Making Fire with Bamboo – museum forge first lighting

The first night turned out to be quite an event as there were three forges and six blacksmiths/strikers operating in the museum workshop. Thanks to Tim of Reforged Ironworks, and Josh for their energy and charcoal chopping to get the forge up and running, and their assistance swinging the big sledges to finish drifting and shaping the smaller hand hammers as the first preparatory projects in the charcoal forge. Read more about the museum forge project or watch a more detailed demonstration of lighting fire with bamboo.

Sumi-kiri – chopping charcoal for bladesmithing

Charcoal is chopped and then processed through four sizes of screen, the largest is for tanren, the second for hizukuri (I tend to use the largest for hizukuri as well and keep the second size mainly for yaki-ire), the third size isn’t useful in daily forging activity but… Continue reading

Making 篩 for charcoal screening

Traditional Japanese swordsmithing forges are fueled by softwood charcoal which is first chopped, screened, and sorted into several sizes for different stages of the forging process. The “furui” (篩) or sieve is used to separate different sizes of charcoal during the sumi-kiri process. This one is the smallest mesh of the four, made from window screen, and saves the fines for the charcoal bed and allows the powder to fall through. See the whole museum forge project here.

Making 箕 for charcoal sorting

Traditional Japanese swordsmithing forges are fueled by softwood charcoal which is first chopped, screened, and sorted into several sizes for different stages of the forging process. The winnowing basket shaped “mi” (箕) is used to store and move charcoal between screens during the sumi-kiri process. See the whole museum forge project here.

Soulsmithing part 6

Pierre Nadeau of soulsmithing.com lights his new forge in Canada for the first time. I was honoured to be there for the inaugural firing, it felt like a graduation, a major milestone. Pierre will now resume his work and research in the area of traditional Japanese sword craft.… Continue reading

Soulsmithing part 5

Pierre Nadeau of soulsmithing.com prepares to light his new forge in Canada. The focus of this video is sumi-kiri, charcoal chopping, screening, and sorting techniques, and will offer some valuable details for astute observers. Read more about the project, or watch the whole soulsmithing series. The charcoal is… Continue reading

A Tour of Mr. Schrock’s Workshop, c. 1992

Twenty-five years ago today marks my first day working under Mr. Emmanuel A. Schrock in a former livery stable in Ohio’s Amish country and embarking into the world of traditional blacksmithing. The front entrance to the Village Blacksmith Shop. Emmanuel A. Schrock, Blacksmith. The forge and anvil on… Continue reading

Building a Charcoal Tanto Forge

This forge is a scaled down version specifically geared for tanto and smaller knives but has a removable spacer to allow for a larger fire when needed. Details about traditional measurements and clay mixtures here.