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Don’t Lose Your Temper!

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

How many times have you heard this? I was doing a demonstration this past weekend. During my time there, I had several conversations about this phrase. When I teach my weekend workshops, we spend some time talking about how the craft of blacksmithing is in our everyday language. I am sure you use some of them and may not even be aware of it.

Tempering is a technique used to harden steel to a specific hardness. I use it for both edged tools and also to add color into some of my Work. The color the metal turns will tell you the temperature of the metal. Neat, huh?

Back to the phrase. Simply put, after it’s tempered, it can be reheated to a point to remove it. When this is done, the hardness is also lost and the metal will no longer hold an edge or stay sharp. So it loses its usefulness. Another tidbit. During forging of a tool that needs an edge, the metal will need to be annealed before it’s hardened or tempered. It gets heated to a point that it is no longer magnetic and allowed to cool slowly. This helps to remove the stress. It still fascinates me to see it not attracted to a magnet. I am so easily amused! LOL

Here are just some of ways that I use tempering in my Work:

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