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A small scale high-furnace is operated at Les Forges de Montréal. It is supplied with charcoal and iron ore. In order to improve the furnace’s efficiency, the ore is prepared into pellets. This ingenious tool facilitates the making of those pellets.

Iron smelting pellet maker


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A small scale high-furnace is operated at Les Forges de Montréal. It… Continue reading


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The teko is the tool — a plain bar — that is used to hold the steel block to be forged. The said block is welded onto one end of the teko. This video shows Manabe Sumihira performing such a forge weld.

Teko-zuke


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The teko is the tool — a plain bar — that is… Continue reading

In preparation for tanren


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Japanese traditional sword making is bound to the use of certain types… Continue reading


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Aku, or charred straw, is used as a coating when forging traditional steels at very high temperatures in the processes of japanese swordsmithing. The charred straw is both a light source of carbon for the steel, as well as an anti-oxidizing coating when it liquifies near welding temperature.

Making aku – Fabrication d’aku


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Aku, or charred straw, is used as a coating when forging traditional… Continue reading


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Sumi-kiri, the cutting of the charcoal by japanese swordsmith apprentices, as poorly performed by me. In this video, one strike out of ten is ok, while all others made me frown… size wrong.. size wrong.. swing wrong.. size wrong.. strength wrong.. size wrong.. wrong angle.. and so on.

It is said it takes three years to learn this properly. I think they’re being optimistic.

Sumi-kiri – Charcoal cutting


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Sumi-kiri, the cutting of the charcoal by japanese swordsmith apprentices, as poorly… Continue reading