Solo [The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Reselling scavenged weapons isn't quite as easy as it'd seem.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on August 28th, 2019, 8:29 pm

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52, Summer 519 AV

Baelin stared down at the pile of worn weapons and tried to figure out how he was going to go about this. The Knight’s Armory had the resourceful―if questionable―policy of freshening up and reselling any weapon that came into its possession. And, at the moment, that pile of blunted, bloodied, and chipped steel was all his.

Anything that truly couldn’t be salvaged would be added to scrap, melted down or welded together, and then recycled into something new. But that would only apply if a quicker fix couldn’t be reached by refurbishing.

Baelin pulled a dagger from the pile and inspected its edges. Whoever had owned this had been brutal to it, leaving behind a multitude of chips and warps. The blade, however, still had a lot of meat to it. The bevels would have to pushed way back, but it could be reworked and serviceable again. Baelin set it down on a worktable and pulled another blade out. This one was a knife with a straight crack lengthening from its edge. No way could this be saved and still work; that crack would always exist as a future breaking-point. Baelin chucked it into the scrap bin.

He worked through the other blades in the “recently acquired” pile until all of them were sorted into either scrap or the to-be-polished collection. Once done, Baelin took a shortsword from the polishing pile and gave it another look to double-check that it was indeed salvageable.

Littered with nicks and burrs, the twin edges were absolutely a mess. It was possible that the damage continued into the blade’s body, but Baelin didn’t think he’d be sure of it until he actually got to grinding. If striated, straight cracks were unearthed as he worked deeper in, then he’d likely have to stop and scrap it anyways.

Baelin was sorely tempted to just scrap it now and be done with it. But forging an entirely new blade would take longer, and that just wouldn’t fly. He took the worn sword to a grindstone and pumped the foot pedal to get it going. The wheel picked up water as its passed through the trough suspended below, the stone becoming slick and dripping as Baelin continued to wet the grinder.

Since this was a finished steel blade, it had already been heat treated and most certainly didn’t need to be annealed. Any heating that did occur while Baelin was grinding would only run the risk of ruining the previous temper. If he was a better weaponsmith, he might be able to pull off a new heat treat, but as he was now he’d probably just break the thing.

Alright. He’d just grind down, check to see if there were cracks deeper in the meat of the blade, and try his damndest to keep the blade’s shape as authentic to its original as possible. Easy. He could do this. Baelin in a deep breath, steadied himself, and brought the edge down to meet stone.
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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on September 6th, 2019, 10:42 pm

The steel whistled as it made contact and jerked in his grasp, but Baelin was braced for it. Tightly pinching the blade in place, Baelin careful worked one of its edges against the stone. This particular edge was in much worse shape than its counterpart; whoever used the blade must have had a preference in how to hold the sword’s grip. If the blade had a truly disastrous fault, Baelin was willing to bet he’d find it on this side.

As chimes went by on the grindstone, the blade slowly began to warm up. Even with water cooling the contact between steel and stone, Baelin was really pushing it hard. He had a truly mind-numbing amount of grinding ahead of him, and with the steel already heat-treated, the metal was hard and wouldn’t grind as easily. It’d take longer…hence the extra force in the grind. But―also because the blade was already heat-treated―he couldn’t afford to actually heat up the blade. If it started getting blue on him, then he would have already messed up the blade’s previous temper. Obviously not ideal. So Baelin eased up and pulled the blade away from the stone, giving it a moment to cool off.

Once it was no longer quite so hot to the touch, Baelin pumped the wheel back up to speed and touched the steel back down. With the state of the blade’s edge, he’d have to basically grind away the entire edge and then some. He’d barely even started.

Irritation rose within him and he was sorely tempted to just snap the blade in two. He could do it. He had the tools. Just think of all the grinding he’d save himself from.

No. That wouldn’t do. Baelin took in a deep breath and tried to let go of his irritation. He took in another deep breath, held it, then let it back out in a slow, measured exhale. No sense in getting frustrated; the work would get done one way or another. As he carefully worked the blade’s edge, Baelin continued to take slow, measured breaths. He could feel his heart slow, the frustrated pump of blood in his ears fading as he grinded.

Baelin had to stop twice more to let the blade cool back down, but eventually the grindstone had completely eaten away all of the blade’s former edge. He stopped grinding and brought the sword up for a close look.

He couldn’t immediately see any chips by eye. He might actually be ready to put a new bevel on the blade―on this side of the sword, at least. Baelin gently ran the back of his nail along the ground-down edge, feeling for any blemishes in the steel. There were three spots that he could feel on his nail, but when he took a closer look at them he saw that they were just burrs. Those would come right out when he reprofiled.

