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An Actual Blacksmith Explains Why You Should Strike While the Iron Is Hot

You have to strike while the iron is hot. You can’t have too many irons in the fire. It has a nice ring to it. Go at something hammer and tongs. These are all idioms that have origins in blacksmithing, so Scott Wadsworth of Essential Craftsman decided to literally show us what all those idioms look like when performed in real life and explain how they are related to their meaning. Read More >>

cool
Restoring a Rusty Butcher’s Knife Found in the Trash Back to a Sparkly Blade is Damn Nice

If I saw this deeply rusted cleaver in the bin, I’d leave it exactly where it was, because I wouldn’t think there would be any way to save the thing. Luckily, the person salvaging this ruined butcher’s knife is way smarter and way more resourceful than me, because in less than three hours, he turned a destroyed knife into what looks like a brand-spanking new blade that can chop the hell out of anything. Read More >>

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Watch an Artist Turn Scrap Metal Into Animal Sculptures

Here’s a nice little portrait of artist Alan Williams and how he turns random metal parts like the keys of a typewriter or a bicycle pedal into these intricately designed sculptures of animals. It’s definitely cool to see him work and transform recycled man-made machine parts into creatures that exist in nature because you get to see how his art connects one world with the other. Read More >>

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This Huge Forging Hammer Smashes Things Like a Real Life Thwomp from Super Mario

Remember those really mean, really big, really powerful stone blocks in Super Mario that just repeatedly try to smash the living hell out of things whenever you’re passing underneath them? Yeah, the Thwomps. That’s what this super tall, giant forging hammer reminds me of. It comes crashing down with such ridiculous force that I’m surprised it hasn’t made a permanent hole through the Earth. Read More >>

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Please Enjoy This Incredible Video of Giant Metal Parts Being Forged Inside a Factory

I don’t think you need any convincing to watch all that happens inside Kihlberg Steel AB, a forging factory that does things like ring rolling, open-die forging, and hammer forging. Read More >>

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Watch a Red Hot Metal Rod Get Wound Up Into a Coil Spring

Burn metal hot enough and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. Here’s a glimpse of how a coil spring, which is used in a car’s suspension, gets made. Read More >>

design
Forging a Beautiful Sword from a Crowbar Is Very Clever Idea

If you think about it, a crowbar already comes vaguely sword-shaped (or as sword-shaped as any long metal tool can be). You just need to hammer down the curved end of the crowbar to create a hilt, and then sharpen the straight edge to create the blade. Read More >>

history
How Aluminium Changed the World

Aluminium started as one of the world’s most expensive materials because it was difficult to refine—even though it made up 8 per cent of the world’s crust. But eventually aluminium became one of the cheapest materials after methods of mass producing it were invented in the 1880s. It went from $1200/£907 per kilogram down to a $1/£0.76 in 50 years. Read More >>

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Seeing How Records Get Made from Beginning to End Is Still Charming

The making of a record isn’t exactly a big mystery but there’s still a bit of old magic in seeing music get put to wax in a factory, where the metal gets etched and the vinyl gets stamped out. Read More >>

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How Old Bridges Are Turned into Turntables

There’s a crap ton of steel in broken down bridges and some of that steel gets repurposed into things like turntables. It’s already fun to imagine a land-connecting structure being re-used for an instrument for sound, but it’s even cooler to see the whole melty metal process of it all. Read More >>

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Running a Current Through a Steel Chain Turns It Into a Bad Ass Electric Whip

I don’t know what compels a person to run an electric current through a steel chain and then prance around with the glowing fire links of metal like it’s some sort of skipping rope. But I’m glad such a person exists, because it’s pretty damn cool to see the steel chain transform into this fiery red hot whip that can pop off lightning sparks. Read More >>

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Watch a Katana Bend When It Hits Liquid

In order to harden the edge of steel, swords are often heated until they’re impossibly hot and then quenched in liquid to rapidly cool down. This creates a much stronger grain structure in the steel, which obviously leads to a much stronger sword. An interesting thing that happens during this quenching process is how the sword dramatically bends before it snaps back into shape (with a slight upward tilt). Read More >>

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Making a 400-Year-Old Sword Using Ancient Techniques Is Pretty Damn Hard

Watch as the guys from Baltimore Knife and Sword make a 400-year-old Dandao sword from China using some really old techniques and machinery. It’s amazing to see iron sand transformed into steel in a smelter that would be similar to the ones the Chinese used centuries ago. It’s almost cooler to see a block of steel get stretched out in a rolling mill that’s been used to make horseshoes for 80 years. Read More >>

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Seeing Friction Welding in Slow Motion Is Like Watching Stars Form

Friction welding already looks out of this world. I mean, watching two pieces of metal stick together through friction as they turn bright space orange? Awesome. Seeing friction welding in slow motion, on the other hand, that’s when we find out how truly spectacular the process is. The little sparks flying off the metal blocks look like stars being formed. Read More >>

design
Watch a Real Life Version of Aquaman’s Trident Get Made

Considering all the complicated weapons that Man at Arms has made in the past, I thought forging Aquaman’s Trident of Neptune would be relatively easy for them. But then I realised that Aquaman’s trident is actually more of a quincident since it has five points welded together. Making all those individual harpoon points from metal, welding them together, then sanding it down is a hell of a lot of work. But it’s totally worth it for such a beast of a weapon. Read More >>