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Old 23rd September 2007, 03:33 PM   #1
lemmythesmith
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Default Meteoric Patrem-Made In England...

Hello to everyone!! Here's a little patrem that I've forged from Campo Del Cielo meteorite and old wrought iron with a steel core. The wrongko is thuya burl and the gandar is ebony. Ivory ukiran in the Durga/Dewa Sri/Wadon form. Mendak in sterling silver.
I used 325g of iron salvaged from Windsor Castle after the fire, 190g of Campo meteorite and 90g of Kango (jackhammer chisel) for the steel core. Pamor of 170 or so layers in a "ladder" pattern which has turned out quite reflective, got a little carried away with a complex ricikan which looking back (hindsight is always 20/20!) was a little ambitious, still, I had a lot of fun building it and learned a lot too!! I think I'll steer clear of complex dapor for a while and concentrate on getting the overall shape right!! There wasn't an overall plan for this keris what you see sort of just "happened" with the constituent parts coming together because I liked the style or shape of them, hence the "hybrid" form!!
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Old 23rd September 2007, 04:23 PM   #2
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Quite nice for a Brit Keris.
And finally a keris that we can say for sure is made with meteoric pamor.
Did you also make the dress?
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Old 23rd September 2007, 05:03 PM   #3
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Hi David, aye, it's all my work... though I may be buying mendak instead of making them-too many blades to try to take time off to fiddle with silver!!
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Old 23rd September 2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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Hi lemmythesmith
A superb work ! Congratulation. Wrought iron + meteorite + steel, that must have been a nice exercise to heat weld.
I am curious to know what is the weight of the keris blade . You had 615 g of metal originally, how much has been lost in the forging process ( and stock removal !)
I am very impressed because I am in a similar process but I am sure no way close to your result.
Good job keep doing it.
Michel
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Old 23rd September 2007, 10:35 PM   #5
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Nice forge-work, Lemmy.
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Old 24th September 2007, 12:39 PM   #6
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bravoooooo
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Old 24th September 2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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Lemmy,
I heard about a smith geting permission and using the Windsor iron in some work..I assume that is you.
Nice bit of work there.

I have done a bit of work with meteorites over the years as well..no keris though.
http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index...=meteorite+ingo


Ric Furrer
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Old 24th September 2007, 10:18 PM   #8
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Richard, I attempted to access your pics, but cannot get to them. Some sort of "not a member" thing.

By what you have written it looks as if you smelted the meteoritic material.

I've worked meteoritic material a number times and have only ever done it in the forge. You just bring it together gently to begin, after about 3 or 4 welds its more or less stable, and it takes about 7 welds to get it nice and clean. Then it has been welded in with old iron. Where I've used it in a keris it has been used as the pamor layers, where I've used it in damascus it was welded with 01.

Haven't done any of this work for a few years. From memory I started to work with it about 1986 or 1988, and did the last bit about 1996 or 1997.I used Arizona meteorite, and really, its no big trick to work the stuff, as long as you stay gentle till it comes together. Get too heavy handed early, and it comes apart under the hammer like cottage cheese.

Back about 12 or 14 years ago I supplied a quantity of meteoritic material , ready to be used as pamor material to a pandai keris in Solo. He made two keris using this material. The first one was sold to ---I think---the Ambassador to Indonesia for Venezuela, I have the second one. Both these keris used a damascus core.
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Old 24th September 2007, 10:59 PM   #9
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Hi Michel, Hope your patrem forging is going well!! I'll have to weigh the blade and let you know-got to do it for my own records, but it's not very heavy. I don't tend to do too much stock removal as my forging background is more orientated to the Japanese sword which are wholly forged so I set out to make keris the same way (fool)...MUCH harder than forging a wakizashi!!

