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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:39 am 
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I have two bokken from Kingfisher, and I owned a Swamp Rat Waki for a while. Swamp Rat was a fun and non-traditional intro into the world of swords. It was a short, off balanced, and heavy handled trip into a complex world. Not only do I lack the training and funds but also the need for a "real" Katana. I respect those that choose that path, and take it serious, I can see how the discipline translates into the rest of one's life. I also know my limitations, my body and my wallet.
I'll be the guy with the maple baseball bat, a machete, and a tomahawk. I practice with all three as weapons, but already had a foundation with all three. I can get all three of these at a sporting goods store, but still can afford top of the line, custom made versions of each.
I can't afford a great katana, but I can afford one of the best Tomahawks and a custom made machete. I practice with each, and can use them together. The baseball bat will be used for taking out Zombie's knees, I don't need to re-kill each one, just out run them. I've even thought that my hickory Kingfisher Iwama bokken could ruin a few knees as well, and have more reach than a bat.


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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:44 am 
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Not really a sword guy myself but this thread seems to be focused on showing off your own katana. If we want to talk about why a katana isn't a solid investment of time and money it would probably be better on another thread since this wasn't a discussion about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:54 am 
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Biggin wrote:
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Sexxy.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:38 am 
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Here's mine.

Image

A souvenir of my days as a blade dealer back when people had the money to spend on such things. It's supposed to be a replica of Musashi's actual sword. I just liked the simple design of the tsuba. Although on the low end of the spectrum, Musashi from what I understand, it still considered a "practical" sword maker. I can attest to it being made from carbon steel. How much carbon is still in question. I wasn't completely satisfied with the sharpness of the blade so I sharpened it myself. Not that I ever plan on using it for anything other than cutting mats. Eventually, once I get a bit more adept at bladesmithing, I plan on replacing the blade but using all or at least most of the hardware.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:09 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:39 am 
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Silent Kube wrote:
Here's mine.

Image

A souvenir of my days as a blade dealer back when people had the money to spend on such things. It's supposed to be a replica of Musashi's actual sword. I just liked the simple design of the tsuba. Although on the low end of the spectrum, Musashi from what I understand, it still considered a "practical" sword maker. I can attest to it being made from carbon steel. How much carbon is still in question. I wasn't completely satisfied with the sharpness of the blade so I sharpened it myself. Not that I ever plan on using it for anything other than cutting mats. Eventually, once I get a bit more adept at bladesmithing, I plan on replacing the blade but using all or at least most of the hardware.


Great souvenir :D

If that is a low end Mushashi then it is probably a 1060 carbon steel blade thier higher end blades get into other steels like T10. Mushashi makes some great low cost swords starting around $50 but does sell swords at much better quality in the hundreds of $. Their $50 sword line was so successful it actually made them discontinue their $70 line as the $50 line was higher quality yet cheaper. I think they did finally start producing the $70-$100 range again later after getting better quality in them.

Mushashi's website http://www.musashiswords.com/shop/home.php but you can also find them sold through most other vendors. Kult of Athena carries them as does True Swords, Swords of Might, and Sword N Armory. All decent vendors.

Mushashi was one of the big game changers for the functional sword community making decent functional katana at super low prices. sure they were not perfect. They weren't $10,000 authentic Japanese nihonto but Musashi showed that entry level katana could be affordable. While a $50 Mushashi katana is serviceable, you are better off with a $300 one, or $300 other katana maker. Or a $700 katana etc, but the $50-$100 katana's Musashi put out allowed people who never had the chance for a decent real functional carbon steel katana to finally get away from SLO stainless steel wall hangers and buy something that they could do some cutting with.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:33 am 
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Silent Kube wrote:
Here's mine.

Image

A souvenir of my days as a blade dealer back when people had the money to spend on such things. It's supposed to be a replica of Musashi's actual sword. I just liked the simple design of the tsuba. Although on the low end of the spectrum, Musashi from what I understand, it still considered a "practical" sword maker. I can attest to it being made from carbon steel. How much carbon is still in question. I wasn't completely satisfied with the sharpness of the blade so I sharpened it myself. Not that I ever plan on using it for anything other than cutting mats. Eventually, once I get a bit more adept at bladesmithing, I plan on replacing the blade but using all or at least most of the hardware.


