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Hamon questions


Stephen Stumbo
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Okay, I'm making another girly edc for another sister for her B-day (tomorrow, it'll have to be late). I decided to surprise her with a hamon, but before I do I need some questions answered. I'll list them orderly because I have a habit of rambling and hiding my questions.

 

 

Can I normalize the blade with the clay on it? I applied clay tonight forgetting that I had yet to normalize. Can I go ahead and normalize without removing the clay or will that mess things up?

 

How do you pronounce hamon? I've seen the word alot, but never heard it. is it hay-mon, hay-man, hah-mon, or hah-man?

 

How do you spell it? I've seen it hammon and hamon, which one is correct?

 

How far from the edge should I put the clay? From things I've seen, 1/2" from the edge is about right?

 

 

I'm sure I'll ask more later, but this is all I can think of for now.

 

Thanks ya'll, Stephen.

 

 

Eagleeyeforge.com

 

 

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1. it depends - some clay won't stand up to the expansion and contraction induced by normalising, some will - the only way is to try it. if it falls off, just clay it up again - there's no need to let it dry over night, i generally stick it in the oven for about 20 mins while im pre heating the oven for tempering, but it'll work from wet - just pass it through the fire a few times to drive off the moisture.

 

2. it's pronounced haa (long A) mone (like bone) as far as i'm aware, but i generally just say it like it's spelled. ha means edge and i think that the mon part is the same as a mon as in a japanese family crest, so it kinda means edge badge i guess...

 

3. single 'M'

 

4. it depends where you want it. generally 1/3 to 1/2 the blade will be exposed (or not quite exposed - a thin wash of clay on the edge will both speed up a water quench and make it a bit safer, though the only benefit in oil is that it may prevent a bit of decarb, and i find that that is offset by a less precise habuchi (the white transition line))

 

the critical things in getting a hamon are steel choice (shallow hardening), normalisation (fine grain and reduced hardenability) and quenchant fast enough to get your now very shallow hardening steel to transform. everything else is just fiddling around, really. good luck.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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I'm using Imperial grey furnace cement. I wanted to get Rutlands black furnace cement as that's what I heard reccomended, but this was what I could get. I'll propably heat it up tomorrow and at least try annealing it. We'll see, wish me luck on the hamon.

Edited by Stephen Stumbo

 

 

Eagleeyeforge.com

 

 

EagleEye_transparent_SM.png

 

 

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1. it depends - some clay won't stand up to the expansion and contraction induced by normalising, some will - the only way is to try it. if it falls off, just clay it up again - there's no need to let it dry over night, i generally stick it in the oven for about 20 mins while im pre heating the oven for tempering, but it'll work from wet - just pass it through the fire a few times to drive off the moisture.

 

2. it's pronounced haa (long A) mone (like bone) as far as i'm aware, but i generally just say it like it's spelled. ha means edge and i think that the mon part is the same as a mon as in a japanese family crest, so it kinda means edge badge i guess...

 

3. single 'M'

 

4. it depends where you want it. generally 1/3 to 1/2 the blade will be exposed (or not quite exposed - a thin wash of clay on the edge will both speed up a water quench and make it a bit safer, though the only benefit in oil is that it may prevent a bit of decarb, and i find that that is offset by a less precise habuchi (the white transition line))

 

the critical things in getting a hamon are steel choice (shallow hardening), normalisation (fine grain and reduced hardenability) and quenchant fast enough to get your now very shallow hardening steel to transform. everything else is just fiddling around, really. good luck.

 

I agree with pretty much everything Jake is saying. The clay is just fine tuning. Time is better spent on the steel-type and treatment cycles.

 

I will disagree only in the pronunciation: the "mon" is said with a short 'o', more like the "mon" in "montage", just said quicker and with a slightly more abbreviated 'o'. I had to hear it a few times to understand the nuance, and how the words change when they are suffixed to other words. By itself, "mon" has a much more pronounced 'o', than in "hamon". In Japanse, the suffixes are generally spoken with the last bit of breath, so they almost don't completely form. If that makes any sense....