Hi Richard, I'm afraid I'm not the smith you've heard about with the Windsor iron! I got the piece I have from a guy I knew who went to Ironbridge looking for some iron to make tsuba. He was directed to a pile of twisted, blackened and corroded girders which he managed to beg a piece of-half of which he ended up swapping with me for some damascus.... Tried the site with the pics but can't access them, only just registered with that forum so I'll take a look at them when my details are processed.

Hi Alan, thanks!! (always nice to get another smiths praise!) I must have a go at further refining the meteorite, I've tended to take it to welding heat and consolidate it into a bar, draw it down and layer it with terrestrial wrought. Does weld nicely though, I prefer it to welding pure nickel even though it's not as bright. Sounds like you've used Canyon Diablo from Arizona, that one does tend to have a lot of silicate inclusions in it but it really impresses when you can show people a photo of that hole it left in the desert!! Campo Del Cielo seems to take a bit of beating before it disintegrates- Much cheaper too.

Thanks David and Raden!!
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Old 25th September 2007, 12:26 AM   #10
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Yeah, it was Canyon Diablo, and it cost me a fortune. Back then there was no internet or ebay to buy from, so you hunted the stuff from mineral dealers who charged and arm and a leg for a handfull of tiny little bits. I didn't ever start with one lump of the stuff, it was always a handful of little bits , the biggest maybe half inch square, that I brought together in the forge until sticky, then gently tapped together.Finished product was OK though.

Never ever found welding nickel difficult, even in coke. Second bit of damascus I ever made included nickel.

With meteorite and also with any old iron, I always like to wash the material until I get no sparks off it.With the meteoritic stuff this was around 7 or 8 welds, with hot short old wheel rims its probably about the same, but with good quality wrought iron from carriage strapping, or similar , three or four welds might be sufficient.
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Old 25th September 2007, 03:13 AM   #11
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Dear Lemmy,

The the forging process, did you also imbue the keris with the spiritual contents?
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Old 25th September 2007, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Richard, I attempted to access your pics, but cannot get to them. Some sort of "not a member" thing.

By what you have written it looks as if you smelted the meteoritic material.

.


Yes indeed I did melt it...its my "thing".
I used Nantan meteorite from China and it has 6-7% nickel...the color tone from 7% is not too different from 2% so I diluted it to 2% with iron and added enough carbon to bring it to about 0.6%...thus making an ingot of good steel.

Sorry about not being able to access Don Fogg's discussion site...I need to place all that on my website...its on the list of things to do.

I never found the folding in the raw meteorite all that efficient...with some space rocks its not possible as they are too full of crud to work in that fassion....BUT...that is more traditional.

Ric
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Old 26th September 2007, 09:53 PM   #13
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Hi Penangsang, I'm afraid not!! Seriously though, you do have to have a certain mental preparation to make blades otherwise mistakes and disasters ensue! (and some real good burns)

Hi Alan, when you say you wash the iron until there are no sparks do you mean as in grinding the metal or does it get to full welding heat without any of the usual "lazy" sparks that come from wrought at that temperature? Sounds like a good indicator to know, I've usually washed iron so that when it's cut with the hot chisel it will fold back on itself without breaking, I'm always interested to learn new techniques!
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Old 26th September 2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Lemmy, the cut and fold test is something that will work with hotshort material, but just because you can do this, it doesn't necessarily mean that the material is clean.When you take dirty material up towards weld heat it throws off lots of little sparks when you whack it, when it is clean these little sparks drop to an absolute minimum , or even none at all, what you have is a nice dense billet of material that is easy to work, and that you can do anything with. Similarly, in the fire the material tends not to throw off much in the way of sparks when it gets to weld heat, so if you're using coke or charcoal, you need to find another way to give you an indication of when its ready to take the weld. I normally use a 4lb. hammer to take a weld, and when the material is stuck, I give it another heat, put the billet under a hold-down tool, and use a ten or twelve pound hammer to consolidate the weld and draw it out; when material is dirty, that initial bringing together of the material throws out a lot of sparks from dirty material, when the material is clean, you might get just a few little stars.You can actually feel the difference under the hammer:- the clean material is sort of like hitting velvet. I'm talking about forge processes here, nothing at all to do with grinding. Folding back on itself, I do not use the hot chisel to allow the fold to be made, this is too slow, I use the edge of the anvil to put a crease in the material, then bend the bar down over the offside of the anvil, this gives you a right angle, which you can close down to the other arm on top of the anvil. Before you close the fold its probably best to get rid of as much scale as you can.Of course, if you're using a gas forge it becomes much, much easier. Anybody can weld almost anything with gas, its just like making cakes.
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Old 28th September 2007, 02:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Of course, if you're using a gas forge it becomes much, much easier. Anybody can weld almost anything with gas, its just like making cakes.


