Today I went in and finished up my knife. The process was a little more complicated than I expected. To heat treat it we needed to find the critical temperature for the steel, and to do that Arnon pulled out a small book written in Japanese, since the steel was from Japan and was labeled with kanji. He gave me the book and told me to try and find the steel, and I actually managed to do it using the index in the back.
My final week at the forge was a little short, since Arnon was sick for the first part of the week. Originally the plan was to make a pair of tongs to start, and then move onto the knife, but we decided to just skip the tongs and spend two days making a knife. The knife isn't completely finished yet because we decided it would be better to wait than to rush things, so I'll be going in on Monday to finish it
This week at the forge, things were fairly uneventful. Arnon and Nitzan didn't really have any big projects to finish, and a lot of their time was spent working on jigs and machinery in the shop. Despite this, I had a very productive week in terms of the stuff I made; I walked out at the end of the week with several functional and entirely usable tools, all made mostly by me (with occasional help from Arnon and Nitzan).
Since my last post, I’ve spent a ton more time at the forge, although I had Thursday off to rest my wrists, since they were sore enough on Tuesday night that I needed to ice them. This week I learned to make several new shapes, and I also got to observe a variety of other projects. I took some videos this week which are linked throughout, and just like last week there are some links to pictures and pages from the web for the sake of explanation.
So far I've only spent two days at the forge, since my mentor Arnon was sick on Monday, but both days have been awesome. I also have today off while Arnon works from home on parts of the business that don't require the shop, so I'll try to write a lot. I'll also put in some links to pictures I find online of tools that are difficult to describe in text so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about without me wasting space trying to explain them.
As of right now, it is near the end of my second to last full day with my host family. I wanted to write a blog entry sooner, but pretty much every evening has been so full that I haven't had time to write. The Catlin website has also been undergoing maintainance at times that are convenient for Portlanders, but inconvenient for us, which has blocked my few attempts to write.