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Mike Blue

Japanese workhops

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Hi guys, I've got some money to spend and I have been thinking of building a traditional japanese bladesmithing workshop... (the building,not the equipment.) and i was wondering if someone out there have any pictures , drawings,sketches or anything that would help.. until now i have been working in a western type shop with my japanese bellow and forge.. but it just aint feelin right... if ya know what i mean.  

 

// Philip      [notworthy]

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I've been to several tosho smithys.  Unfortunately, these shops are not tea houses.  There was no fancy woodwork, just a dirt floor.  All of them had tall smokestacks to keep the coal ash from soiling the neighbors clothes line.  There was the obligatory rope with paper lightning bolts (dusty).  Not much in the way of ritual convention otherwise.  

 

As to layout.  At least one corner should be occupied by a great pile of charcoal.  The bigger, newer lump coal to the back wall, the older cut stuff to the front.  One corner is occupied by the hammer.  Yes, they all had power hammers of varying size requiring a half hour of maintenance for every fifteen minutes of work.  The other corner was filled with the forge (each with electric blower) anvil and quench tank.  The last was filled with storage for tools, tamahagane, parts, dare I say the usual accoutrements of the smith and a small but serviceable electric belt grinder and a large assortment of files.  The layout was centered around the way the smith worked.  The floor plans were all different.  

 

There is little I more can offer as to things.  Use the best tools you can afford and practice.  The work will speak louder than the shop.

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