Forging Tahamagane

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Forging Tahamagane



Forging Tahamagane

Messaggioda Aldebaran » 19/04/2010, 8:52

Forging techniques developed by Japanese blacksmiths are definitely unique. The distinctive features of these works of art have always been the rigidity, the unbreakable and the incredible ability to cut, the charm of the Japanese sword lies in meeting these requirements appear to conflict with one another ( infrangibility the fact depends on whether the steel must be soft, while the sharpness depends on its being hard. But it is too hard can break the sword, and if it can cut a little too soft).
The parties most distinctive characteristics and forging process can be summarized as follows:
1) The processing of an external party (kawagane), very hard and high in carbon, formed by folding and playing the same piece of metal for many times. This process removes impurities such as phosphates and sulphates and produces a high number (even one million, although usually are around thirty thousand) of layers of metal, strengthening the blade.
2) The machining of softer soul (Shingan), created by using a low-carbon steel mixed with iron used for kitchen knives. Everything is beaten numerous times to reduce weight and inserted into the kawagane.
3) The blacksmith wraps around to the kawagane Shingan and still red-hot (up to 1100 ° C) and beat all (up to a temperature up to about 700 ° C, then the sword is glowing again), creating a long bar Rectangular steel that is processed in portions of about six inches at a time.
Then, cut a triangular piece of this long bar, and still working on the furnace and hammer cut, shape the kissaki, the tip of the sword.
Continuing to fly and red-hot bar of metal, smith it thins the one hand
(Forming the edge), gives the shape and curvature of the blade and determines the uniformity of metal distribution in it.
Subsequently, the entire blade is covered with a mixture of clay and coal ash yakibatsuchi call. This mixture is then partially removed following the desired profile and the blade is placed (with wax above) in the furnace (the mixture will form the design dell'hamon, the visible profile of the edge that often allows the identification of the swordsmith).
The steel and red-hot start at one point the expert blacksmith sees color
blade that has been reached appropriate temperature. At that moment, takes the knife and plunges it into the water briefly. This is the most delicate moment of the whole forging process, and the blacksmith must possess, besides an excellent technique, affinity
spiritual with the blade. There are many secret traditions regarding the right water temperature and fire, but the decisive factor is the temperature of the blade at the time of immersion in water. If the temperature is not the right one can produce cracks in the steel, or the blade may bend too much.
Finally, the blacksmith gives the final touches to Nagako (the final machined blade that is stuck in the handle to the tsuka), realizing the mekugi ana (a hole that allows you to set the Nagako tsuka) and signing his work.
Hopefully it will also the horimono, an incision made on the blade and depicting various types of stakeholders (bamboo, cherry blossoms, dragons, gods, characters in Sanskrit or other references to Buddhism).
The horimono has very ancient origins, and religious significance beyond the decorative and also serves to lighten the blade.

At this point the role of the blacksmith over, and pass the polishing operations.
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