Mittwoch, 19. Dezember 2012

Chrismas fair mayhem;-) in Langenberg and Schwelm

 You my dedicated readers might have noticed it was a bit silent the last two weeks, and that had a reason, two, in fact. We had to work on the Chrismas fairs in Velbert-Langenberg and Schwelm. In Langenberg the weather was all crap, but the market was situated at a great place and there were lots of friendly people around and we made a lot of connections. It was raining hard the whole time, and the snow was melting, making for a gooey mess. On Sunday, we had to try five times to even start a decent fire!

The smithy was built on a patch of grass, not quite the favourite, but we got it working. Volker moved his anvil around for about an hour, which resulted in a swamphole;-) and slippery it was.

 That´s an ugly fire, but all was wet through. We had an early start, and took it easy, sipping a coffee after the fire was going and having a chat.
 There were no visitors that early, but the site was located in a park near an old villa, which is used as a school these days.
 Preparing for battle...;-)
 After several futile attempts at getting a decent fire going with wet wood and wet tinder I simply stole some embers.
 Et voilá les enfants:;-)
 In spite of the weather the kids kept coming steadily. And in spite of the weather, we all had fun and made do.
 The site was beautiful, but the weather was so foul it became a total mess.
 It´s funny, but we could not complain about a lack of kids and customers. Having a smithy seems to attract people even under the worst circumstances.
 I made these little viking knives. I had the order to make them from mild steel. So I coldforged the edge and made it work. They can even cut a bit and take and keep something similar to an edge. I was fond of this one we made... this heart...
 ...together with this happy family. They really enjoyed themselves.
 The medical rescue squad was present, too, and they (adults and kids alike) had a lot of fun working with fire and steel.
 ...and memories were conserved.
 Volker forging a heart of steel.
 When the day drew to a close, the steady drizzle of visitors slowly faded, and I made this leaf handled design knife. We packed our things and drove home.
In Schwelm, we actually were so busy I was not able to make any photos, but my boss did. Here they come:

 The place was thrumming with visitors, and the fair was beautifully built with colourful huts and a load of interesting booths with good food.

 We were working both days without so much of a looking up. Craig dropped by with his family and I gave him the Sgian Dhú I made for him, with an extra belt sheath. He seemed to like it;-). Then Nick and his girlfriend came along and I made him a tool for carving and opening walnuts, out of spring steel. I will make another, I guess, and keep you posted! Jürgen from Clan macLaren came by, too, and we had a chat,
I like this photo, for it well transports the spirit and the magic of blacksmithing with children. Here is an article about the fair.

It was a very busy weekend, and I was so exhausted I slept through the next day and the night, and awoke with back aches. But it was also a great experience to boot! The back aches have subsided, but the memory will stay.

Mittwoch, 5. Dezember 2012

New bushcraft knife

 I made a new bushcraft knife. Ilkka Seikku has inspired me a lot, but I did not simply want to copy, but wanted a knife as rugged as his with the look of my own style. I am quite fond of a slight recurve and added a finger hold. It is made from selectively tempered spring steel with less than 1 % stock removal.
 I also made a sheath with a wooden (oak) inlay. Here it is not tanned yet and I also added some stitches.
The blade is 115 mm long and has a 6mm spine. The handle is elk antler. I tried out to do some balancing and thusly drilled out the hind part of the tang with 8mm holes. The centre of balance is on the first hollow rivet, on the index finger notch. It feels light and nimble for that. The blade has no secondary edge bevel.

I tested it already, and it does the job. I will document that with some photos, no worries;-). It is not as hard as Ilkka´s knives, some 58 HRC or so, but flexible enough. Chopping mild steel rods inflicted some dents on the blade, carving was a cinch, and it even stropped a Mora Triflex blade. Guess it will accompagny me personally, and I will work on perfecting the design.


 It had been brooding for some time now;-). Willi had made himself a táthlum-style sling, so I decided I wanted one, too...*ggg*. This is the cut... I made it from 2 mm leather. The seams are all on the outside, and the smooth side of the leather is inside. I made a simple finger loop and a quick sling release strap.
All in all, a quick and dirty version that took me 15 minutes to make.

What can I say... it is a fierce weapon, and I certainly would not at all have wanted to be an infantery legionary in the Roman - Celtic wars.... I have to practice a lot still, but the one time I accomplished a fast overhand shot I hit an old tree stump, which exploded as if hit with a .45 bullet.

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