RPF PREMIUM 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.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.
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.