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Caleb the Bipolub

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Caleb the Bipolub last won the day on November 19 2015

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About Caleb the Bipolub

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    Chu Jo Saku
  • Birthday 06/07/1984

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    Hong Kong
  • Interests
    Musing how i can bribe God into letting me commit suicide without going to hell...
  1. For those who'd rather see the parts under focus all at once as opposed to in 15 seconds. Distorted version; Source - www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv8HeC2vnq0 (1:52-2:07) ... For the original 3150 x 1850 pixels versiobn...if anyone wants it...can someone help me post it up somewhere? Thanks -Caleb
  2. Sorry I tried to search using various ways, sources and languages but couldn't find the answer. As the title denotes, what is the area between the hasaki and the shinogi called? Or, what is ha+ji called? Thanks
  3. If you happened to have purchased, rather than inherit, this sword, then there's a strong chance it is worthless ie has fatal flaw(s). My experience, confirmed by some Japanese sources, say that nowadays any sword found to have fatal flaws would be deliberately covered in rust and put into circulation. I apologize that i don't have better news - Caleb
  4. Number 3 is a Shinshinto of nagasa 27-3/8" or 69.4cm, signed Eshu-ju Tomikuni (ubu tang). Shortest tang i've seen but i haven't seen many -Caleb
  5. Grey, I totally agree with you, but i'm curious about the funbari, both in the hasaki and the mune. I suppose that people who convert broken pieces of swords into "ko-wakizashi" are smart enough to fake funbari into them to? Ryan, sorry i'm totally ignorant of US geography and climate, but here in Hong Kong if you don't oil your sword it WILL RUST. I strongly recommend this regiment: 1) wipe the blade with mineral oil and either facial tissue or 3-ply or more toilet paper 2) wait one week 3) wipe again: -If there's any orange at all, even the slightest, this means that during this period of the year you need to wipe it every week -if not, go to 4) 4) wait 2 weeks 5) repeat 2), only if there's no orange at all, wait a month this time 6) repeat bi-monthly, quarterly, etc... until you determine how often your blade actually rusts in your region. ***THE GOOD NEWS IS*** in fifty years (lol) if your level of humidity is like that of Japan, your sword will get darker and might enhance the hamon, that is, the ji will patinate and darken more than the ha. This is basically controlled rusting, and is the working principle of the classic (not modern) sashikomi styled polishing which "takes 50 years to look best". If your climate is like that in Vancouver where my stuff basically never rusted....it'll take ~longer~ My point is, there IS something you can do. You might not even need the shirasaya. The beauty of national treasure blades, after all, is uncovered by shirasaya for extended periods. If you take time to frequently look at this object, (and keep it rust-free) it may add to its value more effectively than a shirasaya
  6. (no knowledge of historical practices below if that's all you're looking for) Swords, which were hardened to below ~60 Rockwells, in some way made up for their inability to get as "sharp" as blades hardened harder by the fact that they reached much higher velocities. As for the degree of the edge's bevel, we do know that generally speaking, the lower the angle, the sharper. But the discussion brought up sharpness testing in addition to the general way of ~sharpening for sharpening sake~, and this i think will give a different way of looking at bevel angle, as well as other factors. I submit my humble observation that when woodworking i'm interested at tools' ~overall~ sharpness between sharpenings, not just its initial, right-off-the-stones, sharpness. The initial sharpness is meaningless to me in this: It quickly goes away and i am stuck with a "sharpness" that only dwindles, and depending on that bevel angle, the RC and composition of the blade, and the finish, it can dwindle at vastly different rates. The "sharp" tool for me then is a contest between "the edge that gets real sharp but loses it quickly" and the so-called "the edge that doesn't get sharp and you're stuck with it a long time." Well, ~how~ sharp? ~How~ long? The winner is the one with the better average score. So bevel angle alone is not meaningful to me. A white-steel blade that is very high in RC is a PAIN to sharpen and to increase the surface area that i need to sharpen by decreasing its bevel angle is too much work for me: for such a blade i'd prefer going higher grits to make up for its lack of an acute angle. The opposite can apply to a soft blade. With sword testing it was probably done with right-off-the-stones, initial sharpness. It would make every sense that way. Now let's consider the scenario that magnifies every factor EXCEPT the blade's RC: the cutting of very easily-cut things, like vegetables. Here, a well polished and strongly acute bronze razor might do as well as a 67 RC highly-ceramic steel (i do not call them "highly-alloyed", but "highly ceramic", for that is what they are). Now let's consider the scenario that magnifies ONLY the blade's RC: hand-scraping a hand-made saw's blank down to correct thickness. Here, a highly polished blade might do as well as one not so highly polished AS LONG AS it is made of a high RC blade. Now let's go back to sword testing. It was on bodies, of flesh and bone. Knowing that you CANNOT alter the RC, what are the only variables left? The velocity of the blade, its finish, and the bevel angle. I do not know about you, but i find that in sharpening my kitchen knives to cut stacks of 3"-4" pork chop stacks in one stroke, sharpening anywhere finer than Shapton Pro 2K becomes diminishing returns in terms of initial sharpness (Shapton 2K is finer than some brand's higher stated grits). 