Completed Troubles With Gates

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on August 25th, 2015, 8:36 pm

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31st Summer 515
Alija greeted the customers with a smile, welcoming them into the shop. It was a young couple, a week, feeble looking man with a book tucked under one arm, a scholar or such, and a pretty looking lady, wearing a bright patchwork dress which she swung round her, fiddling with the material. They approached gently, the girl with a smile on her face and the man a scowl.

“Can we get orders here?” the woman asked, grinning widely as she brushed back her golden hair, revealing pure white teeth. Alija nodded, a little amused by this couple. They weren’t exactly the most average of folk. “We would like a gate made, is that okay?”

Alija nodded once more, beckoning them into the forge, where she cleared a fairly large section on the ground and pulling out a piece of chalk. “What size would you like it to be?” she asked, bringing out a ruler to measure it with. The man took both from her, chalking out the desired size on the ground as she had intended to do, without saying a word, of course. It was about the size of an average door, just slightly shorter. Thankfully, not too big.

“And we’d like a simple design inside, like this,” the woman added, snatching the chalk off her husband and adding several vertical lines from top to bottom, each which branched off into two spirals at both ends, and in the middle. She rose again, brushing the soot and chalk off her dress, then cast a look at the blacksmith. “Feasible? Oh, and made from steel.”

“Of course! It’ll be very simple indeed,” Alija reassured, ushering the couple back out again. The metal request was rather odd, but she ignored it, ready to follow their instruction to the letter. She was eager to get started on this project, having had no forging work for days now, other than an occasional nail or horseshoe, simple things she could blacksmith blindfolded.

Alija shovel some coal onto the fire, working the bellows to cause it to rise so it was slightly larger and hotter than what she desired. What that meant was that the time she could back with the metal needed, it would be just right, and not have cooled down too much.

What she need for this project was three metal bars as long as the width, and five as tall as the gate was meant to be. She succeeded with the five, but was missing the third piece for the width, which she was planning on placing across the middle to support the metal. A slightly shorter but fatter piece would have to do, after being lengthened a little.

This was the first thing she worked on, heating first at one end and creating small ridges in the metal, before using them to draw it out in length. Once this was done, she slowly spun the bar on the face of the anvil, pounding on it with her hammer to smoothen it out. A similar process was applied to the middle, then the other end, until the bar had been drawn out to the correct width.
Last edited by Alija on February 23rd, 2017, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alija
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on September 2nd, 2015, 9:58 am

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The next step was splitting three of the longer metal bars in half, something simple punching with a chisel would do. She heated up each bar one by one, working at the bellows slightly to make the fire hotter and the metal easier to work with. Then, she measured them carefully, working out where the middle was and adding a simple depression for further work.

Alija would then reheat the middle section of the bar, before placing the chisel back in position on the slit she had made, hammering carefully so she didn’t slip and hit her hand instead of the chisel, and so the metal bar with nothing to hold it still, wouldn’t shift too much.

Alija stopped occasionally to brush the waste material off the metal bar, pulling stray strands of hair out of her eyes and adjusting the apron to cover more of the clothing underneath, while still letting her breath. It was hot working in the forge, the fire blazing at the heat required to heat steel, and there were no windows or open doors, so the orange glow of the metal could easily be seen. Some found it unbearable, but Alija working in the environment every day for seasons, and the heat was no longer but a minor irritance, and only on some days. During the winter, she was often thankful for it, an escape from the cold wind that chilled her to the bone.

Working hard on cutting each bar in half, the blacksmith whistled nonchalantly, a sailor’s tune she had heard on her way to work. With the end of the song came the end of that step, the chisel finally breaking through the bar, hitting the anvil with a resounding clank.

She put the hammer and chisel down, shaking her hands a little. She had managed to hit her own fingers several times, and they were red and sore, aching from the impact with the hammer. Alija blew on them a little, the pain numbing slightly, but enough to be tolerable while working on whatever the next step was.

It was slitting open the ends of the half bars, ready to be pulled round into a spiral, which she would then use attach to the main frame of the gate, something she still had to do. But first, the spirals.

The blacksmith worked a little at the bellows, adding more fuel to the fire to let it continue to burn at the heat it was, and heated the first end of the lot, before securing it to a vice so she could split it open easily. Placing the chisel as centred as she could on the very tip, she began to hammer, pushing through the steel and creating first a small indent, then a slightly large slit, then an even larger one.

