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(io9)   Meet the blacksmith behind Game of Thrones' incredibly functional swords   (io9.com) divider line 71
    More: Cool, Game of Thrones, Ned Stark  
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8095 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Feb 2013 at 8:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-13 06:51:14 PM
The only smithing he did was on the cross-guard, everything else was machine tools.  A little on the lame side.

/super amateur knife maker
 
wee [TotalFark]
2013-02-13 08:31:24 PM
So he ground down a piece of stock and put a handle on it.  I was sort of expecting a lot of heating and hammering to form the blade.
 
2013-02-13 08:38:44 PM
Not going to get me to click an i09 link, sorry.

I take it from the posts he 'blacksmiths' his swords the same way 99% of drama iron is 'blacksmithed'.
 
2013-02-13 08:42:27 PM
I was dissapointed the blade was cut from flat stock...

Not that that doesnt make a good blade... Just wasnt the forging I thought it would be
 
2013-02-13 08:42:41 PM
blood groove

OK, no.  Just no.
 
2013-02-13 08:43:53 PM
Yeesh, this guy is an embarrassment to any real blacksmith.

A fuller is not a blood channel or blood groove, or blood whatever. It was for making the sword lighter and less flexible.

/going to watch the PBS special where a real blacksmith makes an ulfbreht sword from scratch.
 
2013-02-13 08:48:10 PM

kroonermanblack: Not going to get me to click an i09 link, sorry.

I take it from the posts he 'blacksmiths' his swords the same way 99% of drama iron is 'blacksmithed'.


The blade is cut out on a bandsaw the groove is milled in, and the rest is on the grinder

The Hilt it looks like he actually hammers the whole thing, and the pommel is investment cast

I give him a D- he could have put more effort into the blade
 
2013-02-13 08:50:31 PM

msupf: Yeesh, this guy is an embarrassment to any real blacksmith.

A fuller is not a blood channel or blood groove, or blood whatever. It was for making the sword lighter and less flexible.

/going to watch the PBS special where a real blacksmith makes an ulfbreht sword from scratch.


This whole thread is making me wish I had made it to Renfest to watch the blacksmiths at work
 
2013-02-13 08:50:33 PM
For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.
 
2013-02-13 08:55:27 PM

Malky: For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.


Exactly. HBO understands that making swords for Jamie Lannister is a bad investment.
 
2013-02-13 08:56:25 PM

Malky: For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.


Yeah, but that's not really what the article implied. I expected prop swords given what he was making it for, the article made it out to seem like something more. I wouldn't consider the sword he made an "incredibly functional sword" just because it can smash some glass.
 
2013-02-13 08:56:48 PM

 Malky: For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.


If he wanted to make something that looked like a sword, almost felt like a sword, and even had some strength from being slammed really hard, he could have contracted with a shop that had a forging press. Especially if he wants to make a shiat ton of swords
 
2013-02-13 08:57:23 PM
Why don't they just make swords with a 3-D printer?
 
2013-02-13 08:58:21 PM

Korzine: Malky: For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.

Yeah, but that's not really what the article implied. I expected prop swords given what he was making it for, the article made it out to seem like something more. I wouldn't consider the sword he made an "incredibly functional sword" just because it can smash some glass.


I wonder if that was hollywood glass for stunts, or real glass
 
2013-02-13 08:58:54 PM

Malky: For everyone that biatches about him not pounding out a blade you should remember he is being paid to make swords being used on a tv show.  He isnt trying to make period masterpieces.  Im guessing that HBO wouldnt pay him for the work to make a proper sword even if he wanted to.


okay, but he also lacks an understanding of elements of the blade and why they are there.

No one who calls a fuller a blood groove or blood channel should be considered anything close to a blacksmith. At best he's a prop-maker.
 
2013-02-13 08:59:57 PM

WhippingBoy: Why don't they just make swords with a 3-D printer?


Print a sand box, poor steel to make a mediocre sword,perfect for ren fair tourists
 
2013-02-13 09:02:32 PM

loonatic112358: kroonermanblack: Not going to get me to click an i09 link, sorry.

