First Tsuba

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First Tsuba

Postby Mark C » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Hi Everyone,

My first post after my introduction.

I started this Tsuba 3 years ago and after many hours of work it sat on the shelf in my workshop until a few weeks ago when I decided to finally finish it.

The design was purely down to me liking it and I made no drawings as such, Just printed the picture the right size, glued onto a 5mm copper sheet square and started to drill, saw and file. Like I said, I started this many years ago before I started to look through the wealth of knowledge on this site.

Thought I would make it out of copper as it would be easier but I lost count the number of saw blades I snapped. I also learned many things along the way like:
Take my time and Don't rush, to have the right and a good set of tools and set aside a certain amount of time and do no more after that time.

The finish was carried out in a Rokusho mixture and I think it came out ok?

Now that I have finished I have started the first Tsuba project in the Tutorials section making sure that I use my learning from my above points. Marking out was fairly easy but sawing steel is different from copper so always learning, which is good :)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as I'm a firm believer that other peoples thoughts, opinions and expertise are all part of the learning process.

All the best

Mark

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"Without constant heat, it will again become cold" - Funakoshi Sensei
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Re: First Tsuba

Postby Chris A » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:07 am

thanks for posting, seems a fair attempt at a first tsuba; it would be interesting see the original that you copied.

the colour seems to be quite a good red, I wasn't really aware that rokusho had much effect on pure copper; perhaps you could say a bit more about your process as getting good colour on copper.
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Re: First Tsuba

Postby Mark C » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:15 pm

Hi Chris,

I will try to dig out the picture of the real tsuba, It is somewhere on my pc and has been for around three years ;)

Rokusho process:
- Cleaned and degreased with meths.
- I then soaked the tsuba in a mixture of distilled water and shredded diakon radish (Mooli in Tesco's) for around an hour with the occassional stir.
- On with the rubber gloves.
- scrubbed the tsuba with a solid piece of diakon, getting into all the nooks and crannies.

Rokusho mixture consisted of 3.5g of Rokusho, 5g of copper sulfate and 1 pint of distilled water. As this was the first mixture in the pot I pre simmered the pot for around an hour. I then put two thin slices of diakon into the pot and got the pot to just about simmering.

Tsuba was suspended on copper wire hangers on a piece of bamboo across the top of the pot and lowered into the mixture. I then left the tsuba in the pot for around an hour with the occassional distilled water top up (hot) and also the odd stir.

Once removed, the tsuba was placed into a bowl of hot clean distilled water to rinse and then dried using a paper kitchen towel. A very light coating of renaissance wax was applied and lightly polished.

All the best

Mark
"Without constant heat, it will again become cold" - Funakoshi Sensei
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Re: First Tsuba

Postby Chris A » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:25 pm

Mark, thanks for expanding on the colouring process, will file that away for future possible use as seems to achieve a good colour.
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Re: First Tsuba

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for posting this and describing the process. I think a lot of us (me, for sure) can relate to the beginner stages.

Its a solid effort :clap: and I too like the colour (although it seems a bit inconsistent, but that may be the camera). Anyway, I appreciate the time it took, both sitting on a shelf and the actual work with tools. Keep it up!

I'm sure you're realizing that breaking blades is part of the process no matter the type of metal.
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Re: First Tsuba

Postby Mark C » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks for the comments guys.

I too noticed the slight colour difference between the flowers and the rest of the tsuba until I thought about what I had done.

The flowers had a shot blasted finish on them and the rest of the tsuba was finished with 2000 wet and dry paper, Maybe this could explain the difference.
If so then another lesson learned about surface prep :)

As you say Steve, I have broken another 4 blades today but have almost finished the sawing work on the tsuba project number 1

All the best

Mark
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