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Francis Gastellu

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Posts posted by Francis Gastellu

  1. Thank you Ed for your answer and suggestion. I will need to try this out, though the scale of my work will add its own challenges, but I can see how this might be a good way to get inside those very tight spots. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you Janel for your reply!

    I have been an avid follower of Jim Kelso on the web but did not realize he had more of his work on Instagram, thank you for this!

    I think you are right that scrapers are at least a part of the answer here, and I'm right now looking at different geometries for this specific job. When it comes to polishing to a finish though, I think there is (at least for me) a bit of a gap between that and being able to move on to powdered abrasives. I've been somewhat able to bridge the two with shaped stones and toothpicks wrapped in sandpaper, and I am still experimenting with other options.

    For instance, I've had some measure of success with a custom 1/16 rod sharpened to a point, with just one facet:


    This acts as very mild bur as well as a burnisher of sorts. It needs to be used with the lightest of touches, and still doesn't quite leave a smooth finish, but it's been helping me get the floor of those corners flat, leaving a texture that's not as hard to deal with as what was there before, if that makes sense. I use this after scraping, and before stones/sandpaper/powder. 

    I got started on the actual project, and this is where I'm at (silver inlay on shibuichi):


  3. Well, I managed to shape a couple stones to a tight point, and I made myself a needle shaped burnisher. Combined with the careful hand use of gravers as scrapers, and more patience, I got to a better finish in the inside corner.


    There are still issues here obviously (background flatness, and the rounding of the foreground due to my indiscriminate use of sandpaper without hard backing), but I was focusing on the tight corner and that's a lot closer to what I want (this is just a practice piece).

    Additional tips are still welcome :)

  4. Hi!

    As the topic says, I live in California. What the topic does not say is I'm actually French :) I am a hobby knifemaker and more recently swordmaker, and I have developed an interest in Japanese metal carving through the need to make koshirae for my blades. I am in awe when I see the work showcased in this forum, and I see that there is a long road ahead and much practice needed to eventually do some of the things I want to do. I have been lurking around for some time now, and I thought it was time to finally sign up. I hope you will forgive my beginner's questions! :blush:




  5. Hello everyone,

    I am fairly new to tosogu and currently working on a tsuba. Part of the design calls for carving out some of the background, and I am practicing polishing a smooth slope and its transition with the foreground features.


    As you can tell, the closer I get to a border or to a tight corner, the more I am struggling, and I am looking for advice on how to effectively cleanup and polish close to details that need to be preserved. The tight inside corners are particularly challenging. I do have small stones, but nothing that small. A small piece of sandpaper wrapped around a toothbrush just about gets in there, but lasts about 2 seconds and I'm thinking there has got to be a better way :P or is there?

    I have read Jim Kelso's turorial on file and stone finishing, and that has been helpful in dealing with larger areas (thank you Jim!). I can see how I could eventually get the surface next to those details cleaned up with just a bit more patience, which I'm more than willing to exercise, but I'm doubtful that I can effectively deal with the tight inside corners that I'm currently struggling to even reach.

    Hopefully someone can point at an element of answer, thank you!

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