I don't plan to have much forging or armouring information that I've written myself, because I don't plan on doing much forging or armouring. But when I find something useful I can provide, I'll put it here.
Please go and read"So you want to forge a sword" at http://www.webpak.net/~rreil/Sword.html
You can also learn about building a forge and its burner there.
For a LOT of excellent quality information, see theAnvilfire Armoury
Added November 1, 1999:
Videos! I just ran across an announcement for a series of several videos dedicated to sword forging in great detail. The put lots of photos AND a couple of video clips on their page, though, so it takes a very long time to load! Here's their description:
Video sales of Making Charcoal, Folding and forge welding the steel, Forging a Tanto to shape, Clay coating the blade, final hardening, are available at $35 each that details the process and tools from beginning to end. Currently five VHS tapes are available, each about an hour long. Other Subjects to follow. Email for mailing address firstname.lastname@example.org
Read his description in a newsgroup posting at http://x43.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=529721718&CONTEXT=941413183.1153957934&hitnum=1 or go to http://home1.gte.net/fannin/index.htm to see for yourself.
A video on making traditional armor with traditional methods is available from www.varmouries.com
Armor -If you want to make some really fancy armor, learn how to decorate it at http://www.artmetal.com/brambush/forging/proj08/
Forging info sources/links:
See this newsgroup posting article about 5160 steel for sword blades.
Also see this article about forging big Claymore blades.
There's a really good but huge FAQ-type file (about 3 or 4 megabytes) from another armour discussion group at the Arador Armour Library. You can find the (new) Arador Armour Library at
http://www.arador.com It has a terrific amount of information! Also if you would like to know how to make, or already make, armour and would and would like to learn or talk about it stop on by the discussion
forum at http://www.brothersgrymme.org/arador/forum/index.html
http://ils.unc.edu/~allen/armbook.html [Books on Arms and Armour - and a few related topics]
A knife-making (and Japanese sword-making) forging information page with lots of pictures is http://www.knives.com/forging.html
April 12, 1999 Addition: A very informative new site about forging a katana is
Sword Class - D.Fogg Knives: http://www.dfoggknives.com/sword.htm and be sure to check out the rest of his site, too. He's a professional knifemaker with lots and lots of both experience and information.
We get a lot of questions about armor at anvilfire. Probably more questions about swords than any other. We have now posted our first sword article and promise more in the near future.
For more info online, see professional knifemaker Tim Lively's (http://www.livelyknives.com/) blade forging tutorials at http://184.108.40.206/tutorials.htm
And see his HEAT TREATING THE FORGED BLADE at http://220.127.116.11/heattreat.htm
he also has a video available.
Other links from my "Favorites" are:
Making a Norman Sword: http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/radiology/smithing/nsword.htm
Modern Japanese Sword Smiths, Polishers and more: http://www.stanford.edu/~jgates/sword/index.html
Sword Forum Magazine - Special Guests: http://www.swordforum.com/guests/
SWORD FORUM Magazine Online - January 1999 Issue: http://swordforum.com/jan99/main.html
For leads to information about blacksmithing and general forge work, as well as bladesmithing, go to
anvilfire Guru Question and Answer Page - December 15 - 31, 1998 Archive: http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/archives/g121998b.htm
The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA) http://www.abana.org/
Also, check on ALABAMA FORGE COUNCIL: [was at] http://www.the-matrix.com/afc/index.html
And Blacksmith's Gazette HomePage: http://www.skagit.com/blacksmith/default.asp
And BLACKSMITHS VIRTUAL JUNKYARD : http://www.seanet.com/~neilwin/index.htm
Don't miss The Elektric Anvil : http://www.mcs.net/~frnklyn/elektric/anvil.html
Those should also lead you to many, many others! There is getting to be a lot of blacksmithing and metalworking sites on the web! I keep on finding fascinating, new ones. Just after I thought I'd seen everything.
North Texas Blacksmith Association web site has projects and plans at http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/archive/, information on types of scrap steel at http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/archive/junksteel.html and even plans for gas forges at http://www.flash.net/~dwwilson/forge/fgpl.html.
About "The Best of the Hammer:"
From the Rialto "archives"
>I think you may need to check "Best of the Hammer" edited by Brian D. Flax, Volume 1 possibly.>>I do remember reading an article on using a drum brake and wheel rim to>build a forge. >>Can not find my Vol. 1 of the Best of the Hammer, some one is going to>pay!! for not returning it to it's proper place.>>Hugh Prescott Best Of... is currently out of print. But the best basic forge info I've seen can be found in Jim Hrisoulas's The Complete Bladesmith <Paladin Press ISBN0-87364-430-1> (coal and basic gas) and his The Master Bladesmith <Paladin, ISBN 0-87364-612-6 (advanced gas forges and how to use refractory and ceramicsfor building them)The books, of course, also contain information on every facet of forging steelwith the major emphasis on custom knife work. The only petty fault I've foundwith either is Jim's use of the word "Damascus" to describe pattern-welded blades, something I think he addresses in his third book entitled, if memory serves me right, "The Pattern-Welded Blade. "The two cost more than the Best Of... books (which also grace my shelves) butare considerably better buys if your goal is forgery rather than generalSCA-related metalworking.David M. Razler email@example.com
Flax, Brian D. (ed.) Best of The Hammer, vol. 1. Albuquerque, NM: Raymond's Quiet Press, c1983. originally from issues 1-9 of The Hammer.
The Hammer was the only semi-normally published newsletter for SCA armourers. It was published many years ago for the Middle Kingdom Armourer's Guild. It has some interesting things in it and some good basic ideas. It is sadly dated
RE: purchasing "Best of the Hammer" - Centaur Forge used to carry the series, but they may be out of stock. Their phone # is 1-800-666-9175; you can call & see what volumes they still carry.
Doug's note: I got my copy of "Best of ...., vol 4 from Centaur Forge, probably in 1995. At that time they had only vol. 4 available. I found the other volumes in a vendor's stall at Pennsic, but I don't have the vendor's name.
I have scanned some articles from my copies.
You can find the links to them on my GeneralInformation Page.
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