KILL BILL - Hattori Hanzo Blade - the bride's sword

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It looks like we were in the same line of thought, masking tape and rougher sand paper. I think the problem with me is that I have never seen a proper HAMON in person, and pictures/video images can and usually distort the real thing a bit. I have seen video showing the HAMON at one angle and it completely disappears in another with a slight tilt. Well, live and learn.
And therein lies the difficulty of faking one, especially a traditional Japanese one! The polishing is an incredible art. Here's a picture of one of my blades with a more modern style of polishing, and you can see that it's the back of the blade that looks a little hazier than the hardened edge. The appearance can still depend on light and angles, but much less so than a traditional polish.

B785A1F1-3D47-41F2-9CD6-1C5C021B82C5_1_201_a.jpeg


The habaki also would usually be made specifically for that blade, and is the only one of the sword fittings that is made by the smith himself, and stays with the blade for its lifetime. They're not in fact that hard to make with even a cheap anvil. I make mine cold, no need to forge them.
 

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DONW999

New Member
And therein lies the difficulty of faking one, especially a traditional Japanese one! The polishing is an incredible art. Here's a picture of one of my blades with a more modern style of polishing, and you can see that it's the back of the blade that looks a little hazier than the hardened edge. The appearance can still depend on light and angles, but much less so than a traditional polish. View attachment 1428023 The habaki also would usually be made specifically for that blade, and is the only one of the sword fittings that is made by the smith himself, and stays with the blade for its lifetime. They're not in fact that hard to make with even a cheap anvil. I make mine cold, no need to forge them.

And therein lies the difficulty of faking one, especially a traditional Japanese one! The polishing is an incredible art. Here's a picture of one of my blades with a more modern style of polishing, and you can see that it's the back of the blade that looks a little hazier than the hardened edge. The appearance can still depend on light and angles, but much less so than a traditional polish.

View attachment 1428023

The habaki also would usually be made specifically for that blade, and is the only one of the sword fittings that is made by the smith himself, and stays with the blade for its lifetime. They're not in fact that hard to make with even a cheap anvil. I make mine cold, no need to forge them.
Ive heard that there are the traditional and modern polishing techniques, but didn't know the differences. Did you make the SHOTO? So you are saying the hardened edge should polish better than the slightly softer back? That would make sense if so.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ive heard that there are the traditional and modern polishing techniques, but didn't know the differences. Did you make the SHOTO? So you are saying the hardened edge should polish better than the slightly softer back? That would make sense if so.
Yes, I made the blade. I'd actually never come across the term shoto, I would call it a tanto.

I don't know if it's correct to say that the hardened steel polishes better per se, but that the hard and soft parts of the blade respond differently to the polishing process. In a modern or hybrid polish as they tend to get called, I will use sandpaper up to around 1500 grit, then start to etch with lemon juice. After about 15 minutes of rubbing the blade down with lemon juice I'll wipe it down and polish with a metal polish like T-cut. Degrease the blade, then repeat the lemon juice. Keep going until you have a result you're happy with. It's the etching process that brings out the contrast between the hard and soft steel.

Many western smiths will etch with a dilute solution of ferric chloride (and I do too for damascus blades) but I find it too aggressive for a hamon. It makes it very obvious and when making a Japanese style blade I prefer to stay closer to their aesthetic values. Here's an example of a ferric chloride etch on a western dagger that I was playing around with. As you can see it's VERY obvious, and there's no vanishing depending on the light!

FC97831D-CE18-48A5-8C35-623C411FD019.jpeg
 

DONW999

New Member
Yes, I made the blade. I'd actually never come across the term shoto, I would call it a tanto.

I don't know if it's correct to say that the hardened steel polishes better per se, but that the hard and soft parts of the blade respond differently to the polishing process. In a modern or hybrid polish as they tend to get called, I will use sandpaper up to around 1500 grit, then start to etch with lemon juice. After about 15 minutes of rubbing the blade down with lemon juice I'll wipe it down and polish with a metal polish T-cut. Degrease the blade, then repeat the lemon juice. Keep going until you have a result you're happy with. It's the etching process that brings out the contrast between the hard and soft steel.

