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Shuriken – Hand Forging Tutorial

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In this video, Walter Sorrells shows how to make a shuriken, or Japanese bow-dart or throwing dart. The term actually refers to any throwing weapon, including throwing stars.

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This method shows an advanced way of making shuriken, using a forge and an anvil. A fun project, it’s basically a big nail. He uses S5, a shock-resistant silicon steel. It’s not actually important what kind of steel is used here. This is 3/8 S5 steel, cut into 5.25 inches long.

The steel is then heated in the forge then drawn out using a hydraulic press and drawing dies. Next, he switches to flat dies and round the stock off a little, getting rid of the irregular shapes. The other way to do this is by hand, either using the pin of the hammer to draw out the steel, or let it hang from an anvil and use the sloping face to draw out the stock by hitting the steel at a slight angle, rotating as you hit so a relatively consistent width is achieved.

Eventually, Walter cuts the hot steel into three segments, giving each one a point at one end. It’s not important to have a perfect taper, as this will be polished later. He then makes a jig to finish the points using a piece of aluminum stock with a hole drilled into it – the drilling of which he explains in detail. Moe holes are drilled into the stock and screws are put into them. A piece of wood is placed at an angle to the disk grinder, the jig is set up and the rough shuriken placed through the jig.

The shuriken is then polished to a tapered, sharp point with four facets using the disk grinder. The darts are then heat-treated, then quenched in peanut oil and tempered for two hours. After they have been tempered, the darts are brought back to the disk grinder for a final sharpening and come out as deadly-looking weapons.


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