||[Feb. 16th, 2003|03:51 am]
Spent some time today on one of the tantos. Made the habaki, a seppa, and the tsuba -- not too bad for one day.|
I have to admit I kind of cheat on the habaki. Instead of cutting out a strip of copper, hammering and soldering it into shape, then fileing it to fit the blade, i take some copper tubing, in this case 3/4", hammer it arond a mandrel to the correct size and shape, then fit it onto the blade. It takes significantly less time, but it should be stronger than the solder job, looks good, and even though it's not traditional I doubt most people would notice.
the seppa (a washer between the guard (tsuba) and habaki (metal collar around the blade) was easily made of copper cut from another piece of tubing. the tsuba was made from a piece of 1/8" x2" brass I had kicking around. The hardest part was getting it all to fit snugly, so it can be assembled without any solder and still not rattle or move when finished.
I'm using a brushed finish on the furniture -- I'm thinking about patinas for the guard, so there's some contrast between the pieces.
Should look nice. I'm debating whether to use the kingwood on this one or the lacewood.
I also did the final polishing and darkening of the steel. Final polish was with .3 micron abrasive, which leaves a mirror polish. To finish the job, I used some nugui to darken the steel and bring out the hamon. I'm not terribly happy with the results, so I'm starting a couple of batches of homemade nugui. Need to find some cinnabar for one recipe, not sure if I want to deal with the mercury contamination issue though. I'll try a mix of black oxide, magnetite, and red oxide next to see if that improves the contrast. I did fool around with a mixture of salt, black iron oxide, and lemon juice, which gave a nice light etch, but I rubbed most of that out as it also left some bad discoloration on the steel.
Tomorrow, I'm hoping to finish this knife off by making the sheath and handle. I'll probably also do some casting if I can get my act together and get up before noon.