It came to a point when she could no longer fit the chisel through the gap, so the blacksmith had to spread the two sections apart. That wasn’t hard: with a combination of simply tugging at it with a pair of tongs and of hitting at the chisel at an angle, she managed to chisel all the way she wanted, leaving two section branching off.
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Alija
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on September 2nd, 2015, 9:59 am

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Alija heated one of the sections, waiting until the steel was glowing hot before taking it to two upright cylinders, secured to an iron base with a slight gap in the middle, designed for making spirals like the one she was intending to make at that moment. First, she slipped the end in between the two, where it fit rather snugly. Only a little end was sticking out, and it was this section that she hammered round one of the cylinders, securing it in place. Then, simply pushing at the other end, she walked around, wrapping the metal into a spiral shape.

To remove it, all she had to do was slip it off the top, leaving a neat spiral, although perhaps a little more oval than circle. It was a simple process, something Donovan had come up with even before she had worked here, and made himself. Before that, spirals were often hand hammered or created around sections made for the particular piece. This allowed accuracy to be reused again and again.

She repeated with all the required sections, heating and twisting until all were the spiral shape that they had been intended to be. With that done, all that would be required would be to weld it all together, a task she figured she could do, as it wasn’t too complex, just a little tricky to get the timing right.

Besides, she had auristics anyway, which she always used to judge heat of the metal. It wouldn’t be as hard as she believed, and if it was, she could always ask for help. No, she wouldn’t. Alija wasn’t one for asking for help - not that she didn’t need it, but she didn’t want to appear incompetent in front of her colleagues.

She lined up the pieces on the chalked out image of the gate on the floor, checking that they lined up. As soon as she did, she realised what she had done wrong. When she had taken the steel bars, they were all the same length, but onced twisted into spirals, they were much shorter than the intended size, not fitting where they were meant to. And Alija had decided to stick with the size specifications given, as they wouldn’t be happy with a smaller gate, especially if they had already picked out the location for it, and made the surrounding areas to size.

No, it wouldn’t be the height she would have to change, but the spiral bars in the middle.
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on September 2nd, 2015, 9:59 am

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Alija figured that finding new metal and repeating the process would take too long, especially with needing to make it split, and the metal she had already got would go to waste, a lot harder to work with than simple chunks of bars of steel.

However, that would mean that somehow she would need to lengthen it. Perhaps if she just drew out the middle, that could work. It might look a little strange, but then the spirals would look the same thickness as the main section, which could look rather nice. It would work, anyway, hopefully enough to make it the correct length. She could only hope.

The blacksmith buried the metal under the flames, letting it heat before pulling it out again, resting it on the face of the anvil. She used the peen of the hammer, creating indentations and ridges in the metal, before flipping the hammer over, using the flat side to smooth them out to increase the length while reducing the depth and width. She repeated several times, working quicker than if she would with just hammering with the flat face, and seemed to get it to the desired length after no time at all.

Of course, with five other sections to do this to, the process was long and tiring, and her mind shifted to other things, thinking about Kial and what the small boy was up to while she worked, thinking of the dogs and what they were up to, daydreaming about a large house in the Ancient Quarter, and daydreaming about a smith of her own.

It was something she had been debating for a long time. When she was younger, she had always planned to achieve what her father had never managed to achieve: own her own blacksmith, and be known around the town for her skill and progress. She would hire people to run the counter, to fetch shipments, to heat the fire. It would be her glorious own little workshop, ready for her control.

But the Armed Scholar was beautiful and amazing, and she could never leave Rals and Donovan and start up competition for them elsewhere. Rals had worked so hard to get this shop in running order, and she was willing to contribute, not work against it. Besides, even if she did open it up, she didn’t have skills in running the place, just in working there. The Armed Scholar had a good owner, hard-working employees and a reputation. Her shop? None of that.

Still, she was allowed to imagine what it would be like, and did so with a smile, picturing the quaint little store at the front and the bulging forge behind, smoke steaming into the air after days of hard, dedicated and glorious work. She would live above, in a small flat with a bedroom for her and one for Kial, and another room for the kitchen and living space. That would be until she raised enough money to build a large estate and move there, letting her worker’s live in her old house.

She might even keep the cottage, small and simple as it was, and use it to house more workers, or store goods. It was close to the docks, so they could easily be transported there. But no, she would sell it to have the money for the smith.

With her smile, she continued her daydreaming, letting it finish as the drawing out did, ready for the final welding.
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on September 2nd, 2015, 10:00 am

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She took the first two sections to be welded: a spiral piece and the middle section, first wiping them with a wet cloth before wire brushing it and wiping it again. Little pieces of metal and dirt flew of, foreign material that would cause problems with the welding. The fire was starting to die down, a reducing fire perfect for the job, as it had lots of heat and little oxygen, which again would cause the weld to be weaker.

Alija put them in the fire to heat, before using a combination of drawing and upsetting to bring the centre of the desired section to be welded out, to push foreign materials out when they joined together. A method of heating and brushing clean followed, ending with the addition of the coarse sand used as flux, to prevent oxidisation.

