Transforming a Rasp into a Deadly Blade

>>This episode of the Modern Rogue brought to you by Hullow Pillow. Head on over to get up to $20 off in free shipping
if you buy more than one– It’s so good, this is so wrong,
but it’s so right.>>It’s very soothing. This is what you’re supposed
to do with them, right? [shushing]
They’re just really big stress balls? [whispering]
Sorry. Use both hands. [laughing] [whoosh]>>JASON: Oh wow. [clanging metal and the rumble of the forge]
[uneasy brass build]>>BRIAN: Whoa! [grinding] [sounds of machinery, hammering continues]
[brass rises in pitch to a hum] [instrumental swirls to low halt]
>>BRIAN: God, that looks amazing. [thunder]
[crickets chirping] [sound of bugs gets louder, slowly] [deep synthetic rumble] [electrical pop]
[gentle vinyl static] [rising chime] Holy cow, Jason Murphy,
this is the part of the movie where we go to the magical
blacksmith who makes the enchanted jeep-jop that
allows us to slay the bad guy!>>Yeah, and we have an
expert jeep-jop maker here, Chris Farrell from Fearghal Blades. Chris, how are you, sir?
>>Nice to meet you guys.>>Dude, okay, so what are we making, and what does it start off as?>>We’re going to take
an ancient Texas relic>>BRIAN: Yeah!>>CHRIS: called a farrier’s rasp,
and we’re going to see how much material I
can stretch out of this and make either a medieval
style dagger or a short sword.>>For those who don’t know,
a farrier’s rasp is what you use when
you’re horseshoeing horses.>>Oh, is that to smooth it out?>>To shape the horse’s
hooves and to clean them up when you’re putting new shoes on them.>>So in keeping with the
Modern Rogue philosophy, we’re taking junk and
turning it into a weapon. [shushing]>>You’re going to spoil our rep! Okay, so this is what? Steel, iron?>>This is basically a
high carbon steel that you know,
has been kind of worn down now from use.>>I assume we’re not going
to melt this all the way down and then cast it since it’s
already roughly the shape of some kind of blade, right?>>No, there’ll be no melting, hopefully. That would be bad.>>Wait, you’re not supposed to melt?>>No, no, melting is bad.>>But, but, but Conan. [Brian laughing]>>Conan is wrong. [Jason mouthing, “What did you say?”]
>>Calm down, calm down, stop, stop.>>[weakly] What did you s–>>We don’t really cast the blade. What we do is we heat the steel up where it behaves almost like clay, and then we manipulate the shape of it with the hammer and the anvil. The forge runs at about 1,900 to 2,100 degrees. We try not to get it up to 2,100 degrees, it’s a little too hot.>>That’s a full depth burn.>>Yeah, so what is the fuel
that we’re using for this?>>I use a propane forge. Got a big tank of propane right there and it just comes in
through here, kind of mixes with some oxygen,
makes it a little bit hotter.>>And everything lined
in here is just what? Is this ceramics or?>>They’re basically fire bricks, they basically keep the heat in and reflect it in on itself,
and it gets hotter and hotter, but it doesn’t let too
much of it escape, so. It’ll get pretty toasty out here, but not 1,900 degrees toasty.>>Did you build your own forge? Did you cobble this together?>>No, no, no, I’m a terrible blacksmith. I’m a bladesmith, so I focus
entirely on making blades. I like to get forges from people who made them professionally.>>Can you give us a distinction between bladesmith and blacksmith?>>A blacksmith has a
more general approach, they don’t just make blades,
they make everything. They make tools,
they do decorative ironwork, and stuff like that,
and they’re remarkably talented. I have a deeper focus
on metallurgy and taking the specific steels and
knowing how to heat treat those steels, and manipulating the steel purely in weapon form.>>BRIAN: What is the melting point of steel?>>Around 2,400 degrees it’ll melt. It’ll start burning at
around 2,200 degrees. When you start burning steel,
it’s really not good.>>So this’ll never get so
hot as to fully liquefy this?>>Yeah, it shouldn’t. I mean, it can if I leave it
in there for a long time–>>JASON: It’ll just
keep retaining that heat, and then keep getting worse and worse.
