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I Forge Iron

Camp knife with Japanese style furniture


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Recently finished my latest project, 3 years in the making, mostly rusting in a box, but this blade is finally done! Forged the blade in late 2014 (October sounds right, predates this phone though!) at the last ABS hammer-in in Tulare under the tutelage of Jason Knight, David Mirabile, Bill Stuart, Ray Laconico, and Michael Vagnino at various times throughout the conference. Special thanks to David for recommending "The Art of Tsukamaki" by Thomas Buck, such an incredible resource for Japanese style handle wrapping techniques, and to Ray and Mike for some blade grinding pointers (sorry guys, quality is still not there, but is improving!).

Enough flapping, specs!
10" OAL, 5.25" blade
Started out as 3/16 by 1-1/4 1080 carbon steel, forged to shape.
Fuchi (collar at the top, where a guard would be) and Kashira (pommel/end cap) are brass sheet that were raised/shrunk/hammered to shape and soldered together. The Kashira had a flattened copper wire inserted into the seam to fill the gap that I filed in to allow me to clean up the joint without needlessly flexing and bending the part to get files and paper in the slot.
The Omote (outside, as worn) side Menuki (ornament beneath wrapping) are the cartridge ends of a .50 caliber S&W 500 handgun I fired at my bachelors party, and two .308 Winchester rounds from my rifle. These were cut off their respective casings and soldered together.
The Ura (inside, as worn) side Menuki is a cut off from a copper and brass Mokume Gane billet forged in a class taught by Jay Burnham-Kidwell at Adam's Forge LA (no relation), lightly forged to a sorta teardrop shape and rounded on the grinder.
Wrapping material is gutted red paracord over black leather, nothing fancy there.












Finally got an edge on it just now, took it up to 600 grit on the wicked edge and then stropped on my green paddle, the edge looks terrible but it will draw blood as well as anything else. It shaves hair with minimal back and forth, makes spaghetti out of my grizzly catalog test paper, and pulls nice (my carving skills are the limiting factor) feathers out of mystery wood. It doesn't bite really deep in chopping because it's relatively light, but it's quite comfortable in hand and you can really flick it through the swing and get the work done without needing to swing super hard.

Definitely need to make a sheath for this so I can take it out for some field trials in something safer than a cardboard and duct tape taco!

any thoughts, comments, suggestions and advice on things to improve or keep doing would be greatly appreciated, don't worry about delicate feelings either, I can't improve what I don't realize is bad.

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Thank you!

lamentably my phone was out of memory during most of the recent work so I couldn't get any WIP photos ;_; but for the fuchi/guard I just used a piece of flat bar with a rounded edge to mimic the curve of the leather just beneath the choil and hammered over that to shape the sheet brass, lot of hammer-fit-file-bend-repeat to get it to fit correctly! For the kashira/pommel I built a stake(riveted together two pieces of flat bar I had on hand to build up the width then chopped off the corner and radiused everything on the 1x42) that roughly approximates the dimension of the tang plus the leather and used that to form the brass.  I knew trying to make a proper tight fitting joint between the two sides of the brass was going to be way too much work so I left the gap wide, which also allowed me to get some files and discs into it to clean it up, and then used a piece of flattened copper wire as a filler piece to close the gap.  Kind of a tip o the hat to Kintsugi by making the 'repair' a focal element, adds a little more interest to the piece than just a silver solder line that will eventually turn black.


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