Clay tempered Katana are swords made according a particular process of blade reinforcement. During the forging, there are steps to go through involving several steps and some compounds mixture, used by the entire swords forger, yet each has his own formula.
The compound mixture is none but Clay recipe that each forger has a secret ingredients list. The Clay tempering is supposed to be an art more than a sword works. Clay tempered Katanas are said to be more resistant and durable. Clay treatment has to be operated by professional to be efficient. Also, each steel type is supposed to be responsive to different clay composition.
Steel Material of Clay Tempered Katanas
The Smith, or the Sword maker, proceeds by preparing the Tamahagne, a material block made of several layers of steel with different carbon tenors.
The Tamahagne is obtained through a smelting process: Folding and welding layers of carbon steel; the process allows getting the impurities out of the materials and result in clean steel block.
Generally, 1095 carbon steel is the most adequate for making Clay Tempered Katana. While the other Carbon Steel types are not really being used. The difference is in the Clay mixture that applies in each type of steel and it is certainly the role of the smith to determine the combination. Traditionally, several layers of carbon steel of different Carbon tenors are folded together to obtain a primary material on which the smith will apply the process of clay coating.
Traditionally, several layers of carbon steel of different Carbon tenors are folded together to obtain a primary material on which the smith will apply the process of clay coating.
Clay Application Process
The previous operation, which is folding and welding Steel layers, gives also the “billet shape” to the resulting worked steel. The smith proceeds then to clay application to start the real making of Clay Tempered Katana.
The process consists in covering the blade with some layers of wet clay mixture. This mixture is prepared according specific proportions that each smith keeps to himself, but it is generally a compound of Clay, water, stone powder, and rusts and may be some ash. The clay slurry is applied differentially to the edge and the spine of the blade; the edge being destined to be sharpened later.
The clay application is done while heating the material, then hammered and quenching in water or in oil according to the smith. This differential clay application and the quenching operation result in hardening the edge of the blade and keep the spine relatively soft.
Clay Tempered Katana Forging
Clay Tempered Katanas are therefore generally made of carbon steel blade professionally and differentially coated with Clay slurry to obtain a differential hardness along the blade.
The differential hardening process allows the sword to acquire the beautiful curves, usually ordered by users and clients. Repetitive heating and quenching –sudden cooling in water- allows the material to go through several Steel phases which are known to be advanced forms, solid and hard.
The process of heating-quenching uncovers the structure of Hamon, the line downside the blade. It is important to make it more clearly through the polishing process which comes later.
It is important to notice that the processes of preparing the Steel material and Clay slurry application are particular and the smith should know what proportions to use to obtain certain characteristics of the sword such as the Hamon structure and the blade curve, and the Tang properties as well.
You can then order the shape, the hardness and the Hamon of the blade, and the smith will choose the adequate combination to make your wish come true.
Clay Tempered Katanas : Characteristics
- Durability: Clay Tempered Katana inherits of the durability of the High Carbon steel 1095. The durability lack in the 1095 carbon steel material is compensated by the clay tempering. It can be kept for
long time when properly cleaned and oiled.
- Dimensions: The dimensions are common to all the Katanas; Actually, Katana is intended to designate a particular type of swords, which are different from traditional too curved Tachi. Clay Tempered Katanas have an overall length of 103 cm, the blade is about 73 cm against a 27 cm handle. The weight ranges from 1.8 to 2.0 kg.
- Solidity: The hardness and solidity of the blade is differential, because of the non uniform distribution of clay slurry, which gives a flexible and forgeable katana’s spine, and gives a hard ready to be very sharp edge. The edge has a hardness index of 60HRC while the spine has a 40HRC hardness index.
- Tang type: Tang type is actually not an optional feature if you want a real Katana. Generally, all Clay tempered Katanas are Full Tang, this feature increases the durability of the blade and its resistance to shocks.
Clay Tempered Katanas Customization
The customization profile determines several methods to apply since the very start of the blade making. The choice of the material, the preparation of the Clay Slurry compound, the Tang attributes until the polishing and the adding of the accessories. Every Katana is unique indeed. It has its particular characteristics that make it an already customized piece of arts. This particularity is the result of the hand forging which keeps the general layout but gives each piece a particular anatomy.
To order your Clay Tempered Katana, choose the several pieces to add from the list provided and make your order. You will be able to choose from the Tsuba collection to the Fuchi Kashira , Hamon Type, Saya and more… Some pieces are supplied as presents and they come to you with no extra fees. Others are real piece of arts and will enhance and improve your Katana for and will be the most appropriate selection for your Samurai Sword.
Clay Tempered Katana: How to keep?
These Katanas are delicate, they need to be cleaned and oiled to avoid rust and mold. Some exposure to the fresh air may be necessary along with repetitive oiling and polishing. These swords need to be kept horizontally with the edge in top after cleaning and oiling. Use the Choji oil as traditional tool which remains in use nowadays