Louie Mills – Full Process: Forging a Tanto

Louie Mills began creating traditional Japanese swords in the early 1980’s. Working with top Japanese swordsmiths to refine his techniques, he became known for the finest traditionally crafted Japanese swords made in North America. This project is the first after his recovery from a heart attack three years earlier.

oroshigane – 0:33 (making steel from pure iron and charcoal)
tanren – 1:35 (folding and welding the steel)
sunobe – 16:37 (blade pre-form)
hizukuri – 23:35 (hammer shaping)
ara-shiage – 42:07 (rough shaping with files)
tsuchioki – 45:07 (applying the clay)
yaki-ire – 46:30 (hardening)
finished blade – 50:37 (after inspection polish)

Filmed by Tony Mann, edited by davej. Watch the shorter overview and read more about the project here.