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I'm very fond of the Nambokucho style extra long -kissaki being 7 inches my favorite kissaki length.

However this 7 inches kissaki is for a hira-zukuri blade, therefore much less traditional in the Nambokucho Period. Today's swords can draw beautiful shapes from the past but can take different cross sections. That is the essence of a contemporary work. Not to be bound by a repetition of tradition, time and again.


BLADE SPECIFICATIONS
NAGASA:
29 inches
SORI: 3/4 inches to maximum of 1 inch.
TYPE OF SORI: Tori-Zori
MOTOHABA: 32 mm
SAKIHABA: 30 mm
NOTE: the small tapering will result very harmonious with a 7 inches -Kissaki.
MOTOKASANE: 8 mm
SAKIKASANE: 7 mm
NIKU: Medium niku with extra sharp ha.
NAKAGO: 13 inches
NAKAGO ANA: two
HAMON: wild choji-gunome (if feasible under the sanmai process)
BOSHI: -Maru if possible.

SOME THOUGHTS FOR EXCHANGE OF VIEWS

This will most probably be one of my last sword as my sword cycle draws to a stand-still while I venture into other realms. For this very reason it has a very special significance to me as Jesus Hernandez has proven to be a wise, intelligent and very sensitive smith who can work in a challenge type of project.
1. SECTION GEOMETRY

This is the section (on the left) that I prefer as opposed to a more meaty edge. I have had both and I still think that the elongated niku is good enough construction. It ends up in a razor sharp edge yet still V enough to be solid.

2. The type of composite jihada on the sanmai

First off I hope for the sanmai layer to cover the mune side until the boshi. The idea is not to show it as a layer but more of a hybridation between the core and the sanmai.
Then I feel it would be something of a challenge to create a composite hada. The area near the mune could have a masame hada blended on the lower half with a very irregular -mokume.
So what we can do is use this sword whish has an -mokume hada and since the hira-zukuri does not have a shinogi-ji, that could be the place for the masame hada express itself. By placing and welding side-by side these two types of hada, we can achieve something unique in terms of the final billet to be hammered into extension.
When the clay is applied for a Wild Choji Gunome bearing in mind how both the san mai steel and the core steel will behave, I am sure that something magnificent will come out.
By giving this suggestion and, if I may say, challenge, with plenty of time, I know it will be the birth of a master-piece.

3. The making of the blade by Jesus Hernandez

The first statement that I will make is that I was fascinated by the concept of the hada in Antonio's design and that was the single thing that move me to make this blade. For two reasons. It is innovative and for the complexity of it. It is foremost a challenge that will allow me to demonstrate to myself how much control of the steel I have. Having said that, I have not finished polishing the blade so I don't know how it is going to turn out at the end.

I started by working in my mind all the factors that I could control to create this hada. Finally it came to me. Allow me not to describe how it was made (it will be a secret) but I will tell you that it involved a significant amount of forge welding and forging to shape. The idea is to have as close to a masame hada for the mune and then transition into a mokume type hada in the center and the edge will show the core steel.

The next challenge was the size of this blade. 29 inches nagasa and 13 inches nakago. That is quite a bit more steel that I have contemplated as the initial plan called for 28 inch nagasa and I thought a standard 9 inch handle. That's an additional 5 inches of steel and I have to consider taking that into account in the final cost of this blade. Another challenge was trying to stay as close as possible to the width specifications. The planning that went into the sizing and forging of the sunobe were significant.

I started by welding 3 bars of cable steel. Made several foldings on each one to create the final hada pattern and then welded that altogether into a large bar that was then forged into a sunobe. It took 3 weekends to do so and I lost about 6 pounds in weight (I should say in sweat to be very graphic). In the end there are no major welding flaws in the blade. Just a small esthetic and totally non-functional 4 mm opening in the grain that blends into the blade hada.

Then I dealt with the challenge of normalizing this beast. The length of it pushed my heat treating forge to the limit of its capability. Then I moved on to clean the oxidation layers and do the rough grinding to prepare for clay coating. I am not sure how the hamon will look in this blade. I will have to wait until is polished but I aimed to create some utsuri and hitatsura along with choji. We'll have to wait for the final result.

Yakiire went well and the blade took about 3/4 inch of sori. Just right. It is also the toughest blade I have made this far. It has such a resilience to be bend that it is amazing. It goes right back to center. And it slices a full length of cardboard box (3 feet tall) without any difficulties.

I am at the 220 grit by hand polish stage. The steel is so hard that it is taking me a lot more quantities of sandpaper and a lot more time to polish than usual. I will probably make a habaki for it next week. I have a nasty cut in two of my fingers for a chisel that slipped and I can't work on it until it heals.

My suspicion is that the steel has transformed into Bainite during heat treating and so the amazing characteristics of this sword. I wish I could have it analyzed.

 

steel bars steel bars sunobe sunobe detail
set up for forging forging the kissaki another view of the kissaki forging the machi
second view of the machi normalizing the blade the blade after normalizing blade after cleaning up
blade after more clean up blade clayed the blade with dried clay after yaki-ire
detail at 200 grit detail at 120 grit blade's sugata another sugata view

more sugata views. The blade is now at 30 inches and will be cut at the machi to 29 inches and a nakago of 13.25 inches. It very much resembles a nagamaki with a sori of 3/4 inches.

400 grit 600 grit 800 grit 1000 grit

Pictures of finished blade with Hitatsura hamon

   

 

     
 

Bladesmith JESUS HERNANDEZ

Concept by Antonio Cejunior - BLADESIGN