I take it from the posts he 'blacksmiths' his swords the same way 99% of drama iron is 'blacksmithed'.

The blade is cut out on a bandsaw the groove is milled in, and the rest is on the grinder

The Hilt it looks like he actually hammers the whole thing, and the pommel is investment cast

I give him a D- he could have put more effort into the blade


Good enough for the amount of screen time it'll have in Jamie's hand.

Show me how long it takes to make the Mountain's armor.
 
2013-02-13 09:03:45 PM
Also, saving up for CGI armies and dragons.
 
2013-02-13 09:04:51 PM
By functional, I guess that means "movie prop"
 
2013-02-13 09:08:48 PM

loonatic112358: kroonermanblack: Not going to get me to click an i09 link, sorry.

I take it from the posts he 'blacksmiths' his swords the same way 99% of drama iron is 'blacksmithed'.

The blade is cut out on a bandsaw the groove is milled in, and the rest is on the grinder

The Hilt it looks like he actually hammers the whole thing, and the pommel is investment cast

I give him a D- he could have put more effort into the blade


To be honest there's not much difference between what he did and sword you'd see a blacksmith make. The only difference is that he can just use the modern steels available today that inherently possess the attributes he's looking for instead of pounding and work hardening inferior steels like you would have to back before metallurgy became a science. If you've seen what a "finished" sword looks like before it hits the grinder you wouldn't hardly call it a sword, just a length of ugly, pitted, slaggy metal.

About the only way you can get better toughness qualities out of a blade than is available in modern metal stock forms is either by wootz or by repetitive folding of the blade edge material and insertion of a harder, brittler steel into the canoe wedge you pounded into the blade edge material ie Japanese bladesmithing practices. Either way, you're talking about a prohibitively expensive sword.

As a machinist, someone who has dabbled in pounding on glowing metals, and a gunsmith who is seriously contemplating forging a 1911 slide out of wootz, I assure you his approach was the "sane" one.
 
2013-02-13 09:09:05 PM

loonatic112358: WhippingBoy: Why don't they just make swords with a 3-D printer?

Print a sand box, poor steel to make a mediocre sword,perfect for ren fair tourists


i dunno, assuming you used the right print media, an evacuated print area(or argon filled, something non-oxidizing), and a hot enough laser, you'd get something vaguely sword-ish...

but the post-printing finish work would be a deal-breaker. 3d printing tends to be on the rough side. some processes like ceramic can be very smooth, but i wouldn't want to wield a ceramic sword, no matter how much i like that miyazaki movie.

the external logistics, the fact that your print media would all have to be made from your base alloy, the fact that your print box would have to be very special conditions kind of kill the idea, though it IS kinda neat.
 
2013-02-13 09:13:51 PM

Brontes: The only smithing he did was on the cross-guard, everything else was machine tools.  A little on the lame side.

/super amateur knife maker


Yeah because he actually does it for a living, he is not a Ren Faire attendee.
 
2013-02-13 09:20:38 PM
Came for fuller rage.
 
2013-02-13 09:25:26 PM

Corvus: Brontes: The only smithing he did was on the cross-guard, everything else was machine tools.  A little on the lame side.

/super amateur knife maker

Yeah because he actually does it for a living, he is not a Ren Faire attendee.


Your point being? He still just machined a sword-like object.  Hacking out a piece of long pig iron into a sword shape doesn't make you a swordsmith.  It makes you a machinist.  Which, while impressive, isn't swordsmithing any more than a Mcdonalds cook is a chef.

And people are only biatching because the headline implies it's awesome. Or at least more interesting than 'take bar stock and sharpen it'.
 
2013-02-13 09:28:41 PM

buttery_shame_cave: loonatic112358: WhippingBoy: Why don't they just make swords with a 3-D printer?

Print a sand box, poor steel to make a mediocre sword,perfect for ren fair tourists

i dunno, assuming you used the right print media, an evacuated print area(or argon filled, something non-oxidizing), and a hot enough laser, you'd get something vaguely sword-ish...

but the post-printing finish work would be a deal-breaker. 3d printing tends to be on the rough side. some processes like ceramic can be very smooth, but i wouldn't want to wield a ceramic sword, no matter how much i like that miyazaki movie.

the external logistics, the fact that your print media would all have to be made from your base alloy, the fact that your print box would have to be very special conditions kind of kill the idea, though it IS kinda neat.


