Freitag, 29. August 2014

A day at the smithy-forging with children and saving a sword

 I am not quite sure how to write this positively. I am currently feeling a bit burned out, not necessarily by smithing, but by the circumstances. Our host in the smithy, Volker, had done outright sabotage those last months to my attempts to continue forging that claymore that turned out a bit shorter;-). Readers of my blog know the story of the "Sword Of The Muttental" which I started together with ClanMcLaren Friends of Germany. Now those lads and lassies are nice enough, but first and foremostly, this is my first sword. I have a hand hammer, a small forge, tongs, and a flex at my disposal. I do this, for free. The sword should have been a real sword, not just decoration, from the first hit of the hammer on, and I had started it with people, who, for the most part, had never forged anything or even never held a hammer. The folks get impatient. Folks do, no problem with that, izt has taken long enough. They have been assured they´d get a clan sword, and this is what they want. NOW. You might get a clue where the culprit of it all might be and that there might be a tiny problem...;-). Plus, there are birthday parties to forge on, and knives to make, and to forage for my food.
 But I am Fimbulmyrk. I haven´t earned that nickname by sitting behind the oven and complaining. So I saddled my bike, put my hammer and tongs and material and projects into my 40 kg rucksack and rode the 15 km to the smithy. I was a bit angry, so I made it clear to Volker that he did not at all want to feel the consequences of not letting me complete the sword. Suffice to say, we had an argument of the uglier kind. You see there´s a sword lying on the forge in the picture above. Of course, I also helped out with the forging with kids and worked on other projects. But all in all, I was glad Willy was there, helping out, too. When I was all fluffy with pounding spring steel, I set out to normalize the blade. I had to shorten it a great deal, because it had been hit the wrong way at wrong temperature and abused in a way I´d normally never do to a blade of a knife let alone a long sword. The steel is very rugged, so that might not be that much of a problem, but I did a very thorough normalizinh heat treatment leaving it nice and soft. Then I had to put it away to cool down and rest some more. In the meantime I started a new bushcraft proto from 100Cr6 and ground my Barong.
 And I admired the beautiful sculptural work by Willy, of course! He really makes delicate forms and sculptures a lot these days.
 Like this, see?
 Volker wasn´t too mad with me, for he provided us with a steady flow of caffeine.
 He also had bought a new anvil... with edges for a change!
 We also had a piece of cake.
And I completed these two blades, the Barong I had started recently and a more conventional knife for my personal use. 115x2,8mm, 100Cr6, selective temper, with a very high convex bevel that appealed even to Willy who generally thinks my knives are too thick and have a too brutal edge geometry. I take this as a very high compliment.

All in all I must say, I regret that often you have to bully your way up to being respected. I´d say my case was just, and I made my point, but I do not like it any making threats, as civilized as they might have been. I have always thought all men were of principially equal potential and intelligence, but I now suspect they are not. I also had a long talk, and not just one, with Willy on the topic, and have learned a bit by his experience. I reluctantly admit I have been a bit naive in the past. But then I want to simply remain naive. Because if you are a suspicious bastard, it also falls back onto yourself.

But sometimes you have to fight for your right, and do whatever is necessary. I fought for the right to keep my promise to others, for my right to bring joy to a company of individuals who are sticking together in a world where it is not usual to stick together. A complex matter, for sure, but a good example of how problems are made, and, I hope, how problems could be solved, if that makes any sense to you.

Of course, the long time that the forging of this sword has taken, was also my fault, but I want to do my best in a hostile environmment. I have made a bold claim, because I knew I was capable of it. I did not reckon with the fact that my environment was unreliable at the best, but I have taken this slowly, because I had to learn how to use sword physics in the first place. I am a student at best, and I sincerely hope I can make up with earnest what I lack in talent, but a sword there will be. I said it would be, and I stand up for my word, even if it costs me.

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