I've seen a lot of bad cakes made by poor bakers with good ovens Alan.

Certain tools make the work possible alone...even profitable....rarely easy.

Still..I wish I had a few strikers at times...some Pamor I have seen are complex and difficlut to replicate.

Ric
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Old 28th September 2007, 10:13 PM   #16
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Yeah, strikers can be a Godsend. It gets terribly hard sometimes to handle big material with a hold down tool. Those little mechanical hammers---what do they call them?---an oliver?---can be good too.Of course, the best would be a nice big power hammer, but I doubt it would ever be possible to get your money back on the investment.You'd probably need to stick it in the middle of a five acre paddock too, if you didn't want neighbour problems.

Of course you're right about bad cakes, but gas compared to charcoal or coke---well, its really a walk up start. Compared to coal, where you need to coke the coal before you can weld, there simply is no comparison.Two totally different worlds. I've taught a number of people how to forge weld, and what I've found is this:- with good clean coke, a committed learner, starting from a low knowledge base, will pick it up in about 6 to 8 full working days.With gas, again starting from a low knowledge base, a couple of three or four hour sessions is enough to have a committed learner doing good tight welds.In fact, even my wife can weld in a gas forge. Further, it is possible for a relative new-comer to achieve complex welds in gas that in the heyday of blacksmiths would only have been able to be achieved by extremely talented masters.Gas is cheap, clean, effective and very easy, when compared to any other fuel.
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Old 30th September 2007, 04:11 PM   #17
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Default Forging with gas

Hi Alan,
You have sent a few very very interesting messages lately concerning forging.
They have taught us a lot. Lemmythesmith may not have learned as much as my son and myself but I can tell you we did read and reread your messages, as you tell an awful lot in each.
Now forging with gas is something that we have never really considered but reading you it is worth a close look at it. Among the advantages that I could hope for, isn't the fact that one can see much better the heated piece ?
With charcoal it is always a problem as many pieces of charcoal are closing a precise view of the piece to be welded.
If you have clean material, with practically no sparks at welding temperature, it is almost a "must" to have a good view of the piece to weld to judge the temperature by its color. Any other signs for judging the welding temp ?
How do you do it with gas forging ?
Thanks for all these informations
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Michel
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Old 30th September 2007, 04:52 PM   #18
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Hi Michel, first, the final weight of the patrem blade is about 87 grammes.. Second, judging welding heat without the sparks can be done by looking at the surface of the iron whilst it's in the fire-the surface will look like butter on a hot day, slightly molten. (the surface looks wet) Never used a gas forge so I can't comment-I've always used coke or charcoal.

As for using a striker, I wish I still had this.......

I have a PDF which has full drawings for building a similar tool, I'm currently constructing one half size, the page seems to be down at the moment so if you want the plans let me know and I'll email them to you.