>>CHRIS: Yeah, it’ll keep getting hotter and hotter.>>JASON: Oh wow. [metal clanging] ♪ ♪>>BRIAN: That metaphor of clay is
so good, because now I really get the fact that it’s not liquid,
it’s just soft.>>JASON: So you’ve got to
act really fast, too.>>CHRIS: Yep, the steel will start
to cool pretty quickly. [metal clanging] ♪ ♪ So see, now you’re starting to
see it’s starting to turn red.>>JASON: Yeah.>>BRIAN: It’s also
lengthening out as you mash it. It’s rolling it out, basically.>>CHRIS: Yeah, what I’m doing here is I’m drawing out the tips
and now it’s a little too cool to be hitting it with a hammer. Once the steel starts to get
cool, it starts to get harder, and if I keep hitting it with a hammer, it’s going to make it start cracking.>>So you throw it back in
the forge at this point?>>CHRIS: Throw it back in the forge.>>JASON: So this is kind
of a heat, hammer, repeat thing for awhile?>>Yeah, right now what I’m
doing is I’m drawing out the tip, so I’m bringing that steel down, and I want it to come to a point.>>So as you’re hitting it,
you’re intentionally, what, starting farther in,
just kind of hitting it with the intention of squeezing it out so that it gets thinner and thinner, and you work your way out to the edge?>>I’m kind of pushing
it down and pushing it up and flattening it so that
it all comes up together. You don’t want to move too
much on the outside here, what can happen is, you
move the outsides too fast and the middle not enough, and you get kind of like a fish mouth,
and we’re going to try to avoid that by moving all of the
material fairly evenly at the same time. [metal clanging] Which is why I keep flattening it. [metal clanging]>>So is there a particular kind of
color grade that you’re looking for where you know it’s no longer
worth banging on?>>When it starts to cool
into like a dark red and out here, we’re in
daylight now, so I probably … I’m playing it a little safe. I probably could move it a little bit more because in daylight, it looks darker than it is,
>>JASON: Oh sure.
>>BRIAN: Yeah.>>but it doesn’t hurt, you know? It hurts when you hit it too long and then you’re setting up micro
fractures in the steel, and later on you find out
when we finish the blade and try and cut something
with it and it breaks.>>Yeah.>>That’s bad.>>Is it possible for Jason or I to screw it up by trying to help?>>I mean I haven’t
encountered a problem yet that I couldn’t fix. [laughing]>>I’m never one to back
down from a challenge, so.>>You hit where I hit.
>>Okay.>>Go for it.
>>All right.>>Getting a little bit of a valley there.>>You guys are going to have
to get that rhythm going. Ding, ding.
>>You ready?
>>Yeah. [metal clanging]>>BRIAN: I’m blacksmithing! Blade crafting! [metal clanging] [light laughter]
Oh, yeah, I bent it. [metal clanging]>>All right.>>Dude, you’ve got to
try this, it’s amazing.>>CHRIS: Now I’ve got to do one heat
where I set up the next round.
>>JASON: Okay.>>Basically I have to fix things. [laughing]
♪ ♪>>I could definitely tell, like you were hitting everything flat and even, and then mine was
clearly not landing right and it was leaving these
weird divets in there.>>Just takes a little
bit of practice, you know. Eventually you get the feel of where that hammer face is going to be.>>But you want it flat
all the way across.>>Usually.
>>What kind of strength
are you putting into it?>>You don’t have to put a lot
of strength in the hammering, you let the hammer head and
the anvil do most of the work, and you’re basically just
kind of picking it up and dropping it.>>Whenever you’re out here late at night and sweating, you’ve had a bad day, and you’re hammering on it,
does like, lightning ever strike the anvil
or anything like that? Anything cool?
>>Every time I hit it.>>JASON: I knew it! [laughing] [metal clanging] ♪ ♪>>CHRIS: You hit where I hit.>>JASON: You got it, I’ll do my best.>>BRIAN: Try to do it flat,
I screwed it up. [banging] [laughing] I’m glad it’s not just me!>>JASON: I’m definitely screwing it up!>>BRIAN: We are the best!
[laughing]>>JASON: We’re really not!>>CHRIS: Well your
timing’s not bad, though. Little bit of fixing to do. [laughing] [metal clanging] ♪ ♪ Let’s see what else we can do to it.>>BRIAN: I guess before
you fix it all the way, we should have our resident
HEMA master, Anthony, Anthony, you want to give it a try?>>ANTHONY: Sure.>>We’ve already seen all this, right? They take a pluck of
your hair and then they ask you a bunch of questions, and then you’re given your rondel, and then you use it to stab Malfoy.>>Yeah, swish and flick,
that’s absolutely the first technique I
was going to talk about.>>BRIAN: Godspeed.>>I need a side, right?>>BRIAN: Practice swinging.
>>ANTHONY: Yeah, right?>>BRIAN: Cheater! He’s going to do it so perfect, and then everybody’s going to be saying,
“Why can’t you be more like Anthony? Anthony’s great at everything!”>>Ready?
>>Sure.>>All right. Now we’re going to do
some drawing out the tip.>>ANTHONY: Oh great.
>>CHRIS: So hit where I hit. [banging] ♪ ♪
[music fades out] [metal clanging]
[it’s harsh and kind of abrasive,
like the monotonous repetition of life]>>Well I would’ve screwed that right up.>>BRIAN: A-ha, he’s doing it too! He is mortal! [ting-ta-ting-ta-ting-ta-ting]
(metal clanging)>>CHRIS: Not bad.>>ANTHONY: I got “not bad.”>>BRIAN: Yeah, well done.>>So watching you wipe
down the anvil like that, I always wonder nerdy things like how much material do you lose–>>Not much.
>>From the carbonization? Like have you weighed it
beforehand, before and after?>>Well no, most of what
you’re seeing on the anvil is called scale. It’s basically oxygen
that’s cooking on the steel.>>Okay, so it’s additional
material that’s then knocked back off.>>You’re not really
losing much from scale. It looks worse than it really is. [banging]>>JASON: It goes a lot
faster when it’s just him.>>BRIAN: Yeah.>>Starting to look stabby.
