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 Post subject: Folded Forged Blade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
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Instead of the original post, here is a post of a Folded Forged Blade and its mountings. It is shown on the top of the Rack.

In the middle is a Paul Chen Practical Katana as rebuilt and remounted; new tsuba, tsuka, same and with copper insets on the Saya and fuchi.

The folded forged blade in the illustration is a Sandwich and folded forged borne blade---consisting of Iron, and 1050 Carborn steel.

Iron and Carbon Steel forms the center and then Carbon steel is folded forged around it.


Illustration:


Image


Image

This post was originally done around the Paul Chen Sword in the Middle of the Rack, but the writer was quite rightly taken to task about fooling with an unknown quantity in the Bud-k Viking sword vis a vis cutting..

Hugh is right to advise not to purchase the 'Bud K" specials as, if merely used, they can be hazardous to one's health.

If one is a serious sword person, one eventually trashes the cheap blades or hangs them somewhere marked "for display only".

The folded forged sandwich blade and the Improved Practical Katana are another matter, so I changed the thread to reflect that.

Sometimes that is the best thing about being a moderator, one can erase one's mistakes.

So, basically, the post was amended to reflected the opinions of our Western Blade expert.

The Paul Chen blade does produce a natural hamon when quenched, but that is a different process than shown.

J

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:40 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:45 pm 
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A Bud K Viking Sword? Have you any idea of what the steel in the blade is? Have you any idea of what the tang is? Ye gods and little godlets! You're practising cutting with a sharpened Bud K sword without looking into the tang? John, without sounding like a snob, you are risking a lot here. The tang is almost certainly a rat tail tang and will eventually break, leaving you with an uncintrolled sharpened blade flying around. That is if the blade doesn't break first.

A Paul Chen Practical anything is a worthwhile basis for playing around and experimentig if you so wish; it is at least soldly made even if it the blade may not have the best geometry and is probably lacking in distal taper, making it unnecessarily heavy. But some of the other swords you have mentioned messing around with are downright dangerous unless you are certain of their construction.

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 Post subject: Sigh
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:49 pm 
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Thou hast said it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:42 pm 
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John, I am sorry that I exploded, I truly am. I just had visions of a sharpened blade sailing off and really hurting somebody. We in the sword community do not need that, not on top of the idiots who think that using a "Sam-you-ri" sword makes them some sort of invincible immortal and try to go around carrying same under their trenchcoats. (Don't misunderstand me. I loved the film, "The Highlander," but I also recognize the dfference between fantasy and reality.)

Also I know little or nothing about the sublteties of Eastern Martial Arts other than practising Judo some 35 years ago until I got very badly hurt. I certainly am no expert on Japanese or other Oriental blades and do not pretend to be such. My main area of expertise is Roman and Migration Era swords and other such equippage as pugios and seaxes with a more or less generalized knowledge in the evolution and use of swords from that time up through the end of the 19th Century whe they went out of use as weapons. I cannot look at sabers and tell you where and when they were made and/or used, but I can give you an general idea of their period. The same applies to smallswords and to rapiers and to the later Medieval swords. As to replicas, I have been following the market for some nine years and I do think that I have developed a reasonable sense of who is offering what in the way of value for price. Also, over the 50 or more years that I have collected Bowie Knives of many varieties, I think that I have developed a reasonable sense of what is available in modern replicas and how much they are worth.

But I am not God and I am sorry if I seem to come across that way on occasion. You have asked for my help and I am trying the very best that I can, within my limitations, to give you the best advice that I am able to give.

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 Post subject: Not to Worry
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:04 pm 
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Hugh:

Please do not worry about doing the job that I asked you to do.

I apologize to you.

In this case the Bud-K blade is not really acceptable and I appreciate your warnings and your input.

I really do NOT know how the forum would exist without your input and interest.

So, let's just hope that Fred doesn't come in and 'gig' me about something to do with the Katana and Iaido that is unnacceptable.

There was a German made blade often mentioned in the Sharpe (BErnard Cornwell) Novels.

Sharpe (a fictional officer in the Peninsular War) often regards his redone Cavalry issue Sabre and wishes he had a "Kliegenthal".

Maybe this will set off the little memory bells in your head.

Maybe a thing for another thread.

I just am too sensitive and am in the process of revamping my collection, with your guidance to some extent--a large extent perhaps.

Also, as noted Albion is not in production of their "4th Century Spatha" dubbed the Alaris.

Del Tin may be making one with a slightly shorter wait time (3-4 months )and they have not quoted me a price.

I spoke to the gentleman at Albion and he said it would be a year wait and would recquire a $300 deposit on a sword of around $800 in total cost without sheath (usually around $250).

