Basic tsuba project No:1

Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:08 am

Slowly getting there, and in no hurry to finish. I am trying to develop the basic skills and also enjoy the process.

I have been concentrating on getting the inside shape of the four diamonds right before cutting the outside spaces, especially the subtly curve.

Cam


Tsuba 1.jpg
Progress on Tsuba tutorial 1
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Chris A » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:41 pm

looking pretty tidy so far Cam; your previous observations give me confidence this will turn out well. :biggrin:
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:03 pm

Thanks Chris.

I am not entirely happy with the tsuba right now. It has some reasonably good points, but I think they are out numbered by the less than satisfactory ones. I have put it away for now and will have another look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow afternoon. Then spend a few hours on it.

I'll also post a few more images after that.

Referring back to the original photograph of the tsuba. The design is quite delicate, which I am finding the hardest thing to achieve.

Cam
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Chris A » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:24 am

Cam, this project is somewhat enigmatic, but it can be overthought; but the solution lies in getting on and doing it (with care and observation). When you think it's finished, it probably isn't; and when it is, you may feel the only way to get where you want is to do it again.

n.b. there are some good attempts of this in the 'show and listen' forum (at the very top of the show and tell page), which I never saw until I'd done it and wished I had.
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:37 pm

Thanks Chris,

I have been trawling through the forum since I started the tutorial. I am pretty sure I have seen the majority of the other forum members efforts.

I am making progress very slowly. Things tend to progress that way in my workshop.

Cam

:pray1:


Basic Tsuba 1 Progress.jpg
Progress
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:09 am

Cutting has finished. I am reasonably happy with the Tsuba apart from the spaces between the four diamonds (that terminate at the sepia-dai). They are uneven and effect the thickness of the diamonds. They also happen to be the last sections I cut out, which is disappointing to end on a sour note.

The tutorial so far has been an exercise in marking out and cutting. A simple geometric pattern is certainly not as easy as it looks and is terribly unforgiving should you not mark out accurately or cut a little off line. There is little room for error.

I found that accuracy in cutting greatly depended on the saw I used. Initially I was using one of the red devils (New Concepts). I have had one for some time, using it to cut out dovetail waste. It's incredibly light, but despite the over engineering it has some flex in the frame. I went out and bought a Grobet, which is a little heavier and more rigid. The accuracy of the cuts improved, but the mortality rate of blades went up. With the New Concepts now hanging on the wall and gathering dust, I will continue to use the Grobet and hopefully improve my blade mortality rate.

This would be a tsuba that I would like to revisit and have a second crack it in a few months from now.

I'll start filing and texturing, softening the edges. Then onto patination.

Cam

:pray1:


Tsuba Tutorial 1 b.jpg


Tsuba Tutorial 1 a.jpg
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:26 pm

I finshed working on the patina today.

Although I enjoyed the process of making this Tsuba, there are a few things I am not happy with. The spaces between the diamonds are not even and out of shape. I am also not really happy with the texture.

That being said, making this Tsuba involved a very steep learning curve and I am happy that I have completed it.

I'll use what I have learned to do a better job of the Tsuba tutorial 2.

Cam

Tsuba 1.jpg
Tsuba tutorial 1 Final
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Albert R » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:51 pm

Cam,
I compared your rendition side by side with the original. Pretty darned close! Probably the closest to the original so far.

It's really hard to judge due to lighting angles, color, and perspective, but I think the mimi (rim) might be a little heavier on your version. Likewise the tips of the "diamonds where they meet the mimi look a little heavier, (less airier?) than the original. I have blown up the original and noted a bit of file work on either side of the diamonds' tips, that lengthen and slim that area. The kozuka hitsu ana are slightly different in proportion as well. Regardless, I think it's very well rendered.

I don't comment on patination as I know virtually nothing about it other than it should look like a worn New York City manhole cover, and I'm terrified of Lorenzo jumping square into my stuff :crybaby: !

Another comment if I may. As I am wont to do, I've read this thread in its entirety from the beginning, and yet again, picked up valuable clues as to what I should be doing vrs what I think I should be doing! FWIW, for anyone else starting this exercise, you would be well advised to read the whole thread, (all 37 pages now!), and really digest the information. I've broken out the pencils, straight edges, compasses, and erasers, and I am going to draw this design until I get it right, then move on to a full sized template. My observation is that though Patrick's template is engineered accurately, it tends to lead to an engineered look. Mic's posts had some very interesting and useful templates as well (which fortuitously I saved). None the less, I believe that the key to this exercise, is in the initial drawing, getting a feel for the "organic geometry" of the piece, and creating templates to guide you. I'm certain that if Ford says, "...the essential marking out must be done with a compass, scriber and ruler..." there's a good reason for it.

