RicelandMeadows


Spring Chores
May 8, 2018, 2:04 pm
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

hammeringJohn

May 8, 2018

Our spring continued to be evasive. Long hours and too many days at my off farm job has caused delays in getting into the fields. It’s no big deal. The soil is just starting to warm and dry enough to work it anyway. I am spending time with family, especially the little ones.

My grandson continues to like blacksmithing. He is coming along very well. He started banging and bending horseshoe nails. He has now moved up to steel stock. He likes the coal forge and turning the blower crank, but hammering hot iron is his favorite!

Two of our grandchildren live here on the farm with us. They live next door, but seek out Pa-pa and Grammy often. They like feeding the chickens ear corn. They would shell corn until the chickens burst, but understand why we don’t.

sissychick

So spring is here…finally. The horses and I will soon be in the fields. The animals are grazing spring pastures, but are still munching a little hay. The leaves on the trees are starting to pop. Most of the shedding winter coats is a memory and garden planting looms on the horizon. I can’t say that I have wasted one minute…but it is sure time for Spring Chores.



Making Old, New Again
September 19, 2017, 2:45 pm
Filed under: September 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

postvice

September 19, 2017

It is a wonderful feeling to take something old and make it new again. In the photo above an old Leg Vice is pictured. I bought this thing years ago for $75.00. It was buried in dirt and covered in rust and cobwebs. My wife was pretty sure that I was crazy, but I could see what could be. I just needed time to make it new again. Just as my “new” knee replaced my worn out old one, I knew I could make this old blacksmith vice usable again.

I enlisted the help of my friend Ron to do some welding. I bought the scrap round plate from my friend Dave in Michigan. We assembled the vice so that it can be rolled out when needed and stored against the shop wall, out of the way, the rest of the time. I think it turned out very well. I need to forge a new spring to replace the one that is missing, but that will be a fun future project.

I spent almost three days disassembling and cleaning the old vice ( probably should have taken only half a day). I move real slow at the moment. Lifting is a challenge and speed is a memory, but the progress is wonderful. I am thinking very soon I will be using the old vice to make ornamental hooks, latches, candle holders and all sorts of stuff. I am getting excited or perhaps it’s just because all this downtime is making me stir crazy?! Oh well, These little projects are keeping me busy and helping me to do useful things as well! That for sure is making something old new again!



Forging Ahead
September 17, 2017, 10:19 pm
Filed under: September 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

forgeroom

September 17, 2017

I continue to heal and am starting to get around a little. I sit a lot and move slow, but mostly in a forward direction! Progress is slow but steady. I have been working in my old shop. I am slowly turning it into a forge room. I want to do blacksmithing in my retirement years. It is a hobby that I have embraced for years but have not had the time to devote to it.

I have been acquiring tools and equipment for the last 30 years. These last few days, I have been wire brushing tools, hanging up stuff and restoring order. I had to move a bunch of junk (also known as treasure :o)  Some of the stuff my wife has been helping me sort and move. The heavy stuff, I have been relying on friends and family to move as I direct. I am very sure EVERYONE will be happy when my knee replacement is finally healed!

I am pretty impressed with my use of wood. An oak log made good anvil stands. One stump is almost thirty years old. A pair of horses of mine dragged it out of the woods in 1991. My small anvil has sat on it since. I painted it down with boiled linseed oil again today. I think it made it look almost new again.

The cone mandrel ( the dunce looking thing) is actually one that goes in a hardy hole in an anvil. I took a log, shaved it down with my chainsaw and placed the mandrel on top. I’m sure it will work fine to make an occasional ring when needed. I can roll it around the shop as needed when needed. I have less than $80.00 invested, A real one made for the purpose of forming rings costs well over a thousand dollars if you can find one.

I’m pretty happy with my efforts so far. Last week this stuff was covered in rust and dust. I used a bunch of rags, lots of WD-40 and a wire wheel on a drill. I wore out a pair of pants from sitting so long. I messed up an apron, trying to keep some of the grime off me. I’m not sure it worked, because it took almost half a bar of lava soap to clean my face and arms. Oh well, I’m keeping busy and forging ahead.