With respect to katana replicas generally, as to those readily obtainable, Bugei appears to be the top contender-with swords at $1500 and up, Paul Chen Maybe second, Shinwa third, prices are nice and they make pretty Sayas and are full tang carbon steel showing a proer hamon in the $300 and up range (MSRP about double that, but that isn't gonna happen!!).

There are many more maker whose blades I have not handled.

A collection of $1500 swords is not in the cards for me, although, for example, my M1A Rifle is worth twice that. That what SA wants now, but I paid only a fraction of tht price as my purchase of same was a decade and a half ago and I was a deler, although not a volume one.


So could we just have you accept my apology and I will accept yours, although it is too bad you had to feel obigated to apologize for doing your job and at my request to boot.

It seem the BK Vik is a relatively sturdy POS, but, like the lower priced Mushashis replicas, are, at best, suitable for only the lightest cutting and, even that is best not done..

So Please forgive ME my friend.

At some point the BK Vik will be disassembled.

In the meantime, I will be getting middle of the road, at least, swords e in and I hope we can discuss them.

Some. like the 'Alaris" will only be purchased in accordance with your advice.

I have TRIED to persuade my friend to find another source, but his point is that no one near his store is really going to spend more that $50 for a sword, except me.

your friend

John

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:05 pm 
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As I said, I know next to nothing about Japanese swords but I know that the Paul Chen Hanwei Forge western swords tend to be well made for the money and that they are solid. The Practical series of Western swords is noted for its heavy blades causing them to be rather badly balanced. The blades tend to be heavy as they are intended for re-enactment purposes which generally means that they are to be used in mock mass combats in battle re-enactments. Hanwei makes them both durable and thick so that they are most unlikely to hurt anyone. Unfortunately, this makes them awkward for the folks who want to use them for live steel practise, as they are rather blade-heavy and not balanced like the originals. As an example, the Hanwei Basket Hilted Backsword is generally thought to be a well-balanced as well as a well-made sword for the money but the Practical Basket Hilted Backsword is generally thought to be too blade heavy for those who want to practise live steel duelling with it. If you want to do the latter, I should think that buying a properly made and balanced rebated sword from Albion or Arms and Armour might well be a better, if more expensive, way to go.

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1 John 1:5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Location: Virginia
Please let me know what you find when you take that Bud K special apart. i am curious to know what lies under the hilt.


As to your friend, try out the following quote on him. I first ran into it about 45 years ago in a Randall Knives catalog.

"There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey." John Ruskin

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 Post subject: Good Advice
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:21 pm 
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Hugh;

I had noted that Paul Chen (PC-how---ironic) had an emerging line of western swords.

I will discuss any I am considering before I buy-but I may be persuaded against them based on your comments.

Their Gladius is, at least, historically correct as to 'waisted' type Mainz point Gladis.

Its polish was only fair-and the edges not completely sharpened at all.

I begin to understnd that re-enactors want sturdy swords but not necessarily sharpened ones.

Myself, i wold prefer them fully functional.

Well, that's how I prefer my guns.

If i wanted non firing replicas, I would go that way.

It's too bad that my collectibles had to go.

Even though the collection only went so far back as 1873, I do wish I could have afforded to keep them.

Likewise my Colt single actions ahd to go. At the time this was ok because I thought they would be replaceable as they were not antiques, only current versions of the weapon.

Oh Dear, now we have a Colt,dubbed 'citizen Colt" for first removing and then modifying their AR-15 by some nameless and gorgotten pundit, that will not ship to Massachussetts.

Well, not to worry and talk more later. I will resend my personal e mail to you by PM although you have my old address which is technically still good.

John

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 Post subject: Buyer Beware
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Caveat Emptor still remains the rule in buying real estate and swords at least, as your quoted soruce aptly put.

We will have the Bud K Viking apart at some point.

If the tang appears acceptable (I will send apic when we do the demoliton) I may find a use for the blade.

I suspect that the tang is long but narrow judging fron the placement of the rivets securing the handle to the tang.

But, ir t is SS and, generally, that is not acceptable, so we shall see.

The EXACT way that Paul Chen, Shinwa, Mushashi et al (to be named) forge their blades is not known to me.

The natural hamon on the carbon steel suggests the existence of a harder steel below the temper line.

Some Blades in that area do not show a natrual hamon-but are nevertheless represented as carbon steel.

So Mushashi blades, generally, appear sturdy, are probably Sho gunto or Sai gunto (machined) of carbon steel which are merely sharpened in the machining process.

One seller (of the folded forged blad above) says "it you understand the polishing of a Japanese blade, you understand the nature of the katana."

The best blades are forged to a certain point, then the final edge is 'polished" not ground.

This is what I am trying to learn how to do.

More later on the various steps, styles and processes.

The top blade on the opening post is folded forged, then the waves and ripples of the forging ALMOST are polished out, so the Hamon is faint as as the signs of the folding, but they are still there.

