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.

Charcoal Kiln V.3.0

We always seem to return to the roots eventually, don’t we? After a year of forging with charcoal made in Charcoal Retort V.2, it was time to address the issues with the system. The main one was that, though much improved from Charcoal Retort V.1, the high operating… Continue reading

Charcoal Retort B15-18

The recent rash of outdoor blacksmithing demonstrations has taken a toll on our handmade softwood charcoal supply so it was time to get serious. The lower heat shield was burnt right through last batch, so a new one was cut out of slightly higher gauge steel for this… Continue reading

Charcoal Retort B12-14

The wood for these two batches was completely dry and the process was correspondingly successful and efficient. The first batch was mixed split cedar and spruce from shop projects, and the second was mainly split spruce construction scraps. The burns were so efficient that there was time to… Continue reading