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Thread: Bound to happen sometime...

  1. #1
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    Bound to happen sometime...

    Well, regardless of OniForge's good reputation, I found out why, exactly, they discontinued the Ashigaru model.

    They have a few on discount in their "Factory Seconds/Irregulars" section. They are listed as having "Minor, superficial rust" and/or "Sticks in saya".
    At the listed price, and minimal flaws, I couldn't pass it up.

    It arrived yesterday, and I've been admiring it's weight and feel. The fittings are nicer then I expected, even better than the fittings I have from Cheness(VERY little sign of the ground-out casting/welding lines).

    So today I decided to give it a light cutting test, something I've done with every sharp sword that has been in my collection. I filled a seltzer bottle and an old Arizona iced-tea bttle with water, and suspended them by twine from a clothesline (one of the kind with a central base and extending arms, so no chance of hitting any poles). I have no training outside of 3-weapon fencing, so I keep cutting to a minimum, and only on suspended waterbottles.

    Not having cut in awhile, the first cut smacked the iced-tea bottle, cutting into it a little, and severing the twine. It fell to the ground and I wiped the blade clean of water. Then the seltzer bottle was cut fine, smooth slice right through. I retied the line for the iced-tea bottle, since there was enough water still in it, and tried again. It cut perfectly again. Then I went to wipe the blade...

    There is a 1/4" by 1/16" chip nine inches from the tip. A chip. FROM PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES. Note, the chip was NOT there after the botched cut. I checked.

    This chip is FAR too deep to polish out, not to mention the blade not worth taking the time/money to polish it that far. It's at a weird spot. It it was closer to the hilt I could shorten the blade and turn the end into a tanto, but the bo-hi makes creating a new kissaki pretty much impossible without reforging.

    Looks like I'll end up butchering it for parts, and selling the blade cheap to someone who needs a practice pieec to polish.




    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  2. #2
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    That's a shame. Did you contact Loren?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Buck View Post
    That's a shame. Did you contact Loren?
    Should I? I mean, it WAS in the scratch-n-dent pile. And it's not like it came with an unlisted defect.
    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  4. #4
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    Dang. That's a shame. Thank you for posting this. I bought two scratch and dent Ashiguras myself. One I sold to a friend and the other I was planning on using as my beater. I should mention that MY definition of beater is a sword I do not worry about scratching. I have no plans of cutting more than pool noodles, tatami, beach mats, paper rolls and cardboard tubes. I will mention this to my friend to tell him to keep the cutting light and frequently check the blade.

    I think you should contact Loren ASAP as he would certainly want to be informed. To my understanding he is selling blades made for him by other craftsmen so he would want to be aware of any quality issues from his suppliers. The 1060 steel in the blade should be damn near indestructible if hardened and tempered properly.

    If anyone has any tips on how to spot a poor blade please chime in. I am an amateur bladesmith and nothing comes to mind other than checking for cracks and I know they can be darn hard to see at times.

    Let us know how this turns out please.

  5. #5
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    This shouldnt have happened cutting plastic bottles - not with an adequate
    heat treat and tempering -

    although it was bought from Oni's scratch n dent pile - if it never came with a label saying " flawed blade - do not use for cutting , display only " you should mail Loren - I am sure he will be very interested in what happened here .

    If you bought it as a factory 2nd due to cosmetic flaws no way should this have happened - from what I know Lorens a cool guy with both eyes on quality and safety .


    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

  6. #6
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    Well, I've contacted Mr. Graves and he has graciously offered to replace the sword.

    I've asked him is there were any non bo-hi models within his cache of Irregulars. I've never actually cut with an unfullered katana and, in case of another mishap, would make shortening a possible option instead of taking the time/money to ship the thing back.
    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  7. #7
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    Well....

    Many Kudos to Loren for his willingness to stand good for it....
    Onward, Ever Onward......Skip Allen

    "Honor has not to be won; it must only not be Lost"........Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

    "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death !!".......
    Patrick Henry, to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

  8. #8
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    That's really great of Loren. That is a lot of responsibility he has taken on as a sword seller. I think he only had 3 scratch and dent ashigura katanas and I bought the other two. His supplier messed up the forging or heat treat and now he has to request a replacement for a discontinued katana. I assumed he'd come good for it and I know you deserve a replacement but this isn't as easy as replacing a katana that is still available for sale.

    He's gotta be peeved with his supplier, and you miss about a month of cutting. Double shame.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Pavz View Post
    Well, regardless of OniForge's good reputation, I found out why, exactly, they discontinued the Ashigaru model.
    J.,
    Are you saying that they discontinued the model because the blades chipped?

