Completed Home is where you set your anvil

Job thread 2 setting up the anvil so Mitt can work

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Home is where you set your anvil

Postby Mittle on October 21st, 2022, 5:12 pm

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34 Fall 522 A.V.

Walking with a jaunty step, Mitt carried the familiar weight of his anvil under his arm with a big smile. Headed off to the smith with solid purpose, it felt good, right, and about damn time. Mitt hadn't forged a thing since Spring and the ship's voyage felt like he was mourning more than just the death of his parents.

Smithing gave his life purpose and meaning. It wasn't just a job, it was both his life's validation and the solitary binding tie to his family's legacy. Setting up Izzy would bring him to Syka with the most important thing he had, beyond even his own soul.

Swinging a leg over the threshold, he double stomped his foot on the floor. Hard, giving Arty a heads up that someone was here.

"I'm here Arty." Mitt said, carefully enunciating, knowing the smith probably only had about twenty percent of his hearing left. Arty gave a brief nod but remained silent, watching with a critical expression.

Grey eyes flicked over to the older smith's face and he knew he'd better be nothing short of perfection in setting up Izzy or the guy would never let him back in the smithy. There might be Founders on Syka, but smiths looked to other smiths first and foremost. Mitt carefully set down his family's anvil, giving it a loving pat.

A few different wood stumps were lined up under the back table on the far wall and he walked over to them with studied concentration. Oak, Elm and Maple in different sizes and colors huddled near each other, awaiting a life long task. The Maple was too soft and split instantly. The Oak stumps were alright on first glance, but he knew they'd grow brittle with heat expansion. There was only one Elm stump and it was covered in manky looking half shredded bark with a wildly uneven sloping top.

"If I clean it up, it can still work. Just needs some adjustments." He said more to himself. It wasn't like Arty would 'hear' him unless he looked directly at him to speak.

Rolling up his sleeves, he grabbed the top of the heavy Elm stump and rolled it awkwardly outside, the chunk of seasoned wood trailing splinters and bark along its drag marks on the floor. Going back inside, Mitt took the ruler, sandpaper, level, chalk and a couple metal shims from the tool rack and returned outside.

He went back to the wood stumps and after a few chimes of debate, he chose and picked up the lighter Maple stump to make three rough hewn two by fours for the leveling.

Mitt made sure that he was directly in front of the door so the senior smith could get a clear view from his chair. He also knew better than to risk scattering wood splinters near even the cold forge. The young smith felt eyes boring into him and he didn't bother looking up. He was well aware of Arty's intense scrutiny. He welcomed it in fact. It felt good to have another smith around. Was it really only one season without forging? It had felt like a life time away from his lifeline to the world.

He grasped the small hand axe and shoved it downward, separating the bark from the wood, from top to bottom. It was a small tool that only took about three inches at a time so the hacking would be slow going. Placing his left foot on top of the stump to hold it still, he hacked away at the bark, careful to keep it in as much of a peeling technique as he could.

Mitt stopped twice to readjust his handhold on the unfamiliar axe because he was so used to a hammer grip. After a few swears at hacking off the bark, he finally cleared the stump clean. Resetting his grip for the dozenth time on the uncomfortable axe handle, he began squaring the sides as much as possible. Half way through his untutored efforts, he threw down the axe and strode into the smithy again, this time grabbing the measuring twine.

"I forgot." he admitted sheepishly to Artik.

"Can't do wood, don't know much about wood, but it's the only way for you to have a good home Izzy." he muttered on his way back outside, resenting that he had to do some crappy wood work just to get to the good stuff.

Mitt neatly wound the twine around his hand to his elbow twice, bit the twine and set it down beside him. He then wound the long length of twine around the stump vertically, lifted the heavy stump and crossed it underneath to bring up to the top again, neatly dividing it in four quarters with a quick knot.

Now that he had an even reference guide, he picked up the axe and chopped the sides as evenly as he could. It was definitely not the work of a master and there were obvious knots and splinters aplenty. Mitt released the twine and put it aside for later, stepping back to survey his work. He was no carpenter that was for damn sure. But as long as all the surfaces were free of bark and smooth with a level top and bottom, he'd get through it. He'd only done this once before so it was a bit of a challenge. One that he fully intended to carry out with determination.

The Maple stump was crap but he could at least split a few two by fours off it. Using the ruler and chalk, he first measured vertically from the ground, marked it, measured the width, and marked it across the stump at its height, carrying over the radius to the other side. And marked it again with the chalk.

