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Tanto forged from Gun Barrel


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Haven't posted on here in several years, but I thought this might be a fun blade to jump back on here with.  This tanto was made from an Enfield Mark III barrel with a mild steel core forge welded into it.  The idea was to mimic the kobuse forge welding scheme used in many Japanese swords.  It was kind of an interesting process getting the hot core down the barrel during welding.   If I did it over again, I might have done a few things differently in the forge welding process, but it seemed to work out okay.  I did a video on my Youtube channel.  I can add the link if anybody's interested in seeing it.

gun barrel tanto weld final small (1 of 2).jpggun barrel tanto weld final small (2 of 2).jpggun barrel tanto weld final small (2 of 4).jpggun barrel tanto weld final small (3 of 4).jpggun barrel tanto weld final small (4 of 4).jpg

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I love stuff like this! Like Wes I'm very interested in the gun barrel steel, did you spark test it?

Also since I got you pinned down here on the forum I like to thank you so much for all your Youtube content. I basically learned bladesmithing from watching your stuff.

 

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Welcome back Walter. That blade turned out really well.  I am curious: in the last two photos there appears to be a line between the spine and the Hamon. Is this evidence of the core or simply light reflection? I’ve also enjoyed the vids and want to thank you for them. The grinder videos have been of particular help as I recently got a grinder. Thanks.

CdP

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If I recall, the "Mantetsu" swords were produced with a very similar method. I would think gun barrel steel would be on the low side for carbon, maybe about 40 points?

 

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Hey guys, thanks for the nice comments.  To answer some of the questions above:

1.  Not sure exactly what the carbon content is.  My guess would be .5-ish, something similar to 1050.  I didn't spark test it, per se, but as I was grinding, the sparks looked pretty much like any generic medium carbon steel.  I did test a coupon before making the blade to make sure it was hardenable.  That's shown in the video.  It hardened pretty easily in Parks #50, but produced a good hamon...leading me to believe that it's wasn't much below .5 and didn't have a ton of manganese in it.  But that's total guesswork on my part.

2.  The mild steel rod was inserted in the barrel (with a very tight fit) and then the whole thing was squashed together at welding heat, so the mild steel is completely encased inside the harder steel.  As I understand it, that was indeed the way that Mantetsu blades were formed.  For those who aren't into Japanese swords, Mantetsu swords were made from a steel developed during WWII in Japanese-held Manchuria specifically for use as a sword steel.  It's one of the those things that you hear a lot of BS about, so sometimes it's a little hard to separate fact from fiction on the subject, though!

3.  The little shadow or shift in color that Charles spotted is just streaking caused by the refraction of light through the oil on the blade.

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Oh, forgot to add the link to the video.  As an amusing (and infuriating) side note, you might notice that I go to great pains to avoid using any words like "gun," "rifle," "caliber," etc. during the video.  This is because Youtube will dump your video in the same no-advertising pot as videos promoting genocide, racism, Illinois Nazi-ism, etc. if you make the mistake of edging anywhere close to the subject of guns.

 

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That is an awesome idea, and I love how that turned out, thank you for sharing it and once I am off work I will for sure watch the video. 

And also thank you for all of your other videos on YouTube, They have been a great resource and were some of the first videos I ever watched when I decided to get into this addiction known as blade making. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice indeed. Did you use a convex grind on the blade? Any plans to make a video of finishing the handle?

Edited by Doug Crawford
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  • 3 weeks later...

nice work, great use of a barrel...looked plenty enough carbon by the break test, and fairly low manganese by the hamon placement too...i have a real old one sitting in the shop waiting for the day...the proportion of mild to higher carbon looked pretty similar to kōa-issin-tou in the etch...some informative info and details on construction for those wanting to research, great steel and great swords:

http://ohmura-study.net/998.html

https://www.japaneseswordindex.com/koa.htm

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