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Old June 7, 2013, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Goran Ironfist is unknown and forgotten
[Ilara Forge] Hit the Metal, Not Your Hand! (Lvl1 Smithing)

Just after sunrise, first cycle of summer, era XX

The brightening after meeting Tanith and finding out he would become an apprentice blacksmith, Goran returned to the forge. He had his toolkit with him, and was ready and eager to learn a trade. Spotting Tanith, he quickly made his way over to his teacher.

"Serale Tanith! Where d' we start?"
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Old June 7, 2013, 06:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He'd brought tools. Good. Tani was hard at work already in the forge, working on a sword or two, making some iron blades using some moulds that she was working on. The sound of hammer on metal resounded through all the shop and the only reason it stopped was because Goran had her attention.

"Serale, Goran! Come on back to the forge and we'll get started right away. Put your tools down wherever you'd like."

As he made his way through the shop and behind the counter, Tani checked around to tidy up the few remaining things and smiled. The forge was heated brightly and sitting on top of it was a sand-cast mould, making a blade out of iron. In the meantime, she let that heat and addressed her new dwarven companion.

"Are you familiar with the tools you have, or do you need a run through of what they do? Or do you have any other previous knowledge that might help?" Tani asked. She needed a gauge of skill. She needed to know just how far he had already gone and how far this journey would be able to take him.
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Old June 11, 2013, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As Goran followed Tanith to the forge in back, he set his tools on a clear-looking workspace, organizing them as he has seen his father do so many times - hammers, chisels, and, well, others. He would need to learn what they did so he could better organize them.

"I can't say I know th' finer points of exactly which tools do what, but I know me hammers are fer beatin' on and shapin' th' metal, and me chisels are for removin' bits here an' there. These others, I don't know much about." He paused a moment to think what else he knew from watching his father work.

"Aside from that, me father always talked about th' importance of keepin' tools clean an' tidy. An' I know it's not always how hard you hit th' metal, but knowin' how to hit it th' right way."
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Old June 11, 2013, 02:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Tani nodded her assent. "Keeping your tools in good working order is extremely important to keep metal chips going into other pieces. Cross-contamination is a serious deal. Anyway, here's what we'll do. I have a sort of 'list of requirements' of things you need to learn, so I guess we'll start there."

She motioned over to a small box sitting on the bench nearby. "Inside there is a metalworking scroll that details all the metals and alloys known of the world. Feel free to read that whenever you're here - now is fine, too. I'll teach you how to make bars of iron to start, and how to work at least iron to start with and some important techniques in doing so. I'll teach you how to operate the forge and some different methods of casting and working a bar, and then we'll try some basic production. In my forge, I use some more advanced production methods to cut down time, so I'll teach you how to use those later on. Sound good?"
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Old June 12, 2013, 12:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tanith's remark about cross-contamination hit home for Goran. He remembered when he was young, nearly a century ago now, hearing one of the master smiths cursing for several candlemarks on end. When Goran asked his father why the smith was so upset, he was told it was because somehow a stray piece of bronze had contaminated a batch of high-grade dwarven steel, and now the whole batch was wasted.

Back in the present, Goran listened as Tanith explained what they would be covering and made a mental note to read over the scroll after the shift.

"Sounds good t' me," he replied. "So how do we work with iron?"
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Old June 12, 2013, 12:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"There are plenty of ways. Iron is one of those metals that appears naturally. Fortunately, it's not our job to get iron mixed with stone from the ground. People supply this store with iron stripped of all that, impurities and all as they are. So, the more you heat something, the more impurities will float to the surface. We take our raw iron and place it into the forge. First, let's take a look at that."

Picking up her bellows, Tani walked over to the forge and waited for Goran while she started to explain. "So we put the iron into a metal crucible I use for smelting, here. Then we turn up the heat to melting point by putting the bellows into the tuyere, which is a fancy word for the air hole at the bottom. Then you pump air in until it's at the desired temperature. This is the long part. This will heat up the coals and flames, which melts the iron, which we can then take out of the crucible by pouring it into a mould which I will prepare for you. Have some fun with it. See if you can get this iron to melt."

Then she handed him the bellows. "Don't be surprised if it takes a few tries. Regulate the temperature once you think it's hot enough. Even at temperature, it's still time you need."
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Old June 13, 2013, 11:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The task was simple enough. Blow some air in, heat things up, and presto. Melted iron. Or so Goran thought. As he fit the bellows into the indicated hole and began pumping, he realized the ups and downs of the temperature would make things more troublesome. As the minutes wore on, he began to understand just how long a process the melting would be.

"Come on, melt yeh blasted iron," he muttered under his breath as he brought the heat up again. Funally, he started to see a result. Instead of just being hot, small areas of liquid were beginning to form. A few pumps of the bellows later, he slowed down to keep the temperature somewhat constant as the metal continued to melt. If anything, this was harder than heating the forge in the first place. No wonder dwarves and elves were so stubborn, they had to be for such work. The iron was equally stubborn in refusing to stay melted.

"Any tricks for keepin' th' heat consistent?" he finally asked after having to re-melt the iron for the fourth time. He knew smithing was a delicate art in some ways, but this was getting irritating. Just when the iron was mostly melted, the temperature would dip and it would start to solidify again.
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Old June 16, 2013, 12:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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While Goran was working with the forge, Tani was hard at work setting up some sand-casting moulds for projects and making sure they were all perfect - all the weapons she needed to make for Duck were already moulded out, so she was creating some additional simple moulds for armour pieces.

"It's a lot of instinct. Don't forget to add some oxygen every now and then when you feel it's starting to get low, and don't forget you can always add more coals or wood to provide as some fuel for the flames. Just be careful with that, though, because adding too much carbon in the form of coal will make your iron weaker."

Once she was done with the moulding, she looked over at Goran's progress and was reasonably satisfied. "When you get that to melt and stay melted, you take the crucible and you can pour it into a bar mould. Let's start there, I think. It's important you learn how to work a bar, right?" She left the medium-length bar mould on the bench for him to fill when he was ready. "When it's moulded, let it cool for a bit, then pull it out with your tongs and put it straight into the quenching tub over there. I use light oil, but you can use thick oil or water to fill it. It's up to your personal preference. What it does is cool the metal down and make it tougher. Just beware of quenching too many times while working, it could crack and break."
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Old June 17, 2013, 12:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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With the additional tips, Goran found it easier to get the iron to remain melted long enough to be useful. A few minutes later, once he had successfully stabilized the temperature, the dwarf was pouring the hot iron into the mould. Setting it aside for a bit to let the metal solidify enough, he got his tools from where he had set them. When the bar was ready, he pulled it out of the mold and plunged it into the quenching bucket. After it was safely cooled, he pulled it ot to make sure it was right.

"So how's this look? Did I miss anything? I suppose this is th' way you store th' metal so it's ready t' use anytime, but is there any other reason t' make th' bar first? Seems it would be easier t' just make th' mould of th' thing you wanted to make in th' first place."
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