Regards, Graham.
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Old 30th September 2007, 05:23 PM   #19
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Hi Graham,
Thank you for these information. You obviously have quite a bit of knowhow about forging and you learn less than I do here in reading Alan's messages.
I knew that a substantial part of the metal was lost in forging and in stock removal but 86 % of the original metal weight looks for me as a lot. I lost much less and this explain certainly parts of my difficulties.
While forging and heat welding the different layers of metal, I was always concerned about the amount of scale and oxidized material. And this clearly restricted my number of folds and the size of the metal billet. Well, apparently this is not a point to be concerned about, I have only to start with enough material !
My hold down tool does not work to my satisfaction and I have sometime difficulties in following Alan's methods to consolidate the weld.(hold down tool and heavier hammer) but if one forges with two peoples, one of them can replace the hold down tool !
If you can send a PDF of a stricker, I'd love that but I do promise to build one
I may try but I am not so sure it will fit in my workshop !
Thanks a lot
Regards
Michel
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Old 30th September 2007, 11:51 PM   #20
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Michel, my striker has at various times been one of my sons, my wife, or myself---with wife or son holding the tongs. Couple of times it has been people I've been teaching at the time.I have never had mechanical assistance.

My hold-down tool is a gooseneck that fits in the pritchel hole. You stick the billet under it, whack the bend in the gooseneck, which drives it down tight into the hole, then whack the billet. Not particularly effective, and constantly needs reshaping, but it does work, and the job can be done with it.

I was taught to forge with coal, and to weld, I had to coke the coal then weld. My teacher at that time was an oldtime blacksmith named Gordon Blackwell, and he taught me to weld by reading the fire. Depending on the type of material you are welding, when the material approaches weld heat the fire throws out different sparks. You observe the fire very closely and when you see the sparks you're looking for you take the weld.

Later on I learnt a different method of testing weld heat and that is I what I have used since I learnt it, no matter if I am using coke, charcoal or gas.

Make a poker out of half inch material and forge it to a point. When you feel that the material is coming into weld heat you touch the surface of the billet with the point of the poker, if it is ready to weld the surface will be just a wee bit sticky.It is best to keep the poker warm by passing it high through the flames. You do not take it wet out of the tub and try to test with it.

I have never used colour as an indicator for welding, it can be too misleading, and it varies according to the light coming into the forge. The colour of a billet ready to weld that is in an enclosed smithy is significantly different to the colour of a billet ready to weld that is outside under a tree.

In fact, if you are doing a lot of welding, you will get to the point where you can "feel" that the material is ready to weld. Its like there is an invisble line between you and the material in the fire and you just know when it is ready. A little bit of anhydrous borax can work wonders as a flux, especially in coke.
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Old 1st October 2007, 03:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
In fact, if you are doing a lot of welding, you will get to the point where you can "feel" that the material is ready to weld. Its like there is an invisble line between you and the material in the fire and you just know when it is ready. A little bit of anhydrous borax can work wonders as a flux, especially in coke.


Alan,Michel,Graham and All,
I like borax..sometimes with some cast iron filings for a tricky weld..it goes liquid and baths the work.
I am lucky in that I have a rather fully tooled shop (50 weight hammer, 45 ton hydraulic press, small rolling mill and soon a 3B Nazel (265 weight air hammer) will be online.

I like pattern-welding quite a bit and like Alan says the "feel" comes in time, but gas does let you view the steel and take some liberties that are not possible in other fuels (like walking away to refill the coffee cup) while the billet cooks. I have done 45 pound billets of steel in the past, but rarely work over 20 pounds now..15 being the "normal" size for the tools I have.

I just finished this axe and sword for an exhibit. The blade is a yataghan varient with three bar composite (300 layer top and bottom with 150 layer center twist). The Axe is a five bar composite with three twisted layers and two straight..20 layer bar each.

Ric
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Old 1st October 2007, 03:41 AM   #22
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Hello All,
Here are the shots that could not be viewed on the other forum.
If this and the previous message are too far outside this discussion please delete.

Raw materials (crucible,steel powder,meteorite,green glass)
Ingot cooking (note full safety gear..or lack ther of)
Ingot of smelted meteorite steel which was fored out and welded to modern 1084 steel for contrast
blade made from that billet..1600 layer twist with ivory and ebony
blade detail

Ric
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Old 1st October 2007, 11:41 AM   #23
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Thank you Alan,
From each of your answers, I learn a lot.
I print them and make a file out of them. Invaluable.
How do they call these experts in Japan : living treasure ? I do not recall the exact name. This is what you are for me. thanks a lot.