>>Yeah. So are we going to leave
the raspiness on there?>>CHRIS: I’d like to.>>BRIAN: Yeah that works for me.>>CHRIS: So we’ll leave as much as possible. By the time it’s all forged
out and we start grinding it, you’re going to lose quite
a bit of it, but we’ll see.>>BRIAN: It ends up
looking like dragon scales–>>I was just thinking that.>>What I should do now at this point is turn it around and start
forging out that tang, basically the part of the blade that’s going to go into the handle.
>>BRIAN: Oh got it.>>CHRIS: And we need a little bit more than that.>>JASON: I think Anthony gave you a look that said, “You should know this.”>>ANTHONY: We talked about this!
>>BRIAN: [defensively] Hey, whoa whoa whoa. [metal clanging]>>CHRIS: Yeah, I’m just going to kind of bring down these shoulders more. [metal clanging] [sustained aspiration of the forge] [metal clanging]>>I’m amazed at how much of this is just eyeballing it as you go.>>JASON: For the longest time, I operated under the illusion that the handle, the blade, the hilt and everything, that was all one solid piece of metal.>>It can be.
>>They do that?>>There’s a lot of different
construction methods where like, you work the tang
of the blade into the handle, so like a slab handle design
where you kind of sandwich it between two pieces of wood.>>Like we see with kitchen knives.>>Yeah.
>>Okay, yeah.>>Oh gotcha, okay, yeah.>>And then there are
other construction methods like this one where you
kind of slim down the tang, and you insert it through handle material. Sometimes you can put it all
the way through the bottom and you put a pommel on
there, and then you peen the little nub of tang
that’s sticking out. Fill that all with epoxy
and then you peen it closed and it kind of creates a rivet. [banging] I’d say we’re definitely heading
towards the messer style.>>ANTHONY: Right? [chuckling]>>And that is the rough tang.>>BRIAN: Yeah!>>I’ll do a little more to it. We’ve got a rough tang there. Quick little tip on there,
and now it’s all just refining all these shapes,
drawing out the material, and making it a little bit longer.>>BRIAN: Dude, you can see
what it wants to be in there. That’s amazing. [soft beep] [gentle vinyl static] Okay so now at this point,
we’ve got the shape. I assume we’re not quite to the
part where we grind it down. What’s the next thing we do?>>Well basically now I’m done forging, I have a basic profile of the blade done. What I’m going to do now is heat cycle it. I’m going to throw it in the forge,
heat the whole blade up and let it cool slowly,
and I’m going to do that twice.>>What does that accomplish?>>What that does is all
the work that we’ve done with the hammer and anvil,
heating it and cooling it, and heating it and cooling it has made the grain structure of the
steel get very very large, and what we’re going
to do is heat cycle it so that it shrinks back
down and gets small. We want that grain structure
to get as small as possible to get a nice tight and strong blade.
>>Strengthens the blade, okay.>>The bigger that grain structure it is, the bigger the crystalline
structure of the steel is, the more likely it’s
going to crack and break and not be very strong.>>BRIAN: Yeah, it’s definitely
getting warm over here.>>CHRIS: Yeah it’s a little warm, you know. If you get too close to
this thing for too long, you’re not going to have much
hair on your arms anymore.>>So all we’re looking
for is to get to a place where everything is red hot and glowing, and then cool off
basically to just sort of, I don’t know, is it weird to
say let the metal know this is your home now? This is the shape you belong?>>Yeah, that’s actually
a pretty good analogy. It’s not exactly tempering. Tempering is usually
how I describe to people, “We’re relaxing the steel,
we’re taking all the stress “from making the blade and we’re trying to remove as much of it as possible.” This is a step towards that. We’re doing a little bit of that now, and we’re going to stress it
again when we heat treat it, because when you cool the steel, it’s very stressful, it creates a lot of stress within the metal and the material.>>So when you cool it, you could end up, if you haven’t done this appropriately, you could end up breaking your blade.>>Yeah actually, that’s
exactly why we do this. ♪ ♪>>BRIAN: Dude it looks so magical!
[Jason laughs] Are you kidding me? All right, now is there a trick to the way that you’re holding it? Because I would imagine
if you just held it out, it would kind of wilt like a leaf.>>Well it’s not so thin
that it will wilt this way, but if I were to hold it flat, it could make it kind of bend towards
the ground a little bit, and right now, just kind of
keeping it out in still air so that it cools fairly slowly.>>Right when you pull it
out and it’s all glowing red, if we inscribe it with
runes of the ancient tongue, will it remain blazing hot like that? [laughing]
>>Um, no.>>I read that on the internet,
I dunno if that’s real.>>Yeah, sometimes you find
stuff on the internet that’s not really helpful.>>JASON: Yeah, see, I told you.>>BRIAN: And is there a rule of thumb, like is it–>>You want to do it two or three times. I snuck one in before you guys came over. [chuckling]
>>Right on.>>This will be our third cycle.>>JASON: It looks so cool right now.
