The first 10 of 20 orders for the trial run of Project X Japanese – Custom Options have just been completed and are about the leave the forge with the final 10 swords not all that far behind.
In the meantime, I requested a few pictures of the master smiths and master polisher at work on these authentic Soshu Kitae laminated and differentially hardened blades to give you a bit of a behind the scenes look at what goes into making these swords as special as they are.
First up, a couple of nice shots of the initial fusion of the 5 panels of steel – correct placement of each type of steel is critical and it is a complex procedure that ONLY a Master Smith can actually pull off and is why this type of lamination is so rare and (relatively) expensive.
Once the 5 panels are properly forge welded together its hammer time – all done the old fashioned way, with not a power tool in sight – just two master smiths working together in unison to stretch out the steel.
Once the Master Smiths have finished forging and shaping the blade, it is then handed over to another certified Master – the polisher (whose apprenticeship is actually LONGER than that of a smith!).
Here the polisher spends one FULL day on each blade, getting to know it intimately as he smooths and sharpens the blade for optimal cutting performance.
One of the hardest parts of polishing a Katana is the kissaki (the tip), which takes almost as much time to polish as the rest of the blade due to its complex contours. The effort required to polish this small part of the blade is so great it is the reason why so many entry level hand made swords have nothing more than a rough counter-polish.
Naturally, this traditional method of polishing creates the highly desirable ‘geometric yokote’ – that is to say a definite and clearly defined line where the body of the blade transitions to the tip.
From there, these stunning blades are mounted up in the customers choice of premium fittings (full rayskin wrap, hishigami silk ito, you name it – no shortcuts or inferior components are used whatsoever).
Honestly, with all the blood, sweat, tears and skill that goes into each blade its only because we trim down our margins so much that a sword like this can be made available for $1000 – its easily worth DOUBLE the price if not even a bit more, as the first 20 people who were fortunate enough to get in on the first round offering are soon about to find out first hand..
To find out when the next round of offerings is available, and get access to exclusive deals and special upgrades, be sure to sign up to the exclusive Project X newsletter.
In the meantime, you can see the various base designs offered for the first round and perhaps start thinking about how YOU might decide to customize one for yourself if you are fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to afford one of these truly droolworthy swords..