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Montag, 5. September 2011

One day in the smithy with three lunatics;-)

 On Sunday it was a  hammer-in again at the Industriemuseum Ennepetal.
 Daniel was already there when I arrived, and had the privilege to light the forge this time.
 Willi, making mischief as usual;-). I like this guy a lot for being absolutely insane. And for keeping me down to earth and knowing every material number the Gods of normation have invented on this planet... I have learned a lot from him, and since I know he now reads this blog (stealthily;-), people would talk.... and then it will be "they´re coming to take me away, hih, they´re coming to take me away, haha, they´re coming to take me away, haha, hoho, hihi..." for him*g), I thought I´d let him know. 
 Daniel mounting and unmounting the forge. A forge that is not constantly changed every fifteen minutes and with different setups and constructional details gets boring quick, and forging gets boring, too, without the challenge to adapt to these changes on top of forging damascus or any such apprentice work*g.  Willi was looking on and not approving. But then Willi seldom approves to anything*g, which makes him the "difficult co - worker"*g he is...

 I, for one, can approve of this hatchet Willi made with a handle out of a wood my tiny mind could not remember the name of*g. Something out of a dense and deep jungle, and I find this material very fascinating, FOOOOOOR,
 This handle is NOT oiled. The wood has a shine to it as if treated with shellac or resin... naturally. Nice long grain, too. I like the thin, nimble and sharp blade, too.
 Rolf dropped by, and as usual he brought a truckload of tools, good manners and an air of high spirits with him. It´s always cool to have him around.
 There was a presentation of die-casting and forming for kids, too, and the kids could even do a die-cast themselves.
 Those are some blades by Rolf. I especially like the skinner designs to the left.
 Drilling a tang....
 The forge a-roaring. We had a length of higher-diametre steel in it, for a demonstratio of t5he infamous "sledge dance"*g.
 Fimbulyourstrulydidsomething...Forging the handle of another knife. How might it look in the outcome? I am wondering myself.*g
 And a Celtic leaf blade. Now let me explain this. I am not one for swords in general, but there has been changing something only but recently in my attitude towards them. Towards mythology, towards male and female, and towards life in general and its meaning...

In diesem Post hat unser Zeichner wieder ein weiteres unglaubwürdiges  Kompliment versteckt... Können Sie es finden? *g

 Willi DOING IT AGAIN!He has done it again.

 Proper man food...;-) WURST!!!! FLAISCH!!!!!
SCHNAAAAAAAAPSSSS!!!! In Finnish: BRATWÜRST!!!! MEAD!!!!;-) (Sorry, bro, but thought you´d like it...;-))
 Rolf doing what he did most of the time: Smile.

Oh, and he also did a tiny bit of forging, grinding, instructing clumsy Fimbulmyrks, tempering, spreading an air of high spirits and dirty jokes by the cartload;-).
 Willi telling the kids that one should not test the sharpness of these blades ALONG the thumb... no really, they did. Fortunately, nothing awkward did happen....

 The blade getting longer ever so slowly but steadily, and taking shape. It just struck me, making a leaf blade. At first it should have been a "Langes Messer". But then there were two impulses occuring to me:

Why the [insert any dirty word of your choice] should I obstain from making a proper sword which I always wanted, when some politician sells tanks to whoever without not so much as a single blink of an eye, and when I set my mind on making a sword, why not do the bigger challenge? If you draw a sword, there can be no compromises any more. Why should there be  when you make one? I´ll post about this decisison in a separate post, for it would take too long now, but I am resolved now. Many things are now getting clear. I am still a pacifist. A pacifist with a sword?

I strongly suspect that one without one would be not credible in my book...;-)

 Rolf actually at work...and not smiling, for once...*g

Willi, also at work, and not smiling, too.*g But then, you know it´s gonna hurt if he starts to smile, his humour is illegal in many countries...*g
 Daniel progressively getting better.
 Steel at rest. I annealed it by heating to tempering temperature and letting it cool on top of the forge, twelve times.

