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What is hamon?


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Sorry to bug everyone with this stupid question, but what is hamon? I've been looking everywhere for the definition, but all the definitions talk about is an ancient war or something of the like. I havent been able to get a bladesmithing book yet, or else I probably would have found the answer in one. So would someone please explain what hamon is for me? all i get out of it is something to do with polish.

Edited by super-horrible swordsmith
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A hamon is the light colour line along the edge of the blade from where the hardened steel connects to the soft steel. You can make a hamon by edge quenching or using clay on the back of the blade but not along the edge.

 

If you want to see a hamon have a look at some Japanese swords.

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According to the book of Goo:

 

A hamon is a special Japanese type "quench line", in which clay is used in a traditional manner to resist the quench creating linier patterns on the blade between the hardened and unhardened portions of the blade. Generally speaking a "quench line" made without clay should not be called a "hamon".

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