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September 21st, 2005 - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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September 21st, 2005

Kat benefit auction knife done [Sep. 21st, 2005|03:05 pm]
Doug Ayen
[mood |accomplished]

Well, it took staying up way too late two nights in a row, but it's finished now.

photos at http://www.homeport.org/~ayen/photos/katknife/

The photos are a little dark, but you can make out the blade pretty well. I think this is one of my prettiest knives so far.

Knife history:

I started this knife as part of a set of tanto experimentsabout, oh, 3-4 years ago. As I quickly determined that my skills were not yet up to finishing them as I'd like, I put them aside, pulling them out every so often to see if I was there yet. I think I can safely say that with this one, I have just about gotten there.

Last Thursday, then, I pulled this one out -- since it had a sheath, habaki, and tsuba already so I thought all I had to do was re-handle it and I'd be all set. A quick glance showed some significant corrosion on the bottom side -- I swear it hadn't been there last time I oiled it about a month ago. There must have been some sort of contamination on the blade, some salt or acid.

So, I spent thurs-sunday re-polishing the blade, then since the old sheath was contaminated by the rust, pulled out some camphor burl and purpleheart and made a new sheath. Due to working too fast, I managed to grind off half of one fingernail, and just to balance things out I accidentally planed off half of another fingernail on the other hand. Fortunately, I was able to reattach and rebuild the fingernails with crazy glue.

Once the sheath was done, I gave everything a nice clear lacquer finish, polished on the buffing wheel, then waxed it a couple of times to get that nice glow.

Since this is going to be auctioned off to a crowd of random people, I etched the blade in warm vinegar to really bring out the hamon. Then I removed the etch, redid the final polish, and re-etched, this time making sure I got rid of all the oil from the blade so that this time the etch wouldn't be all uneven. Sigh.

Anyway, did the final assembly and remembered to take pics this time. Enjoy, and please feel free to ask any questions about the knife or how it was made.

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Writeup for KatKnife [Sep. 21st, 2005|03:36 pm]
Doug Ayen
For every knife that leaves my workshop, I try to write up a document to accompany the blade so that the owner knows what's what. Here's the one for the KatKnife:

Katrina Benefit Tanto

This tanto was made for a charity auction to benefit Hurricane Katrina

The steel is 1095, differentially hardened with via the Japanese clay method. There is a visible hamon (the so-called "temper line")along the edge in a style called "Notare," which means a wave or swell.

The handle is black palm, the sheath is camphor wood burl and purpleheart. The habaki (the collar at the base of the blade)is copper, the tsuba (guard) is brass.

Care and Feeding:
The blade is a high carbon steel, which will rust if proper care is not taken. Wipe clean after every use, and keep oiled with a light machine oil, mineral oil, clove oil (if you're a traditionalist) or similar protective coating.

The sheath and handle are natural materials, and while they have been stabilized and finished with polyurethane, they should be kept dry and clean.

This knife should never be put in the dishwasher or exposed to other harsh environments.

Due to the nature of the Japanese heat-treatment, the edge of this tanto is somewhat brittle, so please avoid using it as a prybar.

I hope you enjoy the use of this knife, and appreciate any feedback you may have.

Doug Ayen
Blackanvil Forge
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