 Kinda dusty in the smithy...;-)
 Daniel grinding, tempering and polishing an old ball - peen from the junkyard. I like this very much.
 A hot chisel Daniel made.
 My Ruis leaf with a Hamón on, which I tempered encore un fois after testing it and finding it barely adequate.... sorry for the bad pic.
 Did I mention Willi is  a lunatic?*g
 He is a lunatic.*g
 No really, he is.*g Tempered, and sharp.
 Daniel´s hammer up close.
 The hot chisel.
 My Ruis Kopis leaf handle design. It was fun to make it, and it works. Next time I have to work on the balance, for it´s kind of rear-heavy (that the expression, when its weight´s towards the handle?:-)).
 One of Rolf´s hammers. He is quite an accomplished allround craftsman, too, working with leather, steel, wood, and all the other materials of knifemaking. His leather bags and pouches are a sight to behold, too.
 There was an oldtimer expo at the museum, too, and, since I could not lift the hammer any more for cramps, I took time off to take some pics.Ford Granada...
 An ancient Mercedes Unimog tractor.
 A Fendt tractor from the 1950´s or so.
 Ford. Model T.
 Oh, and the proper man food was courtesy of the Kritzler family. They own a bakery on the countryside around Breckerfeld. They bake after old recipes, too, and with an ancient charcoal oven.
 Plus, they are nice people, and I enjoy having a chat with them every time we meet.
 Mrs. Kritzler should have come first, but Blogger and my incapability wouldn´t do that.
 Then I went into the café to have some proper Fimbulmyrk food myself... psssssst, don´t tell the others*g! We got the cake and coffee free of charge, and that´s quite nice, for it´s all homemade and tasty to boot.
 And a REAL cup with good, strong coffee....

By the way, people looked at me as if I were some kind of Martian again... can´t put the finger on it, but might have to do something with the fact that I was all black from the grinding dust, which I realized later...
 The sword after a quick and dirty grind. I tempered it three times, each time tempering the "sweet spot" in the centre of percussion in water damp, then putting the tip (one third length of blade) in a shallow oil tub until the rest was cherry red, then I put the next third in the tub, and as the colour was barely visible, I briefly quenched the last third, but taking it out again instantly. Then I raised the tip and let the colour draw towards it from the rest of heat in the tang, blue in the middle, golden at the tip.

Will perform a cutting test with the sword and hope it will do...*g. 
 Daniel had the idea of forging a sledge with a tiny gas forge and by hand. We had no tongs whatsoever for it and no time whatsoever. I did not approve, but I have to appreciate the brute force and skill...

As seen here. Please NOTE: Don´t try this at home. The tongs do not fit, the metal is way too big, and it flips all over the place.



More photos you can find here.


  1. Really looks like a great day with great people :)
    Oh, the ???-car is a Pontiac Grand-Prix (Yeah, I'm daddy's little girl and like good looking cars xD )
    So, mal schauen, muss man dat Kompliment ankreuzen, wenn man's findet? Und wohin muss man die Lösung schicken? Kann man da wat jewinnen?? *ggg*
    Those breads and the cake look so delicious, I can nearly smell it! Yummy :)
    And the sword know, no words needed in here ;)

  2. @gorges: And a great one at that... my life´s really busy this year, and full of many great, albeit arduous;-) experiences....

    @drui: Thanks for keeping me informed, I am mummy´s little girl.. erm... boy, that is and cars have a habit of burning when I drive them (burned all three cars I had...)so I dismissed them as being too fragile for me;-).

    Kompliment ankreuzen und an die Komplimentfindesuchgewinnspiellotteriezentrale im Wald, dritte Eiche von links (von der Buche aus gesehen)... zu gewinnen gibbet nix von Belang, ausser einem Ohrensessel im Kaminzimmer meines Herzens*ggggggggggggggggggggggggggg. Aber vorher anklopfen is´ja eh nich´Dein Ding,und Du scheinst da ja schon eh rumzulümmeln... (laß mir nur noch was vom Holundermet übber und schneid Dich nich;-)) also scheint das ja nix zu sein... also vergiß das olle Kompliment...*g und die Komplimentsuchgewinnspielzentrale verbucht das eh immer so unseriös, aber das liegt wohl an der Eiche...;-) vielleicht zwischen den Wurzeln?

