Mokume Gane

Ulrich Wolf

Hallo an alle !!

Hat jemand von euch Erfahrung mit dem Selbst-
herstellen von Mokume Gane ??
Welche Metalle ( oder Kupferlegierungen ) verbinden sich am besten miteinander und geben die schönsten Muster ?

Gruß Uli



ich habe eigentlich nichts dazu zu sagen, außer daß in dem Buch "Messer machen" vom Venatus Verlag eine Kurzanleitung zur Herstellung von Mokume gibt. Vielleicht interessant für Dich?

Grüße aus Esslingen.


MF Ehrenmitglied
Ich selbst habe keine praktische Erfahrung auf diesem Gebiet, aber wenn es Dich sehr interessiert, kann ich Dir mal zusammensuchen, was von amerikanischen Messermachern in der knife-list darüber geschrieben wurde.


Ulrich Wolf

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">Zitat:</font><HR>Original erstellt von Guenter:
Ich selbst habe keine praktische Erfahrung auf diesem Gebiet, aber wenn es Dich sehr interessiert, kann ich Dir mal zusammensuchen, was von amerikanischen Messermachern in der knife-list darüber geschrieben wurde.


Hallo Guenter,
danke für Deine Nachricht - wenn es Dir nicht zuviel Mühe macht - würde mich sehr interesieren.

Auch danke an Matthias - das Buch habe ich ,jedoch ist da nur das Verfahren beschrieben - dieses ist mir bereits bekannt.
Mich interesieren jedoch die Materialien - welche sich am besten miteinander verbinden,
die Schmiedetemperaturen usw.


Gruß Uli


MF Ehrenmitglied
Hier ist noch die Antwort von einem der erfahrendsten amerikanischen Messermacher zu diesem Thema. Ich denke, dies beantwortet auch alle Fragen:


Following is information from my book "The Wonder of Knife Making".
Following it are some conversations from past discussions. Let me know if
you have any specific questions.