>>BRIAN: It’s going to look amazing, like why can’t it look like that all the time?>>JASON: I know!>>CHRIS: Now that this is cooling,
we can turn off the forge and then I’m going to put a
program in in the electric kiln, and we’re going to modernize
this process a little. I’m going to put some clay on here,
and we’re going to do what’s called a differential heat treat. You’ll have varying stages of hardness
throughout the blade towards the spine.>>Oh that’s crazy, I would’ve
thought the whole thing would’ve been the same hardness.
>>Oh, yeah.>>That is another way
to do it, you can also do a full hardness quench
where the whole blade will be the same hardness. With certain steels, that’s better. Well let’s turn this forge off. We’ll let that cool down a little bit.>>So we want to let
this get all the way down to room temperature, right?>>Yeah, because I don’t really want to touch it until it’s at least room temperature and put clay on it.>>Now once it stops glowing, how do you have a sense of how hot it is?>>You go up to it like this.>>Oh, you can feel the heat radiating up. And this kiln isn’t
specifically for blacksmithing, it’s just an electric kiln. Same if you were making clay?>>It’s geared up and set up
to work mostly for blades, but you could use it to do
pottery and stuff like that, it’s the same programs and the
same temperature abilities, but it’s just kind of
set up flat and you know, easier for a bladesmith to work with.
>>Nice and deep so you can fit one in there? Yeah. ♪ ♪>>CHRIS: Now we’re going to put
some refractory cement on the blade in a mildly
decorative manner.>>JASON: I’m unfamiliar with that.
What is that?>>CHRIS: Basically a high
temperature cement or clay that will insulate the
portions of the blade in which it’s applied to, and that will hold temperature for a little while
longer when we quench it so that those parts of the
blade won’t harden as much as the exposed portions of the blade. So the edge portion of the blade will be much harder than the back spine.>>JASON: And why do you want that?>>I would assume you
want the edges harder so that they hold their sharpness, but you want everything else softer so that if you clang it against something, it’s going to vibrate and not snap.>>Have a little bit of give to it?>>Is that right?
>>Yep. That’s–yeah.>>Nailed it.
>>JASON: Look at you. ♪ ♪ Is it important that you
get it uniform on each side? About the same amount on
one side as the other?>>Yeah, you kind of want to get it pretty close to the same on both sides. If you put too much clay on one side, and not enough on the other,
it’s another reason why the blade will bend or bow in heat treat and come out with a bow in it.>>What’s the rough
weight on this right now?>>Right now?>>Yeah, if you were to guess.>>Maybe a pound and a half.>>Okay, so pretty light.>>Yeah, no, this is going
to be a very light blade. Once we get a handle on there and a guard, all the weight is going to
fall back into the handle, and it’s going to be super light.>>When you’re forging
a sword, do you worry about how it’s weighted? Because you always hear
about that in fantasy novels, like, “Oh, it’s perfectly
weighted and balanced” and so forth. Is that something that you
put a lot of thought into?>>Yes, because it’s important. The functionality of
the blade is paramount. You can make metallurgically
a fantastic blade, but if it’s too heavy, what’s the point? A heavy blade just means you die faster. You have to be able to hold
this thing and wield it for an indefinite amount of time, there’s no guarantee you
can stop after two swings.>>I usually have to stop after two swings because I get tired really quickly.>>Yeah, that’s not good.
>>Yeah, just ask Anthony. It’s sad.
>>Battles are not good for you then. I would avoid battles at all cost.>>I try to.>>And we’re going to get it up to what, the same temperature it was before?>>No, not that hot, we’re going to get it up to about 1,500 degrees, and then we’re going to quench it in the vat of oil I have over here.>>Now why do we quench it
in oil instead of water? Because I always picture
it being a water thing. Psh! And then everything goes up.>>Yeah, water is a
pretty aggressive quench. Usually when you see water being used, it wasn’t actually water, it was brine. It was salt water with a
lot of heavy salt content so that it would quench better. Because usually if you
were to go into water, what happens it–
>>Just turns into steam.>>Yeah, it’s a big vapor
jacket around the blade.>>This is similar to how to why, at high altitudes, you put salt in when you’re boiling water
so it raises the temperature at which it boils.>>Yeah.
>>Got it, okay.>>However, when you do that, it also is a very aggressive quench
and can lead to cracking in a lot of steels. Certain steels are really
good to quench in water. This particular steel,
it’s better to use oil.>>And does it matter the type of oil? Peanut oil is the same as motor oil?
Is the same as–>>Oh no, no, no. I mean different oils have
different flash points. Peanut oil actually has one of the highest flash points
for a natural oil. Motor oil is very bad in my opinion.>>There’s a good chance it’s
going to burst into flames if you put it in there?>>Well it’s just that motor oil contains a lot of heavy metals, and I have this thing against
breathing in heavy metals. I want to be able to do
this for a long time. Motor oil and automatic
transmission fluid are very common. A lot of guys use that to quench in, and it’s not necessarily
bad for the blades, but it’s not good for the person. I use peanut oil, it’s got
a really high flash point. I’ve been using it for well over 15 years, and I haven’t had a problem yet.>>I usually use gasoline. I mean, it’s not super effective,
but it is badass.>>Yeah no, it’s really cool, so long as you don’t particularly
like your house very much.>>BRIAN: So in this case,
it doesn’t really matter whether it’s all the way warmed up or not, it’s going to get up to 1,500
and sit there for awhile, huh?>>Yeah.>>JASON: And you said this
takes about how long?>>This should get up to
temperature in about 40 minutes. Theoretically.
