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Steve R

How'd they do that?

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Hi folks,

 

I came across some interesting pictures of the yakiire (differential hardening) of a Japanese blade. What's interesting is that the hamon doesn't follow the clay line at all (which is straight), but instead produces a wonderful juka choji pattern. I remember reading (I think it was Yoshihara Yoshindo in Craft of the Japanese Sword) where the kitae has as much to do with the hamon as the clay layout, I guess this is an example of what he's talking about? The layering of the steel and the thickness of the blade both coming together to produce the pattern, and the clay just there to ensure the back stays soft? I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts on this, especially around things like whether or not something like this is possible with mono steel, or if folding of the steel and possible certain constructions of the billet would be required to produce such a result.

 

cheers,

/steve

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Edited by Steve R

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When I was at Bowie's hammer-in last fall, Burt Foster gave a small lecture on clay hardening and had a neat handout. I've got mine around here somewhere.

 

Anyway in a few of his test samples, they'd even had no clay on them at all, and still produced a nice hamon, this was in 1095. REason was the temp and the soak length. The ones that produced real nice hamon, were just where the edge was getting up to temp and the back was still under the hardening point when he'd quenched.

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There literally is no end to the variations on the theme. Small differences in temperature, clay, water temperature, steel composition. All can and will influence the shape of the hamon and habuchi.

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Thanks for your input, gentlemen. Well, since it doesn't look like I'll be going to Japan for an apprenticeship any time soon, I guess I have a long road of experimentation ahead of me - should be fun!

 

cheers,

/steve

Edited by Steve R

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