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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A week spent at Japanese swordsmith Manabe Sumihira’s helping out with the operation of his tatara. Manabe chose to operate a pig iron smelting zuku-oshi tatara instead of the more commonly known kera-oshi.

The pig iron decarburizing process can be seen here (in Japanese, click on various links): http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/19sageba/00sage/00sage%20.html

More details are available on these pages:
Home-made steel: A week at Manabe Sumihira’s Zuku-oshi Tatara
The Sumihira Zuku-oshi Tatara

Manabe Sumihira Zuku-Oshi Tatara

A week spent at Japanese swordsmith Manabe Sumihira’s helping out with the… Continue reading