The sword is heated to a very high temperature and then placed into a quenching tank. This quenching allows it to cool quickly and evenly which will harden the metal. After this hardening the sword is brittle and something must be done to make it strong yet flexible. Next step will be the tempering.
Again the blade is heated and quenched. But now the heating is at a much lower temperature.This tempering allows the blade to be strong but not brittle. This is one stage where the skill and experience of the sword smith is invaluable. It takes a trained hand and eye to understand the properties of the meta. It will have a certain amount of flexibility yet still retain its sharp edge. Now the sword is ready for completion.
One of the moments captured in the smithy during the process of forging a medieval sword.
Thanks so much Wout & Jelmer of Hammer Las & Smeed Techniek Kampen for hospitality and coop during the photo shoot.
Hammer Las & Smeed Techniek Kampen
Camera on tripod without flash. Selective Colouring done in Photoshop.
Equipment: Eyes, hands, mind, soul, Canon Eos 30D