First DIY-ing

Sword related DIY and Projects discussion

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Cool McSerious
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First DIY-ing

Postby Cool McSerious » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:53 pm

First off: DIY-ing is a technical term!

Right, I'll get onto it. You may remember a while ago I posted talking about stripping my PFK's saya and perhaps recolouring. Basically what I did in the end, perhaps as a result of distraction or lack of funds - I can't remember, was to give it a light stain and a couple quick coats of varnish just to protect the wood and make it look vaguely attractive. However I was never entirely happy with the end product and I finally got round to sorting it out. Now bear in mind this is my first attempt at modifying a sword so it's hardly to the standards of you lot, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Firstly one of the main things I didn't like about the off-the-shelf PFK is that it looked so incredibly regular with the typical black colour scheme. The long tsuka combining with the large, wide tsuba made it look clumsy as well, which played on my mind whenever I handled it. While swinging it I never tried any menouvers too ambitious or beyond my ability to handle but I was nonetheless slightly apprehensive about it, a psychological side effect to the clumsy looks. So I changed the tsuba...

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It took a lot of filing and as a result there was a slight wobble in the tsuba as the blade is wider than most others but tapers very quickly. To remedy the problem I put a paper clip (which had a plastic film around it to protect the blade, even though it wouldnt be visible) into the gap which worked great. Anyway when I got the tsuba on I was so pleased! Maybe I was overreacting (though I still feel the same way) but I had no idea how much difference it would make. Not only did it look soooo much better but being smaller it suddenly gave the large sword a kind of sweeping gracefullness. It seemed more part of the sword than the original tsuba ever was... I'm not sure if that makes sense but it kinda does in my head haha. Anyway in short: I was dead pleased!

Now the saya... When I stripped it initially I had a kind of lingering idea of giving it a kind of rustic, rugged look so I used a plane to take off the laquer which, unsurprisingly, gave it an angled, planed look. As a result I decided to give it a more prominant darker stain and then varnished over it with a matte finish. I'd wanted a gloss finish but as it turned out the varnish I used (being skint and not being able to get some gloss stuff) turned out quite glossy anyway, so that was lucky. I kept the black laquer on the part of the saya that the sageo goes through in order to set off the shitadome (that the right word?), which I kept in order to match the gold on the tsuba, more effectively. I also kept the black sageo for contrast. Overall I'm pretty damn pleased about how it turned out. I for one think it looks a lot better than the off the shelf version and there's the added pride of having done it myself. I think the rugged, natural look is quite distinctive as well.

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I was also really pleased with that sageo, it's easily my best one which is not saying much. I suck at them. But yeh, I think that ones alright.

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Hope you lot like it!

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Big Lazy
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Postby Big Lazy » Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:02 pm

Very nice, pretty much exactly what I did with my PPK

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I seem to have lost all the other pics of it so this one will have to do
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cybernex
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RE:

Postby cybernex » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:25 pm

Nicely Done Cool!!!!

Its nice to see that someone else likes the summer orchid tsuba as well :D

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Cool McSerious
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Postby Cool McSerious » Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:12 pm

Yeh it's a really nice tsuba. What sword is yours on?

I was thinking of getting a new tsuba for my CSSK but I'm worried that the current one is too thick that it'll leave gaps if I get a new one. Also the blade is a monster so it'd be a series of expressive bad language to file down a new tsuba enough to get it on.

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Big Lazy
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Postby Big Lazy » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:21 pm

Thats a Bushido he's sporting there. I certainly wouldn't do a custom job on a £500 sword for fear of f*cking it up but much respect to old Nexy for nailing it :mrgreen:

I changed the tsuba on my MMD and had to file it down to fit, took bloody hours too getting it just right but the results are great

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cybernex
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RE:

Postby cybernex » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:53 pm

Cool McSerious wrote:Yeh it's a really nice tsuba. What sword is yours on?


Thats my custom Bushido, It took me 3 years to get it looking that good.

Larnz wrote:I changed the tsuba on my MMD and had to file it down to fit, took bloody hours too getting it just right but the results are great



Theres just no way of explaining how much filing is envolved to fit a new tsuba, Its just one of them things you've gotta experence yourself to know how much of a pain it is.
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Big Lazy
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Postby Big Lazy » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:56 pm

From experience it seems all Chen tsubas are designed to fit the PPK cos they're as easy as changing a plug, any other kats are a right pain but very rewarding.
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cybernex
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RE:

Postby cybernex » Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:00 pm

True, The bushido had a slightly thicker tang (Thus explaining why its double pegged) so it took me some time to fit that one.

Mushiro/Ryumon Tsubas are a real pain in the butt to fit even to there own brand katanas!!!
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Cool McSerious
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Postby Cool McSerious » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:13 pm

I actually got pretty frustrated filing and ended up using a slender file designed for chainsaw blades and other hard metal. Was hugely effective. I have to say this customising business is highly addictive. I've been prowling my room trying to find other things to customise. I was going to sand down a cheap wall-stand but I noticed that its made from one of those really cheap artifical woods. Shamefully I can't remember the name of it now - not plywood or chipboard but one of the others. No wonder I failed my technology A-Level :oops: Anyway that's out the window now. I'm tempted to make my own wall mounted stand though...

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cybernex
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RE:

Postby cybernex » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:26 pm

Tell me about it, I started customising Katanas about 4 years ago and i just can't stop myself (if truth be known i almost katana'ed out).

Katanas look the hardest swords to customise but after you've done a few you tend to realise that there one of the easiest due to there modular construction and wide avaliability of parts, Half the time its just plucking up the balls to do a custom katana or just hunting for the right parts/information that holds people back from doing one.
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Cool McSerious
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Postby Cool McSerious » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:35 pm

One thing I'm still not happy about is the tsuka on my PFK. Too long and I'm not a fan of the plain fittings, faux same or 'leather' Ito. Terrified of the prospect of having to tie my own tsuka-ito though. Tempted to try make a wooden tsuka actually... Hmmm....

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cybernex
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RE:

Postby cybernex » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:56 pm

If your gonna attempt to shorten down the tsuka you'll need this: http://pages.prodigy.net/tlbuck/tsuka/tsuka.htm

Its a link to a guide that Moon found a year or so ago.

But be carefull, make sure you measure the tang up right because the last thing you need is to cut off too much of the tsuka and have the tang sticking out of the bottom, Also shortening the tang will affect the balance of the sword so don't go overboard!!!
"I Belong To The Warrior Whom The Old Ways Have Joined With The New."

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Cool McSerious
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Postby Cool McSerious » Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:13 pm

Cheers for the link dude. Probably won't try that anytime soon due to lack of confidence but when I do come to do it eventually then it'll almost certainly be my PFK I do it on.

badboyace84
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Postby badboyace84 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:02 am

if you do want to try a good way to start is with a shoe lace thats how i started and then did it for my tai chi broadsword now everyone wants one

ps the sword looks great i think i might have to buy the zatoichi sword and do a custom job to look like the chen version


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