Mountain Tanto

$1425

A 7.5″ hammer-forged tanto blade mounted in rustic satoyama chisagatana style.

In stock

Description

A clay tempered blade hand forged in a charcoal fire, water quenched with clay, sharpened with waterstones, and finished simply and humbly in the age-old style of farming and foresting tools traditionally used in managing satoyama lands.

Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated fields and the mountain wilds in Japan. Historically they provided soil nutrients, firewood, edible plants, mushrooms, fish, and game, and supported local industries such as farming, timber construction, and charcoal making. The interaction of forest, arable land, wetlands, and streams are an important component of the satoyama landscape. (read more)

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

Forged from a reclaimed file, the blade profile of the mountain style tanto has more pronounced belly with slight drop point. The temper of this high carbon steel blade has been left relatively hard in order to hold a keen edge for tasks such as wood carving and hand work. 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 tang is constructed in a similar manner to a Japanese sword requiring only a single bamboo peg to hold the knife assembly together. In addition to the sense of beautiful simplicity, this design allows the knife to be taken apart for cleaning, polishing, or sharpening work.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

The handle and scabbard were carved from local Nootka Cypress using chisels, planes, and kiridashi knives. The handle is finished with a fukiurushi (wiped layer) surface and the scabbard is finished with traditional ishimeji (stone texture) made with natural urushi lacquer and crushed tea leaves. A forged copper chisagatana style guard with cord wrapped ferrule and removable peg carved from Bamboo complete the handle. The kurikata (cord loop) was carved from black walnut and joined to the scabbard with an inset keyway.

The blade is just under 7.5″ long and the overall length is about 12″. The spine at the munemachi is about 5mm thick.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

Specifications

Nagasa (blade length): 187mm
Motokasane (blade thickness): 5mm
Motohaba (blade width): 29mm
Sori (curve): uchizori
Nakago (tang): 109mm
Tsuka (handle): 112mm
Koshirae (overall): 340mm

Katachi (geometry): hira-zukuri, iori-mune
Hamon (edge pattern): suguha
Boshi (tip pattern): maru
Nakago (tang): futsu, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana, signed near the tip
Mei (signature): hot stamped katabami-ken kamon
Koshirae (mounting): satoyama chisagatana style, issaku

Materials: reclaimed file steel, copper electrical bracket, Nootka Cypress, Black Walnut, cotton cord, natural urushi lacquer, tea leaves, Bamboo

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.

Process

Read more about the process of making this tanto here, or design your own here.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
A worn out and rusted file serves as the starting material for the blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
A charcoal forge provides the heat to hand forge the file into the shape of a tanto blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
After forging is complete, the profile is cleaned up with a file. The surface of the blade will retain its hammer texture and the pattern from the original file teeth.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
A sen dai style staple vise holds the blade while filing the bevels closer to finished dimensions.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
A mixture of natural clay, charcoal, and polishing stone powder forms an insulation layer for hardening.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The clay is slowly dried over the charcoal fire. Note the recurve in the edge to compensate for the upward pull during yaki-ire style hardening.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
After yaki-ire, the remaining clay layer is scraped off to reveal the newborn blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The guard is forged from one quarter of a silver-plated copper bus bar washer. The round hole is forged down into the narrow hole for the tang.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The opening (nakago ana) is adjusted by filing until it slips into place on the shoulders of the blade (machi).
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The halves of the handle block are carved inside to fit the tang.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The placement and fit is done in a specific way for each half, read more about this process: Making a Tanto Takedown Handle
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The scabbard is carved inside and rejoined with rice paste glue (sokui).
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
Once the blocks are dried, the exterior is carved to shape using chisels, a kanna plane, and kiridashi knives.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The first layers of natural urushi lacquer are applied to seal the surface of the wood and the cord wrapping. Additional layers will strengthen and provide the ishimeji (stone surface) texture when mixed with crushed and dried tea leaves.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed materials.
The finished Tools for Satoyama Mountain Tanto disassembled into its component parts.