The more I think about it, the more I think my life goal is to become a blacksmith. You know, disregarding the time and energy I’ve spent to become a writer, but who cares about things like existing career goals? I keep daydreaming about living in a little stone house in a little mountain town like Truckee and starting an armory with Andrew. And we could go hiking every day and plant a garden and be epic mountain folk. Ahhh… dreams. Maybe someday.
I think there’s something totally awesome about making beautiful tools and weapons by hand. I admire people whose jobs require labor and handiwork–probably since so much of my work takes place at a desk or on a computer.
Knifemaking has been on my mind nonstop lately. After loving knives, swords and other pointy objects (not like that, you pervs) for many years, it’s time to start making my own. I’ve had lots of ideas for blade shapes and styles, so I’ve been researching knifemaking and I recently ordered a grinder and some D2 flat stock so I can start making these ideas come to life! You’ll definitely see my creations–and failures, most likely–here in the near future.
This photoset by jarkko1 on DeviantArt was on Reddit today and I found it really inspiring. I’ve been researching different smithing processes and it’s all really fascinating.
Here are his instructions that correspond with the numbers on the photoset:
Making of the iron old school way and forging the knife from it.
- 1-2. Searching and collecting the bog iron ore from the bottom of the river.
- 3. Cleaning the iron ore by burning it.
- 4. Burned iron ore, there’s about 4 kg of it.
- 5-6. Materials needed in the melting: iron ore, lime and wood charcoal.
- 7. Melting ongoing. Furnace is made mostly from soapstone blocks and clay.
- 8. View to the furnace at end of the melting.
- 9. Decrypted furnace.
- 10. Lump that contains slag and iron. Something gone bit wrong in melting as the iron and slag were mixed in one lump, instead of two lumps where one contains mainly iron and another the slag.
- 11. Iron (on the left) separated from slag.
- 12. Crosscut of the iron piece.
- 13. Iron pieces that are forged flatter. These are put together by forge welding.
- 14. Folded piece of iron. The iron piece must be folded and forge welded solid again many times. That makes the iron piece more homogeneous and condensed.
- 15. Chiseling the iron piece, so that it can be folded again.
- 16. Knife blade is starting to take shape.
- 17-18. After three days of work: finished knife blade made from the local iron ore.
My ultimate goal is to build a forge. Hopefully I’ll get to do that sometime in the next couple months. In any case, I love that he just plucked material from nature and turned it into a totally sexy knife. It feels like such an ancient ritual, forging a tool out of found metal. I might need to get a Viking helmet or something. This dude is Finnish, by the way. You have to check out the rest of his gallery. It’s seriously drool-worthy.
Why are Scandinavians so fucking cool? My last name is Danish, so maybe I should start playing that up. Eh? Eh?
Could I pass for a Viking? And that’s totally not a crudely GIMPed image (that’s right, I used GIMP instead of Photoshop like a bo$$) of me wearing a Halloween Viking hat in front of a Norwegian mountain range!
Scandinavians probably find that offensive. Sorry. Maybe I should brush up on my knowledge of Scandinavian culture. Word is that Vikings didn’t even wear those horned hats. Damn you, accurate history scholars!