Even with the massive convenience that digital fabrication technologies have afforded us, you’ve got to admire those who are actively keeping the primitive manufacturing arts alive. Sculpting, woodworking, and blacksmithing are just a few of the ancient crafts that still manage to draw the eye with their personalized, handcrafted looks — not to mention insane, mesmerizing manufacturing processes.

Blacksmith Dmitry Shevchenko, who goes by the YouTube handle shurap, is one of the few keeping the craft alive, and almost exclusively works with Damascus steel. Starting with a single ore, he presses the metal into shape before hammering it down and grinding it by hand to make some of the most beautiful tools you’ve ever seen.

In this instance, he takes a solid piece of his favorite metal and turns it into an oversized Japanese woodworking chisel:

japanese chisel

After tempering and pressing the metal for what seems like days, Dmitry was finally able to whittle the block-sized Damascus steel into a slim rectangle perfect for the wooden handle. Using a mix of hammering techniques and metal pressing, he shapes one side down to fit the handle while the actual chisel remains large and flat.

japanese chisel
japanese chisel

With the final shape in place, he grinds, sharpens, and polishes the metal to a mirror sheen before making a small indent in the center of the chisel (possibly to make holding it more comfortable).

japanese chisel
japanese chisel
japanese chisel
japanese chisel

After this step, it’s back to more polishing and shaping down the inner center curve of the chisel. Dmitry then smooths out the metal using sanders, grinders, and a small polisher before dunking it in a finish and brushing it down with water. The resulting finished surface complements the Japanese woodwork on the handle nicely.

japanese chisel
japanese chisel
japanese chisel

After this, it’s back to more polishing and shaping down the inner center curve of the chisel. Dmitry then smooths out the metal using sanders, grinders, and a small polisher before dunking it in a finish and brushing it down with water. The resulting finished surface complements the Japanese woodwork on the handle nicely.

While it’s not difficult to appreciate the beauty of any handmade masterpiece from a blacksmith, it’s when you see how much sweat and tears when into the object that really elevates to a whole other level. Watch more of Dmitry’s videos over on his YouTube channel.

Author

Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.