A kotanto based on the tip of a traditional tanto with plenty of depth, this blade could be finished in the style of a Japanese tanto or a western outdoor fusion knife. The clay tempered blade was hand forged from a Caterpillar tractor engine part. It has been taken almost down to a zero edge and rough polished on diamond stones but still has plenty of ha-niku (“edge-meat”) left. The polish may be left as is for a working knife, but all of the hammer marks are removed and there is plenty of material remaining for a proper final polish if preferred. A light vinegar etch shows the approximate location of the hamon, see photos below for a pencil tracing of the outline on the ura.
The tang is constructed with the geometry of a Japanese tanto 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 major resharpening work.
The double tapered tang is designed to be mounted in the style of nihonto, with a single removable bamboo peg, but has not been drilled yet to allow freedom in the handle design. The blade is just under 4″ long and the overall length to the tip of the tang is just under 7.5″. The haba (depth) is just over 1″, and the kasane (spine thickness) at the munemachi is 1/4″ thick with an iori mune shape. A custom forged copper habaki has been prepared for this blade and can be used in its current hammer-textured state but has plenty of material left for a filed or polished finish.
Material: Reclaimed Caterpillar tractor pushrod, copper bus bar
This blade is in a private collection in California.