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September 25, 2016

Moratorium On L6 and 1086 Sword Orders


An update on what’s happening at Morgan Valley Forge.


The stream of orders coming in has always out paced production.  Over the last year, the queue has grown significantly.  Current wait time on orders has reached 14 to 16 months turn around.  


In addition Howard began offering classes this year.  The class offerings were well received and filled up quickly.  Our students have raved about the value provided.  They told us their take aways, both in increased level of knowledge/skill and items made during the week where highly satisfactory.  The last class of 2016 will be held the end of October. Howard and Christine have been comparing notes, classes will again be offered next year.  


Many years ago before the Japanese style swords took over his work, straight razors were one of the things Howard made. Over the last year Howard has been drawn back in to the world of custom straight razors.  He even hosted a razor meet at the forge shop. Howard has formed some collaborative alliances to produce high end custom razors. 


All of the above has brought us to a decision to stop taking orders for Japanese style sword blades.  Effective October 31, 2016 Howard Clark will no longer accept custom orders.  We do not expect this to be permanent.  At such time when orders will again be accepted we do expect the pricing structure and availability on orders to be revamped.  


We are offering a small window through October 31, 2016 for those who wish to have a place in the queue prior to the shut off.  As always any questions can be addressed to Christine christine@mvforge.com, voice mail to 515-966-2126.  Please utilize the sword order form to place your order.  In addition to PayPal and bank check we now have the ability to invoice via email so you can use your credit or debit card.


Howard Clark is Omimi.  Big Ear.  The most sought after maker of Japanese style sword blades. The creator of the L6 Banite Katana which is hands down the highest performance sword blade in the world.  Omimi-san has been a bladesmith for over 30 years.  Early on he mastered forging, damascus, and distal symmetry.  As Morgan Valley  Forge Howard produced knives with organic flow and keen balance.  Everything he made was meant to be used and felt right in the hand. The natural style of his work in straight fixed blades and folders is distinctive.  


Howard delved deep into the science of metallurgy.  Teaching himself how to read isothermal transformation diagrams he began the journey to create what he desired as the best blade.  One that was tough; would not chip, crack or break.  One that was hard enough to hold it’s edge for prolonged use and still be able to be resharpened.  Through his research it is said Howard broke more blades deliberately than most knife-makers made.  With known steel alloys, controlled temperatures, the test of the metal was in the heat treatment.


It is interesting to see so much of what is now readily accepted as standard practice and regurgitated on internet forums and bulletin boards came originally from Howard Clark. It was a long time coming.  At the git go the good-old-boys-club of knife making didn’t want to accept what this upstart was teaching.  They didn’t want to hear: that blind procedure without  analysis could not produce consistent quality blades; that color of a hot blade prior to quenching was subjective; that besides carbon content other alloys in a steel also played roles and changed the dynamics of the heat treatment dance for a given steel to get the desired end product.  


There are multiple reasons and much history in why Omimi is the sole source of the L6 Banite Katana.  Why the Omimi 1086 Katana will out match the majority of  Japanese style blades and the Omimi L6 is the quantum leap beyond.  It is his genius level intellect.  It is his hard working hands that create.  It is his eye that can look down all surfaces of a 30 inch katana and see where the plane is a few thousandths of an inch off.  It is Omimi.


Welcome to the Morgan Valley Forge site.  Thank you for visiting.