Small Scale Slowcraft – A Custom Hori Hori

I had the honour of hand crafting a hori hori for my neighbour to give as an anniversary gift. Since our forge is small scale, it’s agile and adaptable, and well suited to custom projects such as this one. Details such as having a heart stamped in both blade and sheath to make the knife truly unique, and making the sheath and serrations to match the needs of its owner, aren’t typically found with factory produced goods. Neither do my wife and I wish to compete against machines; it’s a losing battle every time. Instead we aim to provide an alternative: handmade, slowcrafted goods forged from reclaimed and recycled materials.

This hori hori was forged from reclaimed 1/4″ thick leaf spring, quenched in heated canola oil and tempered to approximately 50 to 55 HRC. The softer temper guards against breaking, and sharpening with a file much easier.

Detail of the matching heart stamp on blade and sheath. The heart stamp was a custom request from the customer.

Reclaimed hardwood slabs (most likely walnut) are pinned and epoxied to the tang. The tang is heat treated to prevent bending.

The serrations are hand filed with a chainsaw file, running four inches along one side of the blade. The teeth are on the top side of the blade for a right handed user, and would be on the opposite side for a left handed gardener.

The veg-tanned leather sheath is hand dyed and riveted with copper. The cross draw design of the sheath allows for easy access to the knife even when kneeling down, which is common for gardeners and foragers alike.

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