Railroad Spike Tanto

$365

A serious letter opener in the form of an unmounted tanto with tsuba handguard forged entirely from a single salvaged railroad spike.

Out of stock

Description

A serious letter opener forged entirely from a single salvaged railroad spike. A little large for actually opening letters, this piece would make a great paperweight and conversation piece. Not high carbon steel, it will not take and hold a particularly fine edge and is designed to be enjoyed as is, straight out of the forge. Unmounted. (It could also be polished and mounted as a d.i.y blade.)

The removable handguard was forged from the head of the railspike and the blade was forged from the rest of the spike. Watch the video below to see the process as the parts take shape.

Blade construction is muku with a shobu-zukuri profile and a iori mune. The final blade dimensions are 10.75″ (274mm) long and 1 1/8″ (29mm) by just over 1/4″ (7mm) at the mune machi…point to tip of the tang is 15″. Forge finish with a coat of 100% natural tung oil.

Specifications

長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 9 sun 5 rin (274mm)
元幅 Motohaba: 9 bu 5 rin (29mm)
重ね/元重 Motokasane: 2 bu 5 rin (7mm)
反り Sori: 1 bu 2 rin (3.5mm)
中心/茎 Nakago: 3 sun 5 bu (117mm)
形 Katachi: hira-zukuri, iori-mune
中心/茎 Nakago: futsu, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana
銘 Mei: mumei

Material: Reclaimed railroad spike steel

Current price for a similar work: $560

Process

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged tanto letter opener made from a reclaimed railroad spike
A salvaged railroad spike.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged tanto letter opener made from a reclaimed railroad spike
The sunobe (blade pre-form) compared with the original size and shown with the head of the spike (right).
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged tanto letter opener made from a reclaimed railroad spike
Completed parts next to a railroad spike.
Island Blacksmith: Hand forged tanto letter opener made from a reclaimed railroad spike
The assembled piece compared with the original railspike.

A detailed video of the process is here:

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