Part II! This is a short piece, but important.
The laminations do not look quite right if they are just vulcanized fiber – in order for them to look professional, it’s a good idea to add a strip of metal in the middle as well which matches the hilt and bolster.
For drilling in metal, I use a centerbore first so that the bit doesn’t wander. Not really necessary here but I though I’d show it because it’s important to use one when drilling holes in the bolster and the blade guard (hilt). Punching the metal doesn’t work nearly as well. A friend of mine who is a machinist gave me this one.
The accent stripes (brass in this case) are mate from thin sheet metal, which is prepared the same way that you prepare the vulcanized fiber. A hole is drilled in the middle, and squares will be cut out from these. That way they will slide onto the tang.
Brass squares with holes in them are made, so they will slide onto the tang as well. These will be layered in between the fiber. The layers will be ordered like this: Black/Red/Black/Brass/Black/Red/Black.
The layers of fiber and brass are glued together and clamped tight between two blocks of wood. CA glue is used to layer them. Then the edges are sanded flush. You have to go slowly and be careful not to overheat the brass and fiber, otherwise the layers will delaminate.
All for now!
~ Anthony Murkar