Sapele Satoyama Survival

An interesting challenge to forge a knife to fit an existing sheath. The leather sheath was part of an estate sale and was hand crafted by a custom knifemaker. With some careful planning and accurate forging it can once again serve a… Continue reading

Brass Forest Kotanto

The core of this project is a high carbon blade, charcoal-forged from reclaimed steel, 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… Continue reading

Thirty Years After The Village Blacksmith

Thirty 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 techniques. In the spring of 1992, I traveled to Amish country… Continue reading

Neighbours of Qualicum Beach Article

Dave J Makes Knives for People Who Wish They Could Take Things Home From Museums Dave and his wife moved here from central Japan in 2011, wanting to live in a clean and natural small town setting with the mountains and the… Continue reading

Museum Forge Interpretive Sign

In support of the Artist in Residence project: freshly installed results of photos, text, and layout assistance for the new Parksville Museum forge signage. See more photos of the Inome tanto, how the fuigo works, and tour the museum forge.

Wrought Iron Yoroidoshi Sculpture

A forging exercise leading to a sculptural tanto form for study and enjoyment, part of the Artist in Residence project at the museum. Forged from a piece of lovely fine-grained salvaged wrought iron railroad plate more than a century old. A little… Continue reading

Break Test for Wrought Iron

A simple test for wrought iron is to cut partway through a bar and then break off the rest. It will bend and then finally break, revealing stringy iron fibers rather than the homogeneous matte-gray internal structure of modern steel. The linear… Continue reading

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