Many western smiths will etch with a dilute solution of ferric chloride (and I do too for damascus blades) but I find it too aggressive for a hamon. It makes it very obvious and when making a Japanese style blade I prefer to stay closer to their aesthetic values. Here's an example of a ferric chloride etch on a western dagger that I was playing around with. As you can see it's VERY obvious, and there's no vanishing depending on the light!

View attachment 1428944
Im most likely wrong about the name, I just remembered the from ReadyPlayerOne, the DAISHO brothers, the younger is called SHOTO, but that would be the short sword, rather than the Dagger. TANTO it should be.

I have been fascinated with etching for some time, but never tried it. So do you electricity with Lemon juice or just lemon juice? I mean I watched a lot people do it on YouTube... Hold on, it is salt water with electricity? Ferric chloride is used just for dipping? I don't know, confused as usual...T_T. And, isn't etching sort of erode away material?

That's beautiful and unique looking HAMON on the dagger. I really admire people can do their own metal work, takes so much more time and effort to gain the experience than more other skills, not to mention the equipment required for heat treatment.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have been fascinated with etching for some time, but never tried it. So do you electricity with Lemon juice or just lemon juice? I mean I watched a lot people do it on YouTube... Hold on, it is salt water with electricity? Ferric chloride is used just for dipping? I don't know, confused as usual...T_T. And, isn't etching sort of erode away material?

That's beautiful and unique looking HAMON on the dagger. I really admire people can do their own metal work, takes so much more time and effort to gain the experience than more other skills, not to mention the equipment required for heat treatment.
Thanks!

Etching is something of a catch-all term. I use an electro etcher for putting my makers mark in some of my knives (the more everyday ones like bowies, kitchen knives etc). That uses electricity and an electrolyte liquid to produce a deep mark very quickly. I made my own version of Sting recently where I used electro etching for the design on the blade.

When a smith refers to etching a blade though it will usually be simply dipping it in a liquid, or applying a liquid with a rag. It depends on what result you want. A damascus blade will need to sit in the etchant for some time if you want any kind of depth to the etch, but contrast between the two steels will be obvious immediately. And yes, in that example you are physically eroding away one of the steels to the point where you can feel some texture to the steel.
 

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DONW999

New Member
Thanks!

Etching is something of a catch-all term. I use an electro etcher for putting my makers mark in some of my knives (the more everyday ones like bowies, kitchen knives etc). That uses electricity and an electrolyte liquid to produce a deep mark very quickly. I made my own version of Sting recently where I used electro etching for the design on the blade.

When a smith refers to etching a blade though it will usually be simply dipping it in a liquid, or applying a liquid with a rag. It depends on what result you want. A damascus blade will need to sit in the etchant for some time if you want any kind of depth to the etch, but contrast between the two steels will be obvious immediately. And yes, in that example you are physically eroding away one of the steels to the point where you can feel some texture to the steel.
Thanks for explaining. I'd love to see the Sting (TLOR, right?) About Damascus, how is it the acid eat away on steel, but not the other?
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for explaining. I'd love to see the Sting (TLOR, right?) About Damascus, how is it the acid eat away on steel, but not the other?
Here's the build thread The Hobbit - my build of Bilbo's Sting

The choice of steels is important in damascus. Most people will use a simple carbon steel (1095 or similar) along with a steel with a large nickel content like 15n20. The nickel in the steel helps it resist etching, so not only does it not get eaten away, it stays bright providing the contrast between the two steels. Different steels will provide different levels of contrast, but you also need to be careful to select steels with similar heat treating characteristics. I'll be honest, bladesmithing is a deep hole to fall into.
 

DONW999

New Member
Here's the build thread The Hobbit - my build of Bilbo's Sting

The choice of steels is important in damascus. Most people will use a simple carbon steel (1095 or similar) along with a steel with a large nickel content like 15n20. The nickel in the steel helps it resist etching, so not only does it not get eaten away, it stays bright providing the contrast between the two steels. Different steels will provide different levels of contrast, but you also need to be careful to select steels with similar heat treating characteristics. I'll be honest, bladesmithing is a deep hole to fall into.
That is incredible. Not that I am able to do any of that, but it seems the western coding system of steel is quite different than that of Chinese(I know, we Chinese love to do the different thing -_-!!!), and I could not figure out which is what. Luckily, Aluminium is more or less the same^_^.

