Photo Essay: Forging a Knife

Talented Vancouver Island photographer Jordan Wende stopped in at the Island Forge in mid-July to document the atmosphere and some of the work going on. In this installment of the series, forging a small outdoor knife from an antique carriage spring.

Photographed and edited by Jordan Wende


Wakashinobe – Lengthening the Billet

Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Rough drawing out with the heavy mukozuchi sledge using the low striking method.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Using a hot cut hardy to separate the work from the larger bar.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Switching to the lighter mukozuchi sledge for shaping.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Controlled blows on edge controlling taper in both directions.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
The striker aims for the centre of the anvil and allows the smith to move the work as needed.

Forging the Sunobe

Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
A heavier tezuchi hammer is used to clean up the taper of tang and blade areas after wakashinobe.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Using a thin layer of water on the anvil during the later stages of forging keeps the scale from building up.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Forging and moving steel is done early in the heat and later planishing and straightening as the work cools.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Using the edge of the anvil to set the munemachi.

Beginning Hizukuri

Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Beginning the rough beveling with a larger tezuchi hand hammer.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Later beveling is done along the edge of the anvil to prevent the hammer contacting the anvil.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
The blade is alternately flipped and the other edge of the anvil used to bevel.
Island Blacksmith - Crossed Heart Forge
Using a stump to straighten and correct the curve without marring the spine.

see the rest of the series

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