Katana Construction Journal

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Katana Construction Journal

Postby BFenix » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:43 am

Hi there everyone, Im off to a new project to improve my skills in wood crafting. Has you might have already guessed, Im building myself a katana.
The truth about these projects is that you waste money and end up with a prop that is actually useless, but I honestly don't care.

Heres a good reference pic I found on the internet with all the original names for the katana parts:
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For a premier, I went yesterday to good hardware shop near my place and bought the wood required for this. Gladly, my dad id fond of all sorts of bricolage, so I don't have to buy any power tools. (I hope I don't lose a finger or two in this process)

Heres what I got:
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These were once one big panel, I then sent it to get cut into six 120x10x1cm MDF planks. MDF is a type of wood that is very resistant and yet, also very workable and easy to shape and sculpt. Also, I had six planks, so if I mess up I can have a back up, six backups actually If Im a total loser in wood crafting...

I have my (dads) tools ready:
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Having all these tools is very neat and all but I have to actually draw all the parts and blade. I now need ideas for the tsuba, I have some skecthes but some help from you guys would help alot!

Ill keep this updated, C&C is most welcome!

PS: don't worry Oloth, Im not working on this all the time, Sin stuff is still in progress.
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Postby Olothontor » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:48 am

Awesome. Best of luck! I know I'm no good with wood, haha.

Also, no worries here. Not like much is getting done on my end either xD
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Postby masterMISICK » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:52 am

Love the idea i made a sword a bit like this some time ago it is extremely hard and takes a very long time if you want it looking good. Also you are going to find it even harder using hand held power tools, try and see if some one you know has a band saw makes the cutting much easier, another thing don't try to sand paper the edge of the blade into a cutting edge it does not work and looks irregular and messy. MDF is a good chose of wood but make sure you clean it up after working with it because it tends to go a bit fuzzy.
But over all good luck I also painted mine so if you want to know what DOES not work and I also did the handle, oh and one more thing try and make it all in one peace it really helps with the strength, my friend made one as well but in two peaces and tried slotting the blade into the handle but it snapped.
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Postby Olothontor » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:12 am

I'm no expert, but it seems that each plank of MDF there is a "just in case" measure after the first, meaning that only one plank is suppose to become a sword. If he wants to properly construct the tsuba, making the whole blade out of one piece is out of the question.

For better protection, and for a nicer look, you could finish and polish it once you complete it. Or are you planning on flat out painting it (use a clear matte coat or varnish in that case; keeps the paint from stripping off).
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Postby BFenix » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:16 am

Olothontor wrote:I'm no expert, but it seems that each plank of MDF there is a "just in case" measure after the first, meaning that only one plank is suppose to become a sword. If he wants to properly construct the tsuba, making the whole blade out of one piece is out of the question.

For better protection, and for a nicer look, you could finish and polish it once you complete it. Or are you planning on flat out painting it (use a clear matte coat or varnish in that case; keeps the paint from stripping off).

I will, primary, secondary and varnish
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Postby BFenix » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:09 am

Alright! yesterday I drew the katana on the MDF and a cut it out. I must confess, it ended up with lots of bumps and imperfections. Yet today, I spent the whole morning sanding it. And It went pretty well, I think its really neat :)
But pictures say more then words, so check it out!

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Next step will be making the handle and tsuba, keep in touch! C&C and ideas for the tsuba are very welcome!
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Postby Olothontor » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:52 am

Oh man.

At this stage, I would definitely not suggest something complex for the Tsuba, but you could always go for one of the 'classical' Tsuba styles:

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These often turn out looking nice without being overly complex to make.

The blade looks great so far. Keep it up!
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Postby BFenix » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:37 pm

Olothontor wrote:At this stage, I would definitely not suggest something complex for the Tsuba, but you could always go for one of the 'classical' Tsuba styles:
The blade looks great so far. Keep it up!


I agree, and my saw can't make very tight curves, it must be slightly blocky. Of course it will look WAY better when sanded
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Postby naussica » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:05 pm

It's looking good BF!
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Postby BFenix » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:45 pm

Hello dear follower. Another important page in this journal.
Yesterday, I applied wood glue to the Tsuka (handle) and glued on the two parts that complete it.

Today, sanding began, again. I spent lots of time sanding the Tsuka and the hilt, since its was completely blocky and it had a few bits coming out, including a bit of glue excess.

But hard work is always rewarded, and I got this pretty satisfying results:

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NOTE: A lesson to you all! When wielding a REAL blade, NEVER touch the sharp edge for the obvious reason that you might get cut, but also, the simple act of touching it makes you put sweat in it, leaving it blunt. Believe me, I learned this from a weapon masters in a medieval fair.
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Now remains making the Tsuba and painting. Also covering the Tsuka with some cloth. Also some minor refining. Stay tuned for more :)
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Postby Colonel-Kermit » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:43 pm

This looks awesome great job.
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Postby warman45 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:45 pm

looks like you won't need to pay income tax, or cable, or realy anyhting anymore! cool sword!
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Postby BFenix » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Colonel-Kermit wrote:This looks awesome great job.

Thx, your sig scared the crap outta me btw :lol:

@warman45: Indeed, eheheh :twisted:
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Postby Ross_Varn » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:50 pm

Oh wow! Excellent job!
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Postby aoffan23 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:01 am

Damn, that's way better than I expected from just wood. :twss:

Are you planning on making 5 more out of the backup planks you have? That way, you could make an awesome fight scene with friends, and then post it here to show the awesomeness.

Also, are you planning on painting it to make it look like a real katana, or are you keeping just plain wood, or maybe stain it?
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