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To Polish Or Not To Polish?


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#1 IJASWORDS

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 01:47 AM

David Flynn posted a very interesting quandary in another section. That is, with the high cost of a PROPPER polish (circa $4000), and the initial cost of the sword, would this be a financially viable proposition on GENDAI TO?
OK, my YASUKUNI TO, yes, and it has, that is a no brainer.
So the dilemma is, with a good polish you can enjoy/appreciate the workmanship and fine detail in the blade, with an empty wallet, OR enjoy the sword as a historical/military artefact at a lower cost of ownership.
I guess the only mid-ground is probably leave them as they are for now (well maintained of course), and if/when the market price catches up in future, polish then. I can't see the cost of polishing declining. Neil.

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#2 Hamfish

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 01:59 AM

How much do you enjoy the sword?
How badly do you need to have a togi put his art to practice?

And for $4000 what can you buy. A isshin matetsu

A bady polished nagamitsu from aoi art

How often does one regain there money from restoration when they re-sell?
Hamfish

#3 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:20 AM

Neil,

I tossed and turned on the same decision about my Dad's Koa Isshin. It's got lots of stains and scratches that give it the "used in combat" (or on some poor hapless Chinese) that is tempting to preserves as-is; but it's Dad's. So I've decided to have it polished. Sentimental reasons only.

You know that there are really good polishers out there that can do it for around $2,000, right? That's what I'll be paying for mine, when my turn comes up this Spring.

#4 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 03:42 AM

I nearly bought a Koa Isshin that was in poor condition with the intent of having it polished, it was not battle damage but post war abuse and neglect I suspect. The cost of a full polish would've probably let me buy another Koa Isshin in good shape.  Especially in Australia there are mighty few options and I'm not really sure about those either in terms of price or quality. Sending it overseas with the weak AUD ATM means even "cheap" polishers are prohibitively expensive and infeasible beyond only the very highest quality pieces.


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#5 IJASWORDS

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:32 AM

Bruce, I understand with a family heirloom, there is more value than monetary, so GO FOR IT!! But we have a saying down here.... I inherited my Great Grandfathers Axe, but its had three new axe heads and five new handles since great grand dad had it....is it still the same axe? Neil.
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#6 Shamsy

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 09:13 AM

I'll have my Yasumitsu polished. The cost of the sword in total will be about equivalent to the total value. But that's not really it. It's a great sword and worth restoring in its own right. Sometimes it's not about the money. Best to have cost as close to value as possible, but unless you're flipping swords off every couple of years the money you might lose is the price you pay for enjoying the sword.
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Steve
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#7 David Flynn

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 09:45 AM

To me, if the total value of the sword remains, ie. initial cost, with the polish then added, why not.  If however, the cost of the sword, plus the cost of the polish ( shirasaya, maybe new habaki, origami etc) comes in a lot higher than what one may buy the equivalent, then the only real factor for having this done, is sentiment.Bruce, we only have one Japanese trained Togishi in Oz, Andrew Ickeringill and I'm led to believe he would not touch a Koa isshin  Also you have a few non professionally trained polishers who  will do this service.  What you forgot to mention is that that 2k for the polish, is for the polish only.  If you don't remove the wooden liners and clean them properly ( or have new ones made), or have a shira saya made you will scratch the polish. Also, the 4k mentioned is in Merica dollars, Australia would be about 5k.  But this does include the Shira saya, Habaki and Origami.

Sentiment can be expensive.


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David




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#8 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for the reminder David! I just sent an email to David Hofhine to make sure, but I think I told him about the blade when I first contacted him. We'll see what he says. I'm also checking into a shirasaya maker, now that you mentioned it!

#9 David Flynn

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:27 AM

David Hofhine is not a Japanese trained polisher.  From my understanding though, he charges the same as a Japanese trained polisher.

 

http://www.militaria...+david +hofhine


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David




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#10 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:26 AM

Thanks David,

I like his work, and this is a Mantetsu blade, not a high-art blade.

#11 David Flynn

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:32 AM

Bruce, many people with " Sentimental Swords",  often realise that the costs of restoration outway sentimentality.  It is often more prudent, to just keep the sword from deteriating further and to spend the restoration costs on a better blade.  Usually,  the sentiment  runs only with the current generation.

 

I used to think average polishers were good.  That was until my collecting improved with knowledge.  Once one has seen professional polishes, compared to average polishes, it's like chalk and cheese.  I understand sometimes it's a cost factor, however, an average polish will be picked by and experienced collector.  This also comes down to selling and buying.  Swords with professional polish, will sell for more than a comparable sword with an average polish.

 Unless one only wants a " clean blade."


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David




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#12 Bruno

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Posted Yesterday, 02:01 PM

Hi Bruce,

 

I agree with David. Though Mantetsu-to are not true nihonto they are fine swords. (I also have one out of polish from 1942 or 1943).

 

David Hofhine is a fine for standard showato but not for nihonto or even Mantetsu-to.

 

Jimmy Hayashi in San Fransisco and Takeo Seki in Vancouver are the togishi you should think about. 

 

Edit : For the shirasaya ask Brian Tschernega.


Bruno Herrmann




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