Monday 4 February 2019 at 13:53 Posted by Shadley Hax 0 Comments

A beautiful sword from an unlikely place

A lot of chinese companies get bashed for mass producing swords of dubious quality, and this particular sword comes from one of those companies that noone was sure of. I know that their quality control had issues years ago but since then, nothing bad was said.

(it turns out it's SinoSword. They have managed to come leaps and bounds since their beginnings)

And then a friend bought a sword from them and oh my god, he got a beautiful blade. He ordered a differentially hardened wakizashi with a double bo hi. the grooves start under the habaki and work their way up toward the tip, joining at their termination. That termination is gorgeous.


One thing he hadn't realised and I only noticed upon closer inspection is that this blade is also laminated. That is to say, that there is a jacket steel, as well as a harder core steel which has been forged out and then differentially hardened. 


This had led to a beautiful blade to behold. I was as careful as I could be with this so to do it justice... and then tragedy struck.

Hospital for Christmas

I found myself in hospital and with my housing situation in seeming dire straits. 

Fortunately this was quickly resolved but my new residence has made it more difficult to work on swords. 

With this in mind I have walked dozens of miles backwards and forwards getting materials, going to places with tools to work on the remounting and back again, ordering things because I didn't have easy access to them and so on. Anything but do the work at my new place.

It has been a nightmare. But, I have finally finished the sword.


My tome knots are getting better. One day I will be properly happy

ok, so a quick rundown...

  • The tsuka channels were carved, tsuka glued and the fit is tight and no wiggle or play at all.

  • The tsuka was carved to the right size, shape and fit and also for the angle to look right against the rest of the sword.

  • The rayskin panels were attached and thin shims were applied to the Ha and Mune sides of the tsuka.

  • Hishigami was made with the proper method. About twice as many as was needed. Its always best to have too many even though this is time consuming and brain numbing. ;)

  • Finally the wrap was done in hinerimaki. menuki were attached as requested and this was checked several times to avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Unfortunately, just to go back again for a minute to the last paragraph, this was when I ended up in hospital for the christmas period. When I got out, I had only the final fit and of course drilling the mekugi-ana so the pegs that hold the thing together could be fitted. This was easily the most nerve wracking part. I needed this to be as technically perfect as possible, so rather than first drill the hole and then wrap the tsuka like many do, I had wrapped the tsuka and then I wanted to drill the hole so the fit would be perfect. 



I wanted the peg to go in between the diamonds on one side, and come out between the diamonds on the other. 

On a lot of production swords it goes in one side and comes out anywhere at all on the other. *shrugs* noone seems to care. I do care.



That means an angle of around 40 odd degrees given the width of the ito. Drilling these holes isn't easy and its tedious and one slip means everything is f**ked. after all this, can you imagine accidentally slipping with the drill and ripping through the ito? :o


It took me what seemed like forever to get the holes done and even then, I had to break the rules regarding bringing the sword into my accommodation simply because I could not finish it where I was. These things take time and I cant work to someone else's timetable and I find it hard to work effectively in someone elses workshop. 



I can be particular like this. imagine sheldon and his place on the settee in the big bang theory. This is like me with my work area sometimes.

Once I was done, I wasn't happy with a number of things. you know how it is, and so folds I wasnt happy with were padding properly with more hishigami and hammered, (gotta love this hishi paper) and the ito on the tsuka was also lacquered to help keep everything durable and where it should be. 


With the right attention, the lacquer can be made to look 'antiqued'. I feel it fits this wide bladed wakizashi. It certainly feels formidable. I just wish I had the chance to give it a swing before it goes back to its owner. haha. maybe I'll be nortie and sort something out anyway.

In for a penny, in for a pound, amiright?



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