quarter in them). I've heard stories of the 'infamous' Masahiro Bamboo breaking cutting tatami, and same with Hanwei PPK. Why Cheness gets singled out so much is rather perplexing to say the least...

    If you have read the full thread on the Higo that did indeed puncture the lung of a forumite here, it had been used as a 'beater' for years previously, and the mekugi had been replaced by TWIGS - so I really can't see how that is the fault of Cheness...

    With the blade that had been welded back again - that was someone at the forge deviating from QC and trying to hide the fact that they broke a blade, and Paul Chen was VERY DISTRAUT when he heard this happened (he almost pulled the plug on the operation then and there).

    Anyway, the reality is that in the early days Cheness were using the same tsuka as everyone else in the price range, but making much better quality blades. Over time (the tsuka is now in the 3rd generation) he upgraded the wood used, made the groove that seated the same panels less deep and added a brass pin (which you will find recommended by a 10th Dan Nakamura Taizaburo in an article here). The end result is now a very strong tsuka core, quite different than the ones used by everyone else in this price range that they started out with...

    Yes, there are a few first hand accounts of people here dismantling their Cheness Katana and finding a cracked tsuka core. But not all of them will know how to do it properly, so how many were damaged during this procedure? It's true that the way they assemble them might not be ideal - but can anyone keep a straight face and say that a $50 (retail) Masahiro bamboo had a perfectly made tsuka core individually made for each particular Nagako?

    One thing is for sure, the negative publicity on SFI about this issue (whether deserved or not) has seen Cheness revise and increase the durability of the tsuka to match that of the blade - so much so that it is now easily the most overbuilt tsuka in this price range...

    But even so, I wouldn't put my automatic trust in it. I wouldn't be so overconfident to do that with any sword - because even the best made tsuka can fail in sudden and unexpected ways...

    I'll finish up my post with a direct and enlightening quote from Sean Stonebridge from a previous thread where the same tired old line came up again:

    SEAN STONEBRIDGE: It's safe to assume that cracked tsuka and production line - blade and tsuka - fitting techniques aren't traits solely found with Cheness products, but close and careful inspection before use is something any user should become familiar with.

    Everyone should do so, regardless of branding or source of manufacture. Bugei, Hanwei, Dynasty Forge, etc.. All are just as guilty when manufacture flaws enter the equation.

    -----

    Strip-down should only be done if one can be certain of being capable of doing without causing damage whilst also knowing how to correctly replace damaged parts. It can be quite surprising just how many people blame manufacturing flaws when they discover faults, without realising poor strip-down technique can lead to virtually identical breakages / flaws. This aspect can prove just as problematical as any manufacture flaw, or sword useage issues.

    In an ideal world everyone should seek proper / adequate instruction whenever weapons handling enters the equation and everyone should take particular care during strip-down, re-assembly and use. Especially if instruction isn't a practicality.


    P.S. I did not post here to start a fight or a flame war. I just wanted to point out the fact that Cheness HAVE been continually improving their products - and to point out the bigger picture in a civilized and friendly manner.
    Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Southren View Post
    Why Cheness gets singled out so much is rather perplexing to say the least...
    A quick answer: volume. I don't trust Oni anymore either, nor Masahiro (my MB-tsuka cracked, BTW) but nobody asks about Oni or Masahiro, whereas we get Cheness-threads all the time.

    I know Cheness "improved" their tsuka a while back, but they changed the wrong things; the basic fundamental flaw of selling "replacement"-tsuka still exists, which suggests that they don't know what causes the alarming rate of tsuka failure. That's when I gave up hoping. Before I'm presented with clear evidence that the problems of the past have been corrected I can't trust the Cheness-product, nor recommend it to others.
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    Hi Paul,

    Sean was one of many that expressed concern about novice experiences in taking down their brand new katana. Correct me if I am wrong but was not Cheness suggesting buyers do their quality control inspections for them? That led to a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Manufacturers and vendors could do a much better job of touting their own improvements instead of outdated pages and misdirection.

    Playing one brand's problems against another's is really no more productive than playing one forum against another. There may be common issues but each needs to be taken on a case by case basis. In this case, you have Casey following your published videos and both asking questions and offering enthusiastic feedback about the video elsewhere. A good many pages of SBG make a point of what happens at other sites. It can(has) create(d) a hostile atmosphere.