I was very fortunate last night to acquire a workbench suitable to have in my bedroom! No more working in the sweltering garage!

Thanks!
Albert
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:11 pm

Thanks for the kind words Albert.

I printed the image of the original to scale. A check with a ruler along the lines that form the four diamonds and you quickly realise that there a very few straight lines in the design at all, and very few 90 degree corners.

Cam

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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Albert R » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:55 pm

Cam,
You are absolutely spot on. I was transferring the image manually onto some medium weight paper, and I had all the tools out! Dial calipers, dividers, three compasses, draftman's triangles, pencils, sharpened sticks, a hammer, everything but the kitchen sink. I knew something was up from all the previous discourse, so I took measurements from one point to another, compared them to other similar points etc. I noted the many differences that aren't readily apparent. As you noted, there isn't a straight line anywhere, and it's on purpose, not accidental.

What gave me pause though, was the thought of how the artisan thought out his design and the execution. Assuming he was artistically and mechanically competent, I can imagine it was far easier for him to envision what he wanted to achieve and guide his scribe and tools to accomplish his vision. I started to think of how I would flow through and with my pencil rather than coerce it. I set aside the plethora of tools, and using the points of intersection as reference, I set out to draw freehand. (Ok, I used the French curve to help me get a fair curve here and there...) but the end result was a far better copy of the picture. I'm a bit envious of those that have had formal training in the arts! (Just a little!)

I'm ordering sheet brass for templates. I think that getting a template correct in so far as the subtle curves, proportions, placement of intersections, etc., would be very helpful to me.

Thanks again for sharing your work with us!
Albert
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Ford » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:56 pm

there isn't a straight line anywhere, and it's on purpose, not accidental.


yes, but was this as calculated as we might imagine or it there another way to 'get there'?
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby cam_hardiman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:30 pm

It's like the drawing a straight line across concentric circles, it will appear curved. In this case, the maker has achieved the reverse. Perhaps the maker created the design by eye to achieve what appears to be a straight and square diamonds inside the circular boarder.

Cam


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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Albert R » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:01 am

Sir,
I've spent several hours today working out different methodologies for marking out the different arcs that exist. At first I thought for sure that there was some methodology used to lay it all out. After many fruitless iterations,I was at an impasse. The top arcs are a different radius than the bottom ones, and really none of them are exactly the same, so that lead me to believe that a compass was not used to lay out the slight curvature exhibited by the "diamonds" or the inside flats of the "umbrella/mushrooms." The "u/m" are actually pretty flat but exhibit some minor curvature or non-linearity.

My conjecture (an overly simplified one at that) is that the fellow who laid out this particular tsuba, had a really good eye. He had the basic design in mind, pulled out a blank, scribed his concentric circles, used dividers to calculate the cardinal points (werein he made the top half a little taller than the bottom half), and then connected everything with pleasing lines. I don't know that the layout was measured and the lines executed just so; I don't get the feel that it was "calculated." I get the feeling that this man knew what he was doing, and did it!

If you all recall, I found another tsuba with the same design, but much more rectilinear/square. It was at a Christies auction. It lacked the organic feel of this example. One might think that an apprentice tsubako put that one together

Studying this particular tsuba has made me realize that there is more to good design than just making things line up all neat and pretty - there is a certain je ne sais quoi that one must acquire through lots and lots of study. In one of Lorenzo's many passionate soliloquies, he makes the comment that one must look at hundreds of tsuba (or spend hundreds of hours on this one!) before one could even begin to understand a tsuba.

After repeatedly reading this thread over the course of four or five years, and finding something new with each reading, I believe that is true and must agree with him.

Best Regards,
Albert
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Chris A » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:34 am

don't over think it; mark out and cut like a machine (leaving a bit of meat on the bone)

file and finish like a human bean!
'If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - Newton
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Re: Basic tsuba project No:1

Postby Albert R » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Chris,
I ordered 1018 mild steel in 0.1875 (4.76mm,) and a sheet of .040 German silver for my templates. Should be here by Friday. The German silver was less than the bronze or cooper sheet plate! I can use the GS for inlays on my 'hawks and black powder firearms so no waste there. I'm sticking to a known steel going forward just so I can get repeatable results. My experience with structural steel has left me wary of using nondescript metals! I'm going to try your technique of pasting and scoring the drawing and see if that works with my eyeballs. May have to use the Dykem regardless.

The overthinking was me trying to get a grip on how a design comes into being. It was more along the lines of experimentation and thinking out loud. In the end, as you noted, I just went with the minimum information necessary and connected the dots! Having said that, Tsuba #2 will have to be a direct tracing or scan and paste, there's no way i could draw that without a few more years of practice! I'm really looking forward to the whole carving business! :pray:

I'll be posting progress reports as I go!
Thanks again Chris!
Albert
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