We’re already at 337 degrees.>>JASON: Right on.>>All right, so we’re
now up to 1,500 degrees, how long does it sit at this temperature before we take it out?>>We can have it sit
for a couple minutes, but this particular
steel doesn’t really need to hold at temperature for awhile. I could just take it out and quench it, which is what we’re going to do.>>Okay. ♪ ♪>>BRIAN: Oh wow. That’s your Conan moment
that you were wanting. [laughing] [Jason a capellas war drums] Oh jeeze. Wait, okay
so this is peanut oil it’s going into?>>CHRIS: Yep. [instant boil]>>BRIAN: Whoa!
>>JASON: Oh!>>BRIAN: You’re not worried
about the oil catching… ? All right.>>JASON: Yeah, that was more
dramatic than I anticipated. [laughing]>>BRIAN: So in that
moment, we saw a little bit of flame up top which
I assume as it went in, you reached the flash point
for just the upper layer, but meanwhile you have a cold reservoir of all the rest of the oil,
so it didn’t last very long before it went out, but in that time, it started wicking away all of the heat very quickly from the edges, but keeping the heat along the part that we covered in clay, right?>>CHRIS: Exactly.>>BRIAN: Nailed it. Science adjacent.
>>Science adjacent.>>CHRIS: We have a slight bow. ♪ ♪>>BRIAN: So how do you fix that? Are we hosed?>>I have about a minute to fix it.>>BRIAN: Oh my gosh, I forgot about the timing thing on all this. ♪ [smooth warbly beat] [metal clanging]>>JASON: I know there’s going
to be that moment in battle when my blade breaks, and the first thing that my mind jumps to is when I’m hitting it in the wrong place. [laughing]>>So letting it cool
on the anvil like this, which is not necessarily
good for the anvil, the anvil acts as a heat sink, and in pulling that heat down into it, might correct the bow.>>So I can see like less,
like barely a millimeter of bow right here in the middle. What rules have changed now that we’re this far along in the process?>>Right now the blade is very, very hard. Even though the clay was on there, it’s still very hard.>>BRIAN: Okay.>>So if I were to try and correct it now, you increase your chance
of snapping the blade because it’s so hard.>>And what do you do
after it’s been tempered? Because after it’s been tempered, I assume it’s a little bit more brittle, you worry about snapping it. Is it just a case,
you put it in a vice and just sort of bend it
like a piece of plywood?>>Well when you temper it,
basically you’re kind of like finishing that martensitic transition
and you’re releasing a lot of the tension from
the actual heat treat, so you’re kind of relaxing the steel which means you can kind of
push it a little bit more and kind of bend it back
into straight–into true.>>And that’s like your last
window to make any last adjustments–>>Well yeah, because we’re pretty much done as far as heating it
up and cooling it down and stressing out the blade. From here on out,
it’s all just, we temper it, so we finish relieving that stress, and then we’re just grinding. We’re not really putting any more stress on the steel at all, but it was very, very slight to begin with, it might be completely gone
after this is done cooling, and if it’s not completely gone, what is left over,
I’ll be able to get rid of after I temper it. I can also do this. [Jason chuckles lightly] [Chris grunts as he lifts a heavy object] [thud] [galaxy brain]
>>CHRIS: What bow?>>BRIAN: Ha! [brushing] That’s not too bad,
that’s pretty straight. There’s a little bit of a kick, and that will probably
come out with grinding. [whispering]
>>BRIAN: Nice.>>But the blade itself for
the most part is straight. [sound of a busy road nearby, and light indistinct chatter not too far away]>>BRIAN: All right,
so we started with a rasp, we heated it, we banged it into shape, we heat cycled it, and then we, what was the last thing?>>We did a heat treat.>>Heat treat! We did the heat treat,
put it in the peanut oil.
>>Quenched it.>>We quenched it!
There you go. And then finally, you just basically define the shape, right?>>Yeah.
>>Because it was a little
bit kind of lopsided.>>You called that profiling.
