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Iron Bloom
Iron Bloom

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IMG_7697.jpg

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1491544_400434556756449_177098966_o.jpg

Iron Bloom
Iron Bloom

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Of stones to steel
 

The first step in the art of swordsmithing is to produce good steel. The iron ore is the "materia prima" of this process. Of this Iron ore depend the future properties of the steel, so the craftsman has to choose wisely his Iron ore.

Then I have to built a furnace, this one will works with wood charcoal.

Like a torch in the night, the process during, I mix wood charcoal and the iron ore to feed the furnace.

At the end, after 4 or 5 hour, I have to open the door and take the incandescent iron bloom.

 

Tanren
Tanren

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1-a.jpg

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Tanren
Tanren

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Of rough steel to pure steel
 

 From the furnace to the anvil, comes the iron bloom, with more or less impurities. This rough steel, needs to be purified by folding welding. This process is called "Tanren" in the Japanese tradition, but it was used by a lot of culture during a long time till nowadays ( the Celts, the germains, the chinese...)

This process of folding welding has need the good rhythm. The time must not be wasted because lot of steel will be lost during the process. Good temperature (not too high) and good hammering is the secret. The cleaning of the iron bloc with water on the anvil is the best way to keep in the move and to not lost the heat. 

Kawagane
Kawagane

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36.jpg

Kawagane
Kawagane

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Forging the Blade
 

The different steels : hard steel and soft steel must be associated and welded to make a flexible and hard sword.

Then, the cutting hedge has to be forged, in a low temperature to produce a fine crystalline structure. 

With this the hardening of the steel will be make in the best conditions.