source of tamahagane ? china ?

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Feb 5, 2014
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could anyone please point me in the direction of a cheap source of tamahagane I was hoping to find a forge in china that makes it in bulk at slave labour prices.

I'm a knife maker. I have been smelting my own tamahagane in a back yard tatara. But the demand for my tamahagane knifes is now so high that I cant keep up with supply of raw blooms. please help

As you know it is time, labor, material and skill intensive. I have never heard of a place to buy actual tamahagane much less a cheap source. Not to say it is impossible but you have your work cut out for you.
Tamahagane is only smelted in very small quantities and with the exception of low grade pieces which are sold as souvenirs, it is only sold within Japan to registered sword smiths.

Judging by the phrase "I have been smelting my own tamahagane", I would guess that you're looking for Oroshigane (hand smelted/ home made steel) and not genuine Tamahagane.

There are a number of sword smiths in the US and over here in Europe who would be willing to smelt some Oroshigane for you, but it would not be cheap.
"if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys"....especially Made In China!!:2cents:
Thank you mas4to for clearing up the proper name of the steel that I am after. I also want to apologise for the slave labor remark, it was a poor attempt at humour and I didn't mean to offend anyone
surely there must be a source in long quan china, where are all the knock-off sword makers getting it from ?
According to most of my books on Japanese swords. Oroshigane is made by adjust carbon content in low carbon or very high carbon steel to make this steel suitable for sword making. old iron pots, old nails, cast Iron and tamahagane that is either too low or too high in carbon for swords are commonly use for oroshigane. the smiths that I know in Japan call the steel they make from satetsu (iron sand) tamahagane.

But I still don't know where you will be able to purchase either one.
surely there must be a source in long quan china, where are all the knock-off sword makers getting it from ?

The cheap knock off swords are simply made from cheap mill steel which has been pattern welded.

The issue here is that there is no way to verify that it is indeed hand smelted steel. The only factory produced Chinese swords to use legitimate hand smelted steel (that I am aware of) are the Hanwei Paper Crane series, and the Dynasty Forge Daimao series - with a katana from either of these series costing around $2.5k.

Master Chen (of Zubeng Forge) also smelts his own steel on site, as he is unable to import Tamahagane from Japan and has found no suitable source of hand smelted steel in China.