First japanese tanto WIP

No progress yet as im waiting on some supplies to be delivered. I hate waiting especially when im off from work lol
Well been awhile but here is a update!

I reheated my blade and there is a nice hamon but some weird stuff going on on the upper part of the blade.

Quick etch after 400 or 600 to see what hamon was like



Well after polishing and polishing the top has some weird banding. Im thinking the clay was too thick or something.



So I spent a few days basically practicing and learning more about etchign and sanding and polishing and was gonna put the blade aside and chalk it up as a learning blade when my son asked why I take off the cool grey/black color when it comes out of the etch. He said it looks really cool and he wants it. Sooo I figured what the hell. We sat down and talked and tried to figure out what else he wanted. Keep in mind hes 11 so im expecting some mall ninja/cartoon ideas going. I was sorta surpised. He wanted to keep the traditional copper habaki. But he also told me he didnt like the supper shiny ones on this knife cause the blade wasnt super shiny. Makes sense so far. So off to maiing the habaki (well actually 3 of them lol) and I finally arrived with this.



Soldered up - I used normal silver solder tho I was tempted to use the copper brazing rods I had


He wanted the front narrow and rounded off


Rough look he wanted


Oh before soldering


On the mune area of the habaki he wanted a plateau effect / \ Hard to capture in the pic tho. Not my personal choice to go with the rounded front but at this point Im making it all about him so he got what he wanted.


Fits very nicely and doesnt look bad. Called it quit for tonight and tomorrow will talk with him about the handle and sheath options. Im hoping he leans toward traditional saya myself.
Looks pretty good !! some japanese blades have a mune similar to that , its found on older style blades
Well my mune is a nice crisp /\ no plateau like he wanted on the habaki. It took me 3 trys just to get a mune worth keeping lol. But it was a fun learning process.

Here is where Im at today. Doesnt show in crappy cell pic but the hamon and edge area is slightly darker so it still has a pretty cool look to it.


I dont have the traditional Ho wood but I do have some poplar which Ive read act and looks similar and is a decent substitute. These japanese blades are very addictive. The blade geometries make them also VERY challenging!
Hey Willaim, that project is coming along nicely. Your son has a pretty good eye and taste for an 11 year old. I've had trouble with banding like that on 1095 from Admiral. Aldo gets all my business now. How about that new mill? Making any chips yet? Later, Cuz.

I have gotten alloy banding like that with some of Aldo's W2 when I had the clay on too thick. I think it is the extra carbides. It may not be ideal in terms of strength, but then that part of the blade is soft anyway so it shouldn't be much of an issue.
I have gotten alloy banding like that with some of Aldo's W2 when I had the clay on too thick. I think it is the extra carbides. It may not be ideal in terms of strength, but then that part of the blade is soft anyway so it shouldn't be much of an issue.
I honestly think i had it alittle too thick. And it was some 1095 from I dont remember where. Need to just stick with aldo from now on.
Very nice bubba. Really like that blade! Today got a little weird in his request. We were talking about the sheath and what not and after seeing some pics I showed him he really like the wooden handle and sheath in the octagon shape. He also seemed to like the more traditonal black shellac look. OK I thought. The he said something that I was like "YES YOUR RIGHT!". He says if we have a blade that is dark with copper the sheath is dark too then we need to carry some copper to the sheath. So i fogured copper on the end of the sheath and handle and where they meet would look nice with a copper pin instead of bamboo and we got a nice little theme going! So today got to work on some practice handles and Im stumped on the dimensions. Anyone have any suggestions on a octagon shaped handle? Im thinking something like 0.75" by 1.5" but it didnt look quite right. Now it could have been some of my other dimensions were off but I have no other tantos/katanas to handle and feel to compare and get measurements from.

On a side note thanks for the info and advice and guidance. Im loving this knife for the fact of how much im learnign wether it be a mistake or not! LOL
I tried to post you some pics and some info but , it keeps giving me error message when loading pics . Sorry I will try later.

It has been doing that for about a week ?????????? Bubba
Your measurements are about right it depends on the blade size and width . They are tapered towards the handle. Can be cut with good file /rasps or small planes . The japanese typicly use planes. I have tried both . the planes do a sharper looking profile but the files are a little faster . It does take a little bit to properly cut a new Saya . Its hard to get them tight between handle cut and saya. has to be nice and square. It should follow the blade curve somewhat , or if its straight blade you can carve in little curve . I have an old pic of tanto somewhere ..... this is a practice piece so its not perfect . You can get the basic idea of how they look traditionally. You can even carve one with wider bottom so it acts like it's own stand .... Bubba
Yeah my blade is 1 1/4" at the habaki and I think the habaki makes it alittle bigger then that. thats the Issue Im trying to deal with. Getting the dimensions right in my head before I try one is kind stumping me
I think what you are doing is fine ! I would however try and thin the habaki some before I cut the saya . Just an Idea.