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Thread: sword smithing

  1. #16
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    ttt 4 2016!



    4K Katana Project SPOT
    Gene Ching
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  2. #17
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    Gene,

    Have you seen the History Channel series Forged in Fire? Each episode, they get 4 experienced custom knifemakers and they must make a knife from raw materials provided (with certain rules) within a 3 to 4 hour time limit. Then the 'experts' test various aspects of each knife (balance/feel, cutting/stabbing ability, temper, toughness, etc.). The final 2 who make it through must then create their own versions of historical weapons (usually swords, but sometimes battle axes, etc.) that must be fully completed within 5 days. These are again tested to determine the winner.

    I don't know how long the show will last, but it's pretty darned interesting if you're into bladed weapons/tools. Obviously, in their own shops, the makers take much more time on individual pieces than the show allows.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-02-2016 at 01:40 PM.

  3. #18


    I don't care for the show to much. Just not my thing. But Doug I like greatly.

  4. #19
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    Having worked in a sword shop, these shows are bizarre to watch for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Have you seen the History Channel series Forged in Fire?
    No, I didn't even know about it. Is it new? I'll give it a look. I think I History Channel that on my AppleTV.

    I tried to watch Big Giant Swords on Discovery Channel but it wasn't working for me.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    No, I didn't even know about it. Is it new? I'll give it a look. I think I History Channel that on my AppleTV.

    I tried to watch Big Giant Swords on Discovery Channel but it wasn't working for me.
    I think it's new. I first heard about it on another forum I'm a member of, bladeforms, but I never watched it until I caught part of a Forged in Fire marathon yesterday. TBH, the makers cannot do their best work, because it's time-limited for the show. But it's fascinating how quickly someone can take a billet of steel or a train spring and turn it into a functional blade when necessary.

  6. #21
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    knife and sword making is something I would love to do, if I had the time.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  7. #22
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    knife making

    I'm going to be doing a 3 day intensive class with dog house forge in a couple of weekends on knife making. Something I've been looking forward to learning / doing for some time.

  8. #23
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    A declining art

    This is an issue worldwide. Just not the market for it anymore.

    Japan is running out of swordsmiths, and a strict apprenticeship requirement is a big reason why
    Casey Baseel yesterday



    Want to make katana for a living? Hope you don’t mind not getting paid a single yen for the next five years.

    Although it might sound unusual for artifacts with a centuries-long history, swords are currently in vogue in Japan. Museum exhibitions of historically significant katana have been attracting large, enthusiastic crowds in recent years, but the blades’ surging popularity is yet to solve a few problems.

    In 1989, the Japanese Swordsmith Association counted 300 registered swordsmiths in the country. Not 20 years later, that number has been nearly cut in half, with only 188 smiths currently registered, and their average age rapidly increasing.

    Swordsmithing isn’t just an industry, it’s also part of Japan’s cultural heritage. To preserve the craft, Tetsuya Tsubouchi, one of the Japanese Swordsmith Association’s directors, says two things have to be done. First, new swordsmiths have to be trained and certified to replace the craftsmen who’re retiring or otherwise being lost to old age, but there are some major hurdles in the way.



    Not just anyone start hammering away and producing swords for sale in Japan. Practitioners are required to first serve as an apprentice under a registered swordsmith for a period of five years. These apprenticeships are unpaid, meaning that blacksmithing could be considered one of Japan’s harsh “black enterprises.” Those who want to complete the training must either burn through savings they amassed working in another field (before quitting that job to start their apprenticeship) or rely on financial support from their families. But while Japanese parents are generally willing to invest in their children’s education, it’s pretty difficult to convince Mom and Dad to cover all of your living expenses for a half-decade so that you can take a shot at making it in as niche an industry as swordsmithing. As a result, Tsubouchu says that though there’s actually been a recent uptick in apprenticeship applications, very few apprentices actually make it to the end of their five-year training period.

    Even if they do complete their apprenticeship, prospective smiths still have to pass a national certification test, which takes place over a period of eight days. The test is offered only once a year, so if you fail, you’ve got a long wait until you get to take another swing at it. Oh, and once that’s all done, the estimated cost to set up a swordsmithing business of your own is 10 million yen (US$91,000), an amount of seed money that’s kind of hard to scrape together when your last paycheck was five years ago.



    The other thing the industry needs, Tsubouchi says, is new customers. Collectors of art and antiquities have long been happy to buy and sell historical pieces, but a demand for preexisting blades isn’t creating much work for present-day smiths. What they need are people who’re interested in buying freshly forged swords, especially since they can7t just sell batches to the local samurai warlord like their predecessors in the feudal era did.