>>Profiling.>>Cleaned up the profile a little bit. So now that we’ve got
a pretty solid profile, I’m holding out hope we can
do the mini baby messer, but mostly this going
to be a big Bowie knife.>>I am so fine with a big big Bowie knife.>>Names–whatever,
it doesn’t matter, it looks rad.>>Okay, and so is there something special
about this belt sander?>>CHRIS: This is the
main machine in the shop where we do most of our grinding. It’s a variable speed 2×72 grinder, it’s got a two horsepower motor.>>What is this belt on here?>>This is a pretty
aggressive 36-grit belt, so this is going to eat
material pretty quickly.>>Now you’re not just going
to be sharpening the blade. What else are you going to be doing to it?>>Well we won’t be
sharpening at all right now. What we’re going to be doing is defining our edge bevels on either side, and then cleaning up these shoulders here to define the moor so that
when I put a guard on, it’ll be easier to lock it in
and set it up appropriately, and this is basically just defining the final geometry of the blade, and then once that gets done,
it’s pretty much polish from there and
going up from 36 to 60 grit to 80 grit, 120, 220.>>Just getting finer and finer. [machine starts up with
a busy clacking turned to a rapid hum] [grinding]>>BRIAN: Holy cow, it really is just eating right through it. [rhythmic oscillation of grinding] [grinding pauses while the hum still churns]
[new grinding starts] [metal grinding] [various, altering pitches of grinding] [high pitched swirling hum of the grind] [machinery graduals slows, decreasing in volume and pitch until it comes to a complete stop] Holy cow, you can really see this thing coming together at this point. So you’ve mainly worked
on just the one side, but it seems like you
got one edge to represent how deep you want the bladed edge to be, and then everything else,
you’re just trying to match that?>>Yeah, basically I’m bringing this down to match this original plunge, and then what I’m going to do is take
this line and these shoulders, and I’m going to push
them further up the blade as I move along so that the
bevel kind of establishes here as a line right there,
and then comes across the whole blade and goes
straight down to an edge.>>I think the farrier’s
rasp was an excellent choice because that just looks like dragon skin. [laughter]
>>BRIAN: It’s awesome.>>CHRIS: It should look pretty cool.>>BRIAN: We’re now at the point where we’ve done the heavy lifting on getting everything shaped,
and now it’s just a matter of fine-tuning the revisions.
>>Yeah.>>How many hours of doing this are we looking at at this point?>>CHRIS: At least six to eight hours.>>This is where we do one of those little “some time later” things, right?>>Yeah, I think so, yeah. [soft beep] [gentle vinyl static]>>I’m going to guess from the
fact that it’s 97 degrees that time has passed.>>Just a second ago, we were freezing and huddling over the fire,
>>Yes!>>-and over the forge, but yes,
now we are back. Chris, you had renaissance
festival season and all sorts of things going on. What’s happened since last we spoke?>>Okay, well I’ve stayed
true to the initial build was we were going to do this in two days, so I actually did not work on it [Brian busts out laughing]
since the last time we were here.>>These are the ethics that we expect from our modern rogues.>>Until I got an email yesterday that you guys were coming. [laughing] And I decided I should
probably finish this blade. When we left off, we had forged it out, and we were starting on grinding. So I’ve made the handle, I’ve shaped the handle, I did a
multi-piece frame handle for it.>>And that’s where you take two or three pieces of wood, you shape it so that it nests in
with the tang, and then you fuse them together with the epoxy or super glue or something.
>>Yeah.>>So what steps do we have left?>>Put a pin in the handle.>>So the pin in the handle,
I’m going to assume that in stress, in combat or whatever, they can fracture apart,
and a pin all the way through sort of fuses everything.>>Yeah, it kind of gives
it like a lever inside. It’s a mechanical connection that holds everything together
and it also gives some relief on the handle. So when there’s strain put on the blade and pushing back into the
tang, into the handle, it takes strain off of the handle and puts a lot of it on that pin. So.
>>JASON: Ooh!>>Yes.
>>There she is!>>This is where we’re at now.>>BRIAN: Okay so at this point,
we’re not sharp.>>I was just waiting for blood just to come running down your hand. I was like, “There it is!”>>BRIAN: I still love the way it looks like some kind of dragon
scale on the side. I love the rough edge on here. I love that it’s a giant Bowie knife.>>I think that we should dub
this the Baby Messer Bowie.>>>BRIAN and JASON: The Baby Messer Bowie.>>So I’m going to drill the hole for the pin.
>>Okay.>>CHRIS: We’re going to put the pin in,
let the glue dry real quick, and then I’ll peen it.>>[surprised] Whoa.
>>[laughing] P-e-e-n.>>Okay, I thought we were–>>With a ball peen hammer.>>Well, I’ve already peed on it. [some light cross-talk and laughing]>>BRIAN: When you’re drilling the holes, do you worry about the
drill going straight down into the tang on there?>>No, I want it to go into the tang. [cross-talk]
>>Okay, so through to bind everything through here?
>>CHRIS: I want this pin to go all the way through everything.>>And how do you know if you’re
barely nicking the side or going straight through the center?>>I’m very lucky. [wheezing laugh] No, I know where the
tang sits in the handle from when I glued it all up.>>JASON: All right, let’s do this.
