Big ass knife.

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Hawk
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Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 1st 2017, 1:30pm

So a package shows up from Longquan China today.

Longquan is China's main sword making location and produces everything from some truly grim stuff suitable only for decoration right through some pretty nice stuff - interestingly enough sometimes from the same forge.

A five year old article:
http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/Sword ... er-12.html

Workmanship was good. The silk and ray skin is real but the ray skin is rather pedestrian without the large nodules some are willing to pay extra for.

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Scabbard nicely lacquered with a touch of bling.

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Nicely put together guard and spacers and the first view of the one extravagance - clay tempered iron-sand steel. It's best not to call it tamahagane around folks familiar with the subject but that doesn't stop the importers from doing so. Theoretically "tamahagane" is descriptive and might be used to describe any similar iron sand steel produced in a similar fashion to the Japanese - but it's best not to do so. The Japanese product is strictly controlled and collected only by nubile virgins on Walpurgis night from a specific lot of sand in a specific area of a specific prefecture. The Chinese looks the part though and the first of those legendary Japanese smiths were imported from Korea and China though I think this was before the Mongols suggested a change from the Tachi to the Katana.

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A little better shot of the hamon:
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Office lady was kind enough to assist in getting a full length pic of the thing:

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It does have a totally different feel from a stainless steel decorative item. Makes me want to find a stand of bamboo to level toot sweet.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 1st 2017, 2:19pm

I don't have anything really accurate at that range - I'd guess about 2-3/4 pounds or roughly three portly Invictas. Balance point is about 6" forward of the tsuba.

Edge was ordered "bamboo cutting sharp" which is less sharp but more durable than the "razor sharp" used for cutting tatami. Maybe somewhere between Microtech's lawyer approved sharpness and the edge that Shun puts on their cutlery.

The lume sucks.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Tzimisces » August 1st 2017, 2:25pm

I've got quite a lot of bamboo infesting my property. Feel free to drop by and have a go at it. I use a sawzall followed very quickly by grass killer. I've yet to try a sword.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Luftwafflles » August 1st 2017, 4:06pm

The Chinese are capable of making some good blades, usually with the over sight and quality control from a foreign company. Left to themselves, they often produce some truly hideous pieces of shit. Still, I doubt they will ever reach the quality of Japanese steel, their blades are legendary.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 1st 2017, 5:51pm

Heresy alert:

Tamahagane, specifically to include the Japanese product as used by master Japanese smiths is outperformed by several types of modern steel and forging methods.

Tamahagane is traditional, it's labor intensive, it's legendary but it isn't magic or even the "best" of all possible worlds.

I bought the Chinese version which is still a fair price bump because I wanted it not because it made any sort of sense. Think of tamahagane as a nicely decorated mechanical movement - quartz still keeps better time.

Similarly the game of Go originated in China thousands of years ago. When the Japanese adopted it the implements became incredibly refined, breathtakingly expensive and a form of art. The game's the same. The Japanese came up with mulberry bowls, kaya tables running over ten large, black stones from some specific slate of dwindling availability and white stones from clam shells from only clams named "Clyde" harvested in the approved manner. The black stones are just a tiny bit larger than the white to counter the optical illusion of the black pieces being smaller.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by biglove » August 1st 2017, 6:16pm

A sword unused is a useless sword. We need some pics of you cutting stuff to smithereens with that sucker!
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by TemerityB » August 1st 2017, 6:30pm

I don't even know what do state except that's really freakin' cool.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 2nd 2017, 6:26am

DocKlock wrote:I read recently where the great state of Texas just passed an "open carry" on swords, machetes, and the like.


Yeah, effective September 1 if I recall. But it basically rolled back their previous prohibition on knives with blades over 5.5".

While "open carry of a katana" is probably technically accurate it suggests an option for "concealed carry" - anybody big enough to conceal a proper sword probably has little use for one anyway. Discrete sword carry suggests, unh, certain administrative issues.


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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by TemerityB » August 2nd 2017, 7:52am

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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 2nd 2017, 10:15am

DocKlock wrote:I read recently where the great state of Texas just passed an "open carry" on swords, machetes, and the like.

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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 2nd 2017, 11:56am

bobbee wrote:That is an exceptional sticker, Hawk!

Here is my son in a photo taken today, inside Whitby Abbey. The sword is in a display and is the "Excalibur" model, the assistant let him have a few photos.




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That is nice!

There seems to have been a recent abundance of speculation on the historical facts that might be behind Arthurian legend including occasional theories on Excalibur. There's even one from our Smithsonian channel suggesting a Roman pattern-welded long sword. The Smithsonian isn't generally given to speculation but I suppose the Arthurian legends constitute a big temptation.



Reportedly the Longquan forge that produces rat-tail tang pieces of nasty up through nice mid-range stuff is capable of some really fine work. This piece was made for the Leeds City Museum. The pictures are from 5 years ago so I'm guessing the thing is safely tucked into Leeds at the present.

I have no clue what it's supposed to represent - it's way to blingy for something intended for actual use. They weren't terribly specific on actual cost although it was well to the north of 10,000 US.

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I'm guessing it's intended to recreate an actual British sword of some significance but I haven't been able to track it down. The Leeds Museum website wasn't much help. They do have Captain William Jackson's cavalry blade which is pretty cool.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 2nd 2017, 12:31pm

Even with the bling the grip hits the traditional gladius profile well.

What it doesn't look like is a (the?) Curtana.

What I find intriguing is (assuming the description and commissioning museum are correct) why is a tarted up Gladius tied to Leeds? The basic pattern would have been plentiful thanks to the Romans but after that my speculator fails me.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by bobbee » August 3rd 2017, 12:27am

That Leeds piece looks like a Gladius, but the guard piece is similar to a dog of Fo head to me. Some sort of Chinese/Asian ceremonial sword?
I can't find any info on it either.

Edit- I found this: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/e ... cts.aspx#2

Presentation sword (jian) and scabbard China, Ming dynasty, Yongle period, 1402–1424


The Leeds piece is probably a copy of this one.
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Re: Big ass knife.

Post by Hawk » August 3rd 2017, 4:35am

bobbee wrote:That Leeds piece looks like a Gladius, but the guard piece is similar to a dog of Fo head to me. Some sort of Chinese/Asian ceremonial sword?
I can't find any info on it either.

Edit- I found this: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/e ... cts.aspx#2

Presentation sword (jian) and scabbard China, Ming dynasty, Yongle period, 1402–1424


The Leeds piece is probably a copy of this one.


Thanks - that looks to be the ticket.

I hobbled myself by assuming a Leeds commission would be related to a British rather than Chinese sword. Don't know why I thought Leed's interest would be parochial. Oh well.
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