So, like Jake said, long 'aa' ha, short 'o' mon.

 

I also think that, once you are capable of forming a hamon, then you won't care at all for the Rutlands. There is no nuance.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Having been fooling around with hamon for the last year or so, I agree with everything these guys say...steel selection, heat control, and quenchant are the biggies. At this point, I feel like I can make nicer hamon without clay...it helps to be able to see the heat gradient in the blade, and for me the clay coat throws me off. In any case, the clay only modifies, not creates, the hamon. The finishing process is where the real work comes in, I find making the hamon show is as tricky as making it form. Have fun experimenting...:)

My hand-forged knives and tools at Etsy.com: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oldschooltools

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I've always said it as hah like you're just exlaiming Hah! at someone followed by mon similar to Jamaican would say it.

I'm sitting here trying to think of an instance where A has a long A sound in Japanese, everything I can think of has a short A sound.

Seems like it's usually an E that gets the long A sound. i could ask my sister how she'd say it, she's taken a fair bit of Japanese.

It's also how Boromir said it in one of the videos I watched where he was narrating =P

 

I tend to normalize without clay so less chance of it popping off.

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

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The dreaded "tink!"?

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

yeah, massive grain, and the surface of the steel looks to have been over heated as well - you just can't skimp on normalisation if you want a blade to survive a water quench, but you really don't want grain that size even if you're oil quenching. and annealing is not a substitute for normalising.

 

edited to say that the pearlite section looks fine - when you break a clay hardened blade, the spine should have massive, smooth grain from the spherodised pearlite, but the edge should be like silk.

Edited by jake cleland

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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yeah, massive grain, and the surface of the steel looks to have been over heated as well - you just can't skimp on normalisation if you want a blade to survive a water quench, but you really don't want grain that size even if you're oil quenching. and annealing is not a substitute for normalising.

 

edited to say that the pearlite section looks fine - when you break a clay hardened blade, the spine should have massive, smooth grain from the spherodised pearlite, but the edge should be like silk.

 

 

Hi All (long time, no post),

 

First, let me ask, when you guys say "long 'A'", do you mean "A" as in "rake," or "A" as in "father" (I've assumed the latter for "correct" Japanese pronunciation)?

 

Second, I do not wish to take issue with you Jake, but entertain discussion: It is my own understanding that a spheroidized structure is undesirable in a clay-hardened spine region. The problem, as I understand it, is that spheroidized steel which does not harden, retains most of its "spheroidal characteristics." Meaning, it stays very soft, pliable, and putty-like. From what I have ascertained, such an overly-pliable spine is not acceptable in a modern produced blade (perhaps it is in period-consistent blades?). The spine structure I have held as a goal is a fine-grained, normalized structure which has a higher tensile strength and less pliability. Perchance, would you be willing to comment and enlighten me?

Brian K.

Rogue Amateur and Weekend Hobbyist

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1. it depends - some clay won't stand up to the expansion and contraction induced by normalising, some will - the only way is to try it. if it falls off, just clay it up again - there's no need to let it dry over night, i generally stick it in the oven for about 20 mins while im pre heating the oven for tempering, but it'll work from wet - just pass it through the fire a few times to drive off the moisture.

 

2. it's pronounced haa (long A) mone (like bone) as far as i'm aware, but i generally just say it like it's spelled. ha means edge and i think that the mon part is the same as a mon as in a japanese family crest, so it kinda means edge badge i guess...

 

3. single 'M'

 

4. it depends where you want it. generally 1/3 to 1/2 the blade will be exposed (or not quite exposed - a thin wash of clay on the edge will both speed up a water quench and make it a bit safer, though the only benefit in oil is that it may prevent a bit of decarb, and i find that that is offset by a less precise habuchi (the white transition line))

 

the critical things in getting a hamon are steel choice (shallow hardening), normalisation (fine grain and reduced hardenability) and quenchant fast enough to get your now very shallow hardening steel to transform. everything else is just fiddling around, really. good luck.

 

 

Ok,where do you get the clay at and what typs of clay do you use? need help...

Cook Danner

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