>>BRIAN: Let’s jump in.>>And away we go. [drill press has a startled activation] [drill whirring] Everything will be fine. [whirring] There’s the tang. [light clicking among the whirring] [metal cracking] [a classic craftsman blow] ♪ [vibrant spring beat] [whirring] Hoping I got all the way through. ♪ ♪ [quietly]
Yes! Nothing has gone wrong, yet. [laughing] Just need to cut our pin. Make sure it fits. Yeah, it’ll fit. All right, well, we got a pin hole. And uh, on to the next stage. [saw buzzing] [the resonance of a quality cut] [almost inaudible]
Let me put this away so I don’t lose it. [a gentle hum of machinery with
the light scratch of small-scale abrasion] [winds to a halt] Usually, I would do this with epoxy, but we’re a little short on time, and super glue is just
really, really fast epoxy, so it’s not really a big deal. [loose clanging] [quiet chatter and moving bodies]
(not in the weird way you all take that phrase, though) That’ll work. We’re doing a lot of shortcuts, so. Get off some of this excess. [plane flying overhead] Let it dry and then [metal clatter] we’ll cut off the extra,
and then I’ll peen it, and then the hard work starts. [saw buzzing] [tiny buzz] [grinder whines and rattles as it slows to a stop] [heftier belt with a more harsh mechanical noise] [subtle grinding] [tapping as the belt powers down] [tapping] O-kay!>>BRIAN: All right, so
we have a hole drilled through the handle, through he tang, we put basically a nail and
we peened it on both sides to square it off. So you probably don’t get
this request very often, but sharp, but not too sharp?>>Can you put like a rubber coating, or maybe just make it really round like those scissors you get
when you’re in kindergarten?>>Nope, in bladesmithing,
we believe in accountability. [laughing]>>I like that.>>So grandpa sharp.>>CHRIS: Yep, I’m teaching life lessons.>>All right, let’s go. [laughter]
>>All right. ♪ [breezy keys] [harsh grinding] ♪ ♪ [it’s more grinding] ♪ ♪>>Look, I’m no expert, but
that looks pretty sharp. How do you tell whether or not it’s sharp?>>CHRIS: Well, you know you run it across the belt a bunch of times, and then you just give it some tests. [crisp tearing of paper]>>That’ll do.
>>It’s sharp-ish.>>BRIAN: I don’t feel
worthy to even touch it, but I just feel like–>>JASON: Is it going
to fall to the ground like Mjölnir?>>Yeah, straight through my foot. Okay, here we go.
So you do a slicing, I like the way everybody’s stepped back.>>JASON: I don’t even want to look. [gasping] How’s it feel, does it feel good?>>I don’t–look, I’m a neophyte, hold on. Nope, I’m bad at this. There!>>CHRIS: Oh, push cut.>>BRIAN: Yeah.
>>CHRIS: Pretty sharp.>>It’s very sharp. So what’s left of– ah! So what’s left at this point?>>Well at this point, now we’re going to do a quick etch on it, and a final polish, and it’s done.>>I turn this back to you, good sir.>>Okay. You usually need a little
bit better of a polish, but we’ve got a pretty
decent polish on it, but for a quick two
day build, not too bad. Not too shabby. ♪ ♪ [soft scrubbing of a fine scrubber on smooth metal] What I’m doing here is
I’m cleaning the blade off with acetone, which will
get rid of any residual oils or anything that’s been left on the blade from grinding and polishing and handling so it won’t interrupt how the acid etches. An oil or grime will act
as a resist to the acid and you’ll get a bunch of uneven
etching and weird little spots. This is ferric chloride. It’s a fairly mild acid. They use it for etching circuit
boards, things like that. It’s kind of like a controlled corrosion. ♪ ♪ And it’ll darken up the blade
and give it some character. I much prefer this type of look. More weathered style. Looks like something I’m not afraid to use or get dirty. We’ll put a couple coats on, and then I’ll neutralize the acid in water and clean it off with steel wool, and I’ll repeat this process
another one or two more times. And as you can see already,
there’s a very big difference with how the blade looks. Off to the water bucket. [sporadic splashing intermixed with the scrubbing] Now we dry it off. Hit it with acetone again
and repeat the process.>>BRIAN: God that looks amazing. So at this point,
the ferric chloride and the vinegar are eating into the tiny
cracks and crevices and etches, giving it a little bit more character?>>Well they’re kind of eating
into the steel as a whole. They’re just kind of
oxidizing it very rapidly. It’s like a controlled rust, really.>>How important is
the timing on all this? We want to coat it and
leave it for how long?>>You generally don’t
want to leave the stuff on for more than like 20 minutes. ♪ [a bittersweet bop] All right, dry that off.>>BRIAN: So this after a thorough
washing at this point?
>>JASON: Nice.>>CHRIS: Put some acetone on it,
and put oil on it, and it’s done. Well it’s functional. It’s not done because I
haven’t polished the handle and made the wood look all pretty, but done-ish.>>So in the olden days,
this would’ve been what, just a slab of iron ore that
they would’ve started with?>>They would’ve started
with some smelted steel. Well, it depends on the time
period you’re talking about,
>>Yeah sure.>>-but the time period that
the messers were being made, they were using high carbon steel,
so they would’ve smelted some steel
using iron and charcoal.>>Steel is just iron and
a little something extra could be zinc, could be
charcoal, could be carbon.>>Well no, steel is very
specifically iron and carbon.>>Okay.>>There are other elements that
can be added that add to the you know, the alloys that you can add
to it that will change the properties, but steel in general, especially like medieval
style European steel would be just straight high carbon
steel, which would be ranging anywhere from like
.5, .4 on the low end, to .95% in carbon, and iron. Maybe some trace elements in there, but that was basically it.>>BRIAN: Holy cow.
