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I Forge Iron

Future purchase


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I am looking in the next two to five years to purchase a katana. I was hoping that you fellow members can help point me in the right direction in getting a real blade and not a 'wall hanger' as it were.


For those who are thinking to themselves "Here is another annoying kid who wants a magical sword for cheap," I do have $3000 stashed away for the purchase. I am reluctant to commit to anything for at least the next year as I am waiting to see if a job I am applying for will pan out.



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As for US makers:



Louis Mills of Michigan



Howard Clark of Iowa



The two above are top of the trade with more time making them than most have in the craft.

....then everybody else you see online.




Thanks for the info I will look into them.


Rick Barrett, a most excellent smith.


Rick has informed me, that due to medical issues he is no longer taking blade orders, but will sell things he has made as they become available


Give Rick my best wishes, I hope he does better.


For 3K you could take several classes and make your own blade.


Someone needs to put JPH's name in the mix. See atar.com

Well I would if I didn't need the sword a bit sooner than 20 years from now and if I wanted to become a professional blade smith. I need it for a Japanese martial art and it needs to be of a better quality than I can hope to make before I am forty.


I will look at the website that you posted.


glenn's idea abou takin classes gets a +1 from me


Look at my response to Glenn.


I would add a vote for Howard clark  a wonderful craftsman.


2nd vote for Howard


Howard is the best in North America for japanese blades.


3rd vote for Howard


swordforum.com  has a ton of sharp pointy info


Will take a look at this website.





So so far the two main options that have received the most responses are 1) to purchase one from Howard Clark and 2) Learn to make one myself. I will look into Howard Clark and I have already listed why learning to make my own is not really on the table at this time.


Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Does anyone else have anything else to say about Louis Mills of Michigan or JPH of atar.com?

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Ive been taught the basics by Howard on a week long course a couple of years ago. Hes forgotten more about it than many will know !


Sunk a couple of ales with him and hes a lovely guy, if a bit of soul goes into each blade, as I suspect it might, I would be proud to own a blade by him.


Dr Jim has literally written the books on bladesmithing, we have never met but he has taught me a lot. Again, a blade from this maker would be an honour.

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