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Remember this Hoskakwa Clan Kabuto?

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  • Remember this Hoskakwa Clan Kabuto?

    It was in such a poor condition I decided to restore it myself. Properly, of course! And thanks in the most part to Dave Thatchers video's. (along with some Urushi technique films on YouTube. I can see the horror on your faces as I type. But before you castigate me to severely, wait until you see the result. Then you're all more than welcome to rip me a new arsehole. So, for the moment my question is...How much Odoshi Ito, and what size will I need to re-lace? And how much of the same would I need for a Menpo?

    I await your slapping! And hopefully an answer.

    John
    This one.

  • #2
    Allow me to join the queue waiting for the result!
    Piers D - Japan / UK

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    • #3
      Lucky I live somewhere in Indonesia.!!

      John

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      • #4
        Let me eccho Piers in saying that I’m also looking forward to your progress. I know from own experience, how rewarding it is to bring something back from the scrap heap.
        I have of course not undertaken such a big project as to restore a kabuto, but I have taken on my share of broken gun powder flask.
        By using only traditional materials, you can come a long way. Good luck!

        Jan
        Jan - Sweden

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        • #5
          Um......, I would never dare
          So I’ll line up next to Piers, in doubt, that you will be satisfied with the result (many reasons for that!!!).
          I don’t know how much odoshi you need, but the width depends on the diameter of the holes......
          Uwe Sacklowski / Germany

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          • #6
            Well John, I'd say this is a very courageous attempt.
            I sincerely wish you all the best but as Uwe says I would not dare (since I have no experience on urushi).
            Good luck.

            Dan
            Daniel GONY - FRANCE

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            • #7
              John, You are a brave man, but the one consolation is that if it doesn't work out first time you can strip if off and have another go. More importantly you will in the process learn more about armour and how it was made than any amount of reading from books. I have found damaged examples reveal far more than shiny complete pieces. There are still techniques that baffle me as to how they were done, but having done a lot of metalwork and other workshop projects, I know that craftsmen the world over had methods and techniques that made what look complex and difficult tasks comparatively easy. One such is mail making. Making the round links is easy provided you use a fine saw to cut the individual links rather than pliers so as to give flat faces that butt together. The oval links can be made the same way, but many were made up from two turns - how did they cut these from a coil? If you look at examples you will see that the ends in these cases are tapered to a point. They are also the very devil to close up properly and many are of two turns. I bet they had some simple jig that held the links so they could bend the ends over.
              Ian Bottomley
              Ian Bottomley - UK

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              • #8
                What surprised me Ian was how relatively crude the metal work is. (had to replace a few rivets)...the guy that did the urushi does most of the work...I was going to wait until it was finished to post it. But, anyway...here's the progress. Two coats of urushi and I'm still sharpening up the lines. Rust removed and repaired..steel plates and home made rivets. Waiting for some vellum samples from the US. Hope these look right for to release the leather ...we'll see

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                • Dan
                  Dan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  John,
                  Posting photos of different stages of your restoration work is a very good idea, thanks.
                  Keep on going and posting.
                  Gambate kudasai !

                  Dan.

              • #9
                Did you use any ground material before the first coat of urushi?
                Don’t know if it’s the light, but judging by the picture you need to cut back the urushi in order to remove the lines from the brush. With some patience it will turn out fine.

                Jan
                Jan - Sweden

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                • #10
                  John ,
                  Finally you decide to restore, why not this is your kabuto and your choice..
                  Difficult to répar a shikoro.. If you would replace the leather on the shikoro. .. The inside do armor is often cover with a square leather part.. You may can cut leather strips parts taking carefully sizes with a paper pattern before, to cut, make and replace on shikoro.. Not easy but the most interesting I think is that it's an edo leather that you will replace..
                  ​​​​​​.
                  Laurent / France
                  Last edited by gui; 11-05-2019, 10:34 AM.

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                  • #11
                    Yes, the leather is going to be the problem. Dave Thatcher said it's originally paper thin horse hide. I'm waiting for some samples of velum...maybe that will fit the bill. We'll see. Interested to see if Dave has any advice here.
                    And yes Jan, much work prior to the first coat of urushi. The metal work is pretty rugged...so the clean lines are because of the shape is thanks to the Kokuso?...basically filler!
                    It's the second coat of urushi and I'm refining the lines as I go...fully aware of the need for a final "buff and polish"...(I restore motorcycles and paint them)...but not at that stage just yet.

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                    • #12
                      Example.. Inside do leather..the thickness around 1
                      mm...
                      But of course Dave Thatcher could tell really more..
                      And you must find a really bad state do where you can take off this leather..
                      Last edited by gui; 11-05-2019, 04:22 PM.

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                      • #13
                        The original was had the leather folded over the back by about 3mm and then the gap between the top and bottom was filled with kokuso and then the whole thing was urushi’d

                        John

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                        • #14
                          I have a momonari kabuto with the mabezashi and fukigayeshi that had been covered with heavily textured, knobbly leather that was as thin as paper that I suspect is either buffalo hide - or meant to look like it. Obviously if you thin real buffalol skin, you can only go as far as the depressions in the hide allow, leaving the lumps still thick. I wonder if in fact the texture is artificial and that thin leather, or even paper that is subsequently lacquered, is pressed into a mould and then the depressions filled at the back with kokuso or something to stop them collapsing when applied to the metal. The fact that this textured leather is bordered by what I suspect was shobu gawa, separated by fusegumi sewing suggests something like this was done since the edges of both need to be turned up to form a flange. This makes me think the hide is really thinner that it looks. I know I cannot reproduce this so I have elected to use some dark coloured rayskin instead.
                          Ian B.
                          Ian Bottomley - UK

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                          • #15
                            Ray skin is pretty stiff. Even if you soak it. So I’m waiting for some vellum book binding samples. Very thin and with texture. but I suspect the texture maybe a little too fine. We’ll see when they arrive...I have some thoughts on how to add the texture. So I’ll have a play when they finally arrive.

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