    Can you verify this is the case? I don't think Loren would have continued welling the swords if they kept chipping.

    I was under the impression Loren had just started to run out of the stocklot of blades he had, and didn't order more of them...

    Also, plastic bottles can chip blades, I've rolled edges on plastic bottles and put a chip in a blade from one. I hit that thick plastic rim by the mouth of the bottle just right.

    So yes, it can happen. My views on light cutting are pool noodles and half mats of tatami, beach mats, goza, and such, so maybe you proved that they really are for light cutting.

    In my book, plastic bottles range from medium cutting, to abuse.
    Last edited by Jeff Ellis; 05-06-2007 at 01:31 PM.
    I like swords.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ellis View Post
    J.,
    Are you saying that they discontinued the model because the blades chipped?
    Well, I can't say for certain. Just a possibility.
    Can you verify this is the case? I don't think Loren would have continued welling the swords if they kept chipping.
    It probably isn't the case. I was mostly speaking out in disappointment of the situation. I've no qualm with the product itself(you get what you pay for), and CERTAINLY not the excellent service I received from Oniforge.
    I was under the impression Loren had just started to run out of the stocklot of blades he had, and didn't order more of them...
    Could be. Though, unless chipping was a recurring issue, the model is very good for the price so I can't imagine why he would choose not to restock.
    Also, plastic bottles can chip blades, I've rolled edges on plastic bottles and put a chip in a blade from one. I hit that thick plastic rim by the mouth of the bottle just right.
    Yeah, I make sure not to hit near the cap. That's why I suspend my targets intead of using a stand, making the target much harder to botch, since you have far less chance of hitting a stationary object.
    So yes, it can happen. My views on light cutting are pool noodles and half mats of tatami, beach mats, goza, and such, so maybe you proved that they really are for light cutting.

    In my book, plastic bottles range from medium cutting, to abuse.
    Call them what you will. Some collectors simply don't have a budget for the purchase of cutting media, particularly when acceptable targets can be had from one's recycling bin.
    In accordance with the April sale on the website, Loren even sent 2 tatami mats along with the sword. I can't wait to try them out, since the only targets I've had to date have been bottles and thin sapplings.
    In this repect, I miss my old CS O-Katana. Not well balanced, but nearly impossible to screw up. It's the only sword I've attempted sapplings with, and sailed through them with ease.
    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Pavz View Post
    Call them what you will. Some collectors simply don't have a budget for the purchase of cutting media, particularly when acceptable targets can be had from one's recycling bin.
    In accordance with the April sale on the website, Loren even sent 2 tatami mats along with the sword. I can't wait to try them out, since the only targets I've had to date have been bottles and thin sapplings.
    In this repect, I miss my old CS O-Katana. Not well balanced, but nearly impossible to screw up. It's the only sword I've attempted sapplings with, and sailed through them with ease.
    Funny thing about that CS sword, it should have the same heat treatment as the ashigeru... Almost the exact same company makes them, almost...
    I like swords.

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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  12. #12
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    Stuff like this happens from time to time in every line of production sword through various retailers.

    Loren is a great guy to deal with, and should work out a replacement that will meet your needs.
    I'm lost---- I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

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    I work for Keyser Söze.

  13. #13
    The fact that he stood behind a product from his scratch and dent section says a lot about how he runs his company. While I've never bought anything from him, or even visited his website, I'll be heading over there directly after this post. I am a very big fan of old school customer service.

  14. #14
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    This shouldnt have happened cutting plastic bottles - not with an adequate heat treat and tempering -
    I usually stay well away from conversations such as this one. However, this is an erroneous statement that seems to be accepted as fact. Therefore, I felt like I had to set things straight. First is that any #1 grade bottle should be considered as a hard target, along the lines of bamboo. This is because #1 plastic is quite rigid and does not give. Add to this the fact that the gentleman that started the thread is cutting with the center of his sword, and I was not surprised in the least that his blade chipped.

    I will try and explain my thinking on this ... by hitting the target with the center of the sword, there is quite a bit of blade on the opposite side of the target which can, and will, flex when the sword contacts the target. Since a #1 bottle is rigid, if the large amount of sword on the other side of the target flexed just as he began cutting through the target, the rigidity of the plastic would prevent that bit of the sword actually in the target from flexing, thus creating enough sideways force to pop a chip off of the blade. Exactly the same thing can happen when cutting bamboo or wooden dowels. Some swords will be more prone to this than others, but it is a possibility with any sword when cutting hard targets.
    Paul Smith
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Smith View Post

    ...by hitting the target with the center of the sword...
    I don't know where you got this. Though I guess the first image is slightly misleading.

