I just retuned from a delightful and educational week in Sweden as the guest of Sandvik. Every EMO year they put together a pre-show program for the world press. The idea is for us to get a sneak preview of new stuff they will be showing. Twice a year, the company unveils what it calls a “Coropack,” which is made up of some 1,500 to 2,000 new products. Needless to say, there will be many new things at Hall 5 Stand B20.
This was my third trip to Sweden with the Sandvik folks, and each trip has been a perfect blend of work (new innovations, directions and advancements that keep the company at the forefront of technology) and play (doing things Swedish).
This year, we did a Swedish metalworking exercise. Perhaps it was a little tongue in cheek—you know, metalworking editors actually working metal instead of writing about it. I, for one, loved it. With a foundry background, this was not my first time on an anvil.
Our assignment was to make an amulet that is designed to ward off trolls. Apparently they are common in the wood of Sweden. As we were heading into the woods by canoe for a BBQ dinner, I soon realized that the amulet was as important as the life vest. However, the magic only works if you make your own.
This is my amulet, which is worn around my neck to ward off trolls.
We donned coveralls and the smithy had a forge, anvils, hammers and raw material for the group to make the amulet. The real smithy showed us the design and then walked us through the steps to make it. We were then on our own. It was pretty fun to watch this manufacturing process in all of its various permutations. Beating hot metal with a hammer is science; beating it into what you want is the art. Needless to say, in our group we had many scientists and fewer artists. It was fun.
Our smithy showed us how to make our troll protector.
Here is my colleague, Russ Willcutt, working hard on his amulet. Unfortunately, he failed to properly close the curls on the ends to keep in the luck. He was carried off by trolls shortly after this picture was taken.