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About MHC

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    Jo Saku

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    Thailand, Chiang Mai area
  • Interests
    Gee I wonder....

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    Mark C

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  1. It is my understanding that most, if not all Japanese families, do not want to entertain any remembrance of that era. It was a sad time, and to many a shameful time. If the sword is indeed an older family heirloom, you might not cause any possible grief by attempting to return it. However, and I could be way out of line here so please use your own best judgement, but I fear you could do more damage than good by trying to find the owners family, and return the sword. Remember the Japanese culture is way different than the American culture, so please tread lightly. My .02 worth. Mark
  2. Yep...that's the one, thanks for sharing with us all. It is so over the top it leaves one speechless. Mark
  3. That is simply too cool...wonder what happened to the other pieces needed to complete the Saya in that theme? I saw photos of another very old and elaborately fitted Saya some time ago, that was along a similar theme, but can't for the life of me recall where??? I tend to like simpler style fittings, but when you see something like this....well what can one say, other than marvelous! Mark
  4. Jean, You mention punching thru a "red hot Nakago", I thought the Tsukamaki-Shi installed the Mekugi-Ana hole. So your saying the Tsukamaki-Shi re-heated the Nakago? Would not re-heating the Nakago to a red hot state, damage the temper on the blade? Mark
  5. See...now you spoiled my plans, I even got all dressed up for it. Mark
  6. MHC


    Yes Jamie, the Toledo blade is a replica, the Katanas are fakes, most likely of Chinese origin. However, they would still look real nice as wall hangers, and pretty reminders to you, that research and knowledge should precede any purchase. Lesson learned, and likely not a very expensive lesson at that. Choke it up to experience, and move forward knowing better now. Best of luck with your future ventures into the world of swords, and remember, always have fun, or it ceases to be a hobby! Mark
  7. MHC


    Jean, I humbly beg to differ.... the only thing that could be misconstrued as wrong, is the fact that SOME (not all) modern blacksmiths do indeed fold or twist their welded stack of thin steel sheets(in order to attempt to get accreditation from the modern blacksmithing community). I have reviewed and overseen classes in blacksmithing as an experiment in knowledge gathering, and have seen 1st hand through class instruction and actual examples of worked steel (both new and old) that were attempts to replicate the LOOK of the original Wootz steel Damascus blades. I have seen as many as 100 pieces of .020 thick sheets of steel all stacked together, edge tack welded then heated in a forge and hammer welded together. Once shaped and semi polished, these displayed the pattern exactly as seen in the bogus sword shown in the photo. I was simply commenting on examples I've held in my had as a comparison. Yes, some blacksmiths from far back in history tried many ways to duplicate true Damascus steel, all with varying degrees of failure. The Wikipedia article you linked, tells us as much. Furthermore I was not trying to give a thesis on the history and manufacture of original Wootz crucible pattern steel Damascus blades, or on Pattern welded blades, I was once again, simple commenting on the shown blade from the original OP, and giving a loose overview of how most likely THAT blade was made. Original Wootz crucible Patterned Damascus steel was just that, a crucible steel, not a welded pattern steel ingot...huge difference between each of these. I have not studied the construction of Viking swords, so I am not competent to comment regarding them. Politely, Mark
  8. MHC


    The picture of the "Toledo" blade also appears to be a modern replica as well, which is a copy based on the original swords of days gone by. It too is a pattern welded blade, it is not an authentic Damascus steel blade. You can go online and buy those replica blades for only several hundred dollars, they are a very popular tourist items, and military folks pick them up while on leave as well. Additionally, many absolutely just like that can be found on several other sword collector forums for sale. Mark
  9. MHC


    I do believe this type of look comes from what is called "pattern welded steel". Which is simply multiple thin layers of same/similar steel that have been stacked together, edge tack welded together, then heated and hammer forged together, WITHOUT any folding occurring. The slight difference in layer colors, mainly comes from the surface skin carbon/scale that is present on each individual layer of thin steel that has been stacked together. The surface impurities show up after hammer forging has fussed the individual sheets together. You can clearly see the layered detail even in the nakago, which you never seen in a true Japanese sword. The layers only appear in a true Japanese sword after careful, proper polishing. My .02 worth. Mark
  10. MHC

    Any guesses?

    Hello Jacques, It's not a round hole that gives away a drilled hole (usually), it's the perfectly symmetric, evenly pushed out burr on the back side, that is still very thin but still has a crisp edge on the burr. An older punched hole would(should) have aged by now, without a thin sharp burr still remaining. But it's just an observation from a small photo, so....... Mark
  11. MHC

    Any guesses?

    From my machinist eye, the Mekugiana appears to be drilled, not punched, so not too old?? Mark
  12. You can just make out the remains of the serial number just ahead of the Habaki, definitely a WWII NCO sword that has been repurposed. Mark
  13. Hello all, Regarding the first 2 shots of my Tsuba with the grass & orchids, would really like to find a nice matching Fuchi Kashira set to go along with it, as I plan to use them in the Koshirae on a Katana I have. So if anyone has a lead on a set they think would be a good pairing, please don't hesitate in dropping me a PM. Thanks. Mark
  14. I have a couple of simple examples, that I find very appealing. No great works of any masters, but I like the simple styles. Mark.
  15. MHC

    Tour thoughts on this?

    Others have given this advise, and even though I'm a beginner, I'm going to offer it back up again! Unless you are a very astute Japanese sword collector, and very wise in all things Japanese sword....it is best to avoid Ebay/ Buyee or Auction Houses, and just buy your swords from quality folks like the folks here on this forum. Paying a little more for real quality and real Nihonto beats getting burned on a cheapee any day of the week! My .02 cents worth. Mark
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