Tuesday 6 March 2018 at 02:46 Posted by Shadley Hax 1 Comment

As you know, I've been rebuilding this wakizashi. The different thickness of the tsuba has caused a couple of issues, but these are all easily fixable and so I've gotten back to it.

I actually ended up going with a new tsuka core, being as the one I had for it was cracked and I didnt trust it. I wont be held responsible for someone swinging a sword, the tsuka failing and a long metal razor being hurled towards anybody.. or even at a wall. This is an expensive piece of metal ya know? ;)

So, after making sure the tsuka fit perfectly, and that it was cut to size, I ended up with this (the photos get better as I have a new phone now, this one is awful, but be patient :) )

Nothing special atm, but at least I know it fits. There is a little lateral play in the fitting, but I can see what that is and will require a small shim. this is standard practice and is perfectly safe, so Im not concerned.

I shimmed the tsuka and fit the rayskin. I ended up repainting twice as the first version didnt work out as I wanted it to. Theres interesting/innovative, and theres horrible. This was the latter. I also started folding hishigami. I ended up with ,amy more than is in this picture as I know they often fail.

Measuring up as per the clients request. 6" roughly including kashira.
Nakago suriage left it at about 5.5", just under.

Nakago offcut at just under 37mm (sorry to change from inches to mm)

I included this because I thought the amount of rayskin this company provided was f*cking laughable. I mean, why bother. oh and it was fake and plastic. :o this was off a katana though, not this wakizashi.

The little house method of folding hishigami turned out to be the best. the other tests, merely a waste of my time :)
But they all turned out to be little frogs! cultist frogs. worshiping at the dark tower! (all this is true)

Once a hishi has failed or folded in the wrong way, there's often no saving it. just throw it and move on to the next one. It will save you pain in the long run. This isn't all of them. I often fold almost twice as many as I need.

I think they look like little black frogs, worshiping at some alter.

 I used the little house method of hishi folding on this occasion, despite having tried all the others I know, this just worked best for the small and almost uniformly shaped tsuka. the shorter a tsuka is, the more dramatic any curvature is going to look... so take it easy when shaping :)

Then it was only the wrap. I'll keep this short as I was too busy to take many photos, but you'll get the idea :) same story, different day.

And of course, this wouldn't be finished without some shots of the final product, fully mounted. :)

And some in front, from behind, even held by me to show you more of the dimensions.

Held in hand. you can see this has a very small tsuka. :) perfect for one medium to large sized hand. I have a fingers width gap at the top and you cant see it but I could move my hand back a little. to clients order, 6", just over I believe.

Viewed from behind the sword, Ha side up.

Ura side from behind.

Omote side from behind. see how the knots are transposed? 
This isn't supposed to happen but the synthetic silk stretched further than I thought it would. 
This is my mistake;
Being as I havent done any maki for a long while I went easy on myself, but next time I shall be measuring and marking more.

This photo was clearly a poorly thought out one. 
This shows you the from the front, as held view quite clearly, however, it hides the length of the blade, 
something that was actually a practiced technique by Samurai. 
Not so good in a photo and completely unintentional.

And finally, a from the front, Ha side up, showing perfect blade alignment and the side of the tsuba seen by the wielder.

And there you have it. I even replaced the old sageo (which was ito anyway) with some leftover ito to provide the match it sorely needed. It's solid and it feels good in the hand. The blade is beautiful. It's a pity I can't get better pics of it but hey ho. Maybe I'll try. it's about a week until the owner gets it back anyway :)

So. That's this job done. It was quite challenging being as I've been out of the game for a while now and silk, especially synthetic silk, isn't my favourite medium. But it all came together and I'm happy with it.
You've also gotta love that tsuba. The thickness is very wakizashi. it has none of that, 'oh just throw a katana tsuba on it' cheapness you see on a lot of production swords.

Anyway, Stay cool out there kittens,
over and out.


1 Response so far.

  1. Thanks

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