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Hybrid Polishing: Japanese Sword Polishing for Modern Blades with Walter Sorrells (DVD)



Universal DVD, 1 hour and 30 minutes

1 in stock


In this one hour and thirty minute DVD, bladesmith Walter Sorrells walks you through the steps involved in polishing modern Japanese style blades.  These modern “hybrid” techniques are intended to produce results similar (though by no means identical) to those of traditional Japanese polishing.

The focus of Hybrid Polishing is on establishing proper foundation geometry and on maximizing the beauty and clarity of the hamon and other activity in the blade.

Sorrells polishes three separate blades in the video — a tanto, a wakizashi and a katana.   Each blade is polished using different methods.  You’ll learn simple, inexpensive methods using sandpaper, as well as the more complex and technically demanding use of Japanese water stones.  You’ll also learn about finish polish techniques including etching.

The video is primarily aimed at bladesmiths making modern functional Japanese-style blades.  But Hybrid Polishing will also contain useful information for those who want to learn methods for improving the polish or the geometry of their imported tameshigiri blades.

The video includes information on:

  • Tools and Materials:
  • Traditional Sword Geometry;
  • Sandpaper Polishing;
  • Japanese Water Stone Polishing;
  • Etching/Finish Polishing To Bring Out The Hamon;
  • Sources For Buying Materials.

NOTE:  This video is not intended to teach you how to polish traditional nihonto.  As such, the video does not show traditional Japanese finish-polish methods using finger stones.  The finish polish methods shown here all employ modern abrasives.

LENGTH:  1:30


The Japanese sword is the pinnacle of the blademaker’s art.  It encompasses a variety of widely disparate crafts from smithing, to polishing, to woodwork.  Taken as a group, Walter Sorrell’s five-DVD series will show everything you need to know – from selecting your tools, steel and supplies…to forging, polishing and mounting your blade.

Walter Sorrells’ first DVD, Forging Japanese Style Blades, shows how to forge functional Japanese style swords using modern steels and techniques, married to traditional geometry and heat treating methods.  Mounting Japanese Swords, Making Hamons, Polishing Modern Japanese Style Blades and Making Japanese Sword Fittings round out the series.

Unlike many bladesmithing videos, every attempt has been made to use high production values so as to maximize your opportunity for learning.  If you’ve bought knife-making videos before, you’ve probably seen plenty where somebody just set up a wobbly camera in the back of a dimly lit shed and rolled tape.  Not these.  This series is thoughtfully scripted, narrated in crisp digital audio, well lit and shot, and carefully edited.  The Forging, Mounting and Fittings videos are shot in Hi-Def for crystal clear image quality.  Details of every operation are shown in close-up so you can actually see what’s going on.

Walter’s approach is to incorporate as wide a range of techniques as possible in these videos.  He’s not Japanese trained and doesn’t believe there’s a single “correct” way to make, polish or mount a blade.  He stresses starting with a thorough understanding of the function, use and construction of the traditional blade.  From there, both traditional and modern tools and techniques are freely incorporated. 

Additional information

Weight 0.5 lbs



1 hour and 30 minutes