The blade is the heart of the sword.
Experience has shown that blades forged or ground from bar stock do not cut as well as those which are forge-welded, nor are they as strong.
Although the shinogi-zukuri style of katana and wakizashi is most popular, other styles such as hira-zukuri, shobu-zukuri, etc. are also available. Hi (grooves) in several styles can also be had.
Final grinding and polishing is done completely by hand on a series of water stones. This insures crispness of the lines and brings out the microstructure of the steel. This is a long and meticulous process and the final polish is done by a specialized polisher.
For the strict traditionalist and sophisticated collector, we offer blades made of handmade oroshigane steel, which is compositionally identical to tamahagane. These blades exhibit all of the color and characteristics of the traditional swords of Japan. We work in either the Soshu or Bizen styles. For short blades, we prefer the san-mai (three layer billet) method of construction, and hon-san-mai (four piece billet with iron core) for longer swords.
Billets of iron and steel are repeatedly folded and welded using clay and straw ash for a flux. Depending on size, two, three, or four billets are folded and then combined to make the blade. A large or complex blade may require as many as thirty welding cycles.
Our forged steel cable blades have been developed primarily for the serious swordsman. These are forged from steel cable and have remarkable strength and aggressive cutting ability.
We also offer unpolished blades that can be mounted and polished by the customer. They are forge welded, heat-treated blades of cable. These are foundation ground and sharpened and the tang filed, signed and drilled for the handle pin.
Our swords can be ordered in shirasaya or koshirae.
Japanese sword mountings consist of habaki of copper and/or silver, seppa, tsuba, fuchigashira, and menuki.
Some mountings are cast from original Japanese pieces. Others are cast from our own designs. We can also make traditionally forged and soldered mountings at additional cost.
We generally make our own tsuba, from simple plate to elaborate forged folded antique iron. A high art tsuba may have 80-90 labor hours or more, and be priced separately.
Saya are carved by hand from alder wood and fitted mortise and tenon with water buffalo horn at both ends, with kurigata of same material. Saya are then lacquered.
Tsuka are also made from wood, carved by hand, and then wrapped in same and bound in ito, available in many colors. The tsuka is then secured to the tang with one or two bamboo or buffalo horn pins.
Prices are based upon cost of materials and labor. It is difficult to very specific in listing prices, as each sword is unique. Generally, a fully mounted polished blade of standard-twist forge-welded steel cable would run anywhere from $6,500 to $9,500, depending upon embellishments. The same blade made from traditional hand-made steel would run from about $16,000 to $20,000. A katana of composite cable construction can run up to $20,000, once again depending upon embellishments.
Since each of our blades are unique and usually custom orders from our customers, we recommend you discuss your order with us over the phone.
When ordering a custom sword and all details as to length, etc. are determined, a deposit of one-third the agreed upon price is requested, with a second third payable after successful heat treating. The final payment is due upon completion.