A quick clip of the final assembly of the Tsukimi Tanto. All parts of traditionally constructed tanto and koshirae fit together tightly and the assembly is locked together with a single bamboo peg. Each part fits only one way, even the bamboo peg has a specific alignment for maximum strength. Tsukimi means “moon watching” (in the autumn).
View the finished work: islandblacksmith.ca/2014/09/tsukimi-tanto/
See the process of making this piece: islandblacksmith.ca/process/making-the-tsukimi-tanto/
The bright orange moon of late Summer and early Autumn is the inspiration for this work. Tsukimi means moon watching, and brings to mind a lovely harvest moon and the rustling sounds of the dry, frost coloured susuki grass as the evening… Continue reading
Just for fun! This is a collection of clips documenting the sounds involved at each stage of the process of making a traditional tanto blade from reclaimed steel. A little slower the second time in case you missed anything in the intro!
The blade is based on design elements of the 13th century Aizu Shintogo tanto.
Uzumaki means a spiral or whirlpool shape and refers to both the triple wave whirlpool shape of the bronze accent around the mekugi and the spiraling wrap of the gangi-maki handle. It also alludes to the cyclical nature of the history and… Continue reading
Until it survives the hardening process, a tanto is only a piece of steel, not yet a blade…read more about this transformational stage: Yaki-Ire (Clay Tempering)
Full Length Version
**The heating time has been edited out and some of the tang work is missing due to battery issues.
The blade shape is based on the Aizu Shintogo kata: islandblacksmith.ca/2014/04/aizu-shintogo-kunimitsu-tanto-kata/
Making the most of the fire, hammer, and anvil to prepare the steel to be refined and smoothed…read more about this foundational stage: Tanto Blade (Forging)
This piece was named for the way the natural spalting design of the saya is reminiscent of an ink painting of waves washing on a sand covered shoreline. It also commemorates the fact that the woods used for the handle and saya… Continue reading
scroll down or jump to the sections below: Blade Sunobe Hizukuri Ara-shiage Hardening Clay Mixture Tsuchioki Yaki-ire Polishing Kaji Togi Shitaji Togi Habaki Forging Filing Bending Soldering Handle Seppa Nakago-ana Sokui Core Tsuka Tsukamaki Mekugi Scabbard Inside Outside Assembly Forging a Kotanto… Continue reading
A piece that was in process for almost a year and a half from the time the blade was forged until the final mounting, this has become an interesting fusion piece and much more technical than originally envisioned as the project developed.… Continue reading
See the finished Mikazuki Kotanto project: Mikazuki Kotanto
Three reasons why *you* need a Japanese swordsmith’s hammer for forging knives. Size – the small face is better suited for working on a narrow target, keeping the hammer from hitting the anvil as the bevel gets thinner Weight – though the… Continue reading
Scrap steel barstock shaped into a unique blade and accented with an embossed copper handle.