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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Sword grinding the ancient european way         Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ED4QWSbgI

The grindsone is cooled constantly with water, next we will rebuild a small tub under the grindtone so that it lower part will constanly be running through fresh water.

The small keg's water drip is traditional as well but the original style was that of the lower aprt being submerged constantly in water.

The blade keeps constantly cool and a sort of mud is created by the mixing of stone powder and water, which adds to the grinding efefct, in Toledo it was also used historically as flux.

The building is a late medieval forge, in the same place and neighbouroud where swords for the venetian republic were made .

The forge is a traditional brescian maglio, already attested in the 12th century as a system to industrially produce steel artifacts: maglio is actually the name of the hydraulic power hammer, which is still totally original in its design of wood and marble shoulders: it is blocked by wooden stumps for the grinding operation, only the wheel works.

The belt and grindstone stall are modern, in the medieval age until the early twentieth century grinders were working laying down with the whole body on a wooden trestle, with their arms bent downward towards the grindstone. Probably trestles were spanning the outside river, being supported by the forges' walls. Some trestles still do exist in magli being transformed in museums, all inside the building though but they could be modern 819th century) arrangements, as such buildings were in use for some centuries and often adaptations were made.

This place is an historical place, now it is a museum staffed by volunteer smiths, mostly reeenactors and researchers

Ancient grindstones are to be found in the small channel, as well as on the floors of the building, or encased in walls as decorative items sometimes in nearby farms.
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Myles Mulkey





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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great looking stuff! Keep up the good work.
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Steven McIntyre




Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Joined: 03 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is really, really cool, and makes me wish I had a workshop of some sort powered by a water wheel.
~PER ARDUA~
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven McIntyre wrote:
That is really, really cool, and makes me wish I had a workshop of some sort powered by a water wheel.


the aura of the place is great, but such grindstones could be used in modern shops as well.

They are very slow, allowing the operator great control of his work.

A little distraction won't create pockets in metal as with a powerful belt grinder.

We have another one almost new sitting in the charcoal room (which has a nice medieval era wall .).

I hope we will be able to build a complete trestle in fully medieval style in the nearby shop which is also part of the museum. There the floor is paved with several old grindstones, all in working order, a disastrous decision by the restorer that I hope we will eventually be able to revert, excavating them.

New grindstones like these would be a bit expensive but worth buying. I plan to build a small portable one for knifemaking as well.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bravo, Bruno! Thank you for posting that link. The sounds in that workshop are wonderful... I've been in water-powered gristmills and sawmills as well, and the sounds of machinery driven without electricity or internal combustion are oddly relaxing, or at least, less nerve-rattling.

Please, do post more, especially once you get that trestle workspace operational. The portable one, too - I just scrounged a small grindwheel out of a friend's orchard for the exact same purpose. I'd love to see your version.

Eric
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Sep, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've seen a few period works of people laying down or squatting / sitting above the wheel for sharpening, but I think most of these were indoors -- what's the reason for wanting to be above the wheel like that?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Sep, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
I've seen a few period works of people laying down or squatting / sitting above the wheel for sharpening, but I think most of these were indoors -- what's the reason for wanting to be above the wheel like that?

M.


Probably two reasons - the position is relaxed yet stable, and any junk that flips off the wheel is less likely to get in your eyes. I've never used a grinding wheel on that level before, but for my part I've found that any very repetetive upper body task that demands some precision (such as detailing hand-drawn building elevations) is better done with the chest stabilized against something, leaving the arms free. Doesn't work for every task, but if the motion is linear, side-to-side, it's pretty good.

I've never seen one over water, either. I imagine the lighting would be superior (notice the wheel in the linked vid. is right next to a doorway), and you might be able to keep the lower quarter of the wheel completely submerged, guaranteeing a cool, clean abrasive surface. I'd love to see a period illustration of that set-up, if anybody out there knows of one.

-Eric
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Sep, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Bruno,
you had spoken, remember? Seeing is extraordinary. I imagine the aura of which you speak.
But, are you, there? The dialect that you speak is familiar to me.
My compliments for the great work. Wink
Maurizio
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
M. Eversberg II wrote:
I've seen a few period works of people laying down or squatting / sitting above the wheel for sharpening, but I think most of these were indoors -- what's the reason for wanting to be above the wheel like that?

M.


Probably two reasons - the position is relaxed yet stable, and any junk that flips off the wheel is less likely to get in your eyes. I've never used a grinding wheel on that level before, but for my part I've found that any very repetetive upper body task that demands some precision (such as detailing hand-drawn building elevations) is better done with the chest stabilized against something, leaving the arms free. Doesn't work for every task, but if the motion is linear, side-to-side, it's pretty good.

