Step 13: Habaki or (Blade Collar)

The habaki can be built from a strip of sheet metal bet at 4 points.

1. a great diagram of what the habaki does looks like and how it functions.

2. my habaki

3.google image result.

4. My new  katana modeling the habaki an showing that it holds the entire thing together.

if you want to curve this a little easier, you can do with some controled cooling, heat a few 'wedge' areas and then apply a wet rag. (use gloves) This will make the cooled edge pull, creating a curve. You do not have to get it extremely hot. As you are anealing this, it will remove the stresses across the back edge using this system.
i kinda no-longer take credit for this intructable cause i was a royal idiot with a forge back then.
<p>I must say I find it deeply refreshing in this age of techtronics to see so many folk taking up fire and steel. Never, ever stop. Don't rely too terribly much on 'proper ways' - you learn more making 'mistakes' and even though the subject is deeply discussed and researched there is nothing that says you may not find a better way. It happens all the time in every field, so follow any hunches you may have. I gave up three hobbies I had twenty years ago when it started to seem as if I knew the results before I finished the plans - too much study, too much adherence to 'the ways' - no horizons left. I've taken up all three again, following only the most necessary rules, and it is very rewarding, even when a project skews, even when the voice in my head mutters &quot;that's not the way you do it...&quot;. I only started doing so because of 'Instructables' and my wife (who shuns convention and succeeds). </p><p>Inspiration is a precious gift, and (many of) you have given it freely. You're doing good works and sharing the results - sincerely, I thank you. You keep the world young and interesting. Peace &amp; Good Fortune, all.</p>
While that is true, research is also important, much of the process that is involved can be learned quite more easily its not always worth ruining a peice. Traditional Japanese blacksmithing methods are very helpful and I have learned a lot from that. Research can help more than trial and error in most cases.
<p>this is really good but have you been doing your full research most katanas are bent using a method of rapid cooldown to one side then it bends to the shape usually this is achieved through a clay of some sort being put on the back before it is fired for the second time</p>
you really do have a good way with steel there man, the only thing i'd say is the wine handled one, you could polish the blade and make it even nicer than it already is, just a thought
i love it, this is a great instructablem, got to be the first time (although i have known about it) i have read anyone talk about the anealing process in a diy. i don't know exactly how it's done but if you wanted to make the arc the traditional way i know it involved splitting open the back of the blade and putting in a softer piece of metal. then rapidly cooling it. this causes the soft metal to pull the rest of the steel into that arc. although i am not sure, i think that this is done after the first shapening (which is it's own process), that way when the arc is made the steel on the front of the blade is drawn into an even finer edge. <br>if you try it you gotta msg me so i can check how you did it :D
The softer piece of metal they addin the middle of the blade isnt there to make the blade bend back that's to improve toughness on the inside and hardness on the outside. <br> <br>The curve comes from a special trick during heat treatment insulating the backbone of the blade with a clay charcoal powder mix. and keeping the blade more lightly insulated. Heating the blade up to critical temperature evenly and submerging it evenly and quickly in water. <br> <br>I get my curve simply during the process of putting the edge into the blade I only lightly straiten the blade so eventually it's going to curve.
well that information came from a sword buff friend of mine, either way this is a great instructable.
I thought there was info in the comments about how to add the pommel, but I guess not. Any info on how the pommel is made and attached the handle? I know the handle is held on with pins.
Woops wrong link in that comment down there. Just watch like all the video's he's got u'll learn a lot. Here's what i wanted to link you.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwFQnhf9JPY" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwFQnhf9JPY</a>
well a legit katana the pommel is simply a cap on the end it's kinda just half a sphere of metal that's hollow, and it has a slot through the center do put the laces through. it's actually the laces that secure it on.<br><br>The way I made mine is, I took a large chunk of cast iron and cut out what i wanted and then fine tuned the shape.<br><br>if you don't need too much extra weight use the first method if possible.<br><br>http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL44E66FD76428D65D That link will help big time with the handle and fittings.
yeah that is a well make casting, looks like a katana guard should, a thick cast iron guard that will protect your hands.
Haven't gotten around to making a legit one yet, and actually they're usually a copper/tin alloy,
where did you get the idea that the hand guards were a copper/tin allow? i could understand if some was used to coat the outside for aesthetics, but not for use with the whole thing, that would be amazingly soft in comparison to the blade and a liability to anyone who chose to wield said blade.
Some one told me to melt down like 2$ of pennies and some tin cans and pour that in a mold , I know pennies are mostly zink now but. yeah.
Could you explain the point of the habaki? i don't see why it's needed. Awesome sword tho, you should try to make one with a hamon.<br>
Sorry for the late reply, but it does quite a few things. <br><br>For one it makes things look nicer, it helps keep the hardware snug, it secures the blade into the sheath, and also helps match up the blade with the handle.
OK, thanks. would it matter much if a sword didn't have one?
you can make one easily out of a copper pipe and a bit of hammering.
some swords don't tho not katana's usualy.
if you wanna go with the traditional practices that a katana was forged with then make a mixture of clay and metal filings, cover the blade in this mixture and bake it in your forge.<br>afterwards place it in a bed of ash, leave it overnight.
