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Grey Doffin

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Everything posted by Grey Doffin

  1. Hi Sasch, I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Under $1K for a Nihonto will get you something that is either low to mediocre quality or a blade with serious problems. When the time comes to sell and move up, you'll have trouble recouping the investment. Double the investment and take the time while you're raising it to study. You'll know more, which will allow you to buy something worthy and pleasing to own. Grey
  2. Hi Patrick, You can have a completely new koshirae, with newly made parts, or you can buy antique parts and have them fit to a new saya and tsuka. Unless you try to do either of these on the cheap (then what's the point?), either can be quite expensive. This will be an expense that you likely will never recoup. For instance: if your sword in shirasaya is worth $3,000 and you spend $7,000 on the new koshirae, when done you should be able to sell the lot for $6,000. Collectors would rather have original samurai mounts, not something recently put together by a westerner. The task you have chosen is often the wish of a newbie; far less common with the experienced. But, you say, "I don't plan to sell the sword." Unless you plan to be buried with it, it will be sold, either by you or your family. As mentioned, a much better solution is to buy an existing koshirae you like to display beside your sword in its shirasaya, which is where your sword is best protected. Orphan koshirae (separated from their blades), even those of good quality, can usually be purchased for less than their parts would be worth if bought piece by piece. The theoretical $3,000 sword above could be paired with a $2,000 koshirae and little or no investment would be lost when the time comes to sell. One exception to this would be commissioning a koshirae from a well trained and talented artist. Much more expensive but justifiable for esthetic/artistic/what the hell; I can afford it reasons. Grey
  3. Your top 2 pictures appear to show the tsuka with a missing mekugi. If this is the case don't delay in replacing the pin; it is quite important. Grey
  4. Yes, and don't delay. The pin is very important. Grey
  5. BTW, never try to cut with this or similar swords. They can shatter on impact and become lethal shrapnel. Grey
  6. Sorry but I strongly disagree with Jimmy's last post. The most likely thing you will learn from buying cheap, out of polish swords and sending them to a polisher for windows and further polish if warranted is that you shouldn't have done it. There is a reason why the swords are cheap and out of polish. Beginners should take serious time for study, and they should resist the urge to buy speculative swords. Save your money for the day when you understand what you're spending it on. There will always be good Nihonto for sale; no need to be in a hurry. Grey
  7. I am no authority on military swords but this looks terrible. Run away. Grey
  8. Late (Meiji) and trying to appeal to western tastes. In my humbled opinion. Grey
  9. Bishu Osafune Kiyo ? (tough to read upside down). Not a gunto; an earlier blade. Grey
  10. Hi guys, Mark and I just took in a bunch of swords new to the market and a couple dozen kodogu also. If you're going to be here at the show be sure to stop by our tables for a peek. Going to be a very active show, I think. Grey
  11. I think the koshirae is Meiji, if not later. The blade could be earlier. Grey
  12. Hi Matthew, Here is a care and handling brochure you should read twice: https://nbthk-ab2.org/sword-characteristics/ scrool down. Best, Grey
  13. Hi Gabe, If you do for yourself what you're asking us to do for you, not only will the answer be closer to your tastes but you'll learn a bunch in the process. Come up with 5 smiths you think you'll like and are approachable with your wallet; then run them past us here to see what we think. Grey
  14. The signature does read Kuniyuki. Grey
  15. Hi Brian, You can have new sharasaya made for your blades but you can't buy off the shelf shirasaya; each is custom made for the blade. However, cracks can be simply repaired if the repairer knows what he is up to and no one who doesn't know has tried already. Grey
  16. Also, if the 2nd picture in your last post is the cut offs after they split post glue up, you shouldn't be seeing all that rice paste. A proper glue job is 2 pieces of wood in total contact with an invisible glue line, not 2 pieces of wood with a bunch of glue separating them. The joint you picture is doomed to fail even with the proper rice. Years ago at one of the Minneapolis shows Chris Bowen and Larry Klahn put on, I watched a Japanese saya-shi make shirasaya for a tanto. I was surprised to see him work almost entirely cross grain with a small knife, not along the grain with a bent handle paring chisel. Grey
  17. Echizen Ju Kinai, I believe. Grey
  18. Hi Guys, I have to tie another efu tachi and the link from Guido is defunct. Can anyone supply another that works now? Thanks, Grey
  19. Hi Paz, No idea how much it would cost without knowing a lot more about the sword. Would not have to be sent to Japan. Don't know if it can be restored without knowing a lot more and, more to the point, don't know if it should be restored. Grey
  20. Hi C.M. We need to see more and better pictures before any of us can tell you much about the sword: close ups of the tang, blade, point, and any of the mounts you have might help. The habaki, that gold colored collar near your index finger in the picture, might be better than average and might suggest the blade is worth a close look. Mean time, here is a link to a care and handling brochure you and your dad would be smart to read twice: https://nbthk-ab2.org/sword-characteristics/ Resist all urges to clean or fix the sword in any way; restoration should be left to those with proper training and amateur attempts often do serious damage (to both the sword and its value). Looking forward to seeing more. Grey
  21. Hi Dave, I suspect a cast fake for your tsuba. The rest of the pieces are, most likely, real but real low quality and late. Unless someone else has a better idea. Grey
  22. Hi Paul, The similarities in the tang and fuller are as meaningful as 2 cars being similar in that they both have 4 wheels: yes, but doesn't tell us much about the relative quality. Just noticed you're in Minnesota; what part of the state? I'm in Duluth. Grey
  23. Hi Paul, Your sword is currently just barely katana length; it used to be an inch maybe longer but has been shortened. It looks like it has been improperly buffed; lines aren't sharp and hamon & hada (temper and grain) are indistinct. There are defects on the blade which seriously degrade the value. If I had to make a guess on age I'd say some time between the 16th and 19th centuries (not considered old for a Japanese sword) but I could be off on that. I don't think much more can be told without in-hand examination by someone knowledgeable. Grey
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