Fire in the Forge
January 20, 2018, 9:00 pm
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January 20, 2018

The weather warmed up today. My uncle and I spent a few hours hammering around in the forge room. We had a fun few hours, laughed a lot and made a few memories. He brought me a bucket of treasure. It was filled with broken saw blades, chunks of steel cutoffs, a lawnmower blade even some lengths of stainless steel rod. I don’t have any idea what they may become, I only know it will be fun to sort it all out.

My uncle is my mother’s older brother. He has always been there for me. He is a busy guy with his own family to look after, but always found time to help me, encourage me and basically watch over me. His younger brother also keeps a close eye on me. I can never thank them enough for their gifts to me…the best gift of all…their time!

So, as we spent time today, it meant a lot to me. We talked about all sorts of stuff, including how much my mother would have enjoyed the hooks we were making. I’m sure she got a kick out of us being together…even today. I know that I sure did.

As I get better at this forging and fabricating stuff, I can see one day I may be able to make some money doing this. I feel as though an ancient Scotchman holds my fist, as I strike with the hammer. I am sure that in my bloodline from the Highlands of Scotland, a blacksmith reigns. This skill comes very easily to me. I can see the finished product in the white hot metal as it comes out of the forge. I am intrigued. I am amazed and I am blessed.

She’s a Hot One!
December 11, 2017, 7:06 pm
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December 11, 2017

Thanks to a friend of mine named Ed, I now am the proud owner of a propane forge. The forge was made from an old air tank. The directions came from YouTube, along with some modifications by Ed. I had gathered all of the materials before I got laid up. Ed built this in one rainy day, in my shop.

The table was a scrap table bought at a second hand store. The angle iron and old horse shoe that makes up the bracket, came from my scrap pile. The rest of the needed items I bought off E-Bay. The photo above was taken right after curing the mortar. That mortar was applied as a slurry, allowed to dry for a day, then cured with the burner in the forge.

Soon, I will be able to forge handmade items for family and friends. I am looking forward to this new hobby. I have a long way to go, but this little forge will make it possible to learn. Thanks Ed!

What and Awesome Deal
October 1, 2017, 12:57 pm
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October 1, 2017

After a very frosty morning, I found myself in my old “stomping grounds”. I went to see a man about some old antique equipment. He was pretty sure he had want I needed for my forge shop. I am outfitting the shop with old refurbished equipment from the last century. I like that old stuff and giving it a new life for the purpose it was designed, pleases me.

I took a similar drill to trade. Mine worked, but a broken gear prevented it from being 100% accurate. This one that I traded for will work perfect once I give it some tender loving care. I negotiated with the treasure man for this awesome piece of our history. He looked over the old pieces of steel, but he looked deeper into my soul. He could see that I was genuine. He knew that I would care for the old drills for the rest of my life. He too likes the old stuff.

We talked a bit about this equipment and a couple of other pieces as well. Our discussion wandered over the space of time and events, as we talked of days gone by. It was a great visit. It was fun to see him again. The negotiation went well thankfully, because this man taught me how to negotiate. I didn’t have to match skills, he simply took care of me. I am grateful for my new treasure. They will make a good addition to my forge room. The visit…well, that was priceless.

Forging Ahead
September 17, 2017, 10:19 pm