    I know you have tried (time and again) to write disclaimers about destructive testing but you will never be able to eliminate the WOW factor. In earlier posts to this thread Casey is relating to those impressions in saying, in effect "well, as long as it will get the job done, I think it'll be ok". That he may be exploring and learning more is terrific but without understanding what the problems can be, may continue a course of ignorance is bliss because someone else said not worry about it.

    Another situation and mindset has come to be over the past couple of years that equally relates. Beaters. No offense to those that use the term but I have to voice my opinion that it shows a certain level of disrespect for what folk are venturing into. Combined with the videos of destructive testing and an "it's more important to have fun than be right (read that as informed)" mindset ; a Pandora's box of issues continues to balloon, not the least of which is some really basic stuff.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Cheness could put up photos of old and new on their site. Why is it left to the consumers to disclose anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post

    Another situation and mindset has come to be over the past couple of years that equally relates. Beaters. No offense to those that use the term but I have to voice my opinion that it shows a certain level of disrespect for what folk are venturing into. Combined with the videos of destructive testing and an "it's more important to have fun than be right (read that as informed)" mindset ; a Pandora's box of issues continues to balloon, not the least of which is some really basic stuff.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Cheness could put up photos of old and new on their site. Why is it left to the consumers to disclose anything?


    IMHO, it's also showing disrespect for the weapon. After all, a sword is a weapon. I have a sword I consider my "beater", but it gets more attention than all the others. Why? I use it more frequently than all the others, hence it must be shown more care and respect.

    I own a Cheness Iaito, traded for here on SFI. The tsuka was... yes, cracked. I know a few fellows here and across the state that have Cheness swords. Some of them swear by 'em, some of them don't like them all that much.

    I've seen the Yamakami (sp?) in action... it's a beast of a cutter. However, I stay clear when it's swung. I've seen what it does to bamboo... I don't want it to do the same to any part of me. Does that specific sword have a tsuka issue? I don't know. But 1/100 is a hell of a thing to bet your life on....

    I would not be against purchasing a blade in shirasaya, but as Andrew said, what would be the point of doing such and spending that much again on koshirae?? Just save up and get some thing like a PC W&T (*finally* got to handle one... WOW).

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  22. #22
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    A few more things I'd like to discuss further, quoting Paul here. Paul, please don't take this as a personal attack on your person, I certainly have nothing against you even if I disagree with you at times. A lot of what is discussed here goes for many budget katana manufacturers, Cheness just happens to come up most often as I mentioned earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Southren View Post
    If you have read the full thread on the Higo that did indeed puncture the lung of a forumite here, it had been used as a 'beater' for years previously, and the mekugi had been replaced by TWIGS - so I really can't see how that is the fault of Cheness...
    That's beside the point. I can only speak for myself, but for the most part I can't blame Cheness for that, the sad case of H.Watanabe is more like a warning example what can happen when a tsuka fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Southren View Post
    Anyway, the reality is that in the early days Cheness were using the same tsuka as everyone else in the price range, but making much better quality blades. Over time (the tsuka is now in the 3rd generation) he upgraded the wood used, made the groove that seated the same panels less deep and added a brass pin (which you will find recommended by a 10th Dan Nakamura Taizaburo in an article here). The end result is now a very strong tsuka core, quite different than the ones used by everyone else in this price range that they started out with...
    You mention a list of improvements but the list does not include "individual fitting of a core to a blade". The Nakamura Taizaburo article is hardly relevant, good read though, I suggest everybody to read the whole article instead of focusing on one sentence (it's like saying Bible is about stoning people to death).

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Southren View Post
    One thing is for sure, the negative publicity on SFI about this issue (whether deserved or not) has seen Cheness revise and increase the durability of the tsuka to match that of the blade - so much so that it is now easily the most overbuilt tsuka in this price range...
    This is something I didn't understand at all; what is an "overbuilt tsuka"?

    If Cheness, or any other budget manufacturer, wishes to make *SAFE* budget swords, the answer is dead simple: go the PK-way; epoxy-glue the tsuka on permanently. And then add mekugi for good measure. After that you only need to worry about poor quality (-control) of blades and bad construction of habaki.. (plenty of worries there, too) Timothy made an excellent point, as obvious as it is, that these are weapons, and should be treated (and constructed) accordingly.

    One thing that has surprised me is that forumite PY Chen (the guy behind Cheness, in case some newer members don't know) doesn't post here like he used to. If I were in the business (that's a big if, so I suppose it's easy for me to say ) I would do my utmost to rectify the people on SFI if we were making wild assumptions without any reality-base. You know, show the improvements made, discuss what could/should be done otherwise, etc.

