What if a metalworking company had an entire studio dedicated to producing steel?
That’s the case with the Japanese metalworks Yamao Metals, which recently released a video on YouTube in which the company shows off its manufacturing process in the form of a series of hand-painted metal bars.
“I don’t know how they do it,” the company’s founder, Takeshi Kanai, tells the camera, while simultaneously demonstrating how the process can be sped up by just a few simple steps.
Yamaos steel is made by combining a mixture of steel powder and copper, which is then heated to about 700°F before it’s coated in a coating of carbon black.
The resulting bars are then assembled in a process called kiriguchi (meaning “coarse grinding”), which requires only a few basic tools: a pair of tongs, a saw and a couple of millimeters of scrap metal.
The finished bars are held together with a single, thick piece of steel called a chiswick.
(Kanai is a graduate of a metal fabrication school.)
“This is a perfect tool to make bar stock,” he says in the video.
“If you don’t have it, you can get some of the best steel you can find at your local hardware store.”
Yamai Metals’ product line is pretty impressive, especially considering that the company has yet to produce a bar of any kind.
Its products range from a set of small-bar steels to a larger-bar alloy called kyogen, which can handle a few hundred pounds of steel.
Yamanashi metallurgy is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of steel, and its steel is used in a number of other products, from the $1,000 titanium fork that’s the centerpiece of Yamanakis flagship product, the Sato Pro, to the $7,000 Titanium Pro.
The company’s focus on high-quality, hand-finished products has garnered it a devoted following, and the company makes its steel by hand and is open about its processes in the process.
While the process is quick and easy to follow, Kanai says that he prefers to work from a larger machine and says that it helps to ensure the quality of his bars is higher than those of other metalmakers.
“The metal is not made by me,” he tells the cameras.
“It’s made by the people who make the bars.”