Forging a San Mai Knife



After several attempts things may have finally come together. Here is use the ancient san mai technique to make a knife with a nice, etched pattern. Regarding …

46 thoughts on “Forging a San Mai Knife

  1. Kaivaktra M says:

    The core split down the middle because of the difference in cooling and shrink rate of different steels. Japanese katana are straight until quench when they get their shape. A hard steel taco with soft steel in the middle. Softer steel will cool faster and shrink faster pulling the hard steel to shape it. In this case you put soft steel on the sides this it shrinks faster pulling on the middle.

  2. Lucy Buehl says:

    I'm a professional chef and am very impressed with the diligence he's shown to controlling the elements of the San Mai process – I'd love to purchase a blade from him!

  3. otto knight says:

    Hey man! I seriously dig your work, but technically wouldn't this no longer be san mai and would just be damascus since it's got more than three layers? My understanding is that the "san" in san mai was japanese for 3 meaning it has to have only three layers, two outside layers of laminate and an internal blade core? Not trying to hate on your work as the knife came out looking beautiful but knives are a big thing for me and this has always confused me as I've seen the term thrown around so loosely before! Thanks and keep up the awesome work 🙂

  4. MA Knife and Rods says:

    parks 50 you don't need to heat to 140. in fact they tell you not to heat it up unless it is below 70 degrees. Using Parks 50 is the fastest quench oil out there so you may want to investigate and use one that is slower to min weld fracturing. parks does have a thinker oil that quenches less radically. Just a thought

  5. Fjon says:

    I like the forge marks. It's a beginning and end process shown on the piece. I would be proud of the way it turn out even by accident. Damn fine job!

  6. GotDramaAllergy says:

    Masterpiece!!I think you went all out with acetone degreasing,etc (way it should be)..I alway's admired Guam Chamorro blades,early pre ww2 examples.They cut 3 spikes off tang,to peen brass plate into scales as well.Then something after seeing,cannot live without,Brass sheeting scale liners,,WOW!!! ..They would taper from a fixed thick bolster like spot.Taper from heart to tip,then on other side of heart to pommel plate.The tapering fit the scale liners to pommel plate.Looking down on smooth handle and seeing a thin brass yellow on each side,then the pommel plate,Would fit your knife method perfect.That is one sweet blade.Anyone downthumbing this,<—<<<

  7. Shane McGuire says:


    I have been enjoying your videos. You have made a couple of comments about not having a power hammer, and a MIG or TIG welder. For what you are doing I would state a MIG Welder would be very advantageous, but not completely necessary. I would say you might be better serviced with an Oxy-Acetylene set. I have also noticed that you do not do very much folding of the steel(s). Likely because you do not have the power hammer.

    On that note, keep up the good work, the video's are entertaining!!

    Nice Job.

  8. Cats Cradle Forge says:

    You do awesome work man. Some people go out of their way to recreate that Raw hammer forged look on the spine of the knife. Some of my customers actually how much extra it will be to make it look Raw. They are both confused and happy when I tell them it will cost less because they are saving me a lot of work.

  9. hobbes 89 says:

    Good speed (video wise) and great explanations that are simple to follow. Thanks for the great upload. I was wondering how to do this style and you answered it perfectly!

  10. Niran Z says:

    At 10:38, what liquid is that on the knife? And why is it important?
    Also, why did you have to temper the knife 3 times instead of one? And could you use your oven at home to do this as well?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.