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Thread: Concerning laminations and hamon

  1. #1
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    Concerning laminations and hamon

    I keep forgetting to ask these questions to someone, so now here goes.

    Say you got a hocho. Say in the typical two pieces. The lamination gives the knife a hamon-like appearance, due to the the two contrasting materials. It recieved no clay coat, but technically its differentially hard and it makes a pattern. So do you still call it a hamon?

    How many of these knives do you think were clay coated on top of the laminate? I mean to produce a hamon? I've seen no habuchi, only a weld seem. I've seen the blades washed over with some clay before, I assumed to cut down on quench stress, scale and decarb all at the same time. Reason why I ask, is because, assuming you welded iron or mild steel to a high carbon steel; heat and quench; you'd probably still get the effect of a hamon and an effective differentially hardened blade. No?

    I was trying not to make this sound elementary, seems like I should know this by now, but I never heard it presented this way. Opinions?

    -Jason
    Black Sheep Forge
    "To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to understand all things." - a great Zen master

  2. #2
    If theres no habuchi, I dont think its called a hamon.
    A blade with low carbon sides, might still be clayed, since the core /edge steel could still harden up.
    This would not produce a hamon, though, well not that could be seen(in some cases).

  3. #3
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    From my "American" standpoint, I've classified hamon as something done intentionally on a blade to produce an effect. I've created temper lines on blades that were'nt intentional, just a byproduct of the hardening so I call them "temper lines". When I spend time applying clay to produce a certain design, harden it, and spend untold more time trying to bring that hamon out in the polish, throw the thing away when it doesn't work, and generally cuss it out a lot, it's my interpretation of a hamon. No, i'm not frustrated today.....

    Dan

  4. #4
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    habuchi

    I kind of like Joseph's definition, but Dan has a point also. A Hamon Is a "temper line" but with visual effects that are aesthetically pleasing and intentional (as best as one can manage). The habuchi is one of those effects. The Term is distinctly Japanese So really For me one hand it would only apply when done with a Japanese technique like clay coating. On the other hand I don’t mind steeling the term and using it to describe other transition zones from hard to soft that appear visually. Nothing is quite as convenient as those one-word names.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  5. #5
    This is true, to the japanese, things had to be completely intended, as well as controlled to a decent extent. Ei: Nijuha, wasnt nijuha unless it was purposely(and thus skillfully) put there.
    Its a japanese word to stray too far from its meant definition, is kinda insane to me.

  6. #6
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    Thanx for your input guys.

    I was reminded when I saw an ad for "Swamp Rat" knives. Wait was it 'swamp rat'? Well anyway, they mentioned their suguha; do too a laminate method. Well people like Cold Steel do it to. With their stainless stuff. Then I got thinking again about hocho and traditional styles.

    I guess if you broke the word down it would literally be something like 'blade-pattern' or 'blade-emblem'. So I guess methodology employed to produce it would be sort of irrelevent. Hmm.

    Well thanx for your thoughts guys.

    -Jason
    Black Sheep Forge
    "To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to understand all things." - a great Zen master

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Jason Arnold
    Thanx for your input guys.

    I was reminded when I saw an ad for "Swamp Rat" knives. Wait was it 'swamp rat'? Well anyway, they mentioned their suguha; do too a laminate method. Well people like Cold Steel do it to. With their stainless stuff. Then I got thinking again about hocho and traditional styles.

    I guess if you broke the word down it would literally be something like 'blade-pattern' or 'blade-emblem'. So I guess methodology employed to produce it would be sort of irrelevent. Hmm.

    Well thanx for your thoughts guys.

    -Jason
    I think a critical element of a hamon is the multitude of microstructures. The Lamination of two or more steels does not mean you have a transition between microstructures simply of alloy content. On a laminate the line is not dependant on the heattreat or microstructures. A clay coated blade has a transition zone between the hard martensite to the softer pearlite/ferrite. YOu can very well have a hamon on a laminate though. A hamone can run up above and below the laminate line. On some blades the interplay between two steels of varying composition and how the hamon runs up and down and across them both can be very interesting.

    The swamp rat example would be all one microstucture(martensite) as far I know based on the RCs.The line would show up before or after heattreat Since differing alloys etch differently regardless of heattreat.

    Direct translation is futile, but the meanings I gleamed from the internet were "Ha" Tooth "Mon" Root of Tooth(gums hehe) Perhap someone that understands the laguage better could interject some thoughts on the words meaning in context.
    Last edited by Patrick Hastings; 11-04-2002 at 04:22 PM.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  8. #8
    ha-mon, more or less "edge pattern".

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