Samstag, 22. Februar 2014

Burns night celebration at the smithy

 Yap, I know, it has been some time ago, but then I have never claimed to be the New York times;-). Burns night, that is. Craig had called and asked if he could use the smithy for his alternative Burns night celebration, and we really welcomed that. We all are fond of food and drink and plain ol# fun and poetry and strange people alike;-). Willy arrived early to helpme with forging 18 Sgian Dhús as our part of the fun. Craig had ordered them made for his friends. So we lit up forge, and I took the sledge and did some pounding. Volker contributed with a steady flow of strong coffee, cake, good humour and good-natured encouragement, as usual. Thanks, bro, good to know you!

 And, Willy, great to have you around. Don´t know of the many fixes you helped me out! It was great fun to forge with you, as usual!
Willy made some angels he is currently practicing, and they are just cute!
 We started with forging out round material to a flat billet. Then we forged the tangs. Time went by, and the sun was sinking, and the first guests arrived, amongst them René. Readers of my blog might know him as having forged a bit himself and being groom ;-) to Pam, the goldsmith, but he is one of my oldest and best friends, and I was right delighted to be able to meet him!
 As usual I had little time, what with 18 sgians needing forging. I just thought I´d show you how you can forge a bevel with a bit more shape control:
 As with any of my knives, I had started forging the tang (see above). Then I forged a tip. I then set the would-be bevel to about one third of the full width. I used the anvil´s edge for that. Some like to use the hardy chisel, but I find this can go awry too easily, and using the edge of the anvil is faster, too.
 Then, using the anvil´s horn, you give the would-be bevel a preshape. The blade now resembles somewhat of a sickle. By the way, if you actually want to forge a sickle blade, you´d have to preshape the bevel side almost full-circle. For when you start driving out the material in the edge area, you also compress it towards the spine of the blade, and that makes this happen:
 That´s how the blade looks like with the bevel forged. No grinding whatsoever needed. By driving out the material from the edge area you straighten up the blade. To the kids I sometimes compare it with working cookie dough, only at a slightly *ggg* higher temperature.
 Craig and Nigel provided us with some great music, and it was funny how the rythm of our smithing fell in line with their songs. That was fun, folks!
 Just a few of the sgians I forged that day... I can tell you, I was absolutely fluffy, but had to keep going. Then suddenly it was dinner time. Craig and Nigel again played some great folk music, there was a mad poet reciting Burns´poems, and suddenly the haggis came in, complete with tatties and potato mash. I was hungry like a wolf, and delved into the dishes with relish, amusing myself by telling René what Haggis actually was. ;-) But he surprised me by not only nibbling daintily at it, but taking three full servings! I just managed two, and I was not even able to finish the dessert, which was a delicious apple crumble by Craig´s Lovely wife Silke. We had some real nice chats, traded some jokes, had a beer, and then...
 It was back to the smithy... I managed to forge 12 sgians total, one was made by Willy, but I simply collapsed and called it a day.
We had some chats, and I had some more beers, and some more apple crumble, and some real good whiskey. I got to know some quality people again,listened to great music, and when I was riding home, I was humming and whistling conetntly to myself all the way.

I look forward to next year´s Burns night celebration!

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