Ever wanted to forge a completely functional Japanese sword? This 2-DVD set shows you how. The video starts with blade-smithing fundamentals and moves to increasingly challenging projects as you learn how to make a tanto, a wakizashi and a shinogi-zukuri katana. Whether you’re an experienced smith or you’ve never picked up a hammer before, there’s plenty here for you. Heat treating, forging techniques, grinding and profiling, clay hardening, steel choice, tool & materials — it’s all covered here. The emphasis is on using modern steels and techniques to forge functional blades which share many of the qualities of traditional blades. 2 DVDs, shot in High-Def for maximum clarity. Nearly 3 hours. $69 + shipping ($5 US or $10 international).
This brand new two-DVD set covers the basics of mounting of Japanese blades. With well over two and a half hours of video (all shot in Hi-Definition so you can see everything with maximum clarity), this video set shows you everything you need to fully mount a Japanese style blade. The video starts with woodworking fundamentals as you learn how to make a shirasaya (resting scabbard) using traditional and modern tools. Then you’ll move on to two fully mounted katanas. The video shows how to carve and lacquer scabbards. Then you’ll wrap the handles using two different methods. Rayskin, handle wrapping, chisels, planes, woods, lacquer — it’s all covered here. 2 DVDs. 2:30 minutes. $69 + shipping ($5 US or $10)
Polishing Modern Japanese Style Blades
This DVD hows basic polishing methods for Japanese style blades, including final polishing methods to make the hamon really pop. Several methods are shown including sandpaper, belt grinder and Japanese water stones. Etching and final hybrid (i.e. non-traditional) polishing will also be covered. It should be noted that this is not a “how to polish nihonto” video. It’s aimed first and foremost at smiths who are making functional modern blades. That said, if you’re looking to improve the polish or geometry on an imported tameshigiri blade, this video will have plenty of information for you. In particular we’ve tried to demystify the subject of Japanese water stones. Three blades are polished, including a shinogi zukuri blade, so you’ll see how to set the geometry of the shinogi and the kissaki — the two most difficult aspects of foundation polishing. 1:45 minutes. $49 + shipping ($5 US or $10 international).
The traditional Japanese method of heat treating swords yields a blade with a hard edge and a soft spine. This method manifests itself in the form of the “hamon,” a visible line in the steel. This line was traditionally used to ornament the blade. On this video, three blades are “clay hardened”, leading you from simple heat treating and clay layout techniques, through more complex and challenging designs. Includes information about various kinds of traditional hamons and how to make them, basic heat treating of carbon steel, and sources of tools and equipment. 1:15 minutes. $40 + shipping ($5 US or $10 international).
Tools for the Knifemaker
The beginning knifemaker faces a bewildering array of choices when it comes to assembling the tools necessary for making knives. Walter takes the guesswork out of tool buying in this detail-packed video. Much of this video is available on Youtube, but some additional tools are included along with a lot of material not available on-line. Carefully organized so that you can quickly figure out the tools you’ll need now…and the ones you might need later, this video offers a step up from the Youtube videos. 1:25 minutes. $24.95 + shipping ($5 US or $10 international).