This DOJO DAISHO will be the first set for a new line in 1080 and 5160 steels by Joe Walters.
Joe Walters has exceptionally made the mountings for me. His Dojo Blades will soon be available in his website and sold as bare blades if I recall his intentions well.

Dojo Swords blades are entirely custom made at Joe Walters' Moonlit Forge from either 1080 or 5160 dual marquenched steel to form a very resistant shinogi and hard, tough edge steel, that provides a consistent and excellent edge holding, durability and superb flexibility that entirely defies the needs of the most demanding martial artist.
Moonlit Forge's Dojo Sword blades have a ha or edge of 58-60 RC and a spine or mune of 48-52 RC, and are produced individually and by custom order solely. This allows for thorough inspection of each and every blade at every step and rejection of any blade that does not meet the set standards.
I may add that the 1080 steel of my daisho was chosen for beauty of the hamon and performance due to the treatment mentioned above.

 

Main Specifications Follow

Hamon: gunome-midare.
Steel: 1080 with dual marquench.
Katana nagasa: 29 3/4 inches
Motohaba: 32 mm
Sakihaba: 30 mm
Kissaki: 4.5 inches O-Kissaki

Katana Tsuka: 14 inches with hineramaki wrap.
Wakisash nagasa:
23 1/4 inches
Motohaba: 31 mm
Sakihaba: 30 mm
Kissaki: 3.5 inches O-Kissaki

Wakizashi Tsuka:
8 inches with same hineramaki wrap.
Black leather ito:
from Namikawa
Habaki: silver two layer, textured upper layer. Please see illustration below
Fittings:
blackened steel fuchi-gashira. (extra black)
Seppa: plain, silver or nickel silver
Saya: gloss black with horn koiguchi, kurikata and kojiri.
Polish: hybrid working polish with frosted hamon.

PHOTOGRAPHS
Daisho sugata looks awesome. This is a vertical picture turned horizontal
Kissaki looks fantastic at this stage though Joe will be refining it.
TSUBAS

Different steps on the making of the daisho  tsuba.
two layer silver textured habaki vagra menuki

The making of the two layers textured habaki.

EARLY FINISHED PICTURES DATED SEPTEMBER 1,2004 US TIME

The Daisho early pictures sent by Joe. The hybrid polish is very well visible. The sori is a perfect tori-sori with a deep curvature for motion cutting.
Notice how the tsuka follows the shape of the blade and nakago.

The daisho in the saya. Even though the pictures are not too clear, the saya are superb work and the tsuba dimensions are just so right to me.

THE HAMON

Though it is obviously a hybrid polish for cutting, the hamon is a gunome-midare. The dark area silhouette may appear strange. It may be nugui applied over a frosted hamon. It does not bother me at all. On the contrary, I see poetry in it...

For  a moment let us just concentrate on the poetic beauty of such a hamon, as if water reflections of a lake were frozen in the steel and revealed through the tides coming from the ha and spreading into the monosteel of the ji. Frosted in steel, the tide has retained its reflections of serenity.

The tsuka in black leather is very nicely wrapped. Horn mekugi.

Another view of the tsuka and presentation tsuba in a very deep blackened steel. Itomaki continues to look perfect. Notice the blue hue on the steel and the hamon jumping across the room.

THESE PICTURES WERE TAKEN ON THEIR ARRIVAL DATE AND WITHOUT STUDIO LIGHTING

These are quick pictures without any proper lighting

THE KATANA

The kissaki is wicked and the blades are extremely sharp. It is a very light blade, yet very robust, heat treated to face soft and even hard targets such as dowels and bamboo.

On the contrary, the wakizashi shows a very shallow sori. Again this is taken in natural light with no other sources of lighting that is uneven...

The hamon, even in its strange frosted hybrid polish is beautiful and it is asking for a full polish when the blades are retired. There is plenty to be revealed after a full polish. Meantime I don't care much about tiny scratches in the shinogi-ji. It is intended for cutting first and foremost.

Very sturdy tsuka 14 inches long, a bit bulky but provides an extraordinarily good grip and 8 inches tsuka with an elegant profile. Black leather ito-maki as seen.

 

STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL METALLURGY

As I was inspecting the ji and the polish, very strange activity that definitely does not come from polishing scratches have come up. My first attempts to photograph it failed so I decided to scan the blade up to 400 percent. There is a very unique activity in both blades that remind me of san mai but in a monosteel.

 The look I had on the blade, mainly on the area near the shinogi-ji, show a pattern that has nothing to do with the hybrid polish scratches.

This other picture confirms the activity that I'm sure, results from the heat treatment the blades have been subject to as there are spots where concentric circles of activity formation prove the evidence of intrinsic work.
Knowing Joe Walters, I just know his aim was not to perform any funny odd trick, but instead, it is a result of the said metallurgical heat treatment and salt baths, which did not prevent the view of the wonderful and poetical gunome-midare hamon.
These set of swords are for both dojo and cutting. They are very light and well balanced. Their muted beauty are also suitable for display.
The deep sori of the katana is very challenging but extremelly manouverable. No-to does require a very steady hand and habit.

No-to

 
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