diaper banane ki machine price forged in fire belt grinder:The Man Scout: Bladesmithing with my new friends from History channel’s ‘Forged in Fire’ (Pt. II)

diaper banane ki machine price forged in fire belt grinder:The Man Scout: Bladesmithing with my new friends from History channel’s ‘Forged in Fire’ (Pt. II)

  By Chris Cole

  Special to NKyTribune

  When we left off last week, my “Forged in Fire” companions and I were wrapping up lunch and about to begin grinding our freshly forged blades.

  It’s a strange thing that happens inside a blacksmith’s forge. You take a random piece of steel (or whatever you’re working with) and very quickly you can change it, and very quickly it can change you.

  When my friend Larry asked me if I was interested in joining him for this class, I jumped at the chance because I knew it would be fun. And it was.

  But I was not prepared to be so welcomed into the bladesmithing community. Jon Turner, Adlai Stein, Pat Biggin, Dana Dupuis – these are professionals. These guys have honed their craft. The day after training me, they participated in a charity competition making some of the most beautiful knives I’ve ever seen in less than three hours.

  And yet, here I was, a Weren’t No Boy Scout who’d rarely held a blade let alone forged one, and they were treating me like I was one of their own. None of them hesitated to stop working on their own blades to come and show me a more effective, more efficient or safer way of doing something. They loaned me their tools, shared drawings their kids had made and went out of their way to make this a great experience.

  Events like this usually stress me out because I’m notorious for forgetting names. I usually chalk it up to some imagined brain issue. Like many others, I will meet someone and before they’ve even finished telling me their name, it’s gone. Forgotten forever, or until the awkward moment I go to introduce them to my wife and have to confess that I’ve lost it already (darn brain issue).

  But the darndest thing happened in the forge. We were grinding our blades (I’ll get to that in a minute) and I looked around the room and realized I knew everyone’s names and at least a little bit about them – how long they’ve been smithing, where they’re from, how they fared on the show.

  These were, unexpectedly, my friends.

  Like I said, working in a forge can change you. I think that’s why the bonds between professional craftsmen are so strong. There is no ego in the forge. There is no sense of competition. Even on the show – with thousands of dollars at stake – producers have to go out of their way to keep the fraternizing to a minimum.

  One former contestant told me that even though they’d been asked not to talk to one another during filming, contestants would send signals to help each other if they noticed someone getting stuck on an unfamiliar task. I can’t imagine anything more Boy Scout than that.

  After my instructor Jon Turner walked me through the nuances of the grinder and demonstrated his preferred technique, it was time to get back to work. If you aren’t familiar with grinding steel, it is probably one of the images that comes to mind when you think of bladesmithing.

  You press your steel blade up to a sanding belt that is spinning vertically in front of you. This files away abrasions and evens out the shape of your blade. It also sends sparks all over the place – across your chest, down your legs and even trailing the belt up around the back of the machine and down on you from above. It’s one of the man-scoutliest things I’ve ever seen.

  The belt moves very quickly and the process requires you to press the blade with your thumb directly onto the belt as you pass the blade across horizontally. Even though Turner had thoroughly demonstrated the process, on my very first pass, my left thumb slipped off the blade directly onto the spinning belt.

  I yanked my hand away and took a deep breath as the grinder continued to whir in front of me. I immediately began to play out scenarios in my head – was my thumb still attached? If so, how badly was it mangled? Had the belt just ripped the top few layers of skin off, or was it much worse? Would I be walking out of the forge with nine beautiful fingers?

  I slowly lifted my left hand to reveal a thumb perfectly intact. No blood, no blisters. Just a little sting. “Did it get ya?” Turner says with a smile.

  After awhile of chasing grinding mistakes all around the surface of my blade – too much here, not enough there, zap on my thumb, now too much there, not enough here, zap again – I decided to be magnanimous and give Turner an opportunity to get more practice on the grinder using my blade. A good Scout is always willing to share.

  To my amazement, in less than two minutes he had it resembling a blade. It was still blackish and a bit primitive looking, but the shiny finished look would have to wait for another day. I was physically exhausted and mentally fried.

  I couldn’t even imagine mustering the intestinal fortitude it would have required to finish my weapon, so instead I took a seat on a stool near my anvil and began to admire a spear someone had made. Moments later, I was sound asleep.

  They woke me after a few minutes when it was time to leave for our dinner reservation. I was way too tired to put on my polo shirt, but it didn’t matter anyway. I was among friends and we were all dirty and feeling good from a hard day’s work in the forge.

  Thanks to Jon Turner and my other new “Forged in Fire” friends for making that weekend a life-changing experience.

  Until next week, Do a Good Turn Daily!

  

  Chris Cole is Director of Enterprise Communications at Sanitation District No. 1 and a deacon at Plum Creek Christian Church in Butler. He lives in Highland Heights with his wife, Megan. The Man Scout chronicles Cole’s journey to acquiring some of the skills of the head, the heart and the hand he failed to learn as a child of the 1980s growing up in Newport. His field guide: a 1952 Boy Scouts Handbook he found on eBay.

diaper banane ki machine price forged in fire belt grinder:The Man Scout: Bladesmithing with my new friends from History channel’s ‘Forged in Fire’ (Pt. II)