It’s been a while since my last post, but no worries, I’m still working and creating ‘stuff’. Past few weeks we’ve been making prototype knives, testing out some new technologies that can be used to make knives look more interesting and better. Last cool thing I ‘discovered’ was mokume gane, which means wood-grain in Japanese. It was actually developed at 17th century in Japan for katanas. Basically it’s the same as technology damascus (take many layers of different metals and forge-weld them together in very high temperature), but with different metals like brass, copper, silver, gold, palladium etc. and is used for touching up swords, knives etc. But some people also use this technology to create wedding rings and other very beautiful jewelry.

Here’s a little roundup of past few weeks:

Knives and blades, blades and knives

Different designs that we’ve come up with. As you can see two blades still need to be finished and made into knives. The length of the largest blade is 22cm, so you know how long the others are.

Little close up of knife that has satin finished blade with hot-blued finger guard and pommel.

Blued and satin finished

OK, now to mokume gane. Here’s how 30 layer brass/copper mokume billet looks like (red layers are copper, yellow ones are brass):

Mokume gane billet

Here’s 60 layer mokume already used in knife  (4th from the top of first image):

Mokume on knife

And here’s mokume billet with twist pattern, that probably will be used  to make some parts of folding knife:

Twisted mokume

This one shows some problems, but hey, it’s our first one, we’ve still got a lot to learn!

During that time we also got/made two new machines – belt grinder and milling machine. I must say that the new belt grinder is just superb. It uses long belts – 75x200mm. I bought the best belts I found from 3M and now grinding is just a pleasure. These belts cut through metal like there’s no tomorrow… If you must know, then the belts are 3M Cubitron 777 and Trizact belts. Cubitrons are 80 and 120 grit, Trizacts start from 200 and go up to 2000. I used to 2000 one to finish the 2nd knife from that picture and it looks just awesome, unfortunately photos don’t show that very well.

7 thoughts on “Knives and mokume gane

  1. Wery impressive work! I’m a blacksmith apprentice and after seeing your photos, and your work…gotta admit, I’m pretty limitless in my knowlodge.
    The mokume gane seems like a beautiful long-lasting artwork and you’we handle it wery well, and the engravings as well.
    I will start under my own hammer in my own workshop and perhaps I’ll have a website soon with some of my creations soon.
    Good luck, health and work power, and lot of iron of course;) with great respect,

    George Boaru
    Iron Will-Ro

  2. It takes no gold :). Mokume was made of brass/copper. I thought it’d be wiser to practice with bit cheaper metals than gold.

    There really is no definitive time how long it takes to make a knife, but usually 2 days without engraving. Engraving can take from few hours to few weeks, depending on technique.

  3. I really admire your work. It sure is nice to have one of your masterpiece. Keep working on your mokume gane,it have a potential future. Best regard.

  4. I was curious if you could make a site about how you made the brass and copper mokume gane

  5. Currently I have no plans for this. But maybe when I’m going to make mokume next time, I’ll tape it as well. But you can search from youtube, there are definitely some videos about it.

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