Mitt chopped roughly at first, resenting every axe stroke with a fierce look.

"Chopping wood sucks ass. You couldn't pay me enough to be a carpenter." Said Mitt, cursing and glaring as he worked at it clumsily. He leaned on the stump with his left hand, holding the measurement spot with his left thumb to guide him. The axe slipped and twisted in his sweaty hand and he paused to drop the axe and wipe his sweaty hand on his pants.

"You don't have to be a logger to mount an anvil kid. Just make it precise and get on with it without all the bitching." Artik said loudly and deafly from inside the smithy.


WC 1,086

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Last edited by Mittle on October 23rd, 2022, 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
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Mittle
"Be an anvil, not a hammer."
 
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Home is where you set your anvil

Postby Mittle on October 22nd, 2022, 6:05 pm

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Mitt stopped and just looked at Artik.

'I stood up for him, I tried to reason out why he was being a drunk dick. He's not even acting like a real smith. Had Arty thrown the bottle from the door himself trying to purposely ruin the forge?'!' his thoughts racing.

He met Artik's comment with an icy blue glare and walked over to him.
"You're supposed to be a blacksmith Artik. The people here count on you. You're supposed to be someone they can rely on. I thought you were a real smith and I was going to defend you. Like any fellow smith would do."

Mitt exhaled, rolled back on his heels and crossed his arms over his chest, getting in Artik's face, just a breath away.

"I want an honest answer to one simple question. Did you try to destroy the forge?" The demand came out as a barely restrained growl and Mitt had a bad feeling he already knew the answer.

"And what if I did? What do you care? Yes I did." Artik answered defiantly. "I've had it with know it alls like you. I'm getting a drink." The man stormed off, kicking aside the stump and headed to the Tidepool.

The tall young blacksmith looked after him in a combination of anger and outrage. He'd defended him, stood by his reputation as any other fellow crafter would. Blacksmiths had to be reliable and hard working with no exceptions. When he finished setting up Izzy, Mitt was going straight to Randal with this. Artik was a total dirtbag and didn't deserve to call himself a blacksmith.

Refusing to stay mad, he thanked Izurdin that he had the bare minimum of nails and lag bolts to get this job done. One of the beauties of blacksmithing was the joy of making more things that were needed. Instead of feeling upset, it was exactly the right impetus Mitt used to get things back on track. Setting up his anvil would get him solidly on the straight and narrow path again. He looked around, remembering all the hard, exhausting work that he and Randal had accomplished, and Mitt was immensely grateful for it.

The tawny haired man would get Izzy seen to and he'd personally make sure to put up a Smith On Duty sign to let the settlement know they had a blacksmith they could rely on. Mitt brought over the working stool that Artik only used as a prop for his lazy ass and actually used if for work. Go figure.

More determined than ever, Mitt returned to his work on the stump. Providence, or maybe Izurdin was looking out for him as he noted the log on its side in a perfect placement to continue. Looking at the chalk mark guides, he started work on smoothing out the bottom of it. Flipping over the log, he gathered a handful of the sun-warmed sand and dropped it onto the surface. Picking up the sand paper, Mitt worked patiently to grind down the lumpy surface, pausing every few chimes to gauge its level.

Once accomplished, he spun the log over to sand each of the sides making the four cornered log just smooth enough to be comfortable. His knees would be hugging it in the foreseeable future, all day and night while he worked, so it was important to get it done right.

He set the log upright again and measured for the indent marks he'd made earlier. Two inches down on the right side, he placed one of the two by fours on the side and tapped in the nail to hold it loosely in place. Using the twine, he measured and marked parallel to the other side and placed the second board. Adjusting the level on each side, he moved the first board and hammered the nail in further, repeating the process on the other side. The two by fours on each side pointed to each other on one end making a loose isosceles triangle. By all accounts, the top and bottom were leveled to his satisfaction. Now onto the much anticipated trough mount!

Using the sharp punch and his favorite trip hammer, he knocked out a two inch recession for the anvil to rest in. Without one, the anvil would ring so loudly with every hit, as to render it almost entirely ineffectual. He scoured the bottom of the indent with more warm sand and sand paper, keeping the motions small. The edges must stay sharp and precise for a clean solid fit within the two inch recess accounting for space with a thin block leather beneath.

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WC 772 Total WC 1,858
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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
User avatar
Mittle
"Be an anvil, not a hammer."
 