Hi Richard,
You are indeed well equipped in your workshop and produce well made tools.
In your photos your show glass and crucible as raw materials.
What exactly is "crucible" ?
Why do you put green glass in your forging process ?
You utilize steel powder. Don't you loose a lot of this material before it is molten by oxidizing it and really burning it ?
What is the advantage of utilizing steel powder versus a piece of steel ?
Regards
Michel
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Old 1st October 2007, 04:51 PM   #24
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Michel,

In your photos your show glass and crucible as raw materials.
What exactly is "crucible" ?
-------a crucible is a ceramic container which holds the molten metal in the furnace.
Why do you put green glass in your forging process ?
---------the glass is a flux which bonds with the oxides and removes them from the metal so it can melt and be free of contamination...borax is too aggressive and will eat the crucible.
You utilize steel powder. Don't you loose a lot of this material before it is molten by oxidizing it and really burning it ?
------the crucible is covered (cosed system) and the glass is the flux so there is very little loss
What is the advantage of utilizing steel powder versus a piece of steel ?
---the steel is a modern metal powder of known chemistry so I can get a certain type of steel when I cam finished.
Ric
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Old 1st October 2007, 05:56 PM   #25
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Thank you Ric
It shows that you are really making your steel at your own specifications.
Impressive.
I am really in an other ball game. My ideal has been to achieve some results with as little as possible equipment. I have always been impressed by the abilities of the Indonesian smiths (as an example) who work with very little equipment and almost any type of metal scrap they can find. And they heat weld !
I have still a lot to learn.
Thank you for your explanations
Regards
Michel
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Old 1st October 2007, 09:51 PM   #26
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I think that my philosophy has always been the same as yours, Michel. From the beginning , I wanted to work as close to barebones as I could. The reason I learnt how to do forge work was to prepare me for the instruction I was to recieve from Empu Suparman---I didn't want to walk in cold, knowing nothing.When you work like this, there are some severe limitations on what can be done. Using a gas forge does make things easier, but the only reason I went to gas was that I was unable to buy coke, and living in a residential area, I could not use coal.

Michel, I suggest that you try to get hold of a copy of "Practical Blacksmithing" by M.T.Richardson. It was originally published in the 19th century, and reissued by Weathervane Books New York in about 1978. It is a collection of work experiences by working smiths.

Incidentally, in the old days it was an acknowledged fact that not every smith could weld. It was not unusual for smiths in a particular area to sub-contract their welding work to just one man amongst them. Doing good, tight, clean welds is acknowledged as about the most difficult thing you can do. In fact, when I began to learn forge work and I stated that my intention was to weld iron, steel and nickel, I was told by many people, including my own teacher, several technical college teachers of industrial blacksmithing, the resident expert at BHP in Newcastle (BHP is an immense mining and steel producing company) that what I wanted to do was simply impossible, and I'd better forget it.
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Old 1st October 2007, 10:14 PM   #27
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Hi Ric, what kind of meteorite is that? Is it the Nantan? Has it turned to a kind of haematite? I've seen those on E-Bay, if it was one of those just wondering if you broke it up did it have any cracks or fissures inside? Might be an interesting ukiran material. Probably a wee bit heavy though!
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Old 2nd October 2007, 09:59 AM   #28
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Thank you Alan,
I will try to find that "Practical Blacksmithing" by M.T.Richardson. I have already a book by Tim McCreight "the complete Metalsmith" but it covers so much ground that it does not get in enough detail about forging.
In French we have a say : "c'est en forgeant que l'on devient forgeron" = it is in forging that one become a smith. This is the real answer to my problems !
I try simply to shorten the apprenticeship in asking questions but the more I practice the more I will know and feel things. I am sure that Ric and Gordon can count their forging hours is the hundreds and you probably in the thousands, I still count them in tens ! And I am not specially gifted !
Thank you for your many advices, they certainly shorten my apprenticeship.
Regards
Michel
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Old 2nd October 2007, 03:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmythesmith
Hi Ric, what kind of meteorite is that? Is it the Nantan? Has it turned to a kind of haematite? I've seen those on E-Bay, if it was one of those just wondering if you broke it up did it have any cracks or fissures inside? Might be an interesting ukiran material. Probably a wee bit heavy though!


