Jump to content

Tamahagane Dai-sho (matched pair of swords)


Walter Sorrells

Recommended Posts

This is a daisho -- a matched pair -- of blades that I recently completed, which are constructed from self-smelted steel (tamahagane). The daito, or larger blade, has a blade length of about 30" while the shoto or shorter blade is about 24". Theoretically this means they're both katanas. Traditionally the smaller blade in a daito wouldn't be quite so big, but this was the way the customer wanted it...and by golly what the customer wants, the customer gets.

 

You'll notice the shorter blade has a hair less taper than the larger one. The reason for this is that a thirty inch blade with very little taper would be extremely hard to manage. So I was aiming for blades that generally didn't taper very much (a style that was popular during the Nambokucho era in Japan c. 1300), but that was also reasonably easy to manage.

 

I drew steel for these two blades from at least four smelts, so there's a bit of difference in the hada or "grain" of the steel from one to the other. You can see in the close-ups that the longer blade is a little more contrasty than the short one. Basically the way these blades are forged, you weld up a bunch of steel from each smelt, folding it about eight times. Once you've done this twice, you cut up the two illets, restack and reweld, folding the resulting billet another seven times. So the final pattern of the steel is basically a result of those final seven folds. Total layer count is about a million, but the visible folds amount to around a thousand layers composed of interleaved layers of the two intermediate billets. So...the contrastiness of the longer blade is accounted for by the fact that there was a slightly greater gap in carbon content between the two billets in the longer blade than in the shorter one.

 

Incidentally, I took a couple of pictures in differnt lighting circumstances just to show how different Japanese style blades can look depending on how you light them.

 

mm dai-sho 1.jpg

mm daisho 2.jpg

mm dai-to hamon 1.jpg

mm sho-to hamon 1.jpg

mm dai-sho display.jpg

Check out Walter's instructional videos:

Forging Japanese Style Blades

Making Hamons

Japanese Sword Mounting

Polishing

Making Japanese Sword Fittings

www.waltersorrellsblades.com
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hamons have a very elegant, ethereal quality. Beautiful.

"He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest." Dylan Thomas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sir,once again proof that you are a true Master at your craft! Well done, BRAVO !

A bad day forging... is still better than pretty much anything else

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having just spent the day consolidating a single Aristotle puck in charcoal, I begin to understand the immensity of this project... :ph34r::wacko::blink::huh:

 

Beautiful work, and I sure hope you're charging what they're worth! B) Those O-kissaki are a bit sexy...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yowza! What a treat! Thanks for sharing Walter, they are beautiful. One could spend a long time staring at these blades. Are you going to mount them?

 

 

No, I'm just shipping them off to the customer and he'll take it from there. Not sure what he's got in mind for them.

Check out Walter's instructional videos:

Forging Japanese Style Blades

Making Hamons

Japanese Sword Mounting

Polishing

Making Japanese Sword Fittings

www.waltersorrellsblades.com
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lovely pair, even without mounts they look fantastic. Wicked hamon....

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

RelicForge on facebook
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Walter,

nice pair... of blades. lot of work, for sure. I am more daunted by consolidating the blooms to get workable steel than the rest of the project. That is some serious effort.

 

thanks for sharing. The steel has a lot of character.

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...