Right after NDK I got a commission, this time though I have a chance to work on some woodwork. It’s been quite a while since I’ve worked on wood so it was no surprise that I had to relearn all the techniques I used for the Keyblades years past.
This time I will be doing a wooden sword with a sheath. This means that I will have a lot of parts and details to keep in mind. Because of this, this piece will take a while.
Back when I was still in… was it 8th grade of middle school or my first year of high school? I had tried making a sword with a sheath. The blade was done using a flat piece of aluminum I had in my backyard and made a sheath out of some wood I also had laying around.
Keep in mind that I was barely getting into woodwork by this point so I didn’t have any woodworking tools. So I just used a hammer to bend the bar of aluminum (to give it that katana like curve), and this really thick chisel, and hack saw to cut the excess of aluminum and to shape the blade.
As for the wooden sheath and handle I really only had an unused knife that was no longer useful in the kitchen. So I used that to shape the wood. As for the finishing touches for both the blade and the sheath I did get to use a hand file tool that was owned by my father. While I was getting close to finishing I did end up having to buy some sanding paper in order to smooth it all out as much as possible.
So what was the result?
Here it is:
If you look closely you can see some etchings on the blade and the sheath. Truth is that the aluminum bar had some really bad imperfections that I couldn’t take out, so I did the only thing I could think of back then, I worked some design around it. Now as for how I did it? I actually just used a screw driver and a hammer to etch it out.
The sheath was rather problematic since I had to hollow it out in order to make the blade fit and stay in place. I think it was a combination of cutting out as much as I could with the knife and then reducing as much as I could with the sandpaper. Although I don’t quite remember the details, I do remember that it took a long time to do. Luckily I didn’t mind sitting outside and working for long hours non-stop even back then.
Now as for sticking the two pieces together I used this glue that my father used for his work. The glue was made to stick concrete blocks together but wasn’t all that great for wood. But since that was all I had to use, I used it of course. To this day it is still in one piece although it has been cracking apart since then as you can see in some of the pictures.
At some point during high school about 2 to 3 years later I tried my hand at making another one. I wanted to make a long sword, my inspiration was formed from Enishi’s sword (from Rurouni Kenshin) Except this time I was using a steel piece of metal that was no longer being used. I don’t quite remember exactly where it came from, but I do remember that i had to cut it into shape from a bigger piece.
Once I had the shape I wanted I began hammering it into the curve I wanted and even tried my hand at smelting using a grill that was no longer being used. Of course this was at a time when I had even less knowledge of how smelting worked. All I know was that blacksmiths used it to make and shape swords so I felt I had to give it a try.
As to be expected I didn’t really get much out of it. I mean, using wood and some dried out grass and plants I had around me would only get so hot after all. Although it did get hot enough to start melting the protective coating in the outer walls of the grill. I forget how hot it got, but it was nowhere near what was needed to heat up the steal so that it would be easy for me to join a folded piece of the steel onto itself (which was the whole point of doing this now that I remember). But it did give the blade this nice black coloration which took the place of the hamon.
So yes, I knew very little about swords at the time, but I did want to learn. And since I didn’t have internet at the time I had to rely solely on what I saw on tv or on movies/anime. And since that was the only way to get information, I relied on trying to reproduce what I wanted to learn more about in order to get a better understanding of how it worked.
Again since this was supposed to be a sword I made the handle and sheath out of wood. I left this piece unfinished since I didn’t know if it would be worth finishing with the little basic tools I had at the moment (I won’t).
Before I forget, here are some pictures of said sword. It’s really long. In fact it was so long when I first made it that it wobbled quite a bit and bent when extended on it’s flat side. Even after cutting the tip by quite a bit I still had this problem, but luckily not as badly.
But anyway, I bring these two up because they serve as the basis for this next project. Although the keyblades possessed quite a lot of detail, they were still only one piece. The Honedge will be made of essentially at the very least three pieces that I have to link together. And that of course require a large amount of measuring, planning, concentration and detailing.
But rest assured that I have started working on it since quite a while ago actually. The actual Honedge didn’t take all that long to make, about a weekend. But the sheath will. I haven’t done one in a while, in fact it has been more than what 7 years?! Woah. No wonder I had forgotten some rather simple techniques…
Anyway, all the planning and measuring was done a while ago so now it’s just a matter of making it.
Sadly I was only working on it for three days a week since Japanese class was getting the better of me. But I am happy to announce that I have finally gotten a good rhythm going so I feel I can put some more time into working on this piece, finally.
Recently I changed phones, and although I remember backing all the pictures from the phone before resetting it to factory settings, it seems I didn’t get quite all of them. I had pictures of the process of the Honedge since the beginning but I can’t find them anywhere… So long story short, I think I deleted them by accident…
I know they are somewhere, if I find them I’ll post them here.
For the time being here is what I have done so far. Nothing really to say, the pictures will do all the talking really (hopefully there aren’t too many):
That will be all for now.
Hasta la próxima,