Hybrid Polish for Katana...
QUESTION: This site got me wondering many different things. Is this form of polishing (time, process) the way to go if I wanted my sword absolutely mirror finish?
I know it takes time to polish, but does the method he presents work to that extent? For instance could I turn the most scratched up dull looking blade into a close to mirror finish...
Also when he heats the blade, to bring out the hamon, does that help the polishing process? And last but not least on my long winded question rampage... Emery sanding paper... I can only seem to find it in 3 "flavors" coarse, medium, fine... Would using regular sandpaper hurt the blade... or not do much of anything... Because I like the process he uses on that website with the multiple grits of sanding paper... and the length wise strokes and perpendicular strokes. With three sheets to select from the polishing process seems a little short and under done. Yep just my question rampage, sorry.
I would also like to say I love your site. It really got me hooked... Also I should be receiving a sword from Zhang Sword Can't wait to test it out, I might have to write a review...
Also the tenchi... it is a beautiful sword.
ANSWER: Hi Dan,
Yup - that is quite a question rampage. ;-)
That particular essay/article you link to is easily one of the best on the internet. It is correct that the process will bring out the natural hamon of a differentially hardened Katana quite nicely, no matter what it's condition to begin with (though obviously, it will take a lot longer if it is really messed up).
You can indeed use any regular metal grade abrasive paper with good results. Perhaps not quite to the same extent as if you used the authors recommendations, but pretty much anything will do the job.
If you do get a Zhang sword, be sure to send in a review! And yup - the Tenchi is a beast... ;-)
Cheers - talk to you later.