And, above, the blade after using a ScotchBrite™ abrasive pad to remove the dark oxide left from the vinegar soak. Nice and shiny steel. Note the texture left by the etching action of the vinegar on the cutting part of the blade (the top section of the image). I rather like this, so I think I will leave the steel this way instead of using increasingly fine grits of sandpaper to smooth and polish the surface.
And, here is the blade after cold bluing and burnishing with extra-fine steel wool. Ready to cut and fit the shibuichi handle scales now. Still a long ways to go yet. Did I mention this is a pretty major project, and quite cutting edge for my skills…?