Its been a long time since I was in Japan so some of this information may have changed with new discoveries. But the only known for certain katana owned by Musashi is a cherry blossom blade made by a swordsmith named Kinju. The katana has a cherry blossom tsuba and cherry wood saya (scabbard). There are others that are possibly owned by Musashi but this one katana is supposed for certain his. Its possible that Musashi owned several katana in his life. Also many bokken. It is believed he was quite found of fighting opponents with wooden bokken while they used steel blades. One bokken he made from an oar on the way to a duel on an island in which he killed his opponent by smashing his skull. The oar bokken is also supposedly on display as well.

One thing about your replica is that it looks like it has the signature double ring tsuba. This design was attributed to Musashi yet, if memory serves, nothing has been found that he ever used that design. All the art work, known blade, possible blades, etc have him using a cherry blossom or catfish tsuba. Eventhough the double ring tsuba is the symbol of his school. Even the design of the building itself resembles the double ring tsuba.

But again your dealing with a historical figure that is dang near mythical in japanese history. He is kind of like Fong Sai Yuk or Wong Fei Hong in China. Some fact and a lot of legend so who is to say for certain?

Blitz

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:50 am 
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Oh wait... what were we talking about?

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:30 am 
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I think I paid somewhere between 75 and 100 for it. But then again, that was a dealer price.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:57 pm 
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Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:24 am 
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squinty wrote:
Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?


Depends on whether you are talking traditional or modern. I get the impression that a number of modern "katanas" are made to deal with people using them as such. Actual antique katanas are not intended for that kind of cutting. There's a fair amount of difference in cutting tatami mats and chopping mesquite trees. They aren't my area of study, but they are not intended for the kind of shock and stress that a machete would see.

I've made a few wakizashi-ish bush swords, and they work well, but they are made quite a bit differently from traditional katanas, from material and heat treatment on up. Essentially I borrowed the blade profile and did everything else as made sense to me for brush work.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:33 am 
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squinty wrote:
Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?



Weight and length of machetes allow them to be used all day. For light vegetation(jungle, vines, green stuff) you can use a pinch grip, which is your thumb and index finger. If you're clearing a trail through the jungle, you will get tired, even with a very thin 18" long machete.
I had a Swamp Rat Waki, it had a 17" long, 3/16" thick, full flat grind. It also was full tang, and had a long handle, so it was much heavier than any 18" long machete. I tried to trim bushes with it, and it kinda worked but has several issues.
1. although sharp, it's thickness means each swing has to push through the material.
2. it's heavy, you still have to get it up to speed, and then stop it, the vegetation doesn't stop it, you have to.
3. it's heavy, your wrists will feel it for sure, as you get fatiqued, you get sloppy.
4. machetes have a softer heat treat, so they are tough, and have to be sharpened often. Katanas have very hard edges, they could chip and break, if you hit a tree or rock.
I'm sure some could make due with a Waki, and maybe for temporary use, it would work. But, my 18" long, 1/8" thick, Ontario machete is tip heavy, and I would not want to use it for jungle clearing.


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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:37 am 
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Storm Crow wrote:
squinty wrote:
Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?


Depends on whether you are talking traditional or modern. I get the impression that a number of modern "katanas" are made to deal with people using them as such. Actual antique katanas are not intended for that kind of cutting. There's a fair amount of difference in cutting tatami mats and chopping mesquite trees. They aren't my area of study, but they are not intended for the kind of shock and stress that a machete would see.

I've made a few wakizashi-ish bush swords, and they work well, but they are made quite a bit differently from traditional katanas, from material and heat treatment on up. Essentially I borrowed the blade profile and did everything else as made sense to me for brush work.


In the age of Zombies, one of your bushswords would make a very useful tool/weapon. It would be more durable, more utilitarian, need less maintenance, be less expensive, than traditional katanas.


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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:40 am 
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Storm Crow wrote:
squinty wrote:
Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?


Depends on whether you are talking traditional or modern. I get the impression that a number of modern "katanas" are made to deal with people using them as such. Actual antique katanas are not intended for that kind of cutting. There's a fair amount of difference in cutting tatami mats and chopping mesquite trees. They aren't my area of study, but they are not intended for the kind of shock and stress that a machete would see.

I've made a few wakizashi-ish bush swords, and they work well, but they are made quite a bit differently from traditional katanas, from material and heat treatment on up. Essentially I borrowed the blade profile and did everything else as made sense to me for brush work.

Stop tauntimg me with your superior but just slightly out of my price range custom blades, Stormcrow. I'm still saving my pennies for a kwaiken. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:48 am 
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squinty wrote:
Stop tauntimg me with your superior but just slightly out of my price range custom blades, Stormcrow. I'm still saving my pennies for a kwaiken.


