Process – Forging a Sunnobi Forest Tanto

This blade was forged and underwent yaki-ire at the museum forge. It began as a pre-1960s (integral) cultivator tine used by a farmer a generation or more ago. It is a sunnobi (overlength) tanto in the forest pattern, charcoal-forged and water quenched… Continue reading

Photo Essay: Yakisugi Using Reclaimed Wood

Finishing views of a 4×16′ timberframe shed constructed as an opportunity to further develop and practice basic techniques of Japanese structural joinery. As with the kajiba project, the main inspiration for aesthetic and design is the humble Japanese inaka naya (納屋) style… Continue reading

Photo Essay: Views of a Timber Frame Shed

During the summer months this year the museum forge was closed due to dry conditions, affording the time to work on other projects. This 4×16′ timberframe shed provided an opportunity to further develop and practice basic techniques of Japanese structural joinery. As… Continue reading

Making a Kanna from a Paper Cutter Blade

Craftsmen often create custom mameganna (small “bean” plane) for small wood projects requiring a custom radius or access to tight spaces. In this case a large post kanna was made from a section of industrial paper cutting blade as part of a… Continue reading

Kominka Field Kotanto

This project was a unique opportunity to work with legacy materials to craft a useful tool that is already an heirloom. A charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese… Continue reading

Yoroidoshi Forest Kotanto

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor style knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The hamidashi mounting is in the rustic kura style and includes antique fittings… Continue reading

Mountain Kotanto with Antique Fittings

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The hamidashi mounting is in the rustic kura (蔵, storehouse) style and includes antique… Continue reading

Itten Forest Tanto

Itten (一転, “eat..ten”) means a turning point or turn of events, as in a story or set of circumstances. It carries the idea of a sudden or unexpected shift, return, or change, and often means a complete turn around, in skateboard terminology… Continue reading

Koi-oshidori Field Kotanto

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The aikuchi mounting is in the rustic kura (蔵, storehouse) style and includes antique… Continue reading

Sunnobi Mountain Tanto

Sunnobi tanto (寸延び短刀) are larger than ordinary tanto, with nagasa a sun or two above 1 shaku (sun nobi, “a sun longer”, from nobiru, to stretch or lengthen). Though there is some area of crossover with hira-zukuri ko-wakizashi and they may have… Continue reading

Field Kotanto with Antique Fittings

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The aikuchi mounting is in eclectic kura style and includes antique fittings made for… Continue reading

Stream Kotanto in Shirasaya

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword but is finished in the simple and humble style of farming and foresting tools… Continue reading