Alright then. Chips and warps were out, now he just had to put in a bevel that matched the shape of the sword’s other side. Baelin wasn’t a particularly experienced weaponsmith; he would definitely need to use the other side of the blade as reference. But if he could keep the relative shape of the original shortsword, then he figured the blade would look just fine in the end. Or, at least, he certainly hoped so.
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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on September 16th, 2019, 7:36 pm

When he was removing chips and warps, Baelin hadn’t bothered to try and maintain the blade’s original bevel. The focus instead had been to work down to the deepest part of the worst chips, and then fan towards the tip of the blade. Now that it was done, the bevel profile going from the meat of the blade down to its edge had lost any semblance of symmetry with the other side.

Baelin cranked up the speed of the grind wheel and brought the steel back down. He tried to be relatively quick about it, holding the blade at a slight, constant angle and sliding it across the stone. After his first pass, he pulled the sword back to check how its edge looked, mentally marked where he wanted the line to be, and then touched the blade back down.

A few chimes carried on like this, with Baelin making a pass, pulling back to check his line and angle, and then continuing on. Eventually he figured he got the bevel’s line as symmetrical to the other side as he was going to get, with a decently consistent angle on it. He wasn’t a seasoned blade polisher, and he doubted the most critical of customers would be happy with it. But then the most critical of customers probably commissioned their own blades anyways, and wouldn’t have settled for an obviously refurbished shortsword in the first place.

Satisfied that it was as good as he was going to get it, Baelin flipped the blade over and began the process of grinding out the chips in the other side.

Baelin started on the cracks closest to the hilt and worked the grind out from there. He slowed down his progress again when the steel started to feel warm to the touch, going so far as to dip the shortsword itself into the water trough to speed up its cooling. Once cooled, Baelin sped the wheel back up and returned to grinding.

As Baelin continued to work out chips on the other side of the sword, the blade started to look a little…wrong. While he had originally thought the shortsword had enough meat on it to allow for grinding out the worst of its chips, Baelin was now beginning to have second thoughts. A lot of steel had been taken off already, and he still had more to remove. As a result, what had once been a thick shortsword was starting to work its way towards a short rapier.

Could it still be sold, even if it wound up so much thinner than shortswords typically were? If all this grinding was for nothing, Baelin was going to be furious. If these last few bells have all been a waste, then not only would the attempt to refurbish the blade mean lost time, it would also mean Baelin had ground away what could have been reforged steel. And, considering that the Knight’s Armory didn’t have the same sort of iron mine connection that the Ironworks back in Syliras had, that was no insignificant matter.
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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on September 25th, 2019, 4:18 pm

Baelin would have to check. He’d have to swallow his pride, brace himself for whatever shame would come from wasting both time and steel, and bring the ground-down shortsword to Karos or Lawrence for their more expert opinion.

As much as he hadn’t liked living in Ravok, he at least had been working armor there. While still only an apprentice at armoring, Baelin at least had a better idea of what he was doing with armor. But when it came to bladesmithing or edge polishing, Baelin knew only the bare minimum. He supposed he was bound to make mistakes like this.

Still. It was embarrassing.

Pulling in a deep breath, Baelin checked to see where the two co-owners of the Knight’s Armory were. Karos was in the middle of drawing out a length of iron, and Lawrence was wrapping what would be a horseshoe around an anvil’s horn. The horseshoe was likely less damning to interrupt, so Baelin braced himself and took the blade over to Lawrence.

Lawrence kept working for an uncomfortably long stretch of time before he finally glanced up.

“That’s scrap,” he said after no more than a tick of looking at the blade. He gave Baelin a flat stare, then returned to his work.

Well, alright then.

This was fine. It wasn’t like he wasted a ton of time or anything.

Fury swelled in him and he wanted nothing more than to swing the scrap sword like a club and snap it into little pieces. He should have known better. Maybe he could snap it in two if he bent it hard enough. He shouldn’t have thought that he could polish this. Or maybe he could just hammer it until it was an unrecognizable, twisted strip of metal. Any of those options sounded great.

Instead, Baelin pulled in a deep breath, went back to where he was working, and put the blade in the scrap pile. He stood there for a long moment, breathing deeply and trying to force calm. Gods, he wanted to break something. Anything would do. If he could smash it to little pieces and twist the life out of it, that’d be fantastic.

Recognizing that he was too angry to do any fine, detailed work like more polishing, Baelin snatched up two daggers from the scrap pile. Heating up and forge welding two chunks of metal together would let him use heavy hits, and heavy hits right about now was a winning plan.