    Slightly off-topic here, but I haven't seen Loren Graves (owner of Oni Forge) around SFI lately either, which troubles me every bit as much as PY Chen's absence; reported problems with OF started to surface around the same time as Loren started showing up less and less frequently.

    My last point here, the price of Cheness swords. Despite the assumed increase in quality of craftsmanship (and consequent increase in labor costs) the prices of the swords haven't gone up, instead they are on constant state of "sale" (since last December IIRC). I say "assumed" since I don't know whether the quality has indeed increased or if they just changed the way they do things, potentially leading into whole new problems.
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  23. #23
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    'Overbuilt'

    I take this to mean that an extraordinary amount of time and work goes into the entire tsuka now compared to other manufacturing process's ?

    carving shallower panel inlets and using brass for the 2nd pin goes no where to addressing the one size fits all issue -

    the video of cheness production techniques in 2006 did the brand no favours and the rider tag on the video about "our construction methods have changed since this was filmed " has yet to be borne out by updated footage -

    are the cores now more individually tailored to each nakago ? Does the ito maki girl now use a tying stand or Boger bench to ensure a tight functional wrap ?

    If some of the key issues were addressed , even resulting in a rise in price many of us here would be more favourable towards the brand - I see no business sense at all in maintaining low quality work to keep the price down to $199 - $250 resulting in the same issues time and again - especially as the hype has increased expectation in performance way above any other $200 sword .


    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."



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  24. #24
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    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the delay - timezones and sleep, you know.

    Anyway, I'm happy to continue to discussion. Bear in mind that I am not speaking on behalf of Cheness, just giving my own understanding of the situation based on my close working relationship with this company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    A quick answer: volume. I don't trust Oni anymore either, nor Masahiro (my MB-tsuka cracked, BTW) but nobody asks about Oni or Masahiro, whereas we get Cheness-threads all the time.
    That may be true, but most of this threads are repeating the same thing. It's like holy writ - 'Cheness tsuka are no good' - but it gets parrotted a bit too often, so the number of threads and warnings seem to be dissproportionate to the actual number of cases (which is NOT to dimish the original cases, just that there is a bit of an echo problem, common on ALL forums, not just SFI).

    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    I know Cheness "improved" their tsuka a while back, but they changed the wrong things; the basic fundamental flaw of selling "replacement"-tsuka still exists, which suggests that they don't know what causes the alarming rate of tsuka failure.
    Actually, that's not the reason. When I first started talking to Cheness, one of their goals was to produce an easily customizable tsuka that could be switched out by the customer - but the problem was it was very hard to get the tolerances right. If you note the description is: "Tsuka Set for production swords (made to fit Cheness Swords)" -and that is correct, the third generation swords have been made with much more attention to detail on getting the nagako to be a more uniform shape and size, and more attention to detail on the fit between components - as well as strengthening the wood, etc as stated before.


    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    You mention a list of improvements but the list does not include "individual fitting of a core to a blade". The Nakamura Taizaburo article is hardly relevant, good read though, I suggest everybody to read the whole article instead of focusing on one sentence (it's like saying Bible is about stoning people to death).

    This is something I didn't understand at all; what is an "overbuilt tsuka"?
    I doubt any sub US$300 production sword tsuka will ever be individually fitted to the blade like a Nihonto But as mentioned above - more attention to the tolerances of the fit between these components has been one of the additional improvements to the 3rd generation blades...

    The bit in the linked article I was really pointing out was: "Therefore, the primary mekugi should be of bamboo, inserted from the right side of the handle; the hikae (reserve) mekugi should be manufactured of iron or steel and inserted from the left side." - yes, everyone should read the whole article of course, but I was trying to point out that the second brass peg is something that is not new or unique to Cheness, it is another safety consideration - though I have seen it attacked too...

    I guess by saying its an 'overbuilt tsuka' now wasn't the right choice of words. What I was trying to say (bear in mind it was 1am when I wrote it) is that with so much attention on the tsuka, they have been beefed up significantly compared to other swords in the same price bracket (three rounds of improvements) - thus the term 'overbuilt', though in retrospect it probably was the wrong word to use.