5K and higher is VASTLY superior in terms of sharpness retention* for me...but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about one stroke, how many bodies; not many strokes, how many bodies. As for cutting bone with a deba(yes, actually cutting, not crushing...even though in dispatching an opponent you need neither), i find that you can do whatever you want but as long as you push-cut you will certainly fail and if you draw-cut you are more likely to succeed--the more slanted the better. Which implies a sword with more sori will carve through bone better. Well there you have it: if you want a practical sword for mass-infantry tactics, you'll go with with a straight sword; if you want wonderful cut-testing results, go for the most impractically heavy sword you have and hope it's highly curved too. You don't have to polish the blade that much: because if you swing it THAT HARD and it hits flesh, a finish equivalent to 2K or 12K wouldn't really be that different ON THE FIRST STRIKE; if you hit metal armor, it wouldn't cut regardless. But if your sword is to hit things again, and again, and again, then...i'll be honest i have no idea but i'm biased to think the RC is the most important factor (even though i'm trying to exclude this factor here) but that's because i cut wood much more than food or my face. Someone who cuts the latter, on the other hand, i'd imagine, if he/she is biased, would be biased towards higher grit. So my speculation would be, because it is PAINFULLY long to grind hardened steel with natural Binsui (either the modern white type with lots of impurities or the more rare yellow type with few impurities) or Arato, as opposed to aluminum oxide, the sword that had an acute angle, if needed to be sharpened quickly, would face the pressure to be converted into a blunt angle...and that sword will forever have lost its "maximum" sharpness until there's times of less war when it might be restored to a "correct" angle whatever it is (i have never read literature on this...only literature on niku...but niku can be changed). The harder swords would be subject to a greater incentive to blunt their edges' angles; the softer swords would be subject to less. Though it's impossible to speculate what angles koto, or any heavily-polished sword, may have had, we do have many Shinto-and-post swords that we can see have a rather blunt angle (well, from my experience anyway) and many sources say that polishers say Shinto steel is harder. Again, without aluminum oxide, acute angles can take a really long time... And as for the finish ie how high the grits go for use...probably not that high, which literature seem to agree on. I remember somewhere they said they probably stopped at chu-nagura...but such a statement imho is meaningless. I was told by a reputable source that kaisei is only slightly finer than binsui, but binsui is a HUGE family of stones of varying finenesses and hardnesses that share members with the amakusa. Chu nagura, on the other hand, are usually not-hard. (just look at it, obviously very sedimentary at some point before becoming metamorphic). The hardness and coarseness of the binsui/kaisei if urgency called for them would have made a very deep impression to the blade that the chu-nagura would take forever to erase. Sorry i digress: just trying to say, i don't think we'll ever really know because it'd have depended on many varying cases of'urgency and they had a vast array of stones, and maybe even bevel angles if the steel was soft enough, to choose from to accommodate. Lastly, from experience, it is impossible for me to match the sharpness of something sharpened parallel to the edge to that sharpened perpendicular or 45 degrees to it. Yet we see consistent info regarding the 45 degrees to traditional Japanese chef knifes, but not Nihonto. Goes to show that maybe, just maybe, they understood that apart from cutting tests, it didn't actually matter ~that~ much. Now the artistic quality on the other hand, that's an entirely different story! -Caleb *I can elaborate on this but pls pm me... this has nothing to do with historic Japanese swords
