This is a piece from when I was first experimenting with the traditional Japanese method of clay-tempering blades (yaki-ire) in the early 1990’s. A thin clay mask creates dual temperature zones in the quenching bath, leaving the blade harder at the edge and tougher in the body. If you are really fortunate, the steel will have a visible hamon, the wavy line where the two types of steel crystal meet.
This piece of steel was originally part of a diamond-tooth concrete cutting saw and took a beautiful temper (though the placement of the hamon has much room for improvement). I have used this steel for several projects and still have a couple of pieces of the original stone cutting blade around, in fact! The shape is drop-point skinner and has fileworking along the back of the tang in the handle. It was finished with an ebony and horn handle pinned with bronze and a hand-stitched leather sheath.
Material: Reclaimed concrete saw steel, Ebony, cow horn, bronze, leather
This piece is in a private collection in Alberta.