I was thinking more like this

www.standardalloys.com

3D Printed Mold Box and cores, no patterns needed.

As an aside I know the guy who was responsible for designing the impeller that was the result of that
 
2013-02-13 09:40:23 PM

An-Unnecessarily-Long-Name: I was dissapointed the blade was cut from flat stock...

Not that that doesnt make a good blade... Just wasnt the forging I thought it would be


It's one thing if he's just making one sword but for large movie/TV productions he probably has to make hundreds at a time. Hard to hand forge hundreds of blades at once. Especially if they aren't being used in real battles.
 
2013-02-13 09:42:14 PM

Ambivalence: It's one thing if he's just making one sword but for large movie/TV productions he probably has to make hundreds at a time. Hard to hand forge hundreds of blades at once. Especially if they aren't being used in real battles.


Stamp em on a press
 
2013-02-13 09:47:49 PM

loonatic112358: buttery_shame_cave: loonatic112358: WhippingBoy: Why don't they just make swords with a 3-D printer?

Print a sand box, poor steel to make a mediocre sword,perfect for ren fair tourists

i dunno, assuming you used the right print media, an evacuated print area(or argon filled, something non-oxidizing), and a hot enough laser, you'd get something vaguely sword-ish...

but the post-printing finish work would be a deal-breaker. 3d printing tends to be on the rough side. some processes like ceramic can be very smooth, but i wouldn't want to wield a ceramic sword, no matter how much i like that miyazaki movie.

the external logistics, the fact that your print media would all have to be made from your base alloy, the fact that your print box would have to be very special conditions kind of kill the idea, though it IS kinda neat.

I was thinking more like this

[www.standardalloys.com image 400x300]

3D Printed Mold Box and cores, no patterns needed.

As an aside I know the guy who was responsible for designing the impeller that was the result of that


ah, missed the whole 'casting' part. yeah that won't work very well. you wind up with ass for swords that bend at the slightest provocation. i must have glossed over it because it's as far from blade-making as you can get and still be doing metallurgy...

steel doesn't cast. aluminum does, but to be strong, cast aluminum has to be fairly bulky.

bronze would work, i suppose, but then you have combination of heavy AND flimsy.

i'd rather stamp aircraft aluminum blades out on a press if i were gonna sell to renfair folk. that or use wood. wood's pretty popular, surprise surprise.
 
2013-02-13 09:50:23 PM
no sword porn? i am disappoint, fark
 
2013-02-13 09:50:49 PM
So....

Starts with bar stock... ok, that's fine. Pretty much just skipping the step of making the bar stock yourself, and with modern steels that's not necessary.

Cuts out the shape with a bandsaw? No.
Cuts the edge on a grinder? No.
Cuts the fuller with a.... whatever that is, looks like the metalworking equivalent of a router? No.
Believes the silly legend about the fuller being a 'blood groove'? Nononono.

Makes prop swords that are much closer to the functionality of a real sword than most? Sure. Swordsmith? No. And show it cutting through something *tough*, please. Even a wallhanger can break glass, assuming the blade doesn't snap at the tang first.
 
2013-02-13 09:53:32 PM

buttery_shame_cave: i'd rather stamp aircraft aluminum blades out on a press if i were gonna sell to renfair folk. that or use wood. wood's pretty popular, surprise surprise.


I was just  thinking quick and cheap as hell for folks

Stamp Al and then coat it i guess so their grimy hands don't cause it to oxide

As far as the swords, if your just doing props for crowd scenes you probably don't want to do metal anyway, just make em out of plastic or foam and paint them
 
2013-02-13 09:55:28 PM

MuonNeutrino: So....

Starts with bar stock... ok, that's fine. Pretty much just skipping the step of making the bar stock yourself, and with modern steels that's not necessary.

Cuts out the shape with a bandsaw? No.
Cuts the edge on a grinder? No.
Cuts the fuller with a.... whatever that is, looks like the metalworking equivalent of a router? No.
Believes the silly legend about the fuller being a 'blood groove'? Nononono.

