Here’s a sampler showing a wide range of blades Walter has forged. Walter forges monosteel blades intended for heavy use in tameshigiri, batto-do and iaido, as well as collector-quality blades forge-welded from both traditional tamahagane and modern steels. Click any of the pictures to see larger versions of the blades.
Traditional. This pair of blades was recently forged from genuine tamahagane (traditional steel) smelted by Walter in his own shop, and then forge welded and folded until the steel contains thousands of layers.
Modern. This is a fairly typical Walter Sorrells katana intended for hard use: forged from high performance W2 steel — a high carbon alloy with a pinch of vanadium — this blade has strong curvature, and shinogi-zukuri geometry.
Control. This very small tanto, forged from Walter’s own tamahagane, features an outrageous hitatsura hamon. This cloud-like effect is caused by the occurence of hardening in small patches all across the blade. The technique required to make this hamon was entirely different from that used to make the sort of choji hamons for which he is best known.
Details. This tanto forged from W2 steel shows the sort of detail that can be found in the hamon (sometimes incorrectly termed the “temper-line”) on well-forged Japanese style blades.
Egg Shells. No joke. Egg shells! This shinogi zukuri blade is 28″ with 3/4″ of sori. The hamon is a very detailed saka-choji (slanted clove blossom). The saya was lacquered red, then crushed egg shells were embedded in the lacquere, sanded flat, then clear coated. A ridiculously laborious process that took nearly two and a half months, start to finish.
Sharp. There’s nothing like a hira-zukuri (unbeveled) blade when really you want to cut something. Walter calls these blades “cheater blades” because they make tameshigiri look so easy…