Job Swap: Jason Tang the swordsmith - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Job Swap: Jason Tang the swordsmith

Christopher Greywolf Christopher Greywolf

By Jason Tang - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - The hammer rings out. And slowly, a hot piece of steel begins to take form.

For almost 20 years Christopher Greywolf's been forging anything from helmets to chain mail and all sorts of different weaponry.

In this lesson Greywolf teaches me how to make a knife. However, safety comes first.

"The job first of all deals with fire. we're not talking about a BBQ fire, we're talking about temperatures of 2000 degrees enough to actually burn steel," said Greywolf.

Eye protection is mandatory, as are ear plugs. In this lesson we're using toilet paper.

"You sucked on it first," said Tang

"You get it wet it goes in better," responded Greywolf.

Sadly he's right. Soon, it's time to put the hammer to the metal.

The master begins with a demonstration, then it's up to the apprentice.

"Now we're going to straighten this piece of steel out, what I want you to do is strike this piece right there, hit hard," instructs Greywolf.

This could take a long time.

"I should've ate my wheaties today, should've ate the wheaties," said Tang.

Luckily Greywolf has a lot more experience, and a lot more muscle, which expedites the process. Soon a knife begins to take form.

"Whenever you're working you want to check your progress, you never want to put a sloppy piece of metal back in the fire," said Greywolf.

Typically Greywolf can shape three of four blades in one hour. It takes us, almost two hours for just one. After a lot of hammering, and a lot of sweat, the blade is finally shaped, and it's ready to be cooled.

"It looks ugly right now, but it's going to be a beautiful knife when we get done," said Greywolf.

A well made knife can take about 50 man hours to make.

After it comes out of the fire it still needs grinding, polishing, heat treatment, a handle, a sheath and even some decoration.

Greywolf will have to put the finishing touches on without me, but I can't leave without taking a step back in time.

"Got my sword and shield, let's go find the princess," said Tang, wearing a suit of armor Greywolf made.

"Yup, there goes another one," said Greywolf.

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