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Hamon - Enlighten me please

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knspiracy

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Hi KKF,

I'd like to be enlightened on Hamon a little bit. Whether pointing to a suitable article online, thread I've missed on the forum or even a response below.
I get their purpose on a honyaki, but I'd like to know about about the styles and differences or anything else.
Who does Mt. Fuji? Why? Is it difficult? Is it rare? Is it desirable?
Who does crescent moon? Are there other styles other than wavy hamon and the above mentioned? What are others? Are particular hamons more desirable than others? Is the presence of a hamon indicative of quality? Is a lack of hamon noteworthy? Can you bring out a hamon that isn't visible via any method?
None of these questions need to be answered - anything of interest would be appreciated..

Do your thing, thanks in advance KKF
 

j22582536

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I should be able to answer some of your questions.

As far as I know, only a few blacksmiths that still make Fuji Honyaki: Genkai Masakuni, Yoshikazu Ikeda, Kenji Togashi, and Minamoto Yasuki; others such as Okishiba Masakuni, Tatsuo Ikeda, Kenichi Shiraki are either retired or passed away.

I’ve heard Fuji hamon has a higher failure rate while quenching comparing to regular hamon, therefore the price is generally higher; Fuji hamon however, doesn’t have any performance difference, it’s all about the look. Is it rare? That depends, if you just want a Fuji hamon and doesn’t care who made them, then you can probably find them at many retailers; however if you want something from for example Okishiba or Tatsuo, it gets much harder.

About the moon, here’s a fun fact that I feel many people don’t know: most moons, either crescent or full, are not actually a part of the hamon. They are lasered or etched on to the blade and can be removed while sharpening. As far as I know, Okishiba Masakuni is the only one that had ever done moon on the hamon, and to be honest... it doesn’t look as good as the lasered one; also he passed away 30 years ago so obtaining a Fuji-moon of his is extremely difficult.
 
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knspiracy

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Wow thanks for the detailed response.
If true, I wonder why the failure rate could be higher?
 

Chopper88

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I guess because the hamon has large height differences -and with that a larger area with a temperature difference- to create the mountain, instead of just some small waves?
 

Ruso

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>>Is it difficult?
Somewhat, the temperature, the humidity and the breeze don’t have high margin of error. Usually it’s done on a mountains ranges.

>>Is it rare?
Depends what kind. Bellota Black can be quite rare an expensive.

>>Is it desirable?
Personal preference, but yes for me.
 

knspiracy

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>>Is it difficult?
Somewhat, the temperature, the humidity and the breeze don’t have high margin of error. Usually it’s done on a mountains ranges.

>>Is it rare?
Depends what kind. Bellota Black can be quite rare an expensive.

>>Is it desirable?
Personal preference, but yes for me.
🐷
 

j22582536

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Wow thanks for the detailed response.
If true, I wonder why the failure rate could be higher?
This is just what I’ve heard, so don’t quote me on this one😝: Normal wavy hamon has a more consistent pattern through out the blade, while Fuji hamon has a larger height difference at one spot. While quenching, it creates different stress on the mountain part which makes the blade crack more easily, therefore the margin of error is a lot less.

Btw here’s a comparison of a lasered moon and hamon moon. First one is lasered and second one is hamon moon:
B232575F-B7D8-494D-8F50-24CFF9837BC4.jpeg

75EDF5D4-3258-4C91-91A7-917C6848611B.jpeg
 

knspiracy

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I was thinking that but didn't know how to articulate it coherently..
Nice blades! Yours I assume? A masakuni in there?
 

Jesse Killion

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Wow thanks for the detailed response.
If true, I wonder why the failure rate could be higher?

A hamon is created by using clay to keep a portion of a blade from hardening during the quench. The clay acts as an insulator during the quench and this keeps the "clayed" area from hardening by slowing the cooling rate of the steel. The reason for failure would most likely be from the hamon stretching down to the cutting edge due to the larger height differences needed to create a mountain scene. This would leave a soft spot, where there should be none.
 

M1k3

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Uneven heating and cooling. Think cold water on hot glass.
 

Bensbites

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A hamon is created by using clay to keep a portion of a blade from hardening during the quench. The clay acts as an insulator during the quench and this keeps the "clayed" area from hardening by slowing the cooling rate of the steel. The reason for failure would most likely be from the hamon stretching down to the cutting edge due to the larger height differences needed to create a mountain scene. This would leave a soft spot, where there should be none.
I am pretty sure the most likely cause of failure is the blade cracking from the water quench.
 

Jesse Killion

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I always forget the Japanese quench their blades in water. I do know I've had issues with hamons from the clay doing "to good of a job" and not over protecting areas that should be hard, but that's all from oil quenches. All that being said, I'm definitely a noob with creating hamon.
 
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