This is a commission from a friend of mine, who I’m trading this to for a shirt of chain maille. This is my first successful hamon and I’m very pleased how well it turned out. The keyhole construction was a little past my skill level, so I don’t intend to do it again very soon.
- Steel: 1084, forged and ground, clay quenched and tempered at 400 for three hours, then polished and etched in boiled vinegar.
- Guard and Pommel: forged and ground from railroad spikes. I find that RR spikes are thick enough and soft enough to work good guards and pommels out of.
- Wood: Stabilized Cocobolo, an exotic tropical wood used a lot by bladesmiths. I had to be careful when sanding this stuff as it tends to be toxic when inhaled.
- Inlay: Silver solder. I intended to use sterling but had none around at the time. Solder in wire form works very well, and is a good bit harder so resistant to deforming.
Note: I designed the construction so the pommel fit into the wood first like a puzzle piece, and then the tang inserted through the handle and pommel, holding the pommel in place and keeping it from sliding out. Blade is secured with epoxy, as is the pommel along the joints.