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Viking Forging Challenge at CANIron V

Date: 2 Sep, 2005

Location: Annapolis Royal, NS

Premise: Take a group of blacksmiths, provide them reasonable approximations of Viking Era Equipment and see what they can do in an hour at CANIRON.

Equipment: 2 bags of charcoal (Royal Oak, of course), bellows, selection of hammers, punches, etc. A fire pit, and an "anvil". Station 1 had a copy of the Novgorod anvil set on a stump and our worst bellows by a ground forge. Station 2 had a small (4 inch) cube anvil with our medium bellows in a ground forge. Station 3 was our best bellows on a sand table forge but was equipped with a rock anvil. Each pair of contestants chose their station and the clock was started. When the first hour was done new contestants stepped forward and the contest was repeated. At the end the judeges got together and reviewed the performances, smithing behaviour, and end results and selected a winner.

The Team:

Leader Darrell Markewitz
Staff Kevin Jarbeau / Dave Cox
Recorder Neil & Karen Peterson

Round 1

Station 1: Novgorod anvil, bad bellows, ground forge. Don and George created a ram.

Station 2: Cube Anvil, ok bellows, ground forge. Thorfinn & thane created a knife.

Station 3: Rock anvil, sand table forge with good bellows. Mich and El Lardo created a ram and were judged crowd favourites for this round.


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Station 2 starting Station 3 starting Checking the knife Shaping knife
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Working the bellows Shaping a ram Finishing the knife Stone anvil
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Finished knife First ram Second ram  

Round 2

Station 1: Novgorod anvil, bad bellows, ground forge. John and Peter created a hook.

Station 2: Cube Anvil, ok bellows, ground forge. Bill & Craig created a man.

Station 3: Rock anvil, sand table forge with good bellows. Mark and Chris created a Spokeshave and were judged crowd favourites for this round.

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Station 2 starting Station 3 starting Shaping the hook Shaping the man
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Watching carefully Reheating the man Heating the hook Finished hook

The final products

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Spokeshave One group Second group
      Updated: 4 Dec, 2007
Text © Darrell Markewitz, Neil Peterson, 2006   Photographs © Individual artists   Copyright details
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