I'm very fond of the
Nambokucho style extra long Ô-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
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
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: Ô-Maru if possible.
SOME THOUGHTS FOR EXCHANGE OF
|This will most probably be
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
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
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 ô-mokume.
So what we can do is use this sword whish has an
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Antonio Cejunior -