  7. I made a decision not to post on this forum not on a whim but on a principle...but upon seeing how a fellow Canadian basically getting ripped off, i can't help but offer unsolicited points of observation. Daisho are imho hard to sell. Why do we often see fittings and sword sold separately? Because it is rare enough that A ) someone will go all out for the sword or B ) someone will go all out for the fittings...but MUCH rarer still is that someone will go all out for BOTH the sword and the fittings. This package has imho SO MUCH going for it, in ONE package: 1) good and characteristic workmanship that even a noob like me can say, "Ah yes i saw something like this on a different Jumyo before" 2) a real daisho 3) a good (but not flawless) polish 4) signed too for goodness sake Now, time for me to rant. What we ~like~ to believe is that sword features like diamond carats, go up exponentially ie a 2-carat diamond costs a lot more than two 1-carat diamonds...but this is sold like the price of a signed random daito plus a random signed shoto added together, and still no one went for it (oh but people are going for stuff of Ebay!). Perhaps it is because the daito is not quite long enough, or the mei was signed a little bit off, or that it has no papers etc etc. But aren't we suppose to collect on artistic merit, and, in this case, historical significance/rarity because of the daisho, not on how long something is or how it was signed? (sigh) Sorry, just wanted to rant. I can't buy this, i made a commitment to stop. But i really do hope Travis/Mr. Clarke (however you like to be addressed by a 30-something person) can someone survive his financial strain to not sell it at this price. There's two ways to put this i think: either 1) whoever thinks it's worth less than $2,395 USD does not know what they're getting and is less deserving to get it than someone who does, or 2) Price for sold crap on Ebay is rising...don't know about mid-tier stuff like this but either way the longer you wait the better -Caleb
  8. 1) Do you get the work back when the competition is over? 2) Is the exhibition of winning pieces at Sakaki-Machi Museum of Tetsu in Nagano prefecture accessible to general public and if so, when? 3) Is there any chance of meeting and conversing with craftsman and/or other enthusiasts there? 4) In your opinion, if i intend to save money to go there in 2017 just to meet craftsman, and If I don't have much experience conversing in Japanese, can a JLPT N2 suffice? Or do i have to go beyond N1 ie be super-fluent before I should attempt this venture? Many thanks, Caleb
  9. I'm putting my $ it's curly hair...if it is a 2, it's a perfect two which means it's machine stamped/marked. But why machine stamp/mark a 2 that actually doesn't look like a standard two ie the curve appears bigger than the base and is really, really circular for a 2. I don't know, i don't know... My thoughts on what's here is...because I am a noob, i am very susceptible to being unable to distinguish Koto from good Shinshinto. In my noobish opinion it doesn't look shinto. So i'm looking hard for any signs by which to automatically write it off as either...which i'm failing to find. Per majority here (?) I'd recommend polish by traditionally trained polisher, and if getting a non-Master grade polish (master grades are like $3000-$4000 USD for katana instead of the "usual" 120000 yen...right?) don't expect exemplary results EVEN IF the sword itself is exemplary. But, difficult to recoup the cost even if Koto simply because it's mumei wak. If Shinshinto, extremely difficult to justify the investment, even if a non-master grade polish. But totally enjoyable as-is: i can totally see myself enjoying the weekly/monthly/quarterly/etc wipe with oil and cotton balls and relish seeing the ball get orange and know the nugui is improving with this sword. In the same way a traditional sashikomi takes 50 years to look its best, the sword may look better in years to come--if taken care of correctly --Caleb
  10. Wasn't it pine sap or something like that? Namikawa Heibei used to (and still does?) sell pine resin or something like that for gluing things...for some reason i am either confusing it with something else or maybe they really did use pine resin. A very sticky and cheap (compared to urushi) glue quite suitable for gluing tsukamaki. I'm personally okay with supergluing it because, if it's for me, i don't value my own work very much anyway, and if it's for my clients (which i haven't had for many years now), i get the okay from them first. They usually get the hint that "i'm only useful to you cheap; it's only cheap if i use superglue" and if not i'd have to tell them politely EDIT: nevermind, it's true: http://www.namikawa-ltd.com/product/130 "300g. Used to glue or fix something. It will melt by adding heat. Tsukamaki-shi used to make Kusune (traditional glue) from Matsuyani and Natane oil. It prevents the Tsukaito from slipping." Above quote leaves little room for interpretation...unless of course, one argues Namikawa Heibei cannot be given any weight as far as authoritativeness on Nihonto knowledge is concerned...which, i guess is ~doable~ but why would you...... -Caleb
  11. But what about Rai Kuniyoshi, Emperor Gotaba, Yamato Amakuni (Kogarasu-maru), Yamato Amakumo, Yamato-no-Orochi (Amano Murakumono Tsurugi), and Susanoono Mikoto (Totsukano Tsurugi)? (sorry, couldn't resist. Feel free to delete if inappropriate...i see it coming and will not take offence)
  12. Except when you're on Darcy's site, which, if you think about it, indeed does provide a "short list of the best" HAHAHA!
