A challenge by kokaji to copy "Huga Masamune"
I received a request from a customer to make a tanto what is copy of Huga
Masamune. Then, I will try several blades with such an appearance.
At first, I have to research what "Huga Masamune" is.
blade length 24.9cm
No signature, attributed to Masamune in Sagami province 14th century, the
engraving is not original
On the picture above, the polishing is the modern style so it is impossible
to see hamon in the pictures. But it seems that the hamon outline is same
on both sides (omote and ura) with 5 waves. It is a typical style of Mino
tradition. I am not sure if Masamune also took such style. Anyway no one
know if this is Soshu or not.
Hamon sketch from a book
Another hamon sketch and close-up picture from the book "Masamune
In the close-up picture, the hard steel mixed among the steel layer is
very visible. So it suggests the base steel is mild. On such steel, the
blade should be heated to high temperature in the hardening work, since
the steel may not make sensitive reaction by the quenching. Such heating
work makes the steel particles larger.
I have to find a chance to study it in my eye, even if in the window.
This time I will try Masamune style appearance by Makuri style construction.
Forging the outer steel
Hard pieces and soft pieces of tamahagane are picked up, and fold'n welded.
So the steel is so-called "mix forging".
The picture is on the 7 times folding.
Finally it is folded 13 times, and cut off from the handle. It is expected
to bring Masamune like appearance.
Forging the core steel
Hard pieces of tamahagane are picked up, and fold'n welded. This is my
normal work to make a steel for edge.
Finally it is folded 13 times.
The outer steel is put on it.
The core and outer steels are welded to one block, and then rolled. So
the steel construction is Makuri style. But in this case, the core steel is hard and dense, and the outer steel
is softer mixing with hard and soft steel. It is A Makuri style, but exceptional.
The hard and dense steel is covered with mix forged steel.
The amount between outer steel : core steel is around 2 : 3.
When the Masamune mask is worn out after many times polishing, Naohiro face could come up.
The steel block is drawn out roughly.
On the half way of polishing work
Hamon and its particles
Mount (on the half way of the work)
(University students made an experience to forge and harden one of sister
blades. => Gotoba, tanto "US")
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