Riddle of Steel
In this course, we will explore the history and practice of metalworking from a hands-on, practical perspective. Working with the experts at Dragon’s Breath Forge, the students will build their repertoire of metalworking skills over the first week, and will individually complete a number of simple, practical household items. During that same week, the students will see a working forge at Old Sturbridge Village to gain a connection to the historical place of metalworking in day-to-day life.
During the second week, students will focus on the more specialized skill of bladesmithing. The students will see examples of larger blades being forged and will complete a small, practical cutting tool of their own. During this week the students will also travel to see the Higgins Armory collection to see examples of the evolution of the arts of blade-smithing and armoring. Students will need to complete a daily journal of their experience including photographs, drawings and/or other media describing their experience and techniques learned. Students will be expected to produce a variety of items demonstrating mastery of metalworking techniques.
Knife Making: Day 1
Today we started our first day of knife making! For this week-long project we will be using higher carbon steel which is harder to move and requires greater attention to detail during the forging process. First thing today, our intrepid group gathered for a demo of the day's activities:
Recreating his time on "Forged in Fire", Matt showed us all the steps for forging a knife in rapid succession:
And after that, it was our turn! It's amazing how much easier an experienced smith makes the process look. The first step in forging a knife is to set a curve on what will be the back of the blade:
After the curve has been set, students use the edge of the anvil to set a shoulder (an indent that allows material to be tapered away from that indent) in order to create a narrower handle:
And last, but certainly not least,. our students strike the flat edge opposite the curve they have set at a consistent angle to set the bevel of the blade. As the material on what will be the edge expands it forces the curve on the back of the blade to straighten and the curved edge of the blade emerges:
By the end of today, most students have gotten their knives to a basic shape. Tomorrow we start a long day of filing to take scale off the surface of the blade and bring it into final shape.
Choose groups to clone to: