Donnerstag, 26. April 2012

On the bench-a whittling knife

This is another blade I have in progress to date... one for a whittling knife, nice and thin blade (70 mmx2 mm), will get a scandi grind, and a handle out of blackthorn or bog oak... or maybe a mountain man mounting? I am currently thinking about that, and it might go in the same sheath as the utility I finished recently. Laminate steel, tank bearing and wrought iron, courtesy of Matthias Zwissler, my master (somehow;-)).

For the living and the dead.

For the living and the dead 
(and for someone I never knew, but sincerely wish I had)

As through enchanted woods I walk,
I tread the path of moonlight
Drawn out upon the water;
And I listen to the spring breeze talk
Of times so long gone by.

Towards the twilight woods I walk,
A track leads beside mine
And the moonlit snakewound path
It leads beyond and yonder.
And thus we listen to the talk
Of spirits in the breeze.

Oh shall they smile upon our ways,
Upon our feeble deeds alive,
And may love warm their spectre hearts
In the chill wind of the void...
Maybe cattle dies, and die may man,
And every thing be doomed by death;

One thing I know that never dies;
This is the moment set in time
As in a mountain range.
And as we pause to contemplate
We see - aeons we lived, we died our deaths
And still the soul remained.

Thus for the living, for the dead
And ancestry we sing our love
Into the gentle springtime breeze
To warm the spectre´s hearts,
And duly pay the tribute
 to the ancestors beyond.

On the bench...;-)

 Those are some new projects I have lying around. A short sword for Jürgen, the mad Scottish chief, from some stainless steel, and from left to right: Leaf handle knife, utility / puuko blade that has yet to have its tang centered, and a dragon head Kopis / En - Nep, all of the latter from spring steel.
 Detail of the dragon head.
 And up front...HHAAAAARRRRRGGGNNNNNN!!!!*ggg* Have to do some finishing work to it yet, though...;-)

Mountain man style utility

 I finally managed to get the utility blade that was lying around on the bench for ages now mounted. Leaf spring steel, with a rather thick blade, selective temper, tempered and heat-blued "freehand". HRC 58-45 (towards the spine). Handle is tanned stag and leather with a brass bolster.
 The tang is riveted against a rune disc. It shows an inscription often found on the inside of vendel time tombstones... I like that;-).
Spine´s rather thick, but since the blade is wide enough, and the bevel is high, it cuts well enough. Batoning and such endeavours;-) are a cinch with this blade. Okay, it has no full tang, and might be the handle will fail due to the added flexibility of the leather washers if you constantly bash it through knotted hardwood. But for that I would recommend a billhook, a hatchet or any such like anyway.

Have to make a decent sheath for it...

Mittwoch, 25. April 2012

More leather work by drui

And more leather tooling work by I love that sheath and feel honored she appreciates my gift this much!

She has done it again...:-)

I could cry.;-) No really, I could;-). I always try my best. But it turns out I am no match whatsoever for the magic troll... she made another sheath, this time for a Martiini knife for her father...

Why do I still bother at making sheaths myself? I am all crap at it;-).

Answer: Because I want to get better.;-) Life would be boring if not for some healthy challenges.

And she keeps inspiring me in many ways...too many to tell. She brings out the best in me.

André´s Espade y daga from the Philippines

A friend of the magic troll´s, André, recently was on the Philippines for a martial arts holiday and some tree huggin´;-) and brought those goodies with him. Do not know a bit about them, but the sheath seems to be bamboo, the handle some rosewood variety like Palisander and I strongly suspect the blades being spring steel. Since André and his will-be wife also have a webshop, I will keep you informed when he imports them!

Fimbulmyrk at the spring expo in Schwelm - Frühjahrsmesse Schwelm 2012

 On April, the 21st and 22nd the spring expo in Schwelm took place, and I was there as a servant of two masters;-). And what can I say, it was great fun, in spite of the weather, which was foul.... aggressive morning dew as Jürgen, chief of Clan Mac Laren Friends Of Germany e.V. said... but more on him later;-). We set up forge on Friday and hoped for the best that the booth, which was outside, would stay put and not be blown away by the storm. In fact, no worries, we bound it tight, and found everything as we left it on Saturday. There was still some time until the visitors came in, so I started drawing out the tang for a would-be Sgian - Dhú just to promote the atmosphere, for we were located next to the mad Scotsmen;-). Turned out Levin turned up and wanted a kitchen knife, so I dismissed the Sgian plan, and started to forge a kitchen knife instead.
My place of perfect balance... fire, steel, water, and earth united in one place. 
 The Scots turned up and we traded some mad jokes. They were great company to boot to have in the neighbourhood and I daresay there was a friendship forged. Jürgen gave me a billet stock for a short sword he wants me to draw out, and we will do some shows and activities together, not the least being their highland games in July and the summer fair at the Bethaus smithy.
 I started the fire with a traditional method, just starting a wood fire and then adding the coal. The smell sifted through the air and alerted the visitors there was something "black" going on, blacksmithing, in fact;-).

 Yours truly... Levin´s girlfriend whined ;-) about no photos of myself being on the blog, so here they come...;-).
 Gee, That´s an ugly fire... had little time for degasing the coal beforehand, so it was a messy affair a tiny bit... advice: Always have some degased coal handy for events like this!
 Willi lent a great helping hand in transporting the stuff, and I daresay I would not have been there if not for his spontaneous helping out with a car. Thanks a lot, dude, you´re my favourite misanthrope! Apart from that, he did another great job in keeping a watch on the forge when I had to go for a leak and a bite or two and taking photos. Again, this post would not be possible if not for his help. I guess, he had some fun, too!
 Kids came by, and we forged miniature horseshoes and pendants alike. It is always good to see the kids having fun at work and spreading the fire. It´s also somewhat funny how many parents send their kids and have that gleam in the eye, but do not dare to do it themselves in fear of making a fool of themselves. Oh, come on, folks, give me a break, we all do our best, and where´s the harm?
Some few of them, however, got the bug so bad they actually tried it out and came away quite happy.
 After a long day we closed the booth, looking forward to the next day of smithing.
 In the morning, when I lit up forge, this licce ladybug came by to offer some support;-).
 Kitchen knife for Levin that ended up a Puuko blade for he decided he did not want it... or better, I did not quite understand him, for he wanted a wider blade to go with a handle of stag Kai had given to him.
 This is Jürgen, chief of the mad Scotsmen;-) we certainly had more than one laugh and more than one chat. Nice to know you, mate!
 Clan Mac Laren´s tartan, all handstitched by one clan member.
 ... the booth. Unfortunately, the weenie Scots;-) were shivering from the cold and had to go inside. Oh, okay, it was a bit chilly... the smiths even had to lower the side flap of the booth a bit...;-). I am kidding, of course, for their booth actually flew away and was damaged to an extent they could not keep it up. Mr. Kramer, my employer and chief organizer of the expo, quickly and unbureaucratically, found a place for them inside, in the warm, where there was no chill breeze around their sensitive fruits;-)... downside of wearing a kilt;-) if you ask me;-).  
Kidding aside, they did a great job on both days. Those guys and lassies showed spectators their take on tossing the caber, throwing the haysack, hammer throwing and displayed Scottish culture in a great way. I liked that very much.
 Throwing the haysack. To the right there´s Levin from Weideland blog, who dropped by to play the bodhrán and was assimilated in no time.
 Making noise and steam;-)...
 Highland fun...
 Tribal as they come!
 I made a dragon head En-Nep from spring steel, too.
 Made a leaf handle design blade, too. Spring steel, too. The knives I annealed beside the fire.
 I even had some time to have a stroll and take some photos. There was this extremely interesting booth where there was chainsaw art on display. Now that is not exactly revolutionary, but this was made with a hunchback accu carver chainsaw. Little noise, and the accu was charged with reneweable energy courtesy of the local energy provider. A big step into the right direction, if you ask me. Timber sports, timber arts and related activities tend to always involve a load of noise and fuel - powered exhaustion, and it was a right surprise not to hear screaming machines; I must admit that took away a bit of the fun;-) but no harm done really!
That guy really had it wired, and I really liked those carvings. Those owls I really loved!
 This one did not hurt, either...
 The master at work. It was the booth of Baum Biber, a local gardener who also sells those carving accu chainsaws and a load of related products. I guess that´s something I want to try, too!
 Bears and owls...hmmm;-).
Funny assembly of grilling bears, he he;-).
 Mind you, even the sun came by for a brief visit!;-)
 Stefan, the good natured guy taking care of parking and supervision of the event, apparently had his share of fun, too!
 The Scots after their shameful;-) withdrawal from the elements;-). Nice and warm, eh?*ggg*
 Check out their website, well worth a visit!
 They played the bagpipes on Sunday, and it even was no bodily injury for a change;-) - it´s a real difference listening to really skilled musicians instead of those insults you often get to hear on medieval reenactment fairs!
 This bottle of mead was just for displaying purposes, no really it was;-)... it even had some faux alcohol in it to make for some realistic drinking simulation.... we had a drink, and mind you, just for professional integrity (Scots without alcohol? Oh, PLEASE!*ggg*), and it was great. Sláinte!
 The exposition hall in Schwelm.
It was a great experience. I made some valuable contacts and new friendships, did some blacksmithing with children, was nearly blown away by the storm, was soaked with wet, smiled, laughed, ate and drank and generally had a ball... if only work would be that much fun always*ggg*...

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