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Helm/Tendick Wakizashi/Tanto Daisho Collaboration


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Sometime last year I made an o-tanto that caught the eye of the very talented Ben Tendick of BRT Bladeworks in Oregon.  We had been wanting to do a collaboration for a while, and it seemed like a good direction to go.  The tanto was slated for someone, so I forged another, and ended up making a wakizashi in the same style as well.  I forged the blades, and Ben did the rest of the work.

Here's what was sent to Ben, a 16" and a 11.5" blade forged from 80CrV2 steel, heat treated and ready for Ben to work his magic on the handles.  I left the tangs big and blocky to give Ben plenty of canvas on which to paint.

41645152792_2096692c80_c.jpghelmtendick01 by James Helm, on Flickr

Ben worked them down, shouldered the tangs to fit the tsubas, and drilled the holes to anchor the wrap.

41645152492_ab28af1f7f_c.jpghelmtendick02 by James Helm, on Flickr

I left all the details to Ben on how he wanted to finish.  He decided to use wrought iron for the tsubas.  In his words, "I did my best to capture that well used Ronin style in this set."

27815255978_dc56487662_c.jpghelmtendick03 by James Helm, on Flickr

41645152232_a1af41546c_c.jpghelmtendick04 by James Helm, on Flickr

And copper menuki with his touchmark.

41645151872_99b8fc551c_c.jpghelmtendick05 by James Helm, on Flickr

He went with antiqued cotton cord for the underlay. 

41645151552_e4f8741200_c.jpghelmtendick06 by James Helm, on Flickr

27815255528_ec1bc65c3f_c.jpghelmtendick07 by James Helm, on Flickr

Finished up.

41645151492_bf4fd4507a_c.jpghelmtendick08 by James Helm, on Flickr

39877668930_e20bb9b555_c.jpghelmtendick09 by James Helm, on Flickr

41645150302_b5b8936815_c.jpghelmtendick10 by James Helm, on Flickr

27815254828_a6985d4086_c.jpghelmtendick11 by James Helm, on Flickr

41645148832_ee9cc3df86_c.jpghelmtendick14 by James Helm, on Flickr

39877666840_699711c341_c.jpghelmtendick16 by James Helm, on Flickr

27815253558_2e5eaf64c8_c.jpghelmtendick17 by James Helm, on Flickr

I think Ben nailed it.   8-)

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