    They actually were delicious;-)I could taste them, too... but in actual, nanananana*g!

    The sword blade cost me a lot of resolve to make. It was a decisison not easily made, for I forsake a principle by doing it and set my foot on a new path. Little thing for a start, but a hard one.

  3. Wie war das, bei Eichen sollts du keine Post einreichen, sie wird zu den Wurzeln purzeln? (altes schlesischen Stück Weisheit. Oder so...)

    I think, this burning-problem is due to your imagination. As a Blacksmith you always think of heat and fire when seeing metal. Now the problem with a car is that most essential parts are made of. Yep, metal. Now this metal energy goes together with your thoughts of heat and BAM! It's burned. A totally siple explanation. Well, at least in my head.
    I also said goodbye to a principle recently. It may also look very piddly...just two little booklets. But I'm not one for clubs or communities, and this thing even has to do with spirituality, so I was pondering very long.
    But now, as I hold this two first Gwersu in my hands, I read all those things which have always attended me through life.

    And I think it's worth trying it ;)

  4. @drui: Nur die Buchen können es versuchen... oder so...*g

    You may be right*g about those cars... bikes are far better. Some distances are greater challenges than others, but I´ll see... it´s all training.*g

    I am not one for clubs, and certainly not for spiritual communities, except those I founded;-) or helped found;-). I had my time when I attended to Rosicrucian, Free Mason, templars of the Holy Sepulchre, knights of the Golden Fleece, knights of the body of the sacred sepulchre and heroes in leggins orders´lectures. I am no stranger to wicca as well as to the Eistedfodd community (though the latter, I must say, I had only a brief talk to one member). I have delved deep into the swamp of all those fascist organisations where they would not take Adolf Hitler for he "were not radical enough" in "disguise", too (wasn´t so difficult, radicals are single-minded, that makes it easy to slip through). It surprised me myself that I came out unscathed. But all that I heard was an angry "I am! Look! I am!". I had my time when I sought power over nature and my fellow creatures, wanting to smash this insane society and establish a new order. I had my time and a painful training in the martial arts - by my father, who would never have called it that way.
    I founded a mountainbike club, and that´s little more than a Mammon-worshipping, that is.

    What impressed me most, and what marked the point where I realized I was entirely on the wrong path, was when I talked to a Saami knifemaker / hunter / reindeer breeder. It´s ever so much simpler. I have not dismissed the techniques I have learned for inspiration and only but recently reactivated them with the help of [insert twenty pages of raving and swooning about some recent acquaintances(?) of mine*g]...but I learned to smile upon my own mischap.

    I sincerely wish you spiritual company and many qualified discussions. I wish you progress on your chosen path. Most of all, I wish you strength, and peace, and contemplative silence from those Gwersu.

    And as little suffering as may be possible on the path of initiation, but I fear, this wish is an idle one. In any way, you have impressed me a lot, and I care a lot for you. If you could one day call me a friend, I´d try to prove being a worthy one. So, if your load one day gets a bit top-heavy, I´d try to convince you it´s not*g (that´s what friends would do in my experience*g). Try never to forget smiling on this way, that´s my experience, not that I am worthy of giving any counsil, mind you! But I´ll just try to be there. Oh, and you are right: It´s all well worth it.

    Truth is simple. And sometimes hard to stomach. A sword might be a symbol, but first and foremostly it´s a brutal and deadly weapon, and "the blade itself incites to deeds of violence"(Homer: Ilias). Its very nature is to be contrary to the power of life. It is not a toy, and I did not want it any, even if it fascinated me. But I waited long enough for someone to walk the way. Noone came, so I walked myself, and it seems to be part of it.

    It´s all in the reasons. But this has to be told in another post.;-)


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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