Dienstag, 17. Januar 2012

Fun day working at the Bethaus smithy with Volker and Kai

 On Sunday season started and I rode out by bike to the Bethaus smithy to meet with Volker, and Kai. And what do I see? The GEESE are back!!!! Weird.
 This is Johanna, Volkers new apprentice;-):

 She was right fascinated by the work and asked a load of questions, and mind you, the parents did not look bored either;-).
 Doing some polishing on the decorative horseshoe she made that day.
 This is Jonas, her elder brother enjoying his work, too. One note to all you folks out there: Feel free to use your own photos;-) by simply copying. If you publish them, please give proper credit to this site. We do this work voluntarily and with little economical interest and want to spread the word on the trade. Please contribute by acting fairly, too. Thank you!

 Volker art the forge. Great weather, great people, and great work, a good strong coffee on the bench and the smell of coal and fire and hot iron... a perfect Sunday!
 Then there was some time, and I set out to do some of my own work. The leaf-handled knife was forged in the Industriemuseum but had to be straightened, annealed, quenched and tempered. The spring steel is the famed ancient one I found in the woods, with a carbon content of a bout 0,75% (after spark analysis).
 From that material I started a Nessmuk blade. I started by marking out the tang on the hardy chisel. Then I forged out the tang and flattened the blade. This is also the method I follow when forging integrals.
 Then I forged the tip and thinned out the spine line of the ´muk, for it should be broader at the tip. Making a Nessmuk seemed easy to me at first, for I thought: "Just give it a good hammering along the edge line, and the form will be driven into Nessmuk shape." Turns out it´s not that easy. You CAN drive out the material, and it might look like a ´muk, but you have no control over the shape. So I decided to forge out the outline and straighten the edgeline, for the curve will come if you forge the edge.
 Then I flattened it altogether, did some adjustment, and looked forward to do some annealing, and this I did. But then it happened again... luck was turning away again. Just where the tang was marked, the mark still remained. Annealed it, and filed it down, and there was a crack. Turns out the crack was in the raw material, and my great luck let me hit exactly the place of that crack with the hardy chisel. I had to chuckle. Bad luck is all, but of a consistency that in the meanwhile ruins some 70 % of my work. Maybe I should try ballet dancing or something like that, but I guess I´d look silly in a ballet skirt...;-), so it´s knifemaking nonetheless. Threw it away and started another.
Kai dropped by and helped out with the kids and started a project himself from my spring steel...
 This is little Emil who confiscated my hammer to smite the anvil to pieces;-)... had to have a word or two with him and his mother, and all was fine;-). Emil was very fascinated, and he swung the hammer with all his might, with a very stern look on his face. I showed him the technique, and he tried it out and had fun. Next time he will have a go at forging himself.
 Kai at the forge...
 And this is a knife Kai made from spring steel. That guy´s always getting better, and it is very contenting to watch him do so. This little beast has a spine of about 1,5 mm, and has no warping after the temper whatsoever, and that´s something to achieve for a beginner! My respect for that!
 The handle is made from pink ivory wood and buffalo horn. Can do with a tiny bit of polishing and some varnish, but it´s a great cutter! I really look forward to the finished product, and the sheath, for that big brute has taken to sheath making also!

 This is a neck sheath for a small knife from 1.2842.

 A pouch sheath for a Birka style women´s knife...
 And a sheath for the big Seax he made. Cuppa coffee in the bargain... mind you, I nearly drank a gallon of that, thanks, Renate, and Volker!

 I adjusted the handle on the leaf-handle-knife and quenched and annealed it. Will see some turns in the oven, though. Silver steel.
 And the Nessmuk blade I forged anew. Laminate steel with tank bearing inner and wrought iron outer layers from a churchyard that was being reconstructed. Will see some detail work, though.
All in all, another great day with great people. I rode home quite fluffy, but with a song on my lips.

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