At that moment, her eyes relaxed, focusing on the very small, yet still visible, auras surrounding both sections. Now synchronized with her djed, she would be able to infer the temperature, judging whether or not it would be hot enough to bring together. She heated with deep concentration, the metals most likely changing colour somewhere beneath the fire. She could no longer see them, but instead feel them, not hot enough to burn her but a dampened temperature, one she knew. Not hot enough yet, the aurist decided, but only a little while to go.

All of a sudden, both auras seemed to peak, a hot sensation spreading over her body. She removed them, working briskly and efficiently, forcing the metal together with sharp hammer taps, lightly squeezing out the flux. Once she was happy with the connection, they came back to the flame, heating more to allow the next hammer taps to bring the weld closer together and “set” it.

The next welds were easy, the same routine repeated again and again. First, clean it and bring the centre out, preparing it for the weld. Then, she would attach to the aura, feeling the heat in a way that meant she could figure out when to remove it from the fire. Once satisfied with the heat, Alija would work quickly to join them together, before “setting” it properly after one last heat.

The most complicated part about the process was the tappings. She had little idea where the most effective position was. Would it be the other end of the spiral, and risk deforming it? Would it be the middle bar? Or perhaps a spot in between? She didn’t know, and worked wherever the hammer moved to, letting it guide itself, rather than herself guide it.

It was a little harder when she came to the top and the bottom, realising that she had forgotten to consider that. What it meant was that she had to do all five connections at roughly the same time, as otherwise she wouldn’t be able to get it into place properly.
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Alija on September 2nd, 2015, 10:00 am

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The initial setup was easy, as she just used the same process as before. However, when it came to the auristics, she was more hesitant, not wanting to overgive. With auristics, it never had been too much of a problem, but she didn’t know what would happen if she stretched herself.

She shook the thought off, deciding that she would in fact do it. Her body loosened, breathing deep, and synchronised with each aura separately, before focusing on it a little to uncover the heat and moving on to the next one.

Her head started to hurt a little, a mild pain, nothing too extreme, but it started to grow, a numbness filling her body. She unwisely fought it, continuing on checking the auras for heat. They were done. Pulling the metal out of the forge seemed impossible, yanking at the material as fatigue filled her limbs. She could do it - she had to.

Hammering was hard as well, and her vision was blurred, normal senses severely dampened or even gone. She could no longer taste or smell the smoke, and all she heard was a very light ting, something she struggled to pick up. Sight was also a problem, but practise meant she could continue fairly well without it, as the movements were the same as the ones for the previous welding.
Strength was hard to find, but she coped, the simplest tasks tiring but doable. Eventually, through the haze of vision, she decided that she had done all she could. There was no way she could continue in this state - now that there was no time limit on her actions, she had no reason to continue to fight the effects of overgiving. Her mind felt like exploding, no longer normal, and she dropped the gate, lowering herself to the floor. Perhaps a few moments like this would help…

Rals came in to see her on the ground, still almost senseless. He didn’t say anything, but helped her up, bringing her to a stool in the corner. She sat gladly, the cold stone floor no longer comfortable. Then the man took over her work, although she couldn’t tell. He was too far from her to be able to see or hear his actions.

“What happened?” he asked, after a few chimes of work.

Alija managed to catch the smallest part of it, and tried to ask him to repeat it. The words came out mangled and mashed up, completely incoherent.

“Never mind. Just rest.” Whether or not she managed to hear it properly, Alija did so anyway. She had nothing else to do, suffering from overgiving like this. Fatigue, incoherent speech, loss of senses, it was surprising that nothing else had happened. She thanked the gods she was still alive.
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Alija
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Troubles With Gates

Postby Pulren Marsh on December 13th, 2015, 7:24 am

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A Grade is Coming
Your Wave
As intense as the flames she works with. Auristics and heat capable of melting metal do not mix!

 
Alija
XP
  • Mathematics 1
  • Blacksmithing 5
  • Planning 3
  • Endurance 2
  • Observation 5
  • Auristics 3
Lores
  • Blacksmithing: Working with Steel
  • Blacksmithing: Creating Spiral Forms
  • Blacksmithing: Branching Metal with Vice and Tongs
  • Blacksmithing: Using a Reducing Fire for Weaker Welds
  • Auristics: Steel Welding Temperature
  • Overgiving: Sweet Whispers Are Sometimes Silent Actions
  • Overgiving: Ignoring When to Quit

    Thank the Gods indeed! Alija would not be able to work for a day or so. Prudence might even make it a week, considering the dangers of the profession. Either way, please be careful and think about not using Auristics while over the forge. Maybe use a helper to do the work, but there was a serious risk of being maimed or killed there.



Your Grader,


Pulren Marsh
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