He commandeered a forge and pumped the bellows, not stopping until he saw fire pulse from the coals. Yanking out a pair of tongs, Baelin clamped one of the daggers and shoved it into the coals. Then he grabbed the other dagger, pushed it in next to the first, and went back to the bellows. Baelin kept pumping until the fire belching from the forge was almost white, then switched back to tongs as he adjusted the two daggers in the coals. They needed to get cherry red before they could be hammered together, and Baelin was in no mood to slowly baby them up to temperature.
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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on October 2nd, 2019, 2:22 pm

Baelin let the smaller dagger get white-hot before snatching it out of the forge. Holding the tang with tongs in his left hand, Baelin grabbed a wire brush in his right and started scrubbing. The two blades would have to be clean as petch if they were going to stick together, and so Baelin was likely going to need a couple of passes with the wire brush at heat.

He worked until the metal started to cool, then swapped it back into the forge for the other dagger―now also at temperature―and scrubbed scale from it as well. Baelin continued like this for a bit, heating the metal up and brushing it clean with metal bristles, before he figured it was probably clean enough to work with.

That done, Baelin brought both daggers back to the forge and pumped the bellows again. Here, he’d have to be a bit more careful about temperature. Hot enough, but not quite so hot as to weld yet. Judging that to be around a cherry red, Baelin pulled the blades out one by one and set them down on his anvil. Moving quickly, Baelin grabbed a handful of the fine sand the smithy stocked as flux and sprinkled it carefully over the two blades.

The sand melted on the two surfaces and Baelin moved swiftly to lay the fluxed sides on top of each other. He adjusted them with his tongs until the two blades were situated so that tang was on top of tang and the shorter tip brushed the other blade’s spine. There was probably some better way to go about this, but Baelin figured it’d wind up as one chunk of metal in the end regardless, so he didn’t worry too much about it. Without wasting another moment, Baelin hammered down a few quick, hard hits to start the weld, then gripped one of the tangs and moved the whole assembly back to the forge.

Once heated back up to cherry red, Baelin pulled the two blades―just starting to really stick together―out of the forge and back to the anvil. Twisting the daggers so that their edges were up and the gap between them exposed, Baelin poured a bit more sand in the space between. Then spun the blades down flat and let loose another series of quick, hard hits. Bubbles spilled out of the side―the sand melting as it acted as flux―and Baelin continued to hammer until it was time to reheat. He spared a tick to scrub developing scale off with his wire brush, then back into the forge.

He did one more pass like this, adding a bit more sand in the narrowing space between blades, before he figured he had enough flux in there. Heating the assembly up to a near white, Baelin took it back out and began hammering in earnest. He stopped every now and then to scrub off scale, both from the surfaces and the edges, and continued his refreshingly hard hits. It wasn’t everything in smithing that you could really let out some frustration on, but welds absolutely were among them.

With the two daggers now battered into one form, Baelin set down his tongs for a moment, fetched a chisel, and positioned it in the middle of what had been the blades. Hammering down on the top of the chisel, Baelin went until he was almost clear to the other side. The metal had cooled as he worked, so he put it in the forge to heat it back up, then again to the anvil to begin folding it over. Baelin sprinkled some sand on the side to be folded into first, then began hammering the edge over and down.

While the two daggers originally had been too destroyed to be reused in their original forms, their steel absolutely could be repurposed. As Baelin continued to fold and weld the steel into a workable block, he let himself fall into the repetitive rhythm of forge work. He’d get better at grinding, one day, but for now, forging was comfortably familiar.
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[The Knight's Armory] Refurbished Steel

Postby Baelin Holt on November 6th, 2019, 3:37 pm

Baelin Holt :
Skills:
1 Blacksmithing
1 Body Building
1 Meditation
2 Observation
1 Salvage
2 Weaponsmithing

Lores:
Location: The Knight's Armory
The Knight's Armory: Refurbishes and sells used weapons
Weaponsmithing: Cannot salvage blades with striated, straight cracks
Weaponsmithing: Basic use of a grindstone wheel
Grinding: Heat-treated steel is harder to grind
Grinding: Keep the steel cool so it doesn't temper
Lawrence: Experienced weaponsmith at the Knight's Armory
Welding: Clean the surfaces with a wire brush while hot
Welding: Add flux when steel is cherry red
Welding: Sand as flux to join welding surfaces
Welding: Hard hits at white-hot once fluxed to weld
Blacksmithing: Use a chisel to fold over metal to weld

Comments: If anyone has any comments or concerns on this self-grade, please do message me.
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Baelin Holt
Blacksmith
 
Posts: 340
Words: 360322
Joined roleplay: July 25th, 2014, 12:36 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Mixed blood
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)


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