Are we done? Is this the thing?>>JASON: This looks like
we have a knife slash sword.>>CHRIS: Minus some oil, that’s it.>>BRIAN: What did you call it, a messer? May I, sir? I don’t know the etiquette of any of this. Did you say a messer blade? A short sword?>>I would call it a Baby Messer Bowie.>>I think you just made
that up and I’m okay with it.>>Put this in your hands, and tell me–>>It’s almost the size of like a
gladius or something, right? Oh it feels right. Maybe we should let the patrons name it and have a christening ceremony?>>BRIAN: They get to
decide, but in the meantime, where can everybody see
more of Chris’s stuff?>>Oh man. You can find me at Fearghal
Blades on Facebook, Fearghal Blades on Etsy,
I also have a Patreon under Fearghal Blades.>>I feel like you’re the
doctor who’s just like whipping off the gloves and being like, and then you turn and you flip your hair, and you’re like, “This blade is clean.” [laughing] That was a Polgergeist reference.>>No, I got it. Hey, you know, Texas, you
can just carry this around.>>Yeah dude.
>>It doesn’t matter. So I’m going to go see if I
can get kicked out of Arby’s. [laughing] I want the horsie sauce!>>Jason Murphy, on the
great list of things we can advertise on our channel, the weirdest one I can think
of is a buckwheat pillow, but oh my god, I love it so much! They’re so good!
>>I can’t do without it! With the Hullo pillow, I have increased my sleeping productivity from
six to seven hours a night, you know how many hours
I’m sleeping per night now?>>Six to seven and a half?>>Easy 16. Easy.
>>16 hours‽>>16 hours a night.>>Is it because that the buckwheat keeps you cool on both sides, it doesn’t get you all warm on one side? Or is it because of the soothing noise it makes as you adjust, and you get kind of like this white noise thing?>>Once I lay my head
down on a Hullo pillow, I do not move, man. It just conforms to the shape of my head because of the buckwheat inside, and I lay there like a corpse.>>For me, it’s because it’s
like a freaking transformer. So I’m always–I always have
earphones in when I go to bed because I listen to podcasts, or some kind of meditation or whatever. I love the fact that I’m able to set it, and I karate chop a trough,
and then I lay, and it’s perfect, and then
I bloop, and I’m asleep, and it’s awesome.>>Does your wife get mad
when you do the karate chop? Do you do the yell as well? Hyaight!
>>I probably should’ve mentioned
that I karate chop my wife and then go to bed.
>>That’s how she sleeps. You just get her Vulcan style, good night!>>Everything from the way
it breathes to the heft of it to the noise that it makes, all of it puts me straight to sleep. It’s the best pillow I’ve ever had. If you get more than one, first of all, you get to try it for free, second of all, you can
save up to $20 per pillow plus free shipping. Keep us in business and
sleep like a true rogue. That’s, okay, now you’re making it weird. But I don’t want to ta–okay.>>It smells like you. [containing his laughter] Just karate chop me like right here. [barely containing his laughter]>>To sleep! [uncontained laughter] [snoring] — CC BY BIZARRE MAGIC — [notably quieter]
We walk around Austin,
somebody pulls a knife, we’re like, “That’s not a knife! “And neither is this, this is a messer. “It used to be that certain
people couldn’t carry swords, “so they got a long knife like this! “Anyway, good talking
knives with you, bye.”>>”Much longer than this, actually.”>>Muggers are often deterred
by medieval history lessons, I’ve found.>>They get bored and walk away.

34 thoughts on “Transforming a Rasp into a Deadly Blade

  1. This week, we’re giving away the ultimate in handcuff escaping: Cutaway Handcuffs! It's easier than you might think to open a pair of handcuffs with a shim or a paperclip; all it takes is a bit of practice and a simple understanding of how a handcuff works. This clear cuff allows you to see how all of the mechanisms work, giving you a much better understanding of how to bypass standard handcuffs. Learn more and see them in action here:
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  2. *SAFETY TIP*:
    When you go to feel heat radiate off of something, use the BACK of your hand, like the smith did. When you touch something hot, the nerves in your hand cause you to close your hand into a fist, so if you accidentally touch it with the inside of your hand you're going to grab the source of heat and make things way worse, you don't want to bring the hot thing with you when you pull away
    If you touch it with the back of your hand/fingers, you're going to pull your hand away, this time not holding the thing that burned you
    Also good for electricity

  3. Instead of studying for my final I've been watching a 42 minute video of a badass dude making a knife . No regrets

  4. allowing metal to cool slowly is called annealing… it is the process of taking the stresses out of the metal after working and make it less brittle.

  5. It's so weird that you guys made a sword, and at the same time Mr. ADAM FUCKING SAVAGE made his OWN Excalibur! This only means something … SWORD FIGHT!!!!!

  6. wow just wow, really enjoyed this, such cool rogues being found , thanks for showing us their great skills

  7. yall should give some representation to ppl who do Small and Lame and Non-Dangerous stuff… shoutout to all my fellow needle felters lmao

  8. This was fantastic, I definitely want to see more blacksmithing and blade-smithing videos from you guys! 🙂

  9. Jason looked pissed when he found out it was basically finished with no footage and no observing. Then neither of them were in any other remaining forging clips…

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