Oh, just wait until I start putting up pictures of my inventory for the Blade Show coming up in June. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:41 am 
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squinty wrote:
Would a short, decently tempered katana or wakizashi really serve so poorly as a machete?


I use my tactical waki ninja styled blade as a machete and it works great, just make sure you give it a good convex edge instead of a bevelled edge. I take it out camping all the time and use it in my yard regularly.

Like these
Image

I got mine back in 2003 and it is still working wonderfully and only cost me $9.99 from cheaper than Dirt. Though I doubt it is a tempered blade. Or even forged, It is most likely a machined stock removal blade.

Now that said I also have used my kissaki moroha zukuri to do landscaping, including 3-4 inch branches.

Image

This blade was able to cut well through hard and soft targets, even though the blade geometry is one normally one would limit to soft targets. Part of this is decent cutting technique, and the other is it is made from T10 steel, which is a decent good strong steel. Technique is important, and you can cut targets more difficult when your technique is better. Though I would not try my sword on 5 inch wood, nor anything that would need chopping. For that I go to the cheap ninja waki since I really don't care if it breaks bends etc. Amazingly though it has lasted all these years. I have even batoned wood with it. LOL :lol:

So yes you could use one, and believe me historically plenty of swords were used as machete when they had the need. However there is a big difference between machete and sword. The steel is very different and the geometry is very different. Machete tend to be just a flat sheet of metal cut to shape and giving a bevelled edge. Swords are usually forged sometimes with multi metal types and are made quite a bit thicker, with a convex edge. The edge on the sword is usually tempered and hardened, while the machete is usually untempered and soft. This makes for easy field sharpening for machete. I would not recommend a heat treated decent sword to be used as a machete. The landscaping cutting I did with my sword was all carefully planned cuts, not just hacking slashing you tend to do with machete. If you do want a sword to use as a machete, go the route I did and get a $10-$30 cheap one that you don't have to worry about if you bend it.

So can you use a sword as a machete, sure, just like you can use a shotgun as an axe. It might work but is it the preferred tool? Probably not.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:00 am 
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ineffableone wrote:
The edge on the sword is usually tempered and hardened, while the machete is usually untempered and soft. This makes for easy field sharpening for machete.


Unless you are getting something that is a total ripoff, even a $4 machete is heat treated. If it was not heat treated, it would fold over and bend whenever you cut. It is hardened and tempered, just as a sword would be, but it is likely temered back to a hotter temperature, making it tougher.

All swords and all machetes are not heat treated just like every other one, so there may well be swords tempered to the same Rockwell hardness as a machete, yet with different cutting characteristics due to geometry.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:33 am 
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ineffableone
Using a cheap sword for hard use can be dangerous. You may not care if the blade breaks, but the person that it hits might. When it snaps in two, the tip may go flying. I'm just saying machetes are tempered, but in a way that they won't snap, maybe the cheapest will fold, but they aren't supposed to break.


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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:32 pm 
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This is my Hanwei Raptor with moroha zukuri blade shape.
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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Code Injection wrote:
This is my Hanwei Raptor with moroha zukuri blade shape.
Image
Image


Nice one, go figure two moroha zukuri owners. :D They are a great style of katana. Hanwei has some decent stuff. I looked at those when I was shopping for mine but they had a much deeper sori than I wanted. I know quite a few people though who got their Raptor moroha zukuri because it had the deep sori, plenty of people like that in a katana.

I went with mine from ST-Sword due to the unique central fuller termination, it added just a little more uniqueness to an already unique blade.

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:29 pm 
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ZombieTools ApoKatana...this is a beast

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:30 pm 
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I've got two.

Image

This is a through hardened, tougher-than-nails CPM 3V katana. This one's my workhorse, I can use this one without fear of wrecking a major investment. Because it is through-hardened, there's not much detail in the steel to look at other than the over-all shaping and the geometric lines. It is a beast! The steel itself has some interesting properties. http://www.crucible.com/eselector/prodb ... pm3vt.html

Image

This one is a traditionally made one, complete with magical folded steel. Home smelted steel wins hands down in aesthetics but for sheer toughness it won't tolerate the kind of abuses modern metallurgy can endure. It's great for training with (and I love it!), but it requires more care in handling and maintenance. I wouldn't expect to get away with hacking away at trees or the like with this one. It is basically an art piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:00 am 
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Jonathan - Who made the CPM 3V one? Can we get a shot or two of the blade?

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 Post subject: Re: Show your katana
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:48 am 
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Dan Keffeler made the blade. Hell of a nice guy. I'll try to get one for you tonight. It basically looks like steel.


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