The Blacksmith Craft

Kovář Kovadlina KladivaDamascénská ocel

History of the blacksmith craft

There are just some crafts that have kept a tradition into these days and that are needful for a new generation. One of such crafts is blacksmithing, the craft that affected the history. Metals were discovered at the end of the first period of the Stone Age and it led to a huge progress important for the whole humanity. During the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Middle Ages, blacksmithing was necessary for the production of agricultural tools, building components, weapons, jewels and tools for other kinds of craft production. A range of blacksmith products grew in steps and thanks to that, the importance of blacksmiths grew as well. A blacksmith became one of the most important persons in villages, both in social and political life. He forged products needful for households, got horses shod, made weapons and finally, he often held a post of a healer to pull teeth and he offered healing herbal products with an assistance of his wife. Today the post of a blacksmith is rather traditional, however, the beauty and usefulness of their work stays high-grade and it often overcomes industrially produced articles.

A Blacksmith

A blacksmith is a craftsman who works with metal from lead to iron. He works metals by heating them up in the forge and subsequently he hamers them on an anvil into various shapes.

An Anvil

An anvil is a tool that serves as a base for forging the material. It is made of soft steel on which a track of the anvil is weld. The track is made of hardened steel. The most important property of the anvil is that a blacksmith can forge the material without damaging it. Thanks to its shape and openings for auxiliary tools, the anvil serves for bending and hammering the material.

Forging

Forging means shaping by hammer strokes or machine drop forges, shaping metals by heating them up, heated in a furnace to a forging temperature. Forging increases toughness of the material.

Forging Temperature

Forging temperature of steel moves from 800 to 1000 °C. The steel structure changes at this temperature, the material reaches the so called recrystallisation temperature and it is much more malleable.

Damascus Steel

It is a kind of steel imported from India across the town Damascus to Europe many years ago. This steel was used for making quality weapons – sword blades and knives. It was high-quality steel characteristic of marble drawing. The drawing appears after grinding and a chemical treatment. Production of the origin Damascus steel was eventually forgotten. Today it is made by multiple forging of layered steel thanks to which hundreds or even thousands of steel layers of various quality can be made – soft steel that is more flexible used to be combined with a harder and so more fragile steel. The result is a high-quality hardened steel of unique property. Blades that are specially grinded and made by this technology endure extreme burden, they are enormously sharp and do not need to be sharpen for a long time.

Restoration

Works of art, such as blacksmith products, historical sites and antiques, succumb to the effects of time and they are exposed to various natural and climatic effects. However, humans very often demage more from a desire to repair or save something. Restoration means professional repairs of a work of art and saving it for future generations.