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Island Forge: Part 2 – Timber Frame
Traditionally crafted knives for folks who wish they could take things home from museums.

Island Blacksmith - Spring 2019

Special kajiba (鍛冶場) forge building edition.

Gathering materials began in Fall 2018, site preparation in December 2018, the lumber was milled in the first week of January 2019, the frame assembled February 5th, and roofed February 7th. Yakisugi siding and tsuchikabe walls installed during March, and interior wall finishing in April.

Thanks to all who were involved in one way or another in helping facilitate this project, providing space, time, materials, assistance, advice, and encouragement.

Island Forge: Part 1 – Foundation


The first in a series of photo essays documenting the construction, and set up of a simple swordsmith style kajiba (鍛冶場, forge building) from the ground up.

See the photos

Island Forge: Part 3 – Roof


The main inspiration for aesthetic, form, and construction technique for this project is the humble inaka naya (納屋) style built in the countryside a century ago.

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Island Forge: Part 2 – Timber Frame


Preparation of the timbers took approximately ten days. The structure was assembled in one day, the first of three days of clear weather between snowfalls.

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Island Forge: Part 4 – Yakisugi

Yakisugi - charred cypress

This traditional charred cypress cladding technique is used extensively in Japan to protect buildings for decades at a time and is as beautiful as it is functional.

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Island Forge: Part 5 – Tsuchikabe

Tsuchikabe - earthen walls

The upper sections of the walls are tsuchikabe (土壁), a mixture of natural clay, sand, and straw applied over a mortised and tied bamboo lath. In this case split cedar is used instead of split bamboo for the lath and scraps of old natural fiber rope are twisted apart and used as the binding twine.

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In the shadow of Mt. Arrowsmith,
deep in a forest clearing,
away from the things of man,
there is a place where blades are born
of earth, and air, and fire, and water.

Copyright © 2019 Crossed Heart Forge, All rights reserved.

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