tamehagane nagamaki collaboration


Well-Known Member
This work is a collaboration between my self and Kevin Colwell the " prof"
I made this bloom a little more than a year ago. Was saving it for a special project.
Unfortunately I tore my rotater cuff in my shoulder and I havent been doing much until it heals up from the surgery. I wanted to make blade I have been thinking about for some time . In the meantime I made friends with Kevin and we talked about the Tamehagane billet and what to make from it. well we decided that since I had a messed up shoulder that he would forge the blade into a rough blade and I will polish and make all the hardware and a saya and the rest of finish work . I started polishing blade , it should take at least a month as , all polish will be done with stones . Kevin did a nice job , it should be a great blade when finished. OL is 19" cutting edge is almost 14" ............. Bubba
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Some folks call them a blood groove , a fuller or a bo-hi . It serves to lighten the blade while not losing any strength .
They can be cut a number of ways . With a mill , a japanese sen, or a small 4-5" hand grinder with shaped 1/4"thick cut off wheel . It also can be polished with a tool called a mikagi , which is a burnishing tool of very hard steel . Bo-hi can be difficult to make , I have to be careful ... one slip with cut off wheel and its curtains for blade ..... I also polish them with a pencil , using the eraser end with some silicon carbide paper wrapped around it and, a lot of elbow grease... Bubba ..... see pics
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Looks very nice! Thanks for the info. Doing my first tanto and learning alot of what NOT to do lol but these japanese blades are so intriguing!
Thanks , I sometimes need some encouragement . My biggest problem is I get too anxious and mess something up.

I worked on this all day and my back is killing me . Its about 10% polished . so I decided to etch a little to see blade pattern (hada) and hamon . seems ok ? what do you think ?? Bubba
Ha! I think that steel is going to look great when you finally get it polished. Naturally, I am eager to see it. I am really happy that you let me forge this for you. I promise that I will get the next one closer to "polished" before I turn it over.

I think that steel has great character, and the hamon looks like it will be quite visible when you progress through some more polish.
thanks for letting me be part of this.
I agree , The steel has great character, In the folding process of working the steel It has been folded and cross folded 13 times. Its hard to see but, steel has beautiful Hada the resembles wood grain (mokume. The hamon is slightly wavy with a
Hitatsura type hamon. You did a fine job on blade Kevin !! Maybe we can make a sword or two from time to time .When my shoulder heals, I would like to forge the next one . Maybe a tachi ? It is a pleasure to work on this Blade with you .
Thanks murph for comment , I need someone to watch me and keep me focused .....
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Both of you have spent alot of time on this project. I can just immagine the end result. kellyw
You bet, it is an extremely hard blade to get right . Presently I am on my 3rd habaki !!! 2 of them cracked . Mainly because of the alloys of silver , copper and gold. Its hard to anneal them in order to get the double 90 degree bends in the habaki . The good part is I can melt it down without much material loss . Its getting there . Hopefully sooner than later . The furniture is harder to make than the blade it seems on this one .. Bubba
Hey - I have this blade back. Unfortunately, I duffed the grinding of the fullers. I have to work to fix them. It will be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. If I can get them even and proportional, it will work. If not... this one is dead. May have to heat treat it again, too. Just if it becomes necessary to soften it some to get the fullers right. This alloy hardened more than you would expect with tamahagane. Who knows what else got into it. I did a clay heat treatment, and then tempered. Yet, the spine is harder than any file. Which means I can't clean the fullers up with a broken or bent round file like I usually do.
Worst case, I will combine this with some of my own bloom steel and make another to the dimensions to fit Bubba San's, uh, fittings...

my fault. Oops.