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How to Forge a Sword Part 3: Annealing the blade

In this part of the tutorial we prepare the sword so we can work on it with various hand tools and or power tools. After all this forging and shaping the metal is very hard and it is very stressed. We anneal it to soften it up and to take the stress out of it. The first part of this whole sword making series is right here


What you need to do in order to soften up and release the stress from the sword is to heat the whole thing up to Curie Temperature. This temperature will vary depending on the type of steel you are using. And it is impossible to know the temperature of the sword without some fancy gadgetry. But, we can easily solve all of that with a magnet. As you heat up the sword and it gets to the correct temperature it will lose all its magnetic attraction- a magnet will no longer stick to it.

That part is pretty easy. The real challenge is heating up the whole sword evenly and slowly. There are a few different ways to do this and if you are a homemade kind of person you can whip something up. I show you here what I made but you can do something similar.

I used something I call "The Sword Forge" And I have more complete instructions on how to make one right here: How to Make the Sword Forge

The forge with bricks

Here is a quick look at the sword forge. It is very similiar to a regular forge but the tube running along the length is the tuyere and it has holes in it. This way we get a long bed of coals. The bricks are fire bricks.

The sword forge

This picture shows you the link of coals.

Put the sword in the forge

So, put the sword in the forge and heat it up evenly along the whole length. Move it around as often as needed and move the coals around as you need to. The important thing is to get it as evenly heated as possible. When the whole sword is glowing red you can check it with a magnet to see if it doesn't stick. If the magnet doesn't stick then it is ready.

Allow the sword to cool

Move the sword over to the side of the forge and turn the forge off. We want the sword to cool slowly. This is why we keep it in the forge and let the forge die out slowly. This will take a couple of hours and you also have the option of taking the sword and burying it in sand or vermiculite. This will also cool it slowly.

And that's it. The sword has been annealed. It is soften and the stress has been relieved from it. Next we will do the rough grinding and shaping.

NextLet's Move on to How to Forge a sword part 4: Rough Grinding and Shaping

The Complete Bladesmith

The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection

Looking for instructions in bladesmithing that'll put you on the cutting edge of the custom blade market? Then this definitive guide to forging world-class blades is for you. Written by a master bladesmith, this book tells you how to set up your forge, select your materials, fashion grips and hilts, grind edges and much more!


Damascus steel knife

Make a Damascus Steel Knife

Damascus steel is challenging to make. But you don't have to make it for a knife. You can buy a blank and make a knife with it. I show you how in this tutorial: Make a Damascus Steel Knife (I also have a video for it) And I hated to hide all that striated steel under a wooden handle so I made a clear epoxy resin handle so we could see through it.




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