|katana polishing, khukri
||[May. 15th, 2006|09:36 pm]
Well, it's been a busy few weeks, between having my work schedule all messed up, taking over for a couple of other managers on vacation, and the usual crap. But, I have gotten a few things done:|
*I now have the base polish on the wakizashi done. In japanese sword polishing, the base polish is the last chance to shape the weapon before moving on to removing surface scratches, refining the scratch pattern to a mirror gloss, and the final patina. I used A100 for this polish, which seems to be a good compromise between aggressive steel removal and a consistent, easy-to-remove scratch pattern. Since it's a structured abrasive, it lasts a lot longer than standard abrasives, and it's predictability and consistancy make it a lot easier to work with. While I don't have an optically flat surface, the lines of the blade are clean and clear, and the slight variances in the surface follow the temper line, which is hard to get perfectly flat, since the hardened steel is more resistant to abrasion than the softer, unhardened steel.
I left the tip for last, as it's both the hardest part to do properly, and the most dangerous bit of the sword. To do this, I used a adjustable angle vice (bought it at American Science and Surplus, http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=11161 )to position the blade so I could work on the tip without danger of impalement and keep it rigid enough that I could be accurate. I found a little device that holds the sandpaper on a 1" paddle, also at AS&S ( http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=10502 ), and using the structured abrasive was able to get a nice definition line (yokote).
Next steps: on to finer grits, and hopefully this will be done in a few months.
* Khukri: While working on my pattern-welding technique, I was welding up some cable damascus and had a weld that didn't take about a quarter of the way up the billet. When I was drawing out the billet into some flat stock to work with, it delaminated, giving me a chunk of steel with a broad, flat, relatively thin section at one end, a somewhat thicker and much narrower section in the middle, then a mess where the delamination occurred. After staring at it for a while, I decided to do the craftsmanship thing and work with the materials at hand, and since it was already almost in the right shape, I have started to forge it into a khukri. At this time, I've got most of the forging done, but before I do any more serious grinding, I *must* clean my garage, or I'm afraid something will catch on fire. Too much crap in there.
The new forge is still going strong, looks like I have a keeper.
I still need to get a collet for the rotary table, or some other way of turning the billets I've made for the next couple of pizza cutters circular and beveled, but that's probably just a matter of either making one from a large bolt, or if I'm feeling ambitious, calling McMaster-Carr or MSC and ordering the right size collett for the rotary table. Or I could buy a lathe . . .