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  1. #1

    Smile From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    I have being working with Xara since its version 1 when it was called Corel Xara, back in the days of Corel Draw 4 I believe and since then I dropped the use of Corel Draw completly! I do everything in Xara: web design, icons for software, printing stuff, etc and since a year more or less now I'm using it to design japanese swords and create their motifs I etch on steel and copper. This is a hobby of mine for my <cough>free<cough> time, which I really love but as a hobby it needs to wait until I finish a project.

    So...what I basically do is to design what I want in Xara, then transfer the design to the steel pieces and as a last step, etch it in an electrolitic salted water bath. I took me a looooooong set of experiments to come up with the correct way to do this. I work everything by hand without powetools, using trashed material and have pictures of the processes creating the swords, yet I guess this may not be the right forum to show that stuff, unless you ask me

    This is the design for a tsuba (sword guard) and how the steel object looks

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    And this is the blade work

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sunshine Coast BC, Canada. In a beautiful part of BC's temperate rainforest
    Posts
    7,332

    Default Re: From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    Wow that is really nice, it is very interesting to see Xara being used to create a real world piece of art!
    My current Xara software: XDPX9, WD9 Premium

    Good Morning Sunshine.ca | Good Morning Sunshine Online(a weekly humorous publication created with XDP and exported as a web document) | SunWings.info, Xara resource shop | My YouTube Channel | My DropBox | Tutoring
    Autocorrect: It can be your worst enema.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dunoon, Scotland
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    4,010

    Default Re: From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    Nice work! Would not have the patience required for the etching takes so long to varnish the bits you want to stay plain steel and then the polishing.
    Design is thinking made visual.

  4. #4

    Default Re: From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Albacore View Post
    Nice work! Would not have the patience required for the etching takes so long to varnish the bits you want to stay plain steel and then the polishing.
    Ah varnish and needles, yes I know how to do that but thats very old school What I'm doing is transfering laser prints from paper to the metal pieces. It copies the design very crispy and nice, although sometimes it is really unbearable because the success:fail ratio is quite high, I guess about 1:20...only acceptable because the final look I can describe the transfering process in detail, if someone here needs it, a kind of tutorial but again I'm not sure if this will fit in a Xara forum Just let me know!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, IL USA
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    I've looked at an electrolyte system for etching graphics in metal - it only costs about $500 (trying to remember the name Max something). You create B/W art only (maybe grayscale too) on clear transparency. Cover your metal object with electrolyte fluid, place the transparency, clip the transparency onto the metal object with wired alligator clips to either end of the metal object, turn the machine on and using electricity and the fluid, you burn the image into the metal. This works for marking tools, personalizing keychains and things like that. Obviously Lithium258 is doing this with katana parts - which is cool. But as he states, it's relatively easy to do (and quick) if you have the right equipment.

  6. #6

    Default Re: From XDP to "real" steel pieces (japanese swords and their fittings)

    Well I have no fancy $500 stuff! it is a hobby so I would never expend so much money on it anyway. My setup is quite different: table salt, water and a battery charger. That's the etching setup. It eats the steel quite fast, say 20 minutes per blade side; about 30 minutes for a guard. As for transfering the designs: I print them in my laser printer on magazine covers --glossy/not too soft--, partially transfer the print with nail polish remover --acetone melts the toner, but it wont stick completly in a polished surface like a blade-- and finish with heating the piece on the stove flames and then applying pressure with a spoon The toner sticks to the metal incredibly well, enough to hold the salt water etching.

    I produced a kind of little tutorial and post it in the off topic chat section of this forum.

    http://www.talkgraphics.com/showthre...295#post439295
    Last edited by lithium258; 16 April 2012 at 02:47 AM.

 

 

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