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Step 11: Finishing up, or, what's left to do

I need to grind off the rest of the fire scale (the black stuff) and put a handle on it.

I should have thought more about the balance of the blade across the handle, hammer out the dip in the back and maybe a bit of a false edge. The rat-tail tang is easier to put a handle on, you drill a hole in the handle a little smaller than the tang, heat the tang up and burn the hole the right size. Any extra tang that sticks out can be handled in a number of ways-bent over like a nail, cut the extra off or put a nut on it to keep the handle tight. A loop handle could have been done, heating the middle of the tang, then bending the end up like a U until the tip touches the base of the blade.

Total time, little more than an hour, not counting the bonfire : ) Probably another hour to grind off the rest of the scale (or soak it in vinegar for a day or so) and make a handle.
 
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chewingum2 years ago
grandissimo !!! ... you are great ;-)
spenny19723 years ago
also a good source for anvils are railyards.most railworkers would help you by giving you a chunk of rail. this can be ground(either with angle grinder or professionally)into the shape you want.
spenny19723 years ago
in response to wooginator: using a torch is not recommende as the tempering would happen too quickly. and yes you can use a sledge hammer as an anvil but better to cut a hole in a large stump slightly smaller than(like almost exact size)heat the one end with a torch hot enough to scorch the wood and pound the sledge in straight. using concrete would be noisier and would break almost immediately. if you want to see a sledge used as an anvil go to kukri house international and look at the process their smiths(kamis)use.
Wooginator4 years ago
Also, would it be possible to use a blowtorch to accurately heat and then work specific areas?  There wouldn't really be any difference assuming the torch can heat the steel to the proper temperature, right?  Oh, and could I cut the head off a large enough sledge hammer and stick it in a bucket of cement and use that as an anvil?  Sorry for all the questions, don't mean to be a bother.  You just seem very knowledgeable on the subject.
jtobako (author)  Wooginator4 years ago
I'm used to making do with next to nothing ; (

A torch can work, but you loose a LOT of heat without something to reflect it back into your work (like the walls of a gas forge).  Try making a bean can forge or even a pile of clay brick (NOT cement pavers) or fire brick to hold the heat around the metal.

If you use the sledge hammer, make sure the surface that's up is flat-ish, or your metal will have weird marks you'll have a hard time getting rid of : )
Wooginator4 years ago
 I'd like to know where you got your  big piece of metal to use as an anvil.  Anvils online seem to cost a lot of money, more than I particularly feel like spending, or else their reviews say they're crappy.  And I can't very well go and saw a piece off the railroad track, I think it might cause some problems.
jtobako (author)  Wooginator4 years ago
Yep, anvils cost a lot, and good ones tend to cost more.  Scrounge, look where others get rid of stuff, think creatively.  There's a professional knife maker (Lively Knives?) who makes his anvils out of a chunk of 4x4 steel and a bucket of cement.  You should be able to do the same with a piece of crank shaft or solid axle.  You might even be able to do the same with a sledge hammer head.

I think someone on Anvilfire said that an anvil should be at least 25 times heavier than the hammer you are using, and I've found that lighter anvils bounce around : )  For knives and swords, mostly you need a flat surface-use an angle grinder if you have to-and occasionally a chunk of something round or a rounded edge on your anvil to do some of the transition areas.
manicmonday4 years ago
How would you temper it if you want it to be springy like the spring it originally was?

Thanks
ninja guy4 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-wrap-a-samurai-sword-handle/Here is how to wrap the handle like a samurai sword
jtobako (author)  ninja guy4 years ago
'Cept there's no hole for the pin. And no room for one on a rat-tail handle.
jtobako (author)  ninja guy4 years ago
Missing the point. Wrapping this handle is pointless without bulking it up, hense needing the pin to hold the handle on. You do know how the handle of a katana is held on, right? You aren't just pulling random bits off the internet without understanding the whole process, are you?
my sword in not full tang
jtobako (author)  ninja guy4 years ago
Wonders of Spell Check without reading ; ) Neither is a real katana. Look at the pics of the ura and omote sides-see the little hole? That's all that holds the handle on a real katana, a little peg in a little hole.
extra-flyer4 years ago
Can i get a pic of the finished product. Thanks. Very cool.
koga wolf5 years ago
cool
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