Thursday 7 June 2018 at 07:00 Posted by Shadley Hax 0 Comments

First off, before we even get started, this is gonna be a shorter blog entry, I think I ended up enjoying this one a little too much. It all came together well and that saya! I adore that saya and sageo combo. I wish I had taken more pics of it to be honest. This blade is like a razor also. It's seen some action on the 1x30 obviously and the polish on it is etched on the ji and very polsihed on the ha as a result but it doesn't detract from the aesthetics which is nice.

With hybrid polishes, it always seems to be a constant battle to get the right darkness of etch along with the correct amount of clarity. 

These photos are post-rewrap. This sword required new koshirae, application of rayskin panels and of course, rewrapping.
This tree has rapidly become my photo tree. It's branches are soft enough to not scratch anything and if I'm worried, I just chuck a sword bag underneath the point it makes contact. I like the more natural settings for my photos. oh, and photos are usually the most action my sword bags ever get. :p
Let's have a look at the sword prior to my meddling.

The tsuka has been rewrapped already using what seems to be a leather/suede of some kind.

I will be leaving this be anyway as I'm using both a new core as well as new fittings. We decided the doming on this particular kashira wasnt right for this project and we have an alternate choice so let's get on with it.

Once I had removed the blade from the original tsuka, I had a look at the one I had. It had been sold to the owner as imogata, but it turned out to be a rikko shape.

It doesn't matter as the channel needs to be recarved anyway and being as it's in two pieces, I can make sure that Im not making the walls too thin to safely house everything.

I used my usual method of multi coloured sharpies, marking the parts and making modifications as I go. once again, easier to remove than to replace material so slowly does it.
As you can see, once the channel has been carved out properly, there should be as little gap between the metal and the wood as possible. This one managed to fall into place very well.

I was happy with this one, but something you should always do after carving the channel, and once again, after mounting up, and also, after tapping in the mekugi pin for the last time, is to hold the sword by the tsuka in both hands and vigourously shake the sword back and forth and side to side. any wiggle should be dealt with appropriately.

If you'ev done everything perfectly, then there shouldnt be any wiggle but accidents do happen. If the wiggle appears down the bottom of the channel, then you can use a two part epoxy.

Remember that these problems are usually caused by really tiny amounts of missing tsuka material. best way I've found to work out whats going on, although this only works _before_ glueing, is to use powdered graphite (from scraping a pencil lead) on the inside of the tsuka, then insert the nakago, give it a wiggle and remove it. From this you can see where the nakago is actually touching the wood and where it is rattling around from the scrapes and patterns of the graphite dust. Experiment with it, you'll get the idea. Maybe not the most traditional method but it works.

To begin with, we were going to use this tsuba. I really like it, but it didnt go with the koshirae we had and we still had a tsuba that was awesome enough to consider.

This was decided after I had modified this one to fit the nakago of this sword. Fortunately, most chinese wakizashi have a thicker nakago so it would of had to have been done anyway regardless of what blade it was fitted to.

However, better things lay ahead as we changed our mind and decided to use completely different koshirae.

Confession here however, at this point I was more concerned with making sure the new koshirae was sorted and fitted well to the tsuka and i got carried away and took very few pictures. sooo... We fast forward to the wrapping :)

However, take it from me. The application of wide rayskin and slender shimming made this a lot easier than some projects.

Because of the colours involved, I decided to take the scheme a little further and apply a forced flame patina, sometimes called flame painting, type effect to the seppa. They had to be modified on both sides and after polishing were a little gleamy. For this reason I polished them right up and gave them a nice red patina, in fact I did this a few times to get the strange red patchy look. not an ounce of brass to be seen. I love the effect and have done it on one of my own swords now.

Above are three pics of the finished sword, albeit unpegged. Again, sorrya bout the lack of progress pictures. I get in the zone and thats it.

The menuki here are set under a hineri maki twist at either end and a hira maki underneath. This usually places a three point pin on the menuki in question, but I was to later find out that because of the metal involved, it didnt bend the menuki straight up, but did over time, causing the menuki to loosen. i wasn't very happy about this. It shows a failure on my part. I considered that this may happen but was sure it wouldn't.

One last picture for you. :) Specifically to show off the strange style of patina you can get with brass _or_ copper. The technique is nice and simple. You use a blowtorch to heat the freshly polished and cleaned metal. dont get grease or leave cleaning compounds on there. you can experiment with different heats, but for the best effect regardless of heat, I immediately take the seppa from the heat and douse it in water. This not only 'blows' the black oxides off but leaves it like this. you may have carefully bend the seppa flat again but I never get any major deformation and the warmth of the colour you get is definitely worth it.

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