Yoroidoshi in Shirasaya

This blade began as a segment of reclaimed horse-drawn carriage spring and was hand forged in a charcoal fire, smoothed with files and a sen scraper, hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and polished by hand with natural Japanese water stones.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Crafted and finished entirely with hand tools and traditional techniques, the slender blade profile and thick spine are based on a classical yoroidoshi (鎧通し / armour piercing) tanto design.

The habaki was made from a piece of reclaimed copper bus bar, hammered to shape and soldered in the charcoal forge, and finished with rasps and hand files. The shirasaya was carved from a piece of figured Japanese hounoki wood and finished with tokusa grass polishing and natural ibota wax. The mekugi was carved from a scrap of black buffalo horn.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Blade construction is muku with a hira-zukuri profile, suguha hamon, and an iori mune. The blade is 6.5″ long, overall length is just over 10.5″, and the overall length when sheathed is just over 11.5″. Accompanied by a hand sewn storage bag made of reclaimed cotton fabric from Japan.

Specifications

長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 5 sun 4 bu (163mm)
元幅 Motohaba: 6 bu 5 rin (20mm)
重ね/元重 Motokasane: 2 bu 5 rin (7.5mm)
反り Sori: muzori
中心/茎 Nakago: 3 sun 1 bu 5 rin (94mm)
柄長 Tsuka: 3 sun 5 rin (93mm)
拵全長 Koshirae: 9 sun 5 bu (297mm)

形 Katachi: hira-zukuri, iori-mune
刃文 Hamon: suguha
帽子/鋩子 Boshi: komaru
中心/茎 Nakago: futsu, one mekugi-ana, signed near the tip
銘 Mei: hot stamped katabami-ken kamon
拵 Koshirae: none (shirasaya, issaku)

Material: Reclaimed antique horse-drawn carriage steel, copper bus bar, Hounoki, buffalo horn

This piece is available.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques


Process Highlights

scroll down or jump to the sections below:

Hizukuri (forging)
Arashiage (filing)
Habaki (blade collar)
Shirasaya (storage scabbard)
Polishing (togi)


Hizukuri (forging)

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Separating century-old horse-drawn carriage springs for sorting and inspection.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
A small useful segment taken from between a bolt hole and the end of the taper which is too thin to be forged.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Top view of the spine after forging, the mune shape is forged in to preserve as much steel as possible.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
A comparison of the size of the original piece with the finished forging, note that the thickness of the spine has doubled from the original spring using a careful technique of upsetting.

Arashiage (filing)

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Setting the mune machi and shaping the spine of the tang. (more about the filing process)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Finishing the spine of the tang.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Refining the profile of the tip. (learn about the proper arashiage order of operations)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Ensuring that the hamachi is aligned correctly with the mune and the munemachi. (tanto tang geometry)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Profile complete, bevels are the next step. (tanto bevel geometry)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Using a sen dai (staple vise) and a sen scraper to remove the forge scale and begin rough shaping.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Filing and draw-filing to define the bevels on both the blade and tang.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Clay mixture applied in preparation for hardening the blade. (watch the process of yaki-ire)

Making the Habaki (blade collar)

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Small habaki with delicate proportions. (learn more about silver soldering in the forge)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Final fit and finish of the copper habaki. (watch a habaki being forged)

Carving the Shirasaya (storage scabbard)

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Shaping the outside of the saya using chisels and kiridashi. (learn more about the process of making shirasaya)
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Drilling the mekugi-ana by hand with a kiri drill.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Shirasaya are thicker and larger than koshirae mountings.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
The outside is shaped using kanna handplanes.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Lovely figured hounoki seasoned for about seven years before use, finished with natural ibota wax.

Polishing the Blade

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Natural binsui-do stone to refine the shape and remove the last of the arato/kongo-do stone scratches.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Natural kaisei-do to remove the binsui scratches.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Chu-nagura-do more clearly defining the hamon.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Komanagura-do increases the polish level of the ha noticeably.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Suita uchigumori-do to bring out the final details of the steel.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Hazuya and jizuya fingerstones made from uchigumori-do and narutaki-do to even up the surface and add depth.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged yoroidoshi tanto in shirasaya, made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Boiling water poured over the steel and sashikomi nugui made from satetsu (iron sand) and clove oil applied to darken the ji area.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged knives made from reclaimed and natural materials


3.03022 cm
= 0.1 shaku(尺)
= 1 sun(寸)
= 10 bu(分)
= 100 rin(厘)

Comments are closed.