Tamahagane Sword Forging Class
June 26 @ 9:00 am - July 5 @ 5:00 pm EDT$6000
10 Day Class with 2kgs of Tamahagane – $6,000 CAD* ($4,500 USD at 0.75 rate)
*All Costs in Canadian (CAD)$$
Part 1 – Making a Tamahagane Billet
3 Days of Hard work
For the first time, students will have the chance to select the quantity of Tamahagane they want to work with. Students will be provided with 2kgs, but can purchase up to 6 kgs of additional Tamahagane at a cost of $400/kg, totalling a maximum quantity of 8 kgs to work with.
8 kgs is essentially the quantity Fusataro would start with for a full length Katana. But understand that the increase in quantity of material is in direction proportion to the increased amount of work required and higher chance of failure.
For students literally bitting off more than they can chew, we will not be held responsible for over estimating your capabilities. We will do all we can to help, but only you can complete the work properly and in time.
Ideally, students will be required to complete the following in the allotted amount of time:
- Flatten Tamahagane into wafers, break, sort & stack.
- fold each billet a minimum of 15-20 times.
- students working with 6kgs or more of Tamahagane will likely need to make 2 billets of material totalling a minimum of 30 folds required.
Students will mostly be performing forge welding work on material that is not forgiving. This is a skill that we have taught to people for the first time, but we definitely recommend you practice forge welding for this class beforehand.
You will learn the fundamental properties that are looked for in the steal used for in Japanese swords. Traditional fluxes are used throughout this process and the primary fuel used will be charcoal.
Students will be required to process charcoal for the group. It’s an opportunity to step away from the fire, as students will learn breaks are a necessary part of the process but that doesn’t mean we stop working.
There will be 6 forges, one of which will be constructed in Japanese style with box bellows and they will all use charcoal for fuel.
Here’s what students can expect to make with the various quantities of Tamahagane available for purchase. While consolidating & folding the billet, students can expect a 6x material reduction from start weight to finished sword.
- 2 kgs – Tanto
- 4 kgs – Large Tanto, small Wakizashi or Osuraku
- 6 kgs – Wakizashi, small Katana
- 8 kgs – Katana, Tachi
Part 2 – Forging the Blade
4 Days of Forging to heat treatment
Your billet will be hammered from the billet you’ve just created into a blade shape of your choice over four days. It will then be heat treated with water as the quench medium. The goal at this stage is to really refine your hammer technique and maximize your material.
This entire course is condensed and this portion is no different. For those working to achieve longer lengths, you will quickly learn this work becomes exponentially more difficult to control. Good hammer control, temperature management and a developed eye for lines will all play a role in your success.
When you’ve completed shaping the blade, a clay mixture is then made and applied to the blade using various clay application tools. You will then quench the blade in water at the critical moment. Various techniques will be discussed with students, but the quench is yours to make.
Although we guide your experience, this is very much your work. From beginning to end, this class is as open an experience as you can have with Japanese sword smithing.
Part 3 – Kaji Oshi
4 Days of Refinement
This work is everything from straightening to stone work for a clean and sharp blade. We will provide you with two synthetic stones in this class to perform this work. In terms of heavy lifting, this will be lightest portion of the class, but it requires a tremendous amount of sustained focus which will tire your mind as well as your body.
We will have one traditional sword polishing station for students to use in rotation. The Japanese method is a purposely contorted position and not always comfortable for people who’ve never performed the work.
We squeeze in other finishing work in these days as well, related to the nakago (tang) with decorative file work and the final signature applied to the blade.
*The Student Kit and Lunch Meal plan are Optional purchases.
Fusataro is again willing to make Japanese sword smithing tool kits for students. These are available as an optional purchase. The kits include the following items:
- 1 1/2lb Japanese sword smithing hammer
- 3 specialized tongs
- 1 Clay application tool
- 1 signature chisel
We are offering a $25/day meal option. Meals will be ordered and delivered from various restaurants throughout the area. Montreal is a great food town, so be prepared for a hearty range of options to keep your strength up.
If you have dietary restrictions please wait to purchase the meal plan when class begins to discuss your needs in person. We will try to accommodate dietary restrictions, but do not guarantee we can meet your needs.
*The Student Kit and Lunch Meal plan are Optional purchases.
We highly recommend having some previous experience for this class, at minimum in the form of a basic blacksmithing course. Introductory blacksmithing courses are available almost everywhere and we will help source one close to you if required. Examples of basic blacksmithing classes are available through our partners. THAK Ironworks & Les Forges de Montreal:
**All Costs in Canadian (CAD)$$
Although it may not seem that way, on a cost/day basis we’ve managed to reduce the overall costs to less than previous versions for this last class. The total amount for the class is not inexpensive, but that is because we’ve added 4 more days to the schedule; making this the longest and most intensive class we created to date and is essentially what many have been asking for.
This is the only opportunity you will have to make a full length blade with a Japanese master sword smith without enduring the feat of a 6 year apprenticeship. It would not be possible for you to perform this work under any other circumstance.
1 (800) 499-3792
We will update this page with more accommodation options, but we really suggest looking at https://www.airbnb.ca/ to find plenty of great options. Use the shop address below to plan your trip: