In this Video Matt is done with a part of the forging. Within the charcoal pit he has left his blade/steel. By doing this he is attempting to take the stress out of the steel by annealing it. In the video, you can see how he has turned the air off, taken his tongs and moved the charcoal over his blade that is inside the heat. He is allowing the metal to sit inside the charcoal where it will cook over a period of time. He will set dirt over the top and let it sit overnight. Annealing, in metallurgy and materials science, is a heat treatment that alters the physical and sometimes chemical properties of a material to increase its ductility and to make it more workable. It softens the carbon steels and allows the metal to be filed, sawed or bent. It involves heating a material to above its glass transition temperature, maintaining a suitable temperature, and then cooling. Annealing can induce ductility, soften material, relieve internal stresses, refine the structure by making it homogeneous, and improve cold working properties. In the cases of copper, steel, silver, and brass, this process is performed by heating the material (generally until glowing) for a while and then slowly letting it cool to room temperature in still air. Copper, silver and brass can be cooled slowly in air, or quickly by quenching in water, unlike ferrous metals, such as steel, which must be cooled slowly to anneal. In this fashion, the metal is softened and prepared for further work—such as shaping, stamping, or forming. Matt notes: “Once you forged as close to shape as possible, it is time to anneal the steel. Forging introduces a great deal of stress into the steel. In order to relieve this stress you must anneal the steel, which will soften it and allow it to be shaped and manipulated by files for that final shape. To do this you heat the steel up to a bright red color, remove from the fire and allow it to cool in still air until it is cool enough to handle. Repeat this two more times. Once you have annealed your steel you can file it down to its final shape.”

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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