Lol, love the gif
Not to rain on your Parade, but this entire guide is useless if you just used steel your dad had laying around. Steel with less than .3% carbon content CANNOT be heat treated, period.
Hate to be a joykill here, but you can't claim this is &quot;the traditional way.&quot; This is the way European blades and Maru Katana were made, but Damascus and traditional Katana steel (Tamahagane) are both laminated. In Damascus Steel alternating layers of different steels are welded together in the forge using a natural mineral flux, and the resulting billet is twisted, folded, re-welded, and finally shaped into a blade.<br>In Tamahagane each of the individual steel layers are first folded repeatedly to purify the steel, and raise the carbon content; a side effect of which is providing the ability to be honed to only a few atoms thickness. Different steels are then selected for their relative hardness, color, and spring. Then chosen steels are arranged or layered in a pattern based on the intended use, and welded together prior to forging. In a final step, varying layers of clay are applied to the back of the blade prior to quenching, to introduce variable hardening.<br><br><br>On the positive side, this is a pretty good instruct for beginners, and I applaud your ventures into the world of bladesmithing. Keep it up. I recommend you take up Kobuse or even Gomai in future blades. Both are relatively easy, and will dramatically improve the quality of the finished product.
Thank you for your comment this is exactly what I was hoping for, altho ive done almost 15x the research that I did before making this instructable, i still know very little. <br><br>I'm pretty-sure I said the untraditional way, haha. <br><br>I'm still polishing my second sword but I'd say it came out like 100x better than this one. I'll still need to heat treat it then re polish it, it takes a long time because i don't have the proper polishing supplies. I have a very low grit grinding stone but the sword grinds through it haha and the one that actually works is around 1000 grit so i cant do the polishing job very quickly, I'm thinking about buying a diamond hone block.
Hey how do you get rid of the spiral? While trying to curve the blade I accidentaly hammered the wrong edge toward the tip of the blade. I think this started a spiral that seems to be working it's way down the blade as I make the curve.
To flatten it you just start at one end and gently hammer from tang to tip lightly over and over. If it's like curving like a C shape you try to get it bright red/orange and lay it on top of your anvil and just hit that section flat. There might be some blemishes then just hammer them out,. your katana should be perfectly strait when you finish forging it. It will be curved later when you apply clay to the back side of the blade and then heat treat.<br><br>Be very conscious about creating large dips and dings in your blade they'll take quite a lot more effort to grind out than it will take to just go slow.
To your heat treating section, I think you should add a tempering step. It will make the sword less likely to break. See this website: http://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/workshop/Workshop-Companion/Hardening-And-Tempering-Steel.html
I'm a little confused about the annealing process. Some pics would help quite a bit. Should you heat the blade up to 1400* F then put it in a brick box and boil it in oil? I'm confused :-/
Heat it up really hot and let it cool slow.
Ive never done it myself.... I guess just get the whole thing deep red hot, wrap it in something non flammable ,idk what, then wrap it in a towel, and then put it in a box made of bricks ; hope it stays hot for a long time up to 12 hours. I've heard people repeat this process 3-4 times.... You should read up on annealing, as should I...
How hot did you get your forge to? I had mine at 980 C , or 1800 F ( the blade was glowing bright orange/yellow).
I don't know exactly but i never got my blade past red. What were you using as fuel ,coal ,or wood? I'm working on a new sword and I need to get it a lot hotter than red to work with it so id like to know what you're doing.
I was using wood. I chopped up old branches (1-4&quot; diameter) into 3&quot; lengths, built up the walls on my forge and poured them in. They burn hot and fast so have a lot of them ready. I also use a shop-vac as a blower.
hmm ,nice that would solve all my problems the annoying huge chinks off wood. the uneven fire, and not having any coals to work with. Id still love to have some coal tho, but if you're getting orange and yellow it sounds like there's no need. Can I see some pics of your progress it's always nice to see what people are doing with my ibles ;)
here's my sword I'm working on.
Sorry for the late reply. Right now my sword is only a semi flattened pry-bar ( my dad had a old one that the claw was broken on., so i used that) and not much to look at. when It is further along I will post pictures.
Wow my new forge works pretty awesomely i just forged like the entire sword in 3 hours. it's so much easier to work with. if you haven't cemented your forge together you should build it. It's basically a brick box with a few 1/4 inch holes in a piece of sheet metal that fits over the top.
Oh ok sweet. I'll just show you some of my progress then :P I just built a new style forge today if you' played horde on WoW I made a forge that looked like their forges. I think it will help close in on specific spots for forging the sword. sofar I've forged about 10 inches into the sword.
dang! it looks perty now. iv gota come over and see it. did u get those bars of steel and the leds yet?
haha thanks no I haven't gotten my steel yet. (as you already know)
Nice. Using a hairdryer. LOL. All i use is a coffee can and a piece of cardboard to fan the fire to melt copper.
Well for my forge i actually used a big 3 speed fan.
Do you think that it worked better?
Yeah more oxygen= more fuel=Biger flames.
I was just wondering if a concentrated jet of air would be better than a large slow moving mass of air.
Why did you put a picture of a keyhole gaurd or whatever in there? wtf?
Um that is a very detailed handle guard that some amazing blacksmith made.
Ok, it just looks more like a keyhole gaurd, with its design and cast-iron construction.

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