Finally! It's been a long project because finances have been rubbish but I eventually got there. This is the finished project, a Hanwei Raptor in Shobu Zukuri taken from rusty and with poor fittings to completely refitted with a freshly carved tsuka, full same wrap and handachi style koshirae with leather ito.

As well as the ito, my friend Jeffrey also sent me a kujiri, which is the small awl on the right of this picture. It's used to poke misbehaving hishigami around and under the ito. Dead useful

 As you can see, because of the completely redone tsuka, the curvature of the blade is accentuated significantly. I wanted it to feel this way as the original mounts made it look like a sharp stick with a handle. It was not very flattering.
Using koshirae like this on a katana is called 'handachi' or 'half tachi'. handachi don't have ashi however and are worn in the same fashion as katana with the edge upwards and through the obi.

Other small modifications I've made to this sword include refiling the seppa to add interest to what was otherwise a very boring and obviously stamped out shape. I obviously had to bring the size of the seppa down as well because coming from the original fittings, they were massively oversized for what I needed this sword to have.

The knots were where I showed my inexperience. This time I was determined to do them well. Im very happy with the results of the actual knots themselves and they are a vast improvement on the last ones I did which in turn are a vast improvement on the ones before that. What I didn't take into consideration was the stretchiness of the ito and how much thinner each piece was going to get when pulled tight. It all added up and right at the end of the wrap I was left having to swap the ura and omote knots which are now on the wrong sides, in order to make it all work. *sighs*

Never mind, you live you learn.

 The fittings on the other hand, were exactly what I wanted. I didn't realise exactly how well everything was going to come together at the end of this so it was a case of keeping my fingers crossed. After all that they turned out ok. The whole brown and brass style seems to have worked out and I even got to reuse my old Hanwei Practical katana's menuki to good effect. I had to file them down a little so they sat flatter but I'm very happy.
I haven't taken this sword out to play with very much as an old back injury is playing up at the moment which prevents me from shifting my weight around or even walking very far but I did manage to lop up a few bottles and I must admit I had forgotten how sharp this blade is... and how heavy :p

So, another project draws to a close. It took forever to do but it was well worth it.

The 'eleganting' of a Hanwei Raptor.

1 Response so far.

  1. Love what you've done to this - albeit 7 years back - I have just found and had to comment.

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