Learn the Craft
Instructional Videos By Walter Sorrells
The Japanese sword is the pinnacle of the blademaker’s art. It encompasses a variety of widely disparate crafts from smithing, to polishing, to woodwork. Taken as a group, this five-video series will show everything you need to know — from selecting your tools, steel and supplies…to forging, polishing and mounting your blade.
The first first video in the series, Forging Japanese Style Blades, shows how to forge functional Japanese style swords using modern steels and techniques, married to traditional geometry and heat treating methods. Mounting Japanese Swords, Making Hamons, Polishing Modern Japanese Style Blades and Making Japanese Sword Fittings round out the series.
Unlike many bladesmithing videos, every attempt has been made to use high production values so as to maximize your opportunity for learning. If you’ve bought knife-making videos before, you’ve probably seen plenty where somebody just set up a wobbly camera in the back of a dimly lit shed and rolled tape. Not these. This series is thoughtfully scripted, narrated in crisp digital audio, well lit and shot, and carefully edited. Details of every operation are shown in close-up so you can actually see what’s going on.
Walter’s approach is to incorporate as wide a range of techniques as possible in these videos. He’s not Japanese trained and doesn’t believe there’s a single “correct” way to make, polish or mount a blade. He stresses starting with a thorough understanding of the function, use and construction of the traditional blade. From there, both traditional and modern tools and techniques are freely incorporated.