Makes prop swords that are much closer to the functionality of a real sword than most? Sure. Swordsmith? No. And show it cutting through something *tough*, please. Even a wallhanger can break glass, assuming the blade doesn't snap at the tang first.


i personally prefer the term 'swordMAKER' myself, as opposed to swordsmith.

it's a distinction i worked under back when i was learning to make knives/blades. i was a maker not a smith. sure, i can smith a blade, one that will pass the ABS journeyman and master tests no less, but the price is gonna jump by an order of magnitude or two because of the time and work involved.
 
2013-02-13 10:04:33 PM
I'm surprised they aren't entirely machined myself.  The blades must end up with nicks in them from the swordplay or when an actor goofs around them with.  I figured rather than paying someone to polish them, HBO just had a room full of them.
 
2013-02-13 10:11:22 PM

loonatic112358: buttery_shame_cave: i'd rather stamp aircraft aluminum blades out on a press if i were gonna sell to renfair folk. that or use wood. wood's pretty popular, surprise surprise.

I was just  thinking quick and cheap as hell for folks

Stamp Al and then coat it i guess so their grimy hands don't cause it to oxide

As far as the swords, if your just doing props for crowd scenes you probably don't want to do metal anyway, just make em out of plastic or foam and paint them


meet your typical SCA/renfaire attendee that would want a weapon: www.gmpiv.com

yeah, that's plywood and plastic.

your typical attendee is going to be extremely cheap. often because they rarely have the pennies to rub together to spend on ANYTHING but that's another story altogether.

foam is actually fairly common in regulation, often over a light wood core.

aluminum would make biatching hangars and decorative 'premium' pieces. wood would get worn and used.

wood is also way cheaper than aluminum, easier on the tools, faster to produce large quantities of items from, etc etc etc.

but yeah.

for crowd scenes you rarely even have weapons, it's a hilt glued to a sheath. unless it's a peter jackson film. then the armor is steel, hand crafted, intricate, functional, and has an entire character bio that you have to memorize. oh and your sword not only has a name but will get higher billing than you.
 
2013-02-13 10:15:47 PM
Today I learned that there is such a thing as a swordsmith hipster.
 
2013-02-13 10:16:27 PM

ha-ha-guy: I'm surprised they aren't entirely machined myself.  The blades must end up with nicks in them from the swordplay or when an actor goofs around them with.  I figured rather than paying someone to polish them, HBO just had a room full of them.


i imagine most of them are (or made quick and dirty.) This one he did in the video was one a major character carries, so having it look extra distinct is a nice touch. the night watch brothers in the practice yard to spruce up a scene? i bet they get the cheap/easy ones
 
2013-02-13 10:24:20 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Today I learned that there is such a thing as a swordsmith hipster.


i use the distinction just because of the process. you can make a sword, or you can smith a sword. the 'smithing' implies that you are shaping and crafting it by traditional means. 'making' doesn't imply any of that, at least to me.

tlchwi02: ha-ha-guy: I'm surprised they aren't entirely machined myself.  The blades must end up with nicks in them from the swordplay or when an actor goofs around them with.  I figured rather than paying someone to polish them, HBO just had a room full of them.

i imagine most of them are (or made quick and dirty.) This one he did in the video was one a major character carries, so having it look extra distinct is a nice touch. the night watch brothers in the practice yard to spruce up a scene? i bet they get the cheap/easy ones


dingdingdingdingding johnny, tell him what he won!

/as i said above, this doesn't apply if it's a peter jackson production however.
 
2013-02-13 10:25:56 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Today I learned that there is such a thing as a swordsmith hipster.


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
 
2013-02-13 10:38:51 PM

loonatic112358: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Today I learned that there is such a thing as a swordsmith hipster.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Saying it's not real swordsmithing unless you fold steel or whatever sounds a lot like saying it's not a proper My Bloody Valentine cover unless your guitarist is playing a surfcaster and your bassist is lesbian.
 
2013-02-13 10:45:05 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Saying it's not real swordsmithing unless you fold steel or whatever sounds a lot like saying


...throwing a pizza pop in the microwave is "real cooking"/being a chef.
 
