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Forging bodkins (Read 486 times)
SlingerDave
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Forging bodkins
Dec 30th, 2016 at 6:37pm
 
As part of the crossbow project, I have to make something to shoot, and they don't sell 1/2 inch field points so I first started with the arrowheads. Now, the bodkin made is only my sixth attempted. Things will go smoother as I get more experience.

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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #1 - Dec 30th, 2016 at 7:05pm
 
awwww I had forged a whole bunch of these, back in the days *.*

Suggestion, try to hammer in a way that you stretch the iron, I mean to the "outside" of the iron bar.
You're hammering straigth from the top to the bar while you'll be quicker and more precise if you hammer like from top left to bottom right (slanting hammering I mean).
See how you flattened the iron bar in a round? If you adopt slanting hammering you'd make it a rectangle, which will be easier to fold in a cylinder.
Also you'll make the point more quickly if you stretch the iron towards it point rather than hitting it always in the same portion.

Also, move the anvil closer to the forge so that you won't spend time moving the hot iron (the less you move while forging the more you keep your energies for the hammering)  Smiley

Third, when making the cylinder there's no need for hard hitting. See how you sometimes miss the beat? the iron sheet is so thin, you can be less aggressive - save energies for the next arrowhead, this is something you learn when you've to make almost one of them every minute  Shocked  Smiley
And use the rounded side of the hammer for this job.

Anyway I'm not trying to be a hater here, I really like when someone smiths iron and I'd just like to be of help. So now, to the compliments  Smiley

The arrowhead turned out simply great. It looks heavy and it'd be nice to test it with a bow and see the differences with the crossbow.

You have a very good grip on the thongs. You show no hesitations in holding them and this is pretty much as good as having a good hammering technique. You master the thongs so good job  Smiley

You have a nice forging implant, looks like an electric forge. Focus on hammering the iron at the right temperature (moving the anvil closer to the forge will help) and you'll eventually discover the pleasure of turning iron into reliable steel.

Remember that each iron billet has its own temperature and forging time, it's insane to think that 2 forged items will need the same care. Lern to listen to the iron in order to understand how much carbon it's carrying and how long and hard you will have to work it  Smiley

Good job pal, how old are you?
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Mauro Fiorentini - 339-525
 
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SlingerDave
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #2 - Dec 31st, 2016 at 9:19am
 
Don't worry Mauro, I don't see hate. I think the old saying goes that hating is listing all the problems but none of the solutions for those problems. You have given me the solutions I need; if you have more feel free to share them Grin. Thanks for the compliments too! My age is 17.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #3 - Dec 31st, 2016 at 10:58am
 
Outstanding job.  And the number the "experts" say is 50, or you have to make 50 of something before you really know how to do it well.  I haven't found that to be quite correct but the more you do something, the better you get.  So, look on each point as a learning experience, and they are, and keep on hammering.

PS, Mauro needs to make 40 some odd more swords before he is a true swordsmith.  Wen need to encourage everybody who is keeping some of the older skills alive to keep on doing it.

So, Mauro, start on some more swords.   Grin
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #4 - Dec 31st, 2016 at 11:47am
 
Grin

I actually forged more than 60 knives since I started blacksmithing and you know what? only 3 or 4 of them became reliable steel!
All the other blades were badly hammered/heated/tempered soooo..... yes, blacksmithing definitely need a loooong apprenticeship!!

And about swords, I still have a long way to go, I just made 5 or 6 and none of them by forging  Smiley
But am willing to buy a new forge, I can't go on with my grampa's one, it's like 60 to 80 years old, she needs to retire  Grin

Happy new year everybody!!
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SlingerDave
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #5 - Dec 31st, 2016 at 5:49pm
 
Well I guess I have 44 more to make then... But I have run out of coal. And I second the request Mauro, make more awesome swords. Smiley
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Forging bodkins
Reply #6 - Dec 31st, 2016 at 7:29pm
 
Actually, I founded a group of archaeological studies some 5 years ago - you can see our facebook page by clicking on the link in my signature. It's just me and a colleague and we focused on recreating weapons and jewelry dating from the 10th to the 3rd century bC, our local Iron Age.
Then we extended our experiments to the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Roman sigillata pottery and those medieval militia called "comunal militia", citizens at arms which were a typical feature of the Italian middle age (1000-1350 circa).
So yes..... the chance that I will have to make some swords soon is high  Smiley

This is a scramasax, a typical High Middle Age combat knife belonging to Germanic tribes I made some time ago:
...

Anyway enough OT, I don't want to keep wasting your topic  Smiley
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Mauro Fiorentini - 339-525
 
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