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Donnerstag, 16. Mai 2013

Handforging speaks louder;-)-Hammer-In @Bethaus smithy

 Last Friday we just felt the urge to make some mischief with steel and fire, so we met at the smithy. Volker was there, of course, and Willi came by as well as Nick, and Kathrin, his lovely woman, and the mad basssstard;-), Kai. We lit up forge, and just got started. It was a great and friendly atmosphere, with different skill levels influencing each other in a positive way. Everyone followed his or her gusto and projects. Volker did a lot for the atmosphere again, for he provided us with a steady flow of hot, strong java and lard sandwiches, a local speciality. Thanks, mate, for that!!!
 Nick really got the bug bad....*ggg* and really wants to learn the trade. I often have to slow him down a bit, his projects are a bit ambitious most of the time!
 Kathrin just sat there calmly and, not wanting to forge, simply read a book and contributed to a friendly atmosphere. Kathrin and Nick both are people I am outright glad they stepped into my life. They are both people with an unusual approach to life, and that´s great!

 I prepared some wrought iron from an old barn door for forge - welding laminate. I will keep the beautiful scrollwork, though;-), but use the straight parts for knives.
 Kai, long time, no see! I was glad to meet you once again, and to make some noise with you!
 Willi thinking about his projects and showing off...;-)
 Nick talking a huge pile of rubbish;-).

 Willy forged a ring to keep the tongs shut and to ease the stress on his wrists, suffering some problems at the moment.
 I welded a piece of file steel into the wrought iron, but, having too little borax, had a welding flaw at the utmost end, but no harm done, I can weld that back.
 Kai working on a whittling knife. Blimey, that guy already takes commissions... even though he still does blacksmith´s yoga before the anvil*ggg*.
 I then set out to probe a small piece of ingot I found in the local woods. I take it to be crucible steel, and it has a carbon content not far from being not forgeable anymore. The temperature window was so small, you just had to pound two times and had to reheat. We discussed its properties, and as it broke, discussed the grain, we did a spark test and all that stuff. It was great to have some more opinions, and this is a great way to learn. I have a BIG supply of these ingots, and I daresay, some of them might even have some Wootz properties. Thinking of Wootz, that is a dream of ours, just to have made that;-), too.
 Kai was tutored by Willy how to forge mini hatchets, and this came out... RESPECT!
 Nick had an idea for a chainlink for our anti-racism project. This is his second project blacksmithing all in all which he made all by himself. Amazing in my book!
 Willi made this Nessmuk basher out of 100Cr6... what can I say;-), maybe not my style, but I look forward to seeing the knife, which will be great as usual!
 He also made one of his dwarves;-)... Willy might be the only lunatic out there making eight knives and calling them "snowwhite and the seven dwarves", snowhite having a blade length of about 85 mm or so, and the dwarves at about 50 mm. They look flimsy, with a two-finger handle, but they work surprisingly great! Have to try that myself sometime soon.
 He also sharpened his spoon knife, which is coming along nicely.
 My achievements for the day: Retempering my hadseax out of wire damascus, forging a ram-headed eating kopis knife, probing the ingot and forging a laminate seax blade...
 A detail of the ram´s head, which came along nicely.
 Another perspective of the ram´s head.

It was a great day with great people and good fun, with a lot of learning and silly jokes. We all went home quite content with our achievements. Nick made a huge progress, and, keeping in mind this only was his second project with next to no help, his achievement was amazing. Kai, however, is already taking commissions, and he has made a huge progress with his tribal knives. Willy, on the other hand, is a treasury of knowledge. Kathrin and Volker contributed to the whole thing, and them all give me the feeling of being part of something great. It is an atmosphere of friendship, respect, and learning, and it seems that we all profit from this thing.

I had a chat with Volker, then cleaned up, and off I was, riding calmly along the lane through the Ruhr marshes, with the song of water birds in my ear, and the wind in my helmet.

A perfect day.

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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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