Wednesday 21 June 2017 at 15:56 Posted by Shadley Hax 0 Comments

Well, I'm no Togishi, however I have certainly polished more than my fair share of both my creations like the kitchen knife and tanto, as well as my own swords.

 It's just one of those things. My friend runs a business that deals with Japanese swords and high quality, premium ones at that. He is constantly busy and sometimes i think he would rather be doing other things than polishing.... especially when you take a look at the blades he wanted me to polish back up.

These swords, one tanto, one wakizashi, one katana, had been in a house fire. So not only are they, um... f*cked. they are also now coated in a layer of heavily set in rust and pitting. The owner knows full well that they will not be safe to use but wants them for display.

You see, if the swords were in a fire, they would get really really hot (no sh*t, Sherlock. right? ;) ) but when the firemen turned up, they doused them, cooling them rapidly, which would of made them brittle, induced stress cracks, set in and fixed that rusting and pitting. basically, if you were to actually strike anything with one of these swords, you run the risk of it shattering and flying all over the place in dangerous little pieces of death.

So I agreed to the project and wow! I almost thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew. You see, you cant just take stuff like this to the belt sander. its all done by hand. so its straight to the stones, then wet and dry glued to a flat surface or attached to blocks and then it's labour.

Sanding, sanding and more sanding. However, it was worth it. the tanto is very delicate, the wakizashi fared quite well and unfortunately, the katana all but lost its hamon. _but_ Theyre all shiny and pretty now. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can.

Now for some pics :)

Katana, folded steel, hamon lost due to heat damage.

As you can see, the hamon is just 'gonesville'. I have tried to find it, shifted the light around, Even an etch failed to reveal anything apart fom the folds in the steel. Nevermind, its still pretty enough.

Wakizashi, folded, differentially hardened. heat damaged but not enough to destroy the hamon.

Despite the fire and flames, this wakizashi's hamon is still going strong. The polish is awesome as well. This is a success in my books. 

A light etch brought out the detail nicely. not too in your face, not too subtle. well done little sword.

Tanto - Folded, differentially hardened, brittle.

This little tanto took an etch as easily as it started to crack when I put any pressure on it. It's a realy pity too, as this blades diminutive size makes it look really kinda sweet, and the etch left the hira a nice satin like finish and the hamon glossy and dark. The photos really dont do it justice.

The hamon looks kind of brown and rusty, but its a trick of the light. Its actually almost black, like a dark mirror. It's awesome. The folds also show up really nicely. 

So, in short, this has been a most laborious project, but it has been very rewarding. It's shown me my limits when it comes to polishing. I have had to rethink this several times and of course tread carefully as the integrity of the swords had been so heavily compromised, it would be a simple matter to completely and accidentally destroy them. 

Especially when you do the math. The Hanwei Bushido range is Katana = £750, Wakizashi = £550 and the Tanto =£400. So I'm not comfortable breaking  £1700 worth of swordage :p

In fact I'm surprised I had the balls to do it anyway, but I suppose confidence comes with practice. thankfully with me, it comes slowly and its rare I make mistakes as I never rush.

But yeah, these are all ready to go back to the client. And I'm fairly happy with them apart from they all polished up slightly differently but *shrugs*

Have a fantastic day people! Dont let the buggers grind you down and remember to grin like its going out of fashion.


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