Posts: 140
Words: 179346
Joined roleplay: September 29th, 2022, 4:59 pm
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Home is where you set your anvil

Postby Mittle on October 23rd, 2022, 8:18 pm

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In three trips, he brought in the tools, chair and stump back inside the smithy to set them near and on the center work table.

Stoking the forge would take up to twenty chimes so Mitt adjusted the flame valves and began the process of laying coals and tinder at intervals. He sat quietly near it for a few chimes, watching and occasionally working the bellows to keep it breathing. While it built, he had work to do.

He looked around at the myriad supplies and again took stock of which ones he'd need.

A small, nearly used up container of heavy glue looked about ready to expire. There were only two bedraggled, chewed on pieces of block leather in the smithy that had definitely seen better days. A few drills were freshly cleaned and ready to go and he only needed three of the iron bars that were easily sought. Most importantly, six three-eighth inch diameter by six inch long lag bolts were carefully contained in a neat pile. The founders had made a Smith Foundry to be proud of.

Mitt walked to his beloved anvil and set the leather beneath it. With chalk in hand, he marked around it carefully and double checked the marks to match the stump. Carefully trimming off the ragged edges, he glued the block leather into place and fit it in the recess with ease.

He went back to the forge and pumped the bellows, watching the color and estimating how much more time it would take to lay the iron. The tawny haired young man placed the iron in front of the forge, measuring in at eight and a half inches long, an inch and a half wide and one quarter of an inch thick. Anything shorter would pull out and any less thicker would cause bowing and sagging between the hammers' strikes, humidity and wood shrinkage over time. They would need periodic adjustments as it aged, but it would last a good long while.

He had about another ten chimes so he did some cold work on the shorter two inch bars to first punch and then drill in two holes in each of the bars to fit the hex head lag bolts and punched the small holes larger on the longer bars to set them by the forge again. Then the young man lifted the anvil on its side, and rolled it upside down to lightly lace the bottom with heavy glue. With a difficult and firm flip, he turned it to place it on the block leather within the recess. Izzy settled in with a deeply reassuring thunk and he smiled. He moved the chair to sit behind Izzy for the first time since Spring and it felt damn good!

Placing one of the two inch bars over the bottom outside of the anvil, he chalk marked through the holes, set it aside and pre-drilled, matching it on the closest side in front of him after that. He drilled the bars in two three-eighths inch holes in for each side, slowly and carefully. If Mitt had drilled too fast or too tightly, the stump would easily crack and leave no solid base to work with at all.

He pulled around the anvil with the horn facing out and his knees on each side. Now he laid in the bolts at a diagonal angle so he had to be careful. This left the support uneven and forced the anvil to tilt one way or another. With a meticulous hand he fully drilled in one lag bolt on one side and then the other one across and diagonally opposing the first one. The drill drove it down firmly back in place, to no longer list to one side. This simple move stabilized both the anvil and the supporting iron at the base. He repeated the same method for the next two lag bolts.

The blacksmith looked at the forge and it was finally the right bright yellow he needed so he walked over and laid them on the fire. He stepped back just a little to watch the metal heat and felt the fire hot and ready on his face. His broad shoulders relaxed and a tension released from him that he didn't even realize was there. After two chimes, he used the tongs to lift a bar from the fire and brought it the huge heavy work anvil on the table. He bent the molten steel over the radiused edge with a quintuple hammer hit, bounce and repeat, the rhythm was a perfect match for 4/5 musical time signature. He set aside the bend and again drifted the punch to make sure they fit the lag bolts. Quenching it, he laid it aside to cool. Going back to the fire, he pulled out the second piece and repeated the earlier process, then leaving to cool.

Putting the first bolt in the vise, he cold twisted it to a gentle curve and released it to set it aside and do the same for the second hex head lag bolt.

Mitt measured, chalked and pre-drilled two wholes horizontally two inches from the top of the block, again not going farther in than two three-eighths inches. Looking over at the sideboard, the metal had cooled but was still warm enough to bend nicely. Izzy needed a 'necklace' he could hand tools from.

He bent the two long pieces in half, matching the curve of the block with precision. Finally satisfied it was accurate, he placed the bar hole over the pre-drilled indicator and slid it over and around the two lag bolts and carried it over to meet up, looping it to the other side. He drilled them in the full six inches to completion.

Mitt stood behind Izzy and the anvil top reached exactly where his top middle knuckle rested. He was home at long last.

WC 985 WC Total 2,843
.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
User avatar
Mittle
"Be an anvil, not a hammer."
 
Posts: 140
Words: 179346
Joined roleplay: September 29th, 2022, 4:59 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes


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