That particular piece in the photo was supplier by a client..it was a Russian fall, but I do not remember the name.
The "normal" type I use is Nantan and Campo. The nantan has almost pure nickel srips inside and is rusted in many places...it is good for melting, but I think simply folding it in would be problematic for the first five wleds or so.

Alan,
"low tech" is good till you have to make a living. I struggled with this for years before I made the leap to larger tools. I work alone and have a wide range of jobs. In the past I have forged knives using a granite hammer and anvil and forge welded with a box bellows and charcoal whith a forge of mud...it works, but I can not make railings that way.
If someone wants a traditional piece than I do it as close as I can recreate, but few wish to pay the added expense.

Ric
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Old 2nd October 2007, 11:05 PM   #30
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Ric, I hear what you're saying, and I agree with you 100%.

My work in the forge has only ever been for educational purposes. I set out to learn as much as I could about traditional blade-smithing principle and practice. I did not set out to make a living. I learnt a lot of general blacksmithing along the way, and I made damascus blades for a while and sold them, but even back 25-30 years ago it was costing me money to play with damascus. When you charge $10 PH for knife work, and people are prepared to pay you +$60PH (C1990) for writing an opinion, what's the smart thing to do?
Still, I did the unsmart thing for a lot of years, and learnt a lot from it.
I'm glad you can make a living from your forge, but even so, I reckon you'd be a rareity at the present time. I know a couple of extremely talented damascus makers in the US who have fully tooled shops with hammers that would make Thor flinch, and they just struggle along. Just to get return on capital investment seems to be regarded as a major achievement. Here in Australia, I doubt that anybody in knife work of any type, let alone specialist damascus smiths, can make a living from it. Yeah, they might say they do, but investigate them and you'll find some other source of income propping them up---often a wife who works a regular job.
I know two or three "art smiths" here in Australia who can scratch a living by doing stuff like wrought iron railings and so on (using mild steel); I know one old bloke who still does traditional stuff like resetting springs and repointing jack hammer tips, but all these people just barely make a living. If they had financial advisors---which they do not---I'm certain that the advice would be to quit work and go onto social security, because they'd be better off.
Its good to know somebody can still make a living out of fire and iron.

Michel , I'm sorry to disillusion you, but my time spent in forging would be very, very low compared to a fulltime smith like Ric.The difference between Ric and me is that Ric is working at something to make a living, I have always worked at forge work to learn specific things. You could call it an academic approach. The sort of things I have learnt would be not a hell of a lot of use in making money out of forge work.

Additionally, in the making of a keris blade, most of the work time is spent in the sculpting. The longest time it ever took me to make a keris blade was 47 man-days.
This was comprised of me and two strikers making the forging, this was pamor miring and took three days.So that's 9 man-days.
The actual benchwork took the balance of the time:- 38 days of between 8 and 10 hours each.
I am not counting the staining tme.
To sculpt the sogokan alone took 8 days---four days for each side.
The forge work involved in a keris blade is regarded as rough work that any reasonably qualified smith should be able to do.
The difficult part of making a keris blade is all in the bench work.

In all blade work I have done, I have only ever worked in a traditional fashion, using traditional tools. Doing it this way, only very wealthy people can afford fine quality work.
Read what Ric says about the cost of traditional work:- a lot of people want it, but who is prepared to pay the price?
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