American Made Tale: A pride of hard Work
Pride and passion in hard Work. That is what it takes
The light was dim in the old mans shop as he swung his hammer that was about as old as he was. The glowing orange steel just removed from the home made forge was taking the blows from each swing as this old gent's anvil rang out with a piercing tone. The sound was of no matter to this old maker, his hearing was just about gone from years of hammering steel, and besides his concentration was on his love. Shaping a piece of hot steel into a functional blade.
Repeated heating and reheating, repeated hammering of the steel, each blow done with an utmost certain exactness from years of the craft. The blade was coming to shape, slowly but surely. The old man doesn't move as quickly as he used to and his body is getting tired but his pride of a blade well forged is certain even if it gets there a little slower.
As time passes finally the first step of a blade is born. It is roughly forged and as this gruff man holds it to an single light bulb between a pair of antique tongs, he smiles as he knows it is the best job he could do.
After a quick reheat of the steel the glowing orange colored blade is plunged into an ash filled steel bucket. Whispering to the steel as if it were living. "you need a nap."
Time passes by as the blade cools and the man has a tug at his pipe....it is time.
Words leave the mans mouth in an empty shop. "Let me just shape this one by hand with files,...that is what it needs."
The blade is set on a hard board of oak that is pressed between the two jaws of his post vice and the hand filing begins. One side at a time, slowly as the steel starts looking like a knife time passes by and a coarse shaped blade is filed into a beautiful shape.
Reaching into a dusty drawer the man returns sand paper in various grits and colors, and in almost a ritual fashion the blade is rubbed by hand into a semi finished state.
The old man is just about done working for today as his body aches, he sits on a wooden stool and packs his pipe as he glances at his hands that are scared and beat from many years of blade work. He ponders this for a moment as he strikes a match to light his pipe.
Smoking his cob pipe billows of smoke fill the work shop, The old man picks up a finished knife and sheath completed earlier in the week, he smiles with pride. "It is all worth it"
Take pride in what you do, do your best every day in no matter what it is, Americans making things by hand with pride are becoming a vanishing breed.
by: Matt Lesniewski