I am altering my focus, and probably will not be doing much with this site from here on out.
I was watching a tutorial on chasing and repousee a few minutes ago, and the demonstrator’s patter was intolerable.
It got me thinking about what a tutorial or demo needs in order to be really useful. Clear descriptions without side comments about “x isn’t right”. Sharp video quality and good production standards. Less extraneous conversation, and more thoughtful commentary about technique.
I suppose, in the end, it all boils down to being a good public speaker.
Yes. Crappy photo. I know.
A nice boy named, Robert, helped me straighten this blade at the forge the other day. I’m looking forward to showing him what he helped me do. I think you’ll probably hear more about him, as I’m going to be teaching him basic blacksmithing soon.
When you’re using finger stones for polishing, there’s a fine line between too much and just enough pressure. I found it. As an American, I tend to want to use MORE of everything to accomplish a job. You know “bigger, better, faster, more.”
That is absolutely the wrong approach for hadori or any use of hazuya.
If you look at the thumb positions of the masters, they’re using the upper front of the thumb pad, while bracing with the index finger on the other side of the blade. Yep. That’s the way to do it.
How much force? Not a lot. Think about smoothing down an adhesive label or a sticker on a piece of paper.
How fast? Leisurely, with a lot of stone juice or water. Pretend you’re nursing a margarita on a pristine beach. That sort of speed.
How long? Until you get the white hamon you want.
It is good. Ja. It is good.
Chris Price’s tanto is in hadori polish, but I’m letting it sit to see if I still agree with my choices before I do anything else.
The tanto I’ve been working on, seriously hybrid, hybrid polish. It was heat treated and quenched by the superb Matt Venier. I was just tweaking the hadori on this blade, and the damned thing bit me. Snotty little bastard.
Chris Price of Tidewater Forge asked me to polish a tanto he forged from tamahagane smelted at the Fire & Brimstone Hammer-In a few years ago. I took possession of it this past weekend, and have been putting it through the paces.
He asked for a photo of the progress. I took one. Which tells me I really need to invest in a decent point-and-shoot camera. Cell phones just don’t do it.
Here’s a section of the blade in Binsui polish, which is the second stone of foundation polishing. The next stone is Aoto. That will complete the foundation set. After that it is Chu Nagura, Koma Nagura, Uchigumori (Hato and Jito, likely), and then obsessive polishing with little bitty stones.
If I keep doing this, I need to research what is proper for a Journeyman polisher to charge per inch or per blade. There’s no reason I shouldn’t start charging when my results are good (or “better” than the maker’s polish).
White Lightning bicycle chain lubricant. It is a wax based product, rather than silicone or heavy solvents and petroleum products. On a lark, I tried it on a few of the prototype wood (turned on a lathe, and sanded to about 600 grit) handles I’ve been making. It does a better job of sealing the surface and bringing up the grain than Renaissance Wax. The next time I’m out at my friend’s shop, turning things, I’m bringing this along. I’d love to see what it would do with a nice, soft cloth, rather than a paper towel.
Hope you’re all being crafty out there!