I dont really no where to start on describing this one. I again poured my heart and soul into sword. This time tackling a Traditional Style Katana build. I worked on this relic over the course of several months. I pushed my skills to the test as well as learned countless new ones on this build. Out of all of the swords ive forged, the Japanese style swords just captivate my mind the most. During this build I really dove into that culture. The ancient japanese were warriors and these swords represent that to the core. It just makes sense why the japanese katana was made the way it was. The entire build is just such a welcomed challenge. Its like forging all these individual puzzle pieces that have to be just so perfect. Just so many skills rolled into one to make such a piece. Lets get started... I forged the blade from a piece of 80crv2 high carbon steel. Starting with a piece about 1/7th the length I forged it out to the full sized katana. I payed a great deal of attention to forging out the shape and bevels, so well that after heat treat and minimal grinding the blade and all its bevels were without flaw. The sword went through a lengthy heat treat process to refine that forged grain and convert it into a fully martensitic piece that is not only extremely sharp but tough. After hardening I gave the blade a full temper then went back and differentially tempered to add even more durability. The blade features flat(nearly zero)ground primary bevels as well as a top bevel. It starts around 1/4" thick at the habaki junction then tapers both distally and proximally. The bevels also carry through to the end of the tang. The edge is mirror polished and razor sharp. The blade has my "grail mark" deeply engraved and visible next to the habaki. Similiar to historical japanese swords my name and brand is engraved on one side of the tang and the other side of the tang has "Shadow" deeply engraved. The solid steel Habaki is hand forged and features a tight fit up as well as hours of laser engravings. I forged the Tsuba from a piece of 80crv2 high carbon steel. It features a mirror polished perimeter and over 24 hours of highly detailed laser engravings as well as forged copper. Id like to add that everything is sole authorship on this piece. I even designed the artwork and operated the laser engraver. Engravings of this nature arent simple push button things. They are layers and layers of detailed steps. And im there for it all. There are hand forged copper spacers on each side of the Tsuba. Now for the handle. I hand forged the Fuchi and Kashira both from steel just like the habaki. More difficult than the copper or brass used by most all other swordsmiths. Ive never seen anyone crazy enough to forge them form steel. I cant just cold forge and/or solder steel. And again just one of the many things that makes this katana so special and unique. I used Poplar wood for the handle because it is very similiar to the wood used by japan swordsmiths. I cut the piece in half then trace out the tang. After carving out the pockets, I then clamp and burn the tang in for final fitment. That is then cleaned up glued and clamped. The Fuchi and Kashira both slip over the wooden handle. This makes the Fuchi extra challenging. It has to be the exact drifted shape of the tang and perfected placed so that the tang slips inside of it but is also lined up with the wooden handle.
If your confused thats good because you should be because its very confusing. hahahahahaha The Kashira (buttcap) features a deeply engraved Gothic Cross. Now lets talk about the gator. I used gator side belly that I sourced and tanned myself. I killed the gator (legally with tags here in florida). Me and my friend forgot the bang stick that night so I ended up putting it down with my sawblade drop point hunter. Two palm hits and it severed the gators cervical spine for a fast death. I traced out the gator skin to the shape i wanted then used a template to engrave a slot down into the handle for it. The gator isnt just glued on top of the handle, its actually inlayed into it! The japanese used ray skin not just for looks but for the fact that its very grippy.. similiar to like 60grit sand paper. It helps keep the ito wrap in place. Gator is not that grippy so i painted gflex marine grade epoxy on the top and underside of the handle then sprinkled dry sand from my creek on it. Once cured it had the same grippy surface of ray skin and held the ito wrap in place. After I wrapped the handle i then used black marine grade epoxy to stablize the wrap. This entire piece is held tightly together only using one brass menuki pin. No glue at all. This sword can be broken down to all of its components. This is an absolutely amazing piece of functional artwork. And its now available to you. I will include your choice of custom made saya or hand crafted/lighted display case with this sword. I make those myself as well. Fully insured shipping is included for continental USA residents. If you would like to pay the diffence for overnight shipping that will be an additional charge. Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions. Ill be glad to answer them.
overall length 36.5
tip to Tsuba 25.5
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