Forest Tanto Blade (order-made)

$725$2200

An 8″ forest tanto style blade made-to-order, ready to mount or finish in DIY style.

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Description

A reclaimed steel blade hand forged in a charcoal fire, water quenched with clay, and sharpened with waterstones. This diy blade is the size and style of the Tools for Satoyama Forest Tanto. Design and order a complete tanto here.

The narrower blade profile of the forest style tanto is based on a classical yoroidoshi tanto and has a takenoko (bamboo shoot) shape with a gradual drop point.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from farm tools.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from farm tools.
A comparison of the two styles of Tools for Satoyama project tanto blades.
Custom design a complete tanto here.

The temper of these high carbon steel blades is left quite hard in order to hold a keen edge. This particular combination of steel and heat treatment is well suited to users who require a good edge and are willing to take care of it.

The blade measurements are around 8″ long with a tang length of about 4″. The spine at the munemachi is usually around 3/16″ to 1/4″ thick. As this is a made-to-order item, there will be some variation, please allow 4-6 weeks depending on the project load at the forge.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.

Blade Finish

Choose unfinished (as-tempered) to set your own geometry or choose from three different levels of finish, hammer texture for character and utility, kaji togi to roughly reveal the hamon, or polished for a smooth classy look. Custom habaki are also available but are not recommended with tsuchime (hammer finish) if you are planning to polish the blade later.

  • as tempered – no finishing (hardened edge will need 1-2mm removed)
  • tsuchime – hammer texture (as-forged surface shows marks of hammer and fire)
  • kaji togi – stone finish (blade is smoothed with files and a coarse stone before hardening)
  • togi – polished (blade is smoothed with fine stones after hardening)
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Tsuchime (Hammer Finish)

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Kaji Togi (Stone Finish)
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Togi (Polished Finish)

Approximate Specifications

Nagasa (blade length): 200-220mm
Motokasane (blade thickness): 5-7mm
Motohaba (blade width): 24-28mm
Sori (curve): uchizori/takenoko
Nakago (tang): 100-110mm, kurijiri, single mekugi-ana
Mei (signature): hot stamped kamon

Potential Materials: reclaimed file steel, reclaimed harrow tooth steel, spring steel

Process

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
A rusty, discarded, and deemed worthless file is redeemed into a new creation.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
Purified and shaped by the intensity of fire, hammer, and anvil, it undergoes permanent and lasting change.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
To this point all of the shaping is done by hammer alone, working slowly and at temperatures which will allow transformative change but will not destroy the steel.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
The profile is refined by hand filing, a process that takes much time and patience and prepares the steel for the next stages.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
Depending on the finish, the bevels are smoothed and cleaned with a sen scraper and hand files to remove all traces of the past.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
A thin layer of clay is applied to the blade before hardening, to control the cooling rate when it enters the water.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
The clay mixture is dried slowly over the glowing coals of the charcoal forge to prevent cracking before yaki-ire.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
Yaki-ire is the process of differentially hardening the edge and the body of the blade for specific characteristics.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
If the steel survives this stressful and most intense trip through the fire and water, it will be reborn as a blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
A rough kaji togi polish reveals the location of the hamon line created during yaki-ire.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives reclaimed from files.
A highly time-intensive detailed polish with natural Japanese stones reveals more of the internal qualities of the steel created by the interaction of fire, earth, and water.