I've never seen one over water, either. I imagine the lighting would be superior (notice the wheel in the linked vid. is right next to a doorway), and you might be able to keep the lower quarter of the wheel completely submerged, guaranteeing a cool, clean abrasive surface. I'd love to see a period illustration of that set-up, if anybody out there knows of one.

-Eric


Working as it is done in the movie leads to collecting dirt sprayed from the wheel I had to throw away a t-shirt and pants after an hour serious work.

We are speaking east lombard, mild form. Quite period as well since italian became widespread only after ww2. In old brescian forges this language, alongside some venetian, would have been the rule.
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Andreas Auer




Location: Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi Bruno...

Great Workshop you got there...may i ask where it is?

Greetings

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2009 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andreas Auer wrote:
hi Bruno...

Great Workshop you got there...may i ask where it is?

Greetings


Six hours or little more from Innsbruck, all motorway through Brenner pass to Gardalake via Verona then Brescia
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Andreas Auer




Location: Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

damm...if i knew...3 weeks ago i were in Sirmione for a few days on holiday....i might visit you some day?

Andreas

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andreas Auer wrote:
damm...if i knew...3 weeks ago i were in Sirmione for a few days on holiday....i might visit you some day?

Andreas


Sure any sword expert is welcomed at any time it is a museum so open to public as its mission
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's way cool. Do you know if there are working maglios, those water powered hammers, anywhere? It would be cool to see one in operation.

EDIT: Found one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAv3hkOQZjg
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto Rautiainen wrote:
That's way cool. Do you know if there are working maglios, those water powered hammers, anywhere? It would be cool to see one in operation.

EDIT: Found one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAv3hkOQZjg


That's the first museum forge we have had as an active museum. It is manned by retired smiths who have taught us the basics: or association shares the president with the Bienno's one. Mr Carlo Pedretti, the president, is from a line of smiths going back continuously to the middle age, as all smiths from Bienno are for the rest.

Forge dates back to 1527, another one still in use in the town as a similar museum is from the beginning of the XVIth century. In the town of Odolo, another brescian center, a rival town to Bienno, they have a Xv century maglio as well, with a likely medieval single horn anvil.

Families specialize in a sub-trade. spades, buckets etc.

I accompanied Aaron Cergol and Dutch armour researcher Ralph Snell to the magli in Bienno this summer (for free I mean, i'm a researcher as well ....). Smiths are quite open to visitors, they also hold courses at least once a year. Enrollment is open to everybody willing to travel to the town, courses are moderately expensive (130 euros for two days full immersion plus traditional lunch).


Other magli's images in this old td at Don Fogg's forum (Odolo and Brescia here, video by AAron C.is instead from Bienno)

http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showt...ntry123444

The town of Bienno is rich in medieval heritage, with two still complete houses and plenty of sculpted doorways etc., cheap bed and breakfast and good traditional cuisine at low prices, far from italian standards. It is a small but beautiful mountain locations, close to the famous prehistorical graffiti site of the Camunians valley: the most ancient european graffiti site (proto-celtic and Halstatt mainly), with extremely interesting spots for archeo-astronomers as well.
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Risto Rautiainen




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's great! Is is correct that you control the speed of the hammer by controlling the amount of water that is channeled to the water wheel or is it controlled by some other means? Great pics!
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto Rautiainen wrote:
That's great! Is is correct that you control the speed of the hammer by controlling the amount of water that is channeled to the water wheel or is it controlled by some other means? Great pics!


This maglio has basically two speeds, yes you can.

Water in the channel must have a constant flow obviously, a minimal amount is required. having worked with modern power hammers both leaf spring and compressed air I can say that old ones can be gentle as well.

they are much more powerful at full throttle though, a piece not perfectly grabbed, most often a piece grabbed with the wrong tongs, can fly up to theceiling with quite fast speed.

it ismandatory to use a face shield but better to think twice when choosing tongs. If there is no appropriate one the blank must be worked at an end so as to be fit to an available tong.

I have a very reliable leaf spring hammer, that is a different story under this pov really. Such hydraulic magli require quite a bit of patience and experience, when they are going fast it is easy to splatter a piece ...

Materials in the shop are now being in use after a twenty years old stop, some need careful readjustment, we are slowly adapting them.

The dies are a bit worn out, so they bite steel often the wrong way, as for an example.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What amazes me is the power with which beats the iron.
Power of water. Our fathers knew more than we think. Happy
Mau
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
What amazes me is the power with which beats the iron.
Power of water. Our fathers knew more than we think. Happy
Mau


You bet.

I still have to understand their fullering techniques. they were doing it right in that maglio or just outside it .. or in the other building from which grindstones were removed no more than some decades ago.

Ah, the venetian census calls fuller "incanalatura per traverso", transverse channeling.
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