Tsuba material question

Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:46 am

I have access to some 1008 steel, essentially extra low carbon steel in 1/8 (3mm).
It works nicely for other things, engraving practice, belt buckles etc.
If I was to use it for Tsuba tutorial 1 would that be acceptable or should I look for thicker material?
I have been reading the posts, but it will take me a bit to go thru all the pages.

I also have two old wagon wheel rims, I believe they are wrought iron, but until I cut and test I wouldn't swear to it.
One is about 3-1/2" x 3/8" with a pronounced radius sideways.
The other is a little over 4" x 1/2 thick with some deep rust pits.
Both are 3-4' foot in diameter.
Would I be better off saving them for the future? Or go for it?
Jim
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Ford » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:50 am

Hi Jim

3mm is in this instance a little too thin. If it was a tsuba with a raised rim it'd be fine though.

I'd leave the wrought for now as it may throw up all sorts of problems that your probably don't need to be struggling with at the start.

4 to 5mm mild steel, low carbon stuff is probably your best bet.
"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:05 pm

Thank you sir, kinda what I thought.
Ill see if he has some thicker material.
The 1008 cuts and heat colors very nicely.
And it is cheap.
Story is, a knife company ordered a couple of tons of 1095 high carbon steel.
After making test blades it turned out to be unhardenable.
They went back and forth with the supplier and finally found it to be very low carbon.
Supplier had been sitting on it for a few years, now he is stuck with it.
Selling it off to clear his inventory.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:42 am

I should pick up some mild steel suitable for a Tsuba tomorrow night.
In the mean time I cut up the wrought iron wagon wheel I had set aside.
It definitely is wrought iron. I threw one piece in the mill and cut it down to about 5mm.
Rough polished and etched it .
Here are a couple of pics.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:44 am

The back side,
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:53 am

Ill save the wrought iron for once I get better acquainted with the iron brush techniques.
It does show some nice grain flow and interesting slag inclusions.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Albert R » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:28 pm

Jim,
Clever to mill and etch it first!
I've read several posts here where the inclusions just ate up saw blades. This way you can decide on the orientation and avoid cutting into the larger more visible slag deposits.

I'm heading up to the QuadState SOFA Hammer-in in Ohio for a week of fun filled smithing stuff. I'll be on the look out for some wrought.

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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:08 pm

I' made a couple of dozen cuts with a band saw to cut the ring up into pieces.
Haven't seen any real problems with cutting it there.
Cut off a corner with the jewelers saw without noticeable issues.
Of course a jewelers saw might go dull quicker if I hit a hard spot in the middle.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:52 am

So I am doing some planning for the first Tsuba course.
In the meantime I played around with the piece of wrought iron just to see how hard it would be to work it.
Cut the outside to an oval shape and sanded the edges. Hammer formed a rim on the edge.
Only one small crack flake started to show up, the iron was easy enough to planish over.

I did a rough etch to see the" bones" of the steel. It has some nice texture.
It is not a Tsuba. So no one get your panties in a wad. Ill got thru the course in time.
I want to learn the right way.
But I also learn from my mistakes. And I am an invertebrate experimenter.
Jim
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:05 am

Here is an antique parasol handle.
At some point I'd like to inlay a similar design into a Tsuba.
The chisel work is just beautiful.
Jim
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Albert R » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:16 pm

Jim,
I picked up a few pieces of wrought and a couple of anvil tools at QuadState2017. I have some wheel rim, old horseshoes, and flat bar that probably came off of a bridge or trestle. When I find a few minutes, I'll take pictures and post them.

I like the texture on your experimental blank, and nice job on the rim!

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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:34 pm

Good haul Albert.
Thanks for the kind words.

The texture reminds me of a thick forest with tree trunks etc.
I'm going to move very slowly on the design this one, I think it deserves a simple elegant scene.
Maybe just a small leaf or two.

I think my templates for Tsuba #1 are nearly ready.
Might redo the Sepa Dai template, too rounded in the base of the side holes.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:40 pm

Here is a Pic of a piece of the wagon wheel wrought iron a friend of mine forged out.
Dave Thompson is a professional artist blacksmith and he pretty much knows what he is doing.
Took a piece 3x3x1/2" and forged it out to about 1/16"
Acid etched and waxed.
Love the texture.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:42 pm

Here is another view.
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Re: Tsuba material question

Postby Jim J » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:44 pm

Side view.
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