Wayne Goddard


How to Make Mokume
A question from Thomas J. Janstrom, Townsville, Australia. "I would like to
know how to make mokume to help embellish my knives. If you could tell me
how to make this material I would be most happy."
Mokume is a Japanese word that means burl or wood-grain and it can apply to
layered iron, steel, or non-ferrous laminates. The mokume that you are
interested in is the non-ferrous type that is made by a fusion welding
process. If we were to use the word correctly it would always include the
type of materials used for the laminations.
Contemporary mokume is usually made of combinations of the following;
copper, nickel silver, brass, bronze alloys and pure nickel. My favorite is
copper and nickel silver as made by Devin Thomas. I purchase the bar stock
then saw and forge it to shape. At times I carve groves in it before forging
to develop a pattern. After finishing the mokume parts I will etch them then
develop a patina by using either cold blue or a commercial antique finish
for silver working. Mokume parts do not have to be etched to delineate the
layers but I find they stay nice looking longer when etched and given a
patina treatment. Devin will furnish straight-layered, ladder or dot pattern
mokume in a variety of materials and number of layers.
To make your own you will need the following:
1. Thin sheet stock of the chosen contrasting materials.
2. A pressure plate. (See drawing)
3. Clay / water mixture.
4. Heat source, charcoal, coal, electric or gas. Temperature range
A good size for your first batch of mokume would be one inch wide and two
inches long. Start with copper and nickel silver sheet, .030 thick, fifteen
pieces of each. Cut the pieces to size flatten as necessary and then hand
sand the surfaces down to bare metal. Wear rubber gloves so that the pieces
are not contaminated with oily fingerprints. Wash with acetone or lacquer
thinner, and stack the alternating pieces up nice and neat. Work in a dust
free area, any dust or oil between the layers will cause a flaw. Sometimes a
thicker piece of copper is used on the bottom of the stack which will make
the base for a part that will have only one side visible such as a bracelet,
belt buckle or pommel cap.
The pressure plate is prepared by coating the inside surface with the clay
mixture. This keeps the mokume from welding to the pressure plate. I believe
that stainless steel heat treating foil would also work in place of the
clay/water mix. With the stack bolted securely in the pressure plate the
whole works is put in a nice easy fire and slowly and uniformly brought up
to the temperature at which fusion takes place, (1,500-1,600 F). Fusion and
welding are the same thing. The way it works is as follows; as the metals to
be joined are heated the atomic particles begin moving faster and faster. As
the heat is increased the particles move faster until they reach a point
that they will interchange with any compatible material that is touching.
As the stack of alternating materials in the pressure plate reach the point
of fusion a shadow or shimmer is visible on the surface. Welding should be
complete however most of the time the pressure plate is removed from the
heat source and lightly worked with a hand hammer to assure the weld.
Success of the welding will depend on the flatness / cleanliness of the
laminations and that the whole stack reached the correct temperature.
Copper, brass and nickel silver melt at around 2,000 F therefore; the danger
of melting all or part of the billet is always present.
After cooling, the billet is removed and the rough and uneven edges are
ground in order to check the quality of the weld. The billet can then be
sawed into rough shapes for pattern development and forging. Mokume can be
forged somewhat at room temperature if it is annealed. It is safer to forge
it hot because there is less chance of questionable welds coming apart. Non
ferrous materials are forged at a low temperature. If there is much color in
the billet it may be too hot, 1,100 F is about right. Forge your mokume easy
and slow. It is easy to tell when you have worked it too hot because it will
start coming apart in large crystalline pieces.
I finish mokume by hand sanding to 800 grit without any buffing. I believe I
get a better etch with the open grain of the hand sanded finish. (This also
applies to forge welded steel.) After the etch to delineate the layers I rub
it out with 2,000 grit paper then treat with an oxidizer to give the color
contrast patina.
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 14:00:02 -0700 From: (Mike Faul)
Subject: Re: Mokume Temps.yeah thats the ticket... :) use 50 deg below the
lowest melt temp. I have a small propane/oxy rig I built for mokume and I
can monitor it real close by eye. I had too many problems doing it in the
forge. What I do now is use a c-clamp to hold the billet together, take two
fire bricks and hollow out a space for the billet in the middle. And space
to hold the steel c -clamp I have a peep hole on the front and a hole into
which I burn the oxy/prop I can create a neutral atmosphere by adjusting the
oxy level. then I just watch the edges sweat then let it cool down. I think
I have a diagram somewhere. A good book and video is by a guy called Steve
Midget (a jeweler). here is a pointer to his web site. Mike
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 12:47:46 -0700
From: (Bladesmith)
Subject: Re: Mokume Temps.
Wayne and I watched the same pro. It was DevinThomas. Devin said to let the
billet soak at temp for 20 minutes. He encapsulates the billet in a sheet
metal "box" to keep it from oxidizing.
That was the first time I used a forge with a pyrometer. It's a wonderful
thing. Also found out that a thermocouple can have a radically different
reading if it's not quite far enough in. Like 200 degrees.
Use thin sheet metal for the box, clamp it up and weld it closed. That takes
care of oxidation. Smoke the inside of the box with acetylene or paint it
with white out. Plan on grinding some of the sheet metal off anyway. My 2
cents worth. Devin is a pro and rightly said that's it's harder to make
mokume than it is damascus. Gene Martin
From: (Mike Faul)
there is really only one kind of "mokume gane". Pattern brazed copper,silver
etc. The term mokume
is used to describe the pattern in the steel (the hada). The three basic
types of hada are ,
Itame, Masame and Mokume where mokume looks more like the new age style pool
and eye.
So, mokume the pattern and mokume gane the forge brazed product.Mike
From: (Muh-Tsyr)
Hello All. When I used the term mokome gane which literally means burl metal
I should of included the adjective, ji as in mokome jigane, which would mean
burl patterned unhardened body portion of blade metal .Actually I was trying
to avoid using any Japanese terms to avoid confusion.since there was some
problem with reversed terms used in Mikes sentences which were said
somehow related to numbers.
Could you run by me again your explanation of folding metal in one direction
as opposed to two, for the differences in itame and massame? that's where
you lost me Mike.I assumed you were talking about the
direction of cuts to the billet. The original thread you replied to was an
inquiry to the nature of cutting ability of blades with the layering in a
transverse direction. Upon seeing the words Japanese sword
construction you launched into a posting that never did address the nature
of the thread.Mokome which I will call a birdseye pattern since it looks
like birdseye wood grain can be made by either cutting
material away for the eyes and then hammering flat, or punching dents into
the surface and leveling the surface. To do a tight pattern your way implies
somebody with a chisel would cut literally hundreds of craters into the
billet along its length. Michael Bell, with whom I began my apprenticeship
a decade ago, thinks the mokome hada blades were dented and then ground down
level, as opposed to the subtractive method you first suggested. The thought
that the peining or punching action was also to help hold the layers
together was put forth by some sword scholar, could of been Sato, Yumoto,
Ogawa, or Compton, or somebody else. It would take too much digging to find
the reference and to which sword in particular they were talking about.
The first method to arrive at Masame hada (at least the way I was taught) is
to fold the billet in the same direction each fold. so draw it out cut in
half and fold from front to back each time.
Itame Hada each fold front to back every other fold and then laft to right
or right to left every other fold.
Iguess you could get a mokume hada by peining but I think that the pattern
would as you say be burled and not really as defined as a pool and eye.
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 10:43:32 -0700
From: (Mike Faul)
Subject: Re: Mokume Temps.
Fine Silver 1760
Sterling Silver 1640
Gold (24K) 1945 almost all gold alloys will work. 14K yellow should be fired
at 1350°
Shakudo 1922 95% Cu, %5 Au
Shibuichi 1742 75% Cu, 25% Ag
Copper 1981 Oxygen-free alloy is best.
Yellow Brass 1749 70% Cu, 30% Zn
Nu-Gold 1700 A Copper Zinc alloy (Jewelers Bronze)
Nickel silver 2030 65% Cu, 18%Ni, 17%Zn. Anneal often Do not quench
Subject: Re: RE;mokume-gane...I've thought of using pure nickel (which I can
get) and copper. Does anyone have a comment on the likely success of welding
copper to nickel, and some guidelines on what sort of temperatures to work
at. This will work, I have made quite a bit of it with Ni/Cu in pure forms.
temp. required to bond is higher than with the brass, because you are now
counting on the bonding temp. of the copper, which huses at a higher temp.
than does the brass/copper. I have never measured the temp. with a
pyrometer, but I think it is about 1850-1900F. The copper will move more
than the nickel when forging the piece after it is stuck, but I have had
less trouble with this than with Cu/Nickel silver, and it is usually less
expensive to buy nickel than nickel silver, as pure Ni is available as scrap
much more commonly. Good luck !


Ulrich Wolf

Hallo Guenter

vielen Dank --

es läßt keine Fragen mehr offen ---
werde bei nächster Gelegenheit gleich mal
ausprobieren ob ich das ganze auch in die
Praxis umsetzen kann.

Danke nochmals für Deine Bemühungen

Gruß Uli