So I saw that your etched your Sting in the end? But only the spline, do you have plan to do the Elvish?
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That is incredible. Not that I am able to do any of that, but it seems the western coding system of steel is quite different than that of Chinese(I know, we Chinese love to do the different thing -_-!!!), and I could not figure out which is what. Luckily, Aluminium is more or less the same^_^.

So I saw that your etched your Sting in the end? But only the spline, do you have plan to do the Elvish?
Oh man, steel coding is crazy. The US has their own system, Europe has their own system, the Japanese have their own system, and now you tell me the Chinese have their own system...the only way to be sure is to look at the chemical composition of each steel and know exactly what you're getting.

I'm sticking with the simple etching that was used in The Hobbit. It's different to the Sting we see in LOTR which has all the elvish on it. Maybe in the future I'll do one with all the fancy stuff on it. My issue is that I would like it to actually be engraved rather than etched, but that presents its own problems!
 

DONW999

New Member
Oh man, steel coding is crazy. The US has their own system, Europe has their own system, the Japanese have their own system, and now you tell me the Chinese have their own system...the only way to be sure is to look at the chemical composition of each steel and know exactly what you're getting.

I'm sticking with the simple etching that was used in The Hobbit. It's different to the Sting we see in LOTR which has all the elvish on it. Maybe in the future I'll do one with all the fancy stuff on it. My issue is that I would like it to actually be engraved rather than etched, but that presents its own problems!
Um, please don't quote me on that T_T, I could be babbling, and it's probably only out of my ignorant.

I only watched the Hobbit once or twice, didn't notice the "Sting" was different. So the Elvish RUNs were added later in story chronologically? I wonder when and why.

I need to learn how to engrave as well, so that I can work on my Babydoll sword. But it is too monumental of a challenge. While I do know where to begin, I just can't start without adequate preparation. I need to get the artwork, I bought the artbook but I don't have a good scanning method; I need to get some chisels; pneumatic engravinger, airpumps..... on top of everything, I need to get the sword made... After the Hanzo Sword, it's really heavy on my mind to start that process again...GIVE ME STRENGTH!!!
 

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Um, please don't quote me on that T_T, I could be babbling, and it's probably only out of my ignorant.

I only watched the Hobbit once or twice, didn't notice the "Sting" was different. So the Elvish RUNs were added later in story chronologically? I wonder when and why.

I need to learn how to engrave as well, so that I can work on my Babydoll sword. But it is too monumental of a challenge. While I do know where to begin, I just can't start without adequate preparation. I need to get the artwork, I bought the artbook but I don't have a good scanning method; I need to get some chisels; pneumatic engravinger, airpumps..... on top of everything, I need to get the sword made... After the Hanzo Sword, it's really heavy on my mind to start that process again...GIVE ME STRENGTH!!!
I believe the story is that the elves engraved it for Bilbo later, though I don't know when.

You can engrave by hand as well, particularly on something soft like aluminium. Look up Ford Hallam on youtube, he has some videos on making tools for hand use as well as some instructional stuff.
 

DONW999

New Member
I believe the story is that the elves engraved it for Bilbo later, though I don't know when.

You can engrave by hand as well, particularly on something soft like aluminium. Look up Ford Hallam on youtube, he has some videos on making tools for hand use as well as some instructional stuff.
Wow, the world is getting smaller. I actually have seen Ford Hallam's work before, where he made to restored and damascened a TSUBA. It was incredible craftsmanship while in English. Japanese is too strange most of the time.

I did the foodog with a piece of HSS square bar, grinded to a Lindsay point, and got the relieving angle completely backwards... Have no idea how I managed to push through and finished. That is why I m not really in a hurry to start the new project. There is too much to learn.
 

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