Making A Sword – Day 2

After the challenges of Day 1, I had a lot of work ahead of me. I was already a day in with nothing to show, so I knew I had to work at double time if I wanted to finish.

While working, my classmates were trying to get me to slow down and take my time. We had three more days beyond Day 2, so why rush?

Just about done with the length taper.
Just about done with the length taper.

I wasn’t quite done with my length taper (going from wide to thin in that triangular shape) when Sam announced “All sword forging must be done by the end of the day!”

My heart almost stopped. I knew I was screwed, as I still hadn’t even started the thickness taper (going from the thickest point of the base to the thinnest point at the tip; another triangle, basically). Sam was telling me directly that I had to work quickly, but not rush.

I had less than eight hours of work time available; how was I supposed to not rush?

Enter my savior: the power hammer.

My friend, enemy, and savior: the Power Hammer!
My friend, enemy, and savior: the Power Hammer!

Once Sam gave me the news and the go-ahead, I kicked things into double time. I used my own hammers to finish the first taper, and the power hammer for the majority of the length taper. Next, I had to hammer out the bevels by hand, which widens the blade and adds to the geometry (not to mention the bevel is where the blade is located).

After the tapers and bevels were done, we took care of the shoulders.
After the tapers and bevels were done, we took care of the shoulders.

Sam was kind enough to work with me to get the shoulders of the tang set, letting me use some of his personal tools to ensure that the job was done (as I lacked some of them, as they run $100+ per tool). After working with same, I worked with the power hammer again and quickly got the tang in order.

The sword, beveled blade and full tang, ready to go!
The sword, beveled blade and full tang, ready to go!

My classmates were flabbergasted, and Sam was impressed. He agrees it’s not pretty, but for my first sword and for being complete in such a short amount of time, it’s pretty awesome. Of course, there’s a piper to pay for hard work.

The damage of a day of hard smithing.
The damage of a day of hard smithing. My hand is STILL recovering; I have a hard time with typing and gripping things, like my coffee mug.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there are minor bruises around the joints of my fingers, with blisters and growing callouses on my thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. If anyone thinks this is an easy task, go check your sanity at the door.

Day 2 began around 9am and ended around 11pm, with close to three hours designated for meal breaks. As a beginner and as someone willing to cut corners to finish, I somehow, somehow, hammered out a 30-some odd inch sword in a day.

Stay tuned tomorrow as I tell you how Day 3 panned out!

 

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