    Luckily, a surge in popularity among sword-carrying anime and video game characters (some of which are actually swords themselves), as well as cosplayers dressed as those characters, has raised awareness of katana among young people, especially Japanese women, who’ve been showing a renewed interest in Japanese history in general over the past decade. Tsubouchi also points to collaborative efforts such as exhibitions that combine anime and katana aesthetics, such as a popular traveling display of swords inspired by the Evangelion franchise.

    Tsubouchi also sees potential in the fact that rekijo, as Japan calls women with an interest in samurai history, range in age from teens up through women in their 30s and 40s. The director points out that in the past, it was often older, married men who wanted to buy katana to keep as family heirlooms, only to have the idea shot down as overly extravagant by the women of their household. But if both husband and wife, and maybe their daughter too, are keen on having a sword on display in the home, that purchase becomes a lot more justifiable.



    The hope, Tsubouchi says, is not necessarily for new customers to convince people to buy ultra-premium pieces, but rather to cultivate a market for Japanese swords that are within the budget of even people who aren’t wealthy art collectors. He even muses about the possibility of reestablishing the largely forgotten custom of omamorigatana, in which swords were given as a good luck charm commemorating auspicious occasions such as births and marriages.

    Still, with Japan placing so much importance on financial stability, it’s going to be an uphill battle encouraging people to seriously consider a career in swordsmithing, at least until there’s some solid evidence that all those people lining up to see swords at the museum would be genuinely willing to buy one for themselves.

    Source: Yahoo! News Japan/Oricon News via Otakomu
    Images ©SoraNews24
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  9. #24
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    Forged in Fire CHAMPIONS Taichi Sword

    This was on the History Channel in October. Former champions went head to head. The second place sword wasn't even close to the winner!
    http://www.history.com/shows/forged-...n-4/episode-21
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  10. #25
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    Fail

    It really sucks when your neighbor is a *******.

    Mayor: Amateur bladesmith started massive Cohoes blaze
    21 buildings damaged or destroyed, 20 people displaced
    Bethany Bump, Emily Masters, Skip Dickstein and Lynda Edwards Dec 1, 2017


    Photo: Lori Van Buren, Albany Times Union
    Firefighters from around the region work to control a multi-structure fire on Remsen Street on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 in Cohoes, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

    COHOES — A fire stoked by 20 to 30 mph winds destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen downtown buildings and was traced to a man who was trying to forge a blade over a burning barrel, according to authorities.

    Thursday's inferno — the likes of which have rarely been seen in the Capital Region —destroyed three structures, damaged 18 other buildings and displaced at least 20 people. A firefighter was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries, but remarkably no other injuries were reported.

    "It is the worst disaster the city has ever seen," Mayor Shawn Morse said at an evening press conference that appeared on a live broadcast. The city is under a state of emergency.


    Within six hours of when the fire started — and while it was still burning — John A. Gomes, 51, of Cohoes was charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson.


    Photo: Lori Van Buren, Albany Times Union
    John Gomes, 51, is arraigned in Cohoes City Court for being a suspect in a multi-structure fire on Remsen Street on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 in Cohoes, N.Y. The charges are arson in the 4th and reckless endangerment in the 1st.(Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

    Gomes is accused of starting a barrel fire in his backyard that quickly spread out of control, Morse said. The fire is said to have started in the rear of a building near 228 Remsen St., where Gomes lives. The mayor said Gomes was trying to bend metal in an apparent attempt to mimic the History Channel television series "Forged in Fire" about bladesmithing.

    Assistant police Chief Tom Ross classified the fire as unintentional, or "reckless arson."

    "We often tell people we don't allow open burns in the city and they often say, 'What's the worst that could happen?'" Morse said. "Well, this open burn just caused millions of dollars of damage and destroyed half our downtown."

    Gomes was arraigned by City Court Judge Thomas Marcelle. He pleaded not guilty and was jailed on $15,000 bail. The public defenders assigned to Gomes' case said the man has lived in the city since 1999 and has two children. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

    The fire overtook large swaths of downtown Remsen Street at 2 p.m., turning brick structures into collapsing fireballs, until it was brought under control at 5 p.m. An hour later, flames broke out again and ignited buildings on the 170 block of Remsen Street.

    Albany County Fire Coordinator Jerry Paris said wind gusts carried embers across blocks and over buildings.