  13. Hi Greg. No. I should have clarified...it was a somewhat-specialty small-hammer that was obviously smaller than one you'd get at a hardware store. With a polished head filed to have precise but chamfered edges, my strategy was to use something like a slanted blow...sort of like when a nail goes down crooked and by ~slanting~ your blow you can get the nail straight again. The idea for me was to encroach my hammering from the mune/ha towards the center and as such the blows ~slants~ towards the center and the middle of the tsuka, where it is weakest, does not take a direct hit. And by hammering the $h*& out i mean short stroke lengths of 3"-5" max, but repeated many, many times. Sorry, should have been more precise
  14. Oddly enough, very few (if any) sources will mention how important it is to hammer the $h#* out of each cross. Though they're fundamentally quite different imho, it turns our either hineri or tsumami relies on this principle: the tighter you pull the braid, the less "fat" your triangles will look HAD NOT for the fact that each triangle is formed by TWO braids being pushed against each other. Let me explain. The purpose of the two vertical strips, that run along the mune and ha length of the tsuka, is to constrict how wide the rayskin"diamonds" will be. These strips also acts as a rail for the paper triangles: you can imagine as though the rails are the gum and the triangles are the teeth, and it's as though the tsuka looks like it has two sets of jaws with two rows of teeth, one set on the mune, and another on the ha. Imagine that if these jaws were to chew on something, and imagine also that the something would have pushed the teeth into the gums HAD NOT for the fact that the rails/gums act as a floor with which the pyramid-shaped teeth rests upon. Like how you cannot push a pyramid ~into~ the ground, these paper triangles cannot be pushed further away past the rails...... I mention this because the natural tendency for tightening things in general is that "fat" things will be pulled into "skinny" things. If paper triangles did not exist at all, and you are merely overlapping the braids as you wrap the handle, what you'll find is that the tighter you pull it, the more the diamonds' lengthwise tips will encroach towards the mune and ha...so much so that each diamond's tips will start at the mune and ha terminus (very ugly). So these paper teeth and gums are supposed to stop the braid from encroaching any further, right? Well, yes sort of. But the natural tendency is STILL for the braids to try to slip through into the "gaps" between each tooth; the natural tendency is not fixed. BUT IF YOU HAMMER THE HECK out of the "base of the pyramid", you're doing the opposite of the braid's encroaching; you are compressing the braid to push the diamond back towards the center. This has the wonderful effect of either enforcing the "fold" in hineri, or accenting that "bulge" in tsumami. Ever noticed that you can fold thin paper, and reinforce that fold with your fingernail to get a really nice, sharp, precise fold? ... But not on thick cardboard? Well, with tsukaito braids, i find that those nice, sharp folds are still possible....but it requires hammering the $h#* out of the base of the pyramid AND pulling the crap out of the cord. Every time you pull the braid, the fold becomes dull and imprecise...but every time you hammer it, the fold becomes precise again. After doing this a number of times, imho i've gotten ~better~ results than if i had not. One last thing i want to leave you with is: please look at different tsumami work. The imho better ones will have FAT, rounded, highly convex triangles and diamonds that look very stout, but its lengthwise points will look very petit and sharp (again, because the triangle defining this is convex rather than straight). How is this done? Well, as you know, a triangle is defined by TWO braids. Had they existed in their own vacuums, the more you pull the braid, the more "straight" the "halves" of the pyramid will be. But because you are pushing the braids into EACH OTHER, what that means is the bottom edge of the top braid is pushed against the top edge of the bottom braid (obvious, right? Hope i haven't lost you). If you pull both these braids, the natural tendency is for the braids to stretch and push their edges INTO sliding underneath each other. But that will never happen: their edges push against and lock each other; they will never slide underneath. BUT this pushing will drive the edges of the braids-touching-each-other upwards away from the surface of the tsuka, forming a bulge. If you HAMMER this bulge down and you're doing tsumami, you will basically: 1) eliminate that bulge 2) enforce a sharper crease 3) reinforce that the edges CANNOT slide past each other even more 4) stretch the edges of the two braids AWAY from their intersection more than the edge at the intersection aka "bending": if the braid is not folded a la tsumami, this bending will form rounded, convex edges that imho looks better TO SUM UP ALL ABOVE: I think it boils down to a lot of hammering...IN ADDITION to the "as-tight-as-possible" advice seemingly everywhere which i support 100% -Caleb
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