    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    If Cheness, or any other budget manufacturer, wishes to make *SAFE* budget swords, the answer is dead simple: go the PK-way; epoxy-glue the tsuka on permanently. And then add mekugi for good measure.
    I actually don't disagree with that at all. My only concern is that it may lead to a false sense of security as if the wood is crap, epoxied or not, I'm sure it can still fail... But it is a better option.

    I've never done it with any of my Katana, but it's probably not bad advise to give to beginners (to epoxy their low end swords) - especially those that no matter what you say to them will still cut without any training or real thought of the safety consequences. But to publish this as advise is a catch 22 situation, as the old overconfidence can creep in again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    My last point here, the price of Cheness swords. Despite the assumed increase in quality of craftsmanship (and consequent increase in labor costs) the prices of the swords haven't gone up, instead they are on constant state of "sale" (since last December IIRC). I say "assumed" since I don't know whether the quality has indeed increased or if they just changed the way they do things, potentially leading into whole new problems.
    I can't say too much on this as it is a confidentially issues. All I can say is that these things DO eat into the profit margins. Eventually something will have to give, but for now - they are trying to keep it low. It's no secret that Cheness have much thinner margins than most other sword manufacturers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Sean was one of many that expressed concern about novice experiences in taking down their brand new katana. Correct me if I am wrong but was not Cheness suggesting buyers do their quality control inspections for them? That led to a bit of a Catch 22 situation.
    Yes, this was a Catch 22 situation. But the idea is you can check and recheck a sword as much as you like at a warehouse, but if the UPS man kicks it into his van...

    I don't believe Cheness were saying that the end buyers should do their quality control inspections for them. They were suggesting that prior to using the sword you should make sure all the components are in order. And that brings us to the point of sword knowledge, people who don't know what they are doing hamfistedly bash it off, see that 'wow, the tsuka is broken' and post on a forum...

    Furthermore, as the reports start rolling out like this - more and more people start taking them apart - which creates a snowball effect, and you add this to the 'echoing' that occurs on forums - and its no wonder there are so many reports...

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Playing one brand's problems against another's is really no more productive than playing one forum against another. There may be common issues but each needs to be taken on a case by case basis.
    True enough. I was trying to point out that the earlier Cheness tsukas were actually no different than most others in the price range though, which is a valid point... I'm not into attacking brands...

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    I know you have tried (time and again) to write disclaimers about destructive testing but you will never be able to eliminate the WOW factor. In earlier posts to this thread Casey is relating to those impressions in saying, in effect "well, as long as it will get the job done, I think it'll be ok". That he may be exploring and learning more is terrific but without understanding what the problems can be, may continue a course of ignorance is bliss because someone else said not worry about it.
    Excellent point! And it is something that I am continually trying to address - it's very easy for people to just watch the videos and gloss over anything that mentions safety or caution... And it's honesty something that is very difficult to address.

    But in all honesty, I have never from my end said not to worry about the integrity of a swords tsuka. Cheness tsuka are better than many people here give them credit for, but - like all tsuka - they should be treated with respect and certain level of healthy skepticism. Epoxied or not..

    I guess at the end of the day what I am trying to say is that their tsuka are not as bad as some people make out, and the fact that they have been improved has been ignored. Hopefully, by posting here we can cut down on the 'forum echoes' and get to the truth of the matter.

    I'm NOT saying they are perfect, I'm not saying that there haven't been and wont be issues in the future. But what I am saying is that Cheness seems to have been singled out on this, and that in itself is dangerous - because problems with Tsuka will occur on all production swords for the forseeable future in one degree or another and no manufacturer is immune.

    It just seems Cheness is copping all the flak, and as my own experience with these swords has been impressive to say the least, I wanted to try and balance things out just a little...

    Cheers,

    - Paul
    Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

  25. #25
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    Paul let me start by saying thank you for SBG - its good for the sword comunity and for a relatively new site I think you;ve done really well - its inclusive as opposed to exclusive so that its a breath of fresh air -

    Hell I even taught myself a good honing method for my blades by watching your Paul Champagne sharpening vid over and over again and I like your candour and honesty in the testing vids and reviews - I had to get that out as I dont like to bash anyone or anything usually

    Its uncomfortable at times to be brutaly honest but I wont be convinced while cheness still offer 30 buck replacement tsuka as this is the root of the problem for me , more so than shallower same' inletting .

    I agree the brands been demonised to a certain extant and I dont like that if its from people who have never owned or used a cheness sword - saying the 'tsuka is crap' some are wannabe's and jump on the band wagon - some are genuine owners badly let down .

    Thank you

    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

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