Tag: tanto geometry

  • Process: Forging a Field Kotanto

    Process: Forging a Field Kotanto

    This blade was named Sunagawa (砂川, sand river) because the texture of the blade and the flowing edge of the hamon are reminiscent of the bank of a calm river. It was hand forged in a charcoal swordsmith style forge powered by fuigo box bellows and water quenched with clay, an outdoor knife that has […]

  • Wrought Iron Yoroidoshi Sculpture

    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 large for opening letters, this piece would function as a collectible, art object, […]

  • Itten Forest Tanto

    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 this is known as a one-eighty (180°). This is the first hammer-finished full […]

  • An Inside Look at Handle Geometry

    An Inside Look at Handle Geometry

    A rare opportunity to compare the inside and outside geometry of a finished handle core. Historically an old tsuka would be split open for repair or adjustment or even re-purposing for a new blade, however a newly crafted tsuka is always glued together before the outside is shaped. In this unusual case the core was […]

  • Forest Kotanto with Antique Fittings

    Forest 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 the rustic kura style and includes antique fittings from swords carried centuries ago. Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the […]

  • Making Tanto Kata

    Making Tanto Kata

    A kata is a pattern or form used for study or for reference when creating an utsushi blade. The exercise of accurately making kata based on the work of historical smiths is an excellent way to train the eyes, mind, and body to create proper tanto forms. The most important aspect of making kata is […]

  • Precision cut tanto kata

    Precision cut tanto kata

    A look at some precision cut steel tanto kata based on historical japanese swords from 1200s-1500s…order a set of kata here: soulsmithing.com/product-category/kata/ A kata is a pattern or form used for appreciation, study, or for reference. The exercise of accurately making kata based on the work of historical smiths is an excellent way to train […]

  • Eyes on the Spine: say No to the kink, and Yes to the flow

    Eyes on the Spine: say No to the kink, and Yes to the flow

    One of the most common mistakes when attempting to recreate a Japanese classical style tanto is to caricature or over exaggerate certain design elements while entirely missing others. The Japanese aesthetic is subtle and nuanced, millimeter differences can make or break the lines of a blade or koshirae. A subtle curve is almost always more […]

  • Arashiage: Filing Order of Operations

    Arashiage: Filing Order of Operations

    Arashiage is the stage of rough shaping following hizukuri (forging) and in preparation for yaki-ire (hardening). Earlier posts have described tanto kata and the geometry of the tang, machi, blade, and kissaki. Familiarity with these geometry points is a prerequisite to success in this stage. This post will illustrate the proper order of operations for […]

  • Utsushi Study of a Sunnobi Tanto

    Utsushi Study of a Sunnobi 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 sori similar to ko-wakizashi, the simplified difference would be that they are still […]

  • Process – Making habaki with simple tools

    Process – Making habaki with simple tools

    Making a habaki from reclaimed copper. Material is scrap copper from an electrical bus bar, forged and bent to shape, silver brazed with hard silver solder in the charcoal forge with fuigo, finish work done with files and rasps. Watch the shorter overview edit here.

  • Process: Making a Futokorogatana

    Process: Making a Futokorogatana

    Futokorogatana (懐刀) is translated as “clothing fold sword” and describes a type of tanto mounting meant to be carried in the kimono sleeve or fold. Also known as kaiken, this humble style of hidden mounting is usually unadorned with a smooth profile and lacquer finish. This knife would historically be carried for last chance survival […]

  • Process: Carving the Inside – Aikuchi Tanto Koshirae

    Process: Carving the Inside – Aikuchi Tanto Koshirae

    In this video the tsuka is carved first, starting with the omote side and then the ura, carving each half from the mune to the ha. The saya is next, starting with the omote and then the ura, each half beginning with the fitting of the blade (from the mune towards the ha) and then […]

  • Inside look at a traditional kaiken mounting

    Inside look at a traditional kaiken mounting

    A look inside the carving of a small kaiken tanto mounting (futokoro-gatana) with additional examples from an Edo period tsuka and an even older shirasaya. The omote is the “public side” of a tanto or sword, the side that faces outwards both when being worn and when on display. The edge faces upwards and the […]

  • Takedown and Reassembly of Classical Tanto Style Mountings

    Takedown and Reassembly of Classical Tanto Style Mountings

    A demonstration on the takedown and assembly of classical tanto style knives. Also some views of the finished work and a second/third time around with some additional information for clients. Properly cared for and maintained, a classical tanto will last for a lifetime and longer. Never pull or jerk the blade out with the power […]