An interesting project to craft a knife for an existing sheath. The like-new sheath was part of an estate sale and was custom crafted by former military Rock Leatherworks in Quebec, Canada. With some careful planning and accurate forging it can once again serve a useful purpose.
The tang is constructed in a similar manner to a Japanese sword 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, detailed cutting tasks, or major resharpening work.
The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, a western style knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The steel for the blade came from the steel pile of another knifemaker decades ago, the Teak wood for the handle came from a boat restoration, and the fittings are forged from a large electrical washer and reclaimed copper pipe. The removable peg is carved from susudake, a piece of bamboo that served for a century or more as part of the ceiling or roof in a kominka, darkened and hardened by decades of smoke wafting up from the irori hearth.
The blade is about 8″ long with a generous 5.25″ handle, an overall length of just under 14″, and around 15″ when sheathed. The spine at the munemachi is 6mm thick.
長さ/刃長 Nagasa (blade length): 205mm
重ね/元重 Motokasane (spine thickness): 6mm
元幅 Motohaba (blade width): 40mm
反り Sori (spine curve): bowie
中心/茎 Nakago (tang length): 95mm
柄長 Tsuka (handle length): 135mm
拵全長 Koshirae (overall): 385mm
形 Katachi (geometry): hira-zukuri, kaku-mune, with slight ubuha
中心/茎 Nakago (tang): kakugata, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana
銘 Mei (signature): mumei (unsigned)
拵 Koshirae (mounting): satoyama style rustic, issaku (sole authorship) except leather sheath
Materials: scrap steel, reclaimed Teak, copper electrical bus, copper water pipe, susudake Bamboo, vegetable tanned leather sheath
This piece is available online.
This blade was forged and yaki-ire performed at the museum forge. It began as an unknown piece of steel from another knifemaker almost two decades ago.