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1075 ?

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by running bird, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. running bird

    running bird

    277
    Sep 29, 2015
    I'm thinking of planing out a long tanto or wakazashi soon and was wondering if you guys think 1075 would be a good steel to use on a blade like this? I figured it wouldn't be to bad if I messed up because it's a rather inexpensive steel and I heard that it shows a pretty good hamon.

    If I get the design of this blade down my next step would be using some of a san mai billet I made of RR spike steel ( at least for me it's around 1045) with a core of 15n20. But i would rather not try using this billet for my first tanto/wakazashi type blade incase I screw up and waist a good billet of san mai.

    Any tips on blade design or HT process would also be great.

    Thanks for helping,
    Kevin
     
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    1075 is a good sword steel. It will take a nice hamon if you are planning on doing yaki-ire.

    There is plenty of info available on Japanese sword design and shapes ... but the basic thing to keep in mind is "keep it simple".
    The stickys has info on Japanese terms and swords. Some of those links are dead, but they should show you what to search for in new searches.

    Tips:
    As already said - SIMPLE. A simple mune and a simple edge are the best for a wakizashi. Bo-hi and all the fancy stuff can be saved for later swords and projects.
    If doing an oil quench, forge/grind in the sori.
    Leave plenty of "meat" on the sword blade pre-HT. You will do the final shaping after HT.
    The preferred grind type is a convex grind. Even hira-zukuri has a convex to it.
    Most people make O-tanto and wakizashi too long and wide. They are fairly sleek and not thick or wide bladed. O-tanto (long tanto) with a 12" nagasa is the max that looks right. Wakizashi is 13-24", but about 15-16" makes a really nice sword. 1/4" stock is plenty thick for a wak, and 1/8" isn't too thin for a tanto.
    Look at some charts and photos of the kissaki shapes. The "American Tanto" shape isn't really a good one. A medium to long kissaki ( chu-kissaki or O-kissaki) is what looks and works best.
    http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/kissaki.html
    Sneak up on the final shape. Take the blade down in steps, and don't try and grind the final profile and kissaki all at once.
    Polishing depends on a lot, mostly if there is a hamon or not. A simple hand sanded blade at 800 grit with crisp lines can be as attractive as a blade done by shitaji/shiagi toji with 100 hours of polishing time. Take your time and polish by hand above the basic shaping grits on the grinder. Use a hard backing block and work small sections of the blade at a time.
    Shape the kissaki and yokote last.
     
  3. running bird

    running bird

    277
    Sep 29, 2015
    Thank you so much for helping.

    I was planning on doing a plain wood handle and scabbard, any recommendations on a wood to use? My dad and his friend take down old barns and re-use the wood from the beams and the floor boards they usually give me some extras so I have a lot of long ash and oak beams. Would woods like ash, oak, or even chestnut be good?
     
  4. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Those three are all good hardwoods .Perhaps not as easy to work as softer wood but nice stuff. I would pick chestnut as American Chestnut is something that no longer grows here and would be a nice treasure to have.
    1075 will make nice hamon.if handled properly .The fine beautiful textures the Japanese get is due to polishing by hand as any power tools ruin the fine stuff !!
     

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