I am not sure if this is the right forum for my queries. If not pardon me.
Well, first of, I am not a blacksmith/blade smith. However I have been entrusted with a project to revive the dying art of traditional sword and knife making in Bhutan (a small himalayan kingdom). It is not just preserving the art but also to promote as a viable livelihood. The last of the master craftsman is in his 80s. The attempt is being made to train some younger folks to take up the craft. However, to do it in a traditional way, the younger folks are not interested. It is considered dirty, physically exhaustive. Therefore, to make it appealing to younger folks, we would like to mechanize certain processes of production.
1. Require technical advice in adopting and using efficient forge. Traditionally and currently we use charcoal forge.
2. Advice in using mechanical/ pneumatic forge hammer. Currently it is manually done, engaging two persons for forge hammering.
3. The art of making sword with laminated still is sort of lost now. I would like to seek your technical expertise to revive this as well.
We have initiated the project in a modest way with 5 learners through sort of apprenticeship under the only existing master artisan in a 4 X 6 mtrs workshop. We are also thinking about possibility of engaging an expert to help us in mechanizing the essential processes and train the user in proper handling of the tools. That way, we may also require expert advice in designing a proper production house subsequently.
I am the project manager acting as the defacto expert, in absence of any, in the field of managing a iron craft project.
Any kind of expert advice and opinion will be helpful and to initiate further collaboration.