Fukurin

Fukurin

Postby Steve » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:49 pm

I would like to apply a fukurin to a tsuba I'm working on (based on this one:
AkaoYoshitsugu.jpg
AkaoYoshitsugu.jpg (35.87 KiB) Viewed 383 times
I made one practice attempt using copper on a different steel tsuba.
In my first attempt, I started with a 20 ga.(.8mm) copper strip and hammered it to a thinner gauge (lacking a rolling mill) so maybe I ended up with 24 ga.? I cut the strip to length and width and soldered the ends after bending the strip to conform to the tsuba circumference, then hammered the strip to conform to the rim radius. This was ok, except the fukurin grew slightly in length due to being drawn out with the hammer (I tried to avoid this by only hammering to bend the fukurin to the radius, but there was either enough errant strikes or it is unavoidable using this method?). I had annealed the strip prior to trying to bend it.
Anyway, the solder joint broke, so I was able to trim the fukurin to a shorter length (correct) and re-solder it using iron wire to hold it in place on the tsuba. There is enough thickness to grind/polish out the hammer marks. There is still some movement, but the solder must have stuck to the steel as the fukurin doesn't slide around. I haven't totally tidied up the edges as I just wanted to see if I could get a handle on the concept of fukurin.
IMG_2867 copy.jpg


So my questions are:
Should the tsuba rim be a. textured (like in nunome) to prevent the fukurin from spreading, at least in length? or is it b. better to do the bending to shape before soldering? or a and b?
Any other points that I'm (likely) missing?
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Chris A » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:18 am

maybe fit it red-hot, like an iron tyre on a wooden cart wheel, it will then shrink as it cools?
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Chris A » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:19 am

maybe not red hot.... but hot?
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Chris A » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:12 am

If you want to do it cold, solder up your hoop slightly small then planish to expand it until it is a very very tight fit; you will then need to knock over the edges, but use a wooden or leather mallet as you will need to shrink the edges; this will happen if you're careful - metal is plastic and will shrink/upset as in the raising process of bowls etc.
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Ford » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:04 am

This may help. I did anneal periodically as I worked the rim into place.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/WJkLmzm982oNpHY83

edited to fix the link, thanks Steve :biggrin:
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Steve » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:36 pm

Ford and Chris,

Thanks for the replies. On further thought, I think it has to be done cold and the forming done prior to the soldering. Otherwise, even with a tight fit, there is great chance the metal will spread and the fukurin will end up too long and loose. Once formed to the rim, the joint can be made very tight which only leaves dressing the exposed edges and final smoothing/polishing (I think).

Ford, I can't see your link as it says I need to log in.

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Re: Fukurin

Postby Steve » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:13 am

Of course, what do I know (done totally opposite - fitted after the solder). Thank you Ford! Is the mimi always relieved slightly where the fukurin will lay? Or is that just so the ultimate thickness of the rim isn't too fat? I do note the wooden hammer.

Stand by for photos of my effort.

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Re: Fukurin

Postby Ford » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:12 am

Sorry all, was a bit rushed yesterday so didn't have time to write much here.

There isn't any sort of step down or anything where the rim will eventually fit, in the photo sequence I linked to. There was previously a rim applied on that tsuba but it wasn't perfectly even on both sides so I'd removed it. That area in the images is actually just there as a result of the earlier patination process and residue drying under the rim.

The rim is 0.7 mm thick strip, solder up and well annealed. I try to make it as right a fit as possible in the first instance.

I force it into place and take care to keep it exactly centred on the rim.

To start rolling the edges over and locating the rim in place i might roll it, like a wheel, in a shaped piece of wood. The trick is not to move the metal too much in any one place. Everything must happen as evenly as possible.

As Steve has said this first stage will actually loosen the rim a bit, this is quite common on older pieces in fact, but if you keep working it down eventually you can secure everything at the end.

Also, be mindful of the state of the metal, you're in effect forcing the metal into itself, so pay attention to how it feels under pressure, hammer/mallet or rolling etc. , once it starts resisting or feeling springy you need to anneal it. The rim is thin so you should be able to heat it adequately round the outside without the body of the tsuba being over heated. A dull red is adequate. I like to pickle clean before proceeding just so that I can see everything more clearly but it's not essential.

And the reason I use a wooden or nylon/rubber mallet is because a metal hammer will stretch the metal and thats the opposite of what I want.

Hope some of that is helpful.

btw, if memory serves the rim in the photo sequence was completely fitted with three or four (at the most) annealings.
and the solder join should be in the centre at the bottom. Older pieces tend merely to have tarnished dark on their own. My impression is that the join was not hidden in the first place but left as a show of precision. A bit like how sometimes the join on the same on a tsuka omote is allowed to run down the centre in full view when hiding it would be so simple.
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Steve » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:05 pm

Thank you. Sounds easy. It will be interesting to see how much I can mess it up :dizzy:
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Re: Fukurin

Postby ps_bond » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:47 am

Ford wrote:To start rolling the edges over and locating the rim in place i might roll it, like a wheel, in a shaped piece of wood.


Is there any reason to not use a jeweller's swage block for this if there's one handy? If it's just hand pressure it's unlikely to mark the metal significantly.

When forming the fukurin, does it end up completely flattened onto the perimeter of the ura & omote or is it sculpted (wooden punches?) to leave some airspace underneath (and potentially even more opportunity for corrosion, I guess)? Or is the inside edge on the non-punched ones shaped with a hisage?
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Chris A » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:31 am

ps_bond wrote:Is there any reason to not use a jeweller's swage block for this if there's one handy?


a jeweller's swage block should start the process fairly well, the graduated swages might be a help; it's just metal spinning in slow motion.
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Re: Fukurin

Postby Steve » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:15 am

Progress. Not too bad, but certainly not perfect. I still have some corrections to make (particularly the little separation at the seam, but also there are some variations in width I need to try and even out) and then polish before I try the patina. Thanks Ford, it went just like your tutorial and stayed pretty tight.
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