JOHN

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:04 am 
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Location: Valhalla
Nihon to are sharpened with natural stones. Some of these stones in themselves are extremely expensive. A master polisher commands all the respect of the sword maker.

Most polishers in this country from what I've read use chemicals which destroy the sword chemically from the inside out.

Hamons are faked with chemicals all day long.

My wakizashi is pre 1860 and has no hamon. Some do and some don't.

F.

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 Post subject: Polishing
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:41 am 
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We ahe been practicing with fine 'wet' sanpaper in gradual steps of 'grit".

While I am sure that the stone would do a better job and makre it, in effect, easier to sharpen while polishing, we have had to stay with 1500 griet for final polish.

If you ever get a scratch on your katana or other sword, this will polish it out.

However, doing tht might negatively affect the area around the spot.

I have found that it works and blends fairly well, all things considered.

I can fake a hamon with liquid blue blue and a "template" but it doesn't look that good.

I guess I will have to hope Paul Chen and Shinwa's Hamons are not faked.

The Custom Blades (as shown here, show omly the very slighest sign of a Hamon line as the entire area is polished by the swordsmith.

So, what did you think other than that Fred Sensei?

About the test cut and the info about this particular sword??

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:09 am 
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I don't cut anything. Frankly I don't think I've ben training long enough to.

I use a buffing wheel and white polish to shine up my sai. I made it with my grandfather many moons ago.

Traditional stone polishing set is sold here for $495.

Paying a pro to polish starts at $100 an inch.

I'm going to check out a sword collectors meeting this weekend. I'll give a full report.

F.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:12 pm 
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John, please note that it is not all Paul Chen Hanwei Forge blades that are so unbalanced. It is just the "Practical" series of Western swords. His sharps have generally received good reviews as good swords for the money.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:21 pm 
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Also, I am not certain just how important historicity is to you but you may wish to read Matt Amt's Legio XX site on the Hanwei and other gladii before buying them.
http://www.larp.com/legioxx/gladius.html

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 Post subject: Hanwei etc.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:08 am 
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I fI did not cover it before, the Buk K Viking showed a short tang with a rattail appendage.

I was, wowever, very tighter wrapped in would and a suedish (sorry for the pun) type latherette.

As Hugh pointed out, it wold have been hazardous to cut anything heavy with it as built.

Not attempt was madee to reconstructor a Viking type hilt, and the 3/8th bolt wass threadt through a harwood handled and the extended and reinforred rattail peeened, bolted, and epoxied to the rop of the pommel.

The Hilt was from antoehr dissected sword--but is three pieces of solid maple hardwood.

I will limit notes on my experiments in future as the ===== well=====I guess I may have come to feel that it is better to keep things a bit closer to the vest.

Much as I have a chronograph for testing ammo and a pretty wary eye to brass wear, I may purchase a set of rockwell type hardness testing equppage.

To return to the original point:

The rattail got cut off and replaced with a 3/8th welded steel bolt threaded and peeend thoght the hilt.

The japanese shaping and sharpening techniques far outdo my own, but progessing frrom 250 thru till 1500 grit will produce an adequate shaping and polishing tools at reasonable cost.

Birchwood Casey Gunstock lacquer looks well, is rock hard and much cheaper than traditional Japanese methods

I had fined and bedded lterally dozens of gun stock and am only uncormfortable with this material out of a ill ease with not Japanesse Saya Lacquer.

When I do get some more time and less pain, I will try and progress to the traditional Japaneses processes and stones.

"North London Budo" has the stones and proper wrap for tsukimaki both in cotton and in silk.

The have seppa, rayskin, kashira, menuko, fuchi, Sayajiri, habaki, proper rayskin Same, kurigata etc..

The irony is, at present, as fred not an Englsih lady has set her sights on banning swords.

I have let North London Budo to keep an eye out.

the Hanwei Gladius is OK. It lacks heft perhaps.

It is a wasp waited Mainze type.

The gripp, unusually, is hexagonal, and thus mote comfortable than many.

The polishing lacked enthusiasm. The shar[ening was not complete.

Of course, a collector wants function and strength whereas perhaps renenactor mich care liss about edge and polish but be insistent as to strength.


My semi custom swordsmith listsL

Maru
Sanmai
Kobuse A
Kobuse B
Hon Sanmai
Shio zume

as the minimum nubers of different construction methods.

I will try and digest and pass the type theroies along.

Fredl I understand your reluctance to dishonor a blade by cutting with it before you feel approprately----ah-----sanctioned.

I do not know what to say about this except as to keep a PKatana around for practice cuts and not involve any other blades untill you feel you are in compliance with your Sesnei's sensibilities.

I am having some little cutting fun bit only sty with light cutting to avoid scratching blade using water filled milk jugs and I do not feel comfortable swing a traditioanlly made Katana at a tatami any more that you would.


However, at some pont you must take your ammo and hit the target, I guess.

John

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