Film ID:
YFA 1986

HAND FORGING (THE BLADES FOR SPRING KNIVES)

c.1929

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film made by George Ibberson & Co. of Sheffield documents the industrial process involved in making knives at his factory. Intertitles are used throughout the film in order to explain the process, and each intertitle is marked with Geo Ibberson & Co. Estab. 1700 Sheffield, England.

Title - Hand Forging The Blades for Spring Knives

The film opens with two men working at anvils.

Title - Each Blade Hammered from Rod of Best Crucible Cast Steel

This is followed by the forging of small knife blades.

Title - Making the Tang
Much Hammering maketh Fine Steen Finer

A man works at a small furnace on a rod of steel, hammering it into shape. A series of intertitles describe how the tang is made.

Title - The Tang is Marked with our Name and Trade Mark

There are brief shots of the metal being worked and stamped with their name and trademark.

Title - Hardening Blades Heated and Quenched in Water
Tempering Blades Re-heated over Fire till Purple in Colour

The blade is heated in a furnace and then quenched in water. It is heated again until purple and then quenched.

Title - Watch the Change in Colour

The blade is held against a white paper to illustrate the change in colour.

Title - The Blades are now Ground

A man wearing goggles and smoking a cigarette leans over a grinding wheel, and sparks fly off. This portion of the film ends with a close-up of two finished blades.

The next sequence shows the whole process of making a pocket knife.

Title - The Cutler is given Material for Making Two-bladed Ivory Pen Knives
Springs and Ground Blades
Brass Linings (Webs) to give Knife Strength and Covering (Ivory)
Nickel Silver Wire for Rivetting [sic]
The Blade Tangs are dotted where the hole is to be drilled, using the "Devil"

Each intertitle is followed by footage of the various materials required: springs, brass linings, ivory covering, and nickel silver wire for riveting.

Title - Blades Drilled and then Shaped or "Squared"

Then, various components are being drilled, shaped and assembled by men working at benches and vices.

Title - The Springs are Filed, Drilled and Bundled for Hardening
The Ivory and Linings are Drilled Using Ancient Fiddle Bow

Title - The Ivory and Brass Linings are Filed into Shape.
The Knife is put together and the Handle Rounded for Filing
The Back of the Knife is Brightened by Glazing
And the Handle Polished by Buffing
The Handle is Protected and the Blades Glazed
The Blades are next Carefully and Highly Polished
The "Whetter" Gives Blades that Famously Keen "Fiddled Brand" Edge
The Finished Knife is Thoroughly Wiped and the Joints Oiled

The assembled knife is cleaned and polished and finally given the "Fiddle Brand"( i.e. sharpened). The section ends with a close-up selection of knives, single and multi-bladed.

Title - The Making of Table Knives
Forging the Stainless Steel Blades

The final section of the film involves the workers using a lot of heavy machinery in order to make table knives. Again, each section described with an intertitle documenting the process.

Title - Stamping the Bolsters

A large machine stamps a long piece of metal into shape.

Title - Drawing out the Tangs
Hammering the Blades to make Them Thin
Trimming the Sides of the Rough Blades

Here a machine is used to cut the blades out of a slightly larger piece of metal.

Title - Finishing the Stamping of the Rough Blade

A man pulls each blade out of the fire before it is stamped.

Title - Hardening and Tempering

A man hits the metal with a hammer on an anvil before dipping the blade into water.

Title - Loading the Grinding Machines

A large grinding wheel is loaded with many blades, and once the process is finished, they are unloaded from the wheel. One blade is held up for the camera.

Title - The Blades are Glazed and Buffed.

A woman puts each blade between two large wheels for glazing and buffing.

Title - Boring the Holes in Xylonite Handles

There is a close up of the small machine used for this process.

Title - Shaping the Handles

Title - Finishing Mirror Polished "Fiddle Brand" Table Knives.

The film ends with a close up of two of the finished knives as well as a fully stocked case.