2013-02-13 10:50:43 PM
Yes, people who know the actual meaning of a word are hipsters. God forbid we use english language as a fine pointed weapon instead of the crude block of shiat smeared on a cave wall.
 
2013-02-13 10:53:23 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Today I learned that there is such a thing as a swordsmith hipster.


There's even hipster hipsters.

It's very meta.
 
2013-02-13 10:56:17 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: r My Bloody Valentine cover unless your guitarist is playing a surfcaster and your bassist is lesbian.


See  you mention My Bloody Valentine and I recall a slasher flick. It's not that either one of us is wrong, but that we're using different contexts. Forging the manufacturing process is very different then forging as in copying
 
2013-02-13 11:08:23 PM

buttery_shame_cave: loonatic112358: buttery_shame_cave: i'd rather stamp aircraft aluminum blades out on a press if i were gonna sell to renfair folk. that or use wood. wood's pretty popular, surprise surprise.

I was just  thinking quick and cheap as hell for folks

Stamp Al and then coat it i guess so their grimy hands don't cause it to oxide

As far as the swords, if your just doing props for crowd scenes you probably don't want to do metal anyway, just make em out of plastic or foam and paint them

meet your typical SCA/renfaire attendee that would want a weapon: [www.gmpiv.com image 640x853]

yeah, that's plywood and plastic.

your typical attendee is going to be extremely cheap. often because they rarely have the pennies to rub together to spend on ANYTHING but that's another story altogether.

foam is actually fairly common in regulation, often over a light wood core.

aluminum would make biatching hangars and decorative 'premium' pieces. wood would get worn and used.

wood is also way cheaper than aluminum, easier on the tools, faster to produce large quantities of items from, etc etc etc.

but yeah.

for crowd scenes you rarely even have weapons, it's a hilt glued to a sheath. unless it's a peter jackson film. then the armor is steel, hand crafted, intricate, functional, and has an entire character bio that you have to memorize. oh and your sword not only has a name but will get higher billing than you.


A lot of the choices made by SCA folks like them are driven less by cost and more by strict safety regs in the group.  Rule 0 is "Don't break your friends, if you do, you'll have no one to play with."  The "Swords" are not plastic, but rattan wrapped in duct tape.  Not for price, but safety.  It's not injury proof, but you'd be surprised by how good the ratio of blows delivered to injuries is with that set up.

/Used to SCA many years ago
//Gear looks pretty much standard though
 
2013-02-13 11:16:30 PM

tomcatadam: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Saying it's not real swordsmithing unless you fold steel or whatever sounds a lot like saying

...throwing a pizza pop in the microwave is "real cooking"/being a chef.


A smith makes stuff out of metal.

This guy makes swords out of metal.

The rest of the world doesn't care about the vile mockery that he has so callously visited on an august guild of artisans.
 
2013-02-13 11:48:17 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: tomcatadam: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Saying it's not real swordsmithing unless you fold steel or whatever sounds a lot like saying

...throwing a pizza pop in the microwave is "real cooking"/being a chef.

A smith makes stuff out of metal.

This guy makes swords out of metal.

The rest of the world doesn't care about the vile mockery that he has so callously visited on an august guild of artisans.


A cook makes food out of ingredients. So does a giant industrial machine in a prepackaged food factory. Would you claim that the machine is a cook?

A guy who makes stuff out of metal is a metalworker. A *swordsmith* makes things out of metal using the techniques of swordsmithing, which this guy does not.
 
2013-02-14 12:00:25 AM
www.rachelcericola.com
 
2013-02-14 12:07:00 AM

MuonNeutrino: Would you claim that the machine is a cook?


Let's say I would...what then?
 
2013-02-14 12:20:08 AM
"My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind...and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That's why I read so much Jon Snow. - Tyrion Lannister" I'm more interested in how they make some of those books look so old and used. Especially the  Lineages of the Great Houses, I heard that is a most excellent read.
 
2013-02-14 12:30:30 AM
I got to say that the story of how WETA pulled off the brazillion weapons for the films was a LOT more interesting.
 
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