One of the most critical aspects of mounting Japanese swords is the making of the various small but complex metal fittings which hold the sword and mount together.
At the top of the list of fittings that most people want to learn how to make is the habaki, the small — but intricately fashioned — collar at the base of the blade. This video will demonstrate clearly how to make habakis for your blades, including tons of extreme close-up shots. Every operation is broken down into simple, easy-to-understand steps. You’ll also learn how to make a simple tool which will help you tame the tricky cold-forging phase in the construction of this once frustrating little piece of copper.
But this 2-DVD set doesn’t stop there. Also covered is how to make the fuchi and kashira — the collar and buttcap which hold the handle together. These two fittings look rather similar, but their construction is quite different. The fuchi is soldered while the kashira is cold-forged. Also included in great detail are two methods of making the tiny (and often neglected) shitodome, as well as the seemingly simple but critical seppa. The only major fitting not included is the menuki, which is essentially decorative and therefore outside the scope of this video.
Each one of the fittings is easier to make when you have the right tools. The video includes detailed instruction on the making of a variety of tool-and-die sets, mandrels, jigs and other fixtures which will help you make the fittings faster and better. As is the case in all of his videos, Walter is all about options. He freely mixes tradtional and modern techniques, and shows how you can make each fitting with only minimal tools…or with more complex and expensive tools if you have them. No matter what your skill level or experience, there will be plenty for you here!
The video includes useful information on:
- Function and traditional form of each fitting;
- Tools, jigs and fixtures you can make that will greatly aid you in making the fittings;
- Soldering/brazing techniques used in making habakis and various other fittings;
- Forging and tool-and-die techniques for cold-forming fittings;
- Where to purchase supplies and tools such as metals, patinas, abrasives, torches, etc;
- Basic non-ferrous metallurgy.
NOTE: It’s important to mention what this video doesn’t cover… This DVD is exclusively devoted to the construction of fittings — not their decoration. As such the set will not include information about inlay, metal carving, and other decorative techniques.
Shot in Hi-Def for crystal clear image clarity, this DVD has production values unmatched by any knife-making video you’ve ever seen. The audio voice-over is digitally recorded on high quality equipment. Because the fittings made in this video are extremely small, a large proportion of the video consists of extremely close-up shots, allowing you to see precisely what Walter is doing.
LENGTH: About 2.5 hours (2 DVDs)
WALTER SORRELLS’ DVDs
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.