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#114409 - 01/24/05 12:44 AM Mad Aussie Cutter

As a long term Japanese Art Sword nutter who just happens to be a boilermaker, I recently decided to try my hand at making one of these wee sleekit beasties. I selected 1/4 inch Bisalloy 500 carbon steel plate, which I plasma cut into a straight blank. From there it went into a jig set-up which allowed me to carefully grind my ha without work hardening the steel. Next was the mill, with which I carved the hi in each side using a ball nose cutter. So far so good.

Now for the tempering. Never having seen traditional Japanese tempering done, I read up all I could find on the subject and winged it from there. Using standard sculpting clay, covered the entire blank to a depth of 5mm. From there I carefully scraped what I hoped was to be a beautiful gunome hamon with a sharp spatula. Using an induction heater I brought the project up to 1200 degrees Celcius (almost 3000 degrees F) and soaked it there for one hour to allow the grain structure to stabilise. Then it was plunged into 35 degree C water until it cooled through. I was shaking with anticipation as I carefully chipped the clay away. Until this point it had taken me about 100 hours and I would have been heartbroken if I had to start again. Not to mention the trouble I would be in with She Who Must Be Obeyed for spending all my time away from the hearth.

Joy, Jubilation. Not only had the blade not cracked or warped, it had taken on a lovely Tori Sori of 14mm, measured from mune machi to kissaki. Now for the polishing.

Starting with emery paper of 180 grit, I worked down carefully to plain paper and talc dust before switching to polish and cloth, revealing a subdued but palpable gunome hamon with barely perceptable utsuri. Realistically I have probably over polished the sword as it is almost a mirror finish. She lives in a coat of mineral oil scented with almond oil (I couldn't find any clove oil on Groote Eylandt).

That was (I thought) the hard part over with. Little did I know how much grief the koshirae was about to give me. In the end I settled for a utilitarian approach and abandoned any attempt at Japanese influence. The tsuka is of paulownia (my only concession to Japanese art) as is the saya. Tsuka is bound with parachute cord for grip. I make no bones about this being even a reasonable Japanese sword copy - it isn't! But I had huge fun making it and get great satisfaction from handling it and just looking at it. I will never try to cut with it - ever. But it has good balance and swooshes through the air with a great deal of satisfaction.

Is it possible to post jpegs on this forum? I'm a bit of a newbie at forums and am unsure. From here the next logical step is forging. I have attempted small blades from old files using an old blacksmith's forge belonging to a mate but so far without success. One tap with the hammer after the steel is too cool and CRACK. Possibly using softer steel like Bisalloy is the answer here too.

[This message has been edited by Mushin Ryu (edited 01-24-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Mushin Ryu (edited 01-24-2005).]

#114410 - 01/24/05 06:49 PM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter


Unfortunately, you cannot attach pictures on this style of board (you can't do much else either). Just set up a site and give us a link.

#114411 - 01/25/05 02:41 PM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter
Josef Offline

Registered: 03/29/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Newcastle
Sounds like you want to post this message and your jpeg's here.

[This message has been edited by Josef (edited 01-25-2005).]

#114412 - 01/30/05 06:21 AM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter

Would you happen to be from Australia?

#114413 - 01/30/05 03:45 PM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Benjamin1986:

Unfortunately, you cannot attach pictures on this style of board (you can't do much else either). Just set up a site and give us a link.

Pictures can be posted here but you do still have to have them set up on a site with the link going directly to the picture itself. then by placing {[img] link here [/img]} your image will show.

Oldman does it all the time on martial talk. Here is one of his.


#114414 - 01/31/05 08:22 PM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter

Thanks for the reminder, Laf.

Mushin, you need a website to host the images that you can link to. I have found works well (so far).

Oh, that's my beauty

[This message has been edited by Benjamin1986 (edited 01-31-2005).]

#114415 - 02/27/05 12:00 AM Re: Mad Aussie Cutter

Ok I finally got off my backside and found a host. Here goes.
{ [IMG][/IMG] }

Awright! not the clearest photo but enough to give an idea. My next project will be to try folding. I have had a few goes in the past at forging old file blades but with limited success (crack). I'll try using bisalloy first and maybe graduate to something more exotic if I have success.

[This message has been edited by Mushin Ryu (edited 02-27-2005).]


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