New Sword 3
blade length 20.1cm, thickness at the base 6mm, width 22.5mm
The steel is compact wood grain layer pattern with particles (ji-nie).
The hamon is almost made of smallest particles (nioi), making a straight pattern (suguha). Many small ashi appear, but those are difficult to be taken by camera.
The smith loves this tanto very much, and he believes that this is one
of the best quality blades he has ever made.
The inscription "Ichi-yo-rai-fuku" means the sun comes again.
The reason of this baptism is at the bottom of this page.
The smith's signature "Kodaira" is on the back.
Habaki is made of silver. The shape is Kawagoe style.
Shirasaya and silk bag
Photo story of forging this tanto blade
The outer steel for the tanto is made out. It is made from hard and dense
quality pieces of tamahagane, folded 15 times. It will be constructed to the blade by Kobuse construction.
The next stage is making the core steel.
The raw tamahagane for the core are in the bucket.
The tamahagane are pounded, and cracked into flat plates and square blocks.
These pieces are mild quality. They are too soft for the cutting edge.
The handle and the squared tamahagane are welded. It becomes a base to
put tamahagane pieces on it.
Pieces of tamahagane for the core steel are selected. They are mainly mild
quality, adding some amount of too hard quality (brittle for cutting edge).
The tamahagane pieces are put on the base. Then, the pieces are welded into one block, then folded and welded again and again.
On the way of fold'n-welding stage.
The steel is folded 15 times, and shaped to the core for the next stage.
The outer steel is rolled and put on the core to cover it. That way of
constructing is kobuse style.
The core and outer are welded into one, and then cut off from the handle.
In this picture, the right is tang and the left is kissaki.
The handle what some amount of core steel has left on it, and the steel
for blade what has cut off from the handle.
The constructed steel is cut into three pieces. Each of them are drawn
for blades. They are sisters. (=> How to make sister blades)
The B is this blade.
It is shaped by hammering work.
Shaped with plane and file
Blades are covered with the clay, and dried in the sun.
The blades are taken the heat treatment in a silent night. In the picture,
they are just after the hardening work.
This is the blade.
Unfortunately the blade gets a crescent crack in its kissaki. The steel
would be too sensitive for this heat treatment.
Usually a blade with such a serious flaw is crushed by the smith. But he
regrets this blade so much, because the hamon is very good except for the
crack in kissaki. Then he tries to grind the blade until the crack has
been removed. He wishes the crack is not very deep.
Finally the kissaki has got cleaned. The blade has survived from the crack
of the hardening work.
The shaped up blade is brought to the habaki maker.
Habaki is made out.
The next stage is making shirasaya.
Shirasaya is made out.
The next stage is polishing that is the final stage of this mission.
The blade is polished up.
The smith added the inscription into the tang. The words he selected is
reflected with the survival from the crescent crack in kissaki.
The mission completed. We wish this tanto could be a good charm for you.
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