    Some of Cohoes' most prominent businesses were affected. Smith's tavern and restaurant, known for the length of its bar, and Rizzo's flower shop were badly damaged. The former home of Claremont's Tavern collapsed before dusk.

    By night's end, Morse said, three city blocks had been engulfed in smoke and flames.

    Assemblyman John McDonald, a former city mayor, said the garage of his family business, Marra's Pharmacy, was one of the three buildings that fire leveled. The structure held inventory and records, he said.

    A vacant church at Mohawk and White streets had hot spots from burning materials on its roof, McDonald said.

    "The village of Menands saved that church," said Common Council member Randy Koniowka, referring to the volunteer fire department that doused the building with water.

    Firefighters expressed concern over the possibility that asbestos dust was being blown through the downtown streets. One said soaking the rubble makes it less likely for asbestos or other toxins to be carried in the wind. That makes the area safer for for crews clearing the debris and passersby.

    A column of smoke from the fire could be seen for several miles off. Meanwhile, power was cut in much of the downtown, forcing businesses blocks from the fire to close.

    Weather conditions Thursday were dry and windy, with gusts up to 30 mph. The last measurable rain was one-100th of an inch that fell on Sunday, said meteorologist Kevin Lipton at the National Weather Service in Albany. Total rainfall for the month was 0.79 inches, well below the 3.29 inch average for November. Rain did start falling later in the evening in the region.

    Fear, compassion

    Kawaun Carrethers, 24, said he was at work when he saw the news and noticed his 200 Remsen St. apartment was near the fire. He immediately worried about his girlfriend, who he knew was inside, asleep with a broken phone. The woman said firefighters knocked on the door to get her and two of their three cats out.

    Firefighters from Cohoes, Albany, Watervliet, Green Island, Menands, North Bethlehem and other departments were battling the flames, leaving several inches of water filling the street.


    Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN, Albany Times Union
    A woman is in tears as firefighters from around the region work their best to knock down a multi-alarm fire consumes a number of building on Remsen Street Thursday Nov. 30, 2017 in Cohoes, NY. (Skip Dickstein/ Times Union)

    McDonald had been in Albany when he received word of the blaze. Seeing the column of smoke grow larger as he drove north, he recalled, "I could tell it wasn't going to be good."

    McDonald likened the long line of fire trucks ranked along Remsen Street to a Memorial Day parade and later recalled that another blaze had destroyed the same block in 1988.

    John Gomes, 16, got a call about the fire and rushed to his home, finding it destroyed. "My house is on fire. It was on fire — it's gone now," he said.

    Gomes' dog and a dog in another apartment were trapped inside the burning building, but a firefighter got inside to save the animals, he said. It could not be determined if he is related to the man arrested.

    Diana Toyas had just picked up her son Troy, 4, from preschool when they saw the smoke. Some of the firefighters who had visited Troy's class that day for community outreach were now trying to douse the burning buildings.

    The youngster was amazed by the flow of about three inches of water flowing down the street from hydrants and hoses.

    "I love this street; the (city) has worked hard to revive it but there are a lot of empty buildings on it," Toyas said.

    Volunteers from the Northeastern New York chapter of the American Red Cross arrived as dusk fell. People who fled a burning building wearing t-shirts and jeans were glad to climb inside the warm Red Cross truck where volunteers offered to wrap them in big blankets as protection against the cold wind.

    The agency later said it provided financial assistance for necessities such as shelter, food and clothing to 11 different families, consisting of 16 adults and two children, ages 1 and 10.

    Paul Marra wore his Albany County coroner jacket as he watched the fire and recalled the 1988 fire.

    "We lost a street. The wind wouldn't quit, It just kept blowing embers from one building to a rooftop to trees," he said. "I hope this isn't like that one."

    Later Thursday evening, five hours after the fire first started, 44-year-old Amy Roach still didn't know if her apartment at 169 Remsen St. had been damaged.

    But she was OK, she said, thanks to the kindness of strangers she encountered throughout the night, like the CDTA bus driver who let Roach and others on his warm bus while they waited for news, or the emergency worker who volunteered to drive her to the community shelter since her multiple sclerosis made it hard to walk.

    "I'm more worried about the guy downstairs who I know walks with a cane," she said. "I've been walking up and down the block looking for him, even though he must be OK because the firefighters said so."

    "I don't know if I lost my house," she added. "But I'm crying for the people who lost everything. It's just so disheveling — to see how quickly things can fall right apart."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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