    The chip is 9 inches from the very tip of the kissaki. The overall blade length is listed on the website as 28"(Though my measurement, ending at the habaki, is more like 27.5").

    I was cutting with the first third of the blade, not the center.
    Last edited by J. Pavz; 05-07-2007 at 05:59 PM. Reason: I type too darn fast.
    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  16. #16
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    The chip is 9 inches from the very tip of the kissaki.
    Sorry about the exaggeration on my part about hitting with the center of the sword. I'll correct my initial statement ... "Add to this the fact that the gentleman that started the thread is cutting a hard target with so much of his sword extended past the target, and I was not surprised in the least that his blade chipped."

    I was not attempting to make any remarks at all about your cutting. I was merely pointing out that anything that allows the blade to flex while it is engaged in a hard target will greatly increase your probability of chipping the edge. Sorry if I offended.
    Paul Smith
    "Keep the sharp side and the
    pointy end between you and
    your opponent"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Smith View Post
    Sorry about the exaggeration on my part about hitting with the center of the sword. I'll correct my initial statement ... "Add to this the fact that the gentleman that started the thread is cutting a hard target with so much of his sword extended past the target, and I was not surprised in the least that his blade chipped."

    I was not attempting to make any remarks at all about your cutting. I was merely pointing out that anything that allows the blade to flex while it is engaged in a hard target will greatly increase your probability of chipping the edge. Sorry if I offended.

    No problem at all. I was just making sure it didn't come off that I was doing anything foolhardy.

    And believe you me, you'd have to try pretty hard to offend me.


    One thing I was wondering, shouldn't a through-hardened sword be able to take that kind of flex? I mean, a sword flexes in (flight?), and should be able to take a few degrees of flex-testing, so unless there was a flaw in the heat-treating then that little amount of flex shouldn't be a problem. If this was a differentially hardened blade, then I wouldn't be surprised, but not on a through-hardened.
    Unless my understanding of sword-physics is slightly off. Feel free, anyone, to show me different.
    But hey, at least I still have my hands!

  18. #18
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    One thing I was wondering, shouldn't a through-hardened sword be able to take that kind of flex? I mean, a sword flexes in (flight?), and should be able to take a few degrees of flex-testing, so unless there was a flaw in the heat-treating then that little amount of flex shouldn't be a problem.
    What you say is absolutely true if you were just swinging it through the air, or cutting soft targets. When cutting hard targets, you are actually more likely to chip a through hardened blade because it will naturally tend to flex more. The problem is not in the flex, it is when part of it flexes while a small part of the edge cannot. A hard target will keep the edge from flexing along with the rest of the sword, whereas a soft target will allow the edge to flex also. This is why people can easily chip their swords on hard targets. It isn't due to the force of impact on the edge, it is due to uneven flexion caused by the hardness of the target holding the edge from flexing with the rest of the sword. Hard targets should always be cut as close to the kissaki as possible in order to reduce the amount of sword that is able to flex on the other side of the target. While a plastic water bottle is not as hard as an oak dowel, I would put it on par with an inch thick piece of green bamboo.

    Of course, there are many things that can make a chip more likely to happen such as an overhardened spot, overly large grain in the steel, microfracture from heat treatment, etc ... I just wanted to point out that I don't find it that unusual for a sword to chip on a target made of #1 plastic, since everyone seemed to think that it was impossible.
    Paul Smith
    "Keep the sharp side and the
    pointy end between you and
    your opponent"

  19. #19
    Not to mention blade thickness, degree of niku, placement of niku, edge angle, and on and on. Lots of variables. Most production swords nowadays are made with relatively little niku, a wider distance from ridge to edge, and a fairly narrow cross section. That makes for blades that like to chip on hard targets. Especially is form isn't perfect and that includes where you impact the target on the blade.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  20. #20
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    Yep , Keith called it - but I was always under the impression that plastic bottles did not constitute hard targets and where the stock in trade of the back yard cutter -

    saying that the threaded neck and rim are far denser than the rest of the bottle
    to accept the threaded top - so hitting this area would qualify as abuse .

    Its hard to define plastic bottle - ive cut thousands of those translucent , soft
    plastic milk jugs - hell , you could cut those in half with just morning breath

    I found that after filling a pepsi 2 ltr bottle with water though - well thats something different entirely - its density and weight when filled makes it far harder a target than what I mention earlier ,

    For many its a trade off - niku = more work more skill needed when cutting while cutting goza with a flat profile ,razor thin cutter cuts down the need for swordsmanship and correct technique ? Am I off base here ?

    please feel free to correct me if needed - its all gravy


    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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