My first project (tsuba)

Golabekrafts

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I’ve been working on a wakizashi for a while, and it’s pretty much complete, however recently I decided the tsuba needs to be engraved, so I’ve begun learning. I’m going to start work on it soon, the general gist of it is; inlay bronze around the perimeter, inlay silver moon, inlay bronze sun, constellation pattern, and relief engrave the background and the waves.
I’ve done each individual component with the same materials on a practice plate, so now I’ll just have to put it all together. (And hopefully much higher quality than my practice)

I’ll update here as I work through this project, just a couple more tools to make before I think I’m ready to start.
 

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monk

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a very interesting project. any particular reason for including that particular constellation ? this should be great when finished.
 

Golabekrafts

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Finally done the perimeter inlay (just set) 6 hours super satisfying, and I can say it’s definitely much better than my practice!
Next weekend I’m going to do the sun and moon inlay, before the constellation because the stars are going to be raised dot style.
I chose this constellation because I’m a Scorpio haha, and this will likely be my sword and not for sale.
Kinda documenting this for myself as well for future reference: first I used marker to draw the perimeter line, then a 1mm flat graver with a tall body, and then a 1.1mm “safety edge” flat chisel to get it deep enough, went around the inside edge upsetting it with a 2mm flat, undercut outside edge with very narrow oval/onglette, raised edges on the bottom with the 1.1mm flat, and then set the annealed bronze wire with a round convex punch, occasionally using an asymmetric one to get it set, and finally setting the corners with a round ball peen punch

next time be sure to make sure the whole wire is fully annealed with no hard spots!
 

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Golabekrafts

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Made an edit of my inlaying for the bronze perimeter, also nearly done scraping the excess with only one corner left. This weekend I’m going to inlay the sun and moon, and the constellation.
 

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Golabekrafts

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Pretty much done scraping, only one corner left :)
 

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Golabekrafts

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Thank you! I might make some small changes to the style of the waves when I get to that point.

the bronze sun inlay went pretty well, but the moon had some slight issues, I think I’ll be able to fix them fortunately since the background sky is going to be later lowered
 

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Golabekrafts

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Today’s work, finished the rough inlays and layed out the pattern, started getting ready for background removal
 

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Golabekrafts

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This mornings progress
 

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Golabekrafts

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Any tips for cleaning up the constellation and sky background more? Considering doing a dot pattern for the sky perhaps to darken it
 

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PS_Bond

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A couple of tools might be useful for cleanup - hisage, for one; small EDM stones (since Scotch stones are a swine to source these days), some of the small ceramic pencil-lead rods...

If this is going on a sword, are you fitting seki-gane?
 

Golabekrafts

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Oh I made the tsuba last year and fit it to the sword when I forged it!

Just finished ! 42 hours of work well worth it, the only prior engraving I had done was some practice for this project, so please keep in mind when critiquing :) I’m going to post more videos here when I get around to editing them, but here it is on the sword.
I made all these chisels and punches specifically for this project and ended up using almost all of them except for the brass ones amd the large half moon one
 

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Golabekrafts

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First two pictures are the chisels I used the most by far. The two with purple heart handles are grs blanks I got for my birthday and shaped.
Also had to make the hammer for this! I’m super happy I took on this project and started learning engraving
 

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oniemarc

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Looks pretty good to me for doing something like this for the first time.
Only thing that stands out to me are the waves. They looks more like western waves to me than japanese. In japanese art they tend to make their waves like little "fingers". Rounded at the ends. Hence the name fingerwaves.
Other than that(which is probably just a matter of taste on my part) it looks good.

Marc
 

Golabekrafts

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Yeah I realized the waves style was not traditional Japanese, I just really liked the way that sketch had turned out so I decided to leave it at that, probably next time I make one I’ll do a more traditional style for the waves.

thank you!
Yeah I’ve already got plans to make a folding knife with one side engraved, got a theme in mind, no sketches yet or anything
 

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