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Richard Waddell

Refinish And Polish, Or Not

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Richard

 

Myself, and a bunch of collectors (some NMB members), will be in Louisville KY in a couple of weeks. I get down to Dayton/Wilmington every couple of months. Email me at nixe@bright.net  if one of those options works for you

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Martin,

 

Hi, Richard,

 

the hamachi has been moved up(machiokuri), therefore it is so crisp and the the ana has moved up, too.

The nakago is not ubu then. Apart from that the nakago and signature looks good to me.

 

As for the blade, like the others already said, it is difficult to tell whether this patient can be reanimated. If you seriously want to try to restore this blade with all the costs involved, I would start to polish a small window on the boshi near the tip. This seems to be the part which was abused most.

 

Best, Martin

Martin,

One specific question on this. you mentioned that the sword has undergone machiokuri, which in this case would make the Nakago longer, correct? And a follow up question, this sword has what appears to be a WWII Tsuba and Collar (serial Number 119 i believe), could the sword have been modified to receive the new Tsuba and Collar? The tsuka appears to me to be original and it is definetely not WWII. could the sword blade have been removed from its original fittings, modified, and the WWII fittings added to be used in the war?   i would like to replace the Tsuba and Collar with something that is closer to the actual swords period.

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Richard,

this is correct, the nakago would become longer. In some cases this was adjusted by cutting the tip(jiri) accordingly. Then it is a suriage nakago. As in this case the machiokuri is minimal, you still might have the original jiri.

 

For the rather small shortening there could have been several reasons. Usually it was damaged hamachi, a flaw, a battle scar or the wielder simply wanted it half an inch shorter. I doubt that it was shortened for the gunto tsuba, but anything is possible.

 

Best, Martin

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Hey guys,

Thanks for the information. I am meeting up with Mark in Louisville in a few weeks to have him look the sword over. I also sent a link to a polisher named Dave Hofhine to ask his opinion on whether the sword could be brought back to life. He said that everything looks good and that the foundation would be able to be fixed. Thanks again for your help.

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Just that. There are 2 fully Japanese-trained US polishers. Others may be as good, but did not complete a Japanese apprenticeship. Jimmy Hayashi in San Francisco is fully trained for example.

I won't get into the whole debate here again. Make sure your polisher has experience and knowledge and a good reputation in the Nihonto community. I know some are very highly regarded (some not having completed the full Japanese training)

Make sure you choose someone who is not self taught with little experience who will mess up your blade. David is not one of those imho. Search the forum for recommendations and lots of discussion on this.

 

Brian

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...There are 2 fully Japanese-trained US polishers. Others may be as good, but did not complete a Japanese apprenticeship.

 

Or most likely not. Do yourself and the sword a favor and stick to properly trained professionals.

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Is this a war bring back?

I applaud your convictions in wanting to restore a family heirloom,

I would hang fire,and try and meet one of these good gentlemen,I see your passion,but they are trying to save you the cost of a polish, that might not turn out as expected, if the shinogi is rounded,lots of steel and skin may have to be removed by the polisher,to recreate the shape or outline of your sword.

I hope it's not seen heat as suggested, and i hope this gives you the passion to maybe get another sword,

Good luck with it.

Best regards

Ian Bellis

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Update following the 2015 Show of Shows in Louisville this past weekend:

 

Spoke with Mark Jones and Martin Zalonis at the show. Both were extremely helpful to a newbie. Martin spent about an hour going over the sword and explaining things about the sword. Also, spent time examining the mei, sori, shape, tang, machi, etc. and believes it to be accurate. Mark also offered his opinion on refinishing and asked some very important questions about the need and why i would want it finished. Mark also suggested going to the Chicago show and have a number of polishers to look at it first. Both gentlemen suggested switching the WW2 Fuchi and Tsuba,out for Civilian fittings, which i was able to do at the show. Mark also suggested that I have the sword certified at the Chicago Shinsa.

 

In conclusion, I will be taking the sword to Chicago for the Shinsa. I want to thank both of them for teaching me and providing valuable information about a family heirloom.

 

Thanks,

Richard 

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Update:

Just got back from the Chicago Sword Show. Put the sword through Shinsa. The sword was not certified due to the condition of the blade. The layers could not be seen clearly due to the polish currently on the sword.

 

However, I asked for the sword to go through the remaining steps of Shinsa and everything was confirmed, mei, period, province, date.

 

Ryokai Kageyoshi

Late Muromachi Period

Buzen Province

1504

 

Can be restored with a polish, and resubmitted.

 

Needless to say that I would have loved it to be certified 100% with origami, but I will take what they called 95% and the information written down on the non certified form.

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Richard,

I have been following your story and must add that your last post sounds like great news, as it provides a solid foundation for your conviction to restore the blade.  Congratulations!

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Im glad this turned out for you, most times blades are written off on forums they turn out just fine.

 

All the best.

 

louie

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Richard,

 

I'm glad it worked out for you. I think it's good that you submitted it and got this opinion. Now you have some piece of mind that it is probably worth having polished. That's a valuable piece of info.

Hope you had fun.

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Hello,

 

Wait one second, it needs to be understood especially by the inexperienced that not until a blade has undergone a foundation polish is it completely in the clear. And while hopes are raised here and I too am happy for Richard, I would still suggest to remain optimistically cautious at this point. There is a reason a paper wasn't issued. More than once a 'good sword' has been sent for polish where all could be seen followed by the dreaded phone call saying "sorry ...... . "

It may not even be a 'fatal' flaw, many times a hidden blister opens up where the polisher 'might ask' if he should continue or not. Experienced collectors are rarely surprised by the unexpected, but even so it does happen. 

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Thanks everyone for the incouraging words.

 

Truth is this:

1) I am extremely happy with the information that I optained at the Shinsa. I watched the master polisher examine the sword and reject it. I also received word from him that he was unable to see I believe it was the folds in the metal. He also said that the sword was able to be repolished in his expert opinion. I talked them into actually running the sword the rest of the way through the Shinsa because I wanted information.

2) It is a 500 year old sword that needs a polish to have the ability to become fully certified. Anyone want to start a collection for $3K?

3) I am happy to display it and be proud that a piece of history is now being taken care of for future generations, who may have the funds to polish it then.

4) Crap, it's a 500 year old sword, who cares it's cool just the way it is. Not many can say that.

 

Thanks guys you have been a great help.

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Even if a blade develops an issue in the foundation stage it doesnt mean it is "not in the clear", it just means it has developed an issue in the foundation stage.  Many swords are polished with flaws and 'eyesores' but we still love them anyway, usually the merchant decides whether or not to continue with the polish based on ROI.  All that being said most major issues can be detected before the blade hits the stone or shortly there after.  But as Franco says cautiously optimistic is always a good approach, and I do like Richards verve, I still love every blade I buy and touch. I used to focus on papers then realized I enjoyed looking at the sword more.

 

Cheers and enjoy your sword!  I bet you wonder what is under there right....it will keep you up at night!  I have about 15 like that:)

 

Louie

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