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Blacksmithing



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Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:04 am
wafflewolf7 says...



I'm in the process of writing a story, and one of my characters is a blacksmith's apprentice. I don't want to change the character because I really like that as an aspect of their personality, but I know nothing about blacksmiths. Help please?
  





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Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:05 am
Rosendorn says...



What time period are we talking here?
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:46 am
wafflewolf7 says...



This would actually be in the future- but I just need to know the basics like what they do on a work day or how long it takes to make a weapon.
  





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Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:38 am
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Zolen says...



Blacksmiths is quickly losing value outside of decorative objects.

There is a market for knives for blacksmiths, but if we took the idea into the far flung future, their jobs would be completely replaced by robots and automation. In fact much of it is replaced by machines today.

It used to be, you would coal heat a furnace, a process that could take hours of work, put your bars in until they are red hot, and then pull them out and hammer them with something about as heavy as a sledge hammer. Because of how hard this process is, often there would be an aid who would use the sledge hammer. This process can take between 3 to 42 hours, of hammering it while its hot, reheating it, and then hammering it again, until its hammered to shape, based on how big it is, and what method of hammering that is used. Then 10 hours to 2 days of head treating, to get the metal the perfect amount of flexible and hard.

Next, using a stone they would grind down and detail the blade. This used to take 5 to 10 hours.

Then you would have to wait for a wood worker or leather worker, for the handle, and a silver smith to make the guard and pommel, you usually had to wait a week or two to get the parts, which you would then hammer on, a process that would only take a few minutes. But yeah, a week long wait at the best of times.

In modern times, we often use a gas or electric oven, some traditionalist might use coal, but the oven is still made so that much of the process of heating it up to the needed degree only takes a hour at most of waiting around. Then you spot weld the metal bar to a handle, and shove the metal in, pulling it out to shape with a power hammer. Hard work, but it should only take a hour at most unless you are making something incredibly elaborate. Following that you heat treat it, with modern chemicals and tactics this process will only take a hour for most things, unless you are making something really complex, and 12 hours should be enough for that. You then use a belt grinder to smooth everything out. The guard and pommel are often molded to shape in our modern age by the blacksmith, which would only take a hour at most, with a few additional hours depending on any extra detailing and smoothing out they may want to do with either a sander, dermal, or some other tool. The handle is often leather or cloth wrapped, something that can be bought in our modern age, and shipped over in a few days. Many blacksmiths will have plenty of the stuff on hand, so only a half hour to set that up.

In the future most of that process will likely be simplified further, and fully automated, with many tools designed in a 3d modeling engine, and then forged to shape with some metal equivalent of 3d printing if what I have seen online is to be believed. A process that is simi planned out and only takes a few hours to make complex car parts.


Any questions? I realize I rambled a lot. But there was a lot of stuff to detail.
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Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:21 pm
wafflewolf7 says...



Oh my God thank you so much! I don't know how you know so much about blacksmiths- but you're my savior!
  





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Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:17 am
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Zolen says...



I just gave a simplified step by step, there is more to it. But what I mentioned should be enough for a story. Its important to know that a blacksmith, even if you don't plan to go into too much detail about the process, will basically be an encyclopedia on the many different metals, alloys, and sub-metals. You might also want to look up blacksmith jargon, as an apprentice would use that at people more then an expert.

As for why I know what I do, youtube mostly.
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