Saturday, February 17, 2018

blacksmith nerdery

I've been watching a lot of blacksmith channels on YouTube. Watching these guys forge blades is utterly fascinating; I regress back into my "Sesame Street"-watching childhood self and enjoy this glimpse into some very complicated processes. Another channel, to which I'm subscribed, is called Skallagrim; the host is a Norwegian-Canadian involved with HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts); he regularly tests and reviews blades on his channel. In the embedded video below, Skallagrim visits two blacksmiths and engages in—for me, at least—a riveting conversation about so-called "Damascus steel" (in "Game of Thrones," the equivalent is "Valyrian steel," which was originally forged using methods long since lost). This term is applied to various types of steel and has a somewhat legendary aura about it that has led to many modern misconceptions. The two blacksmiths do a good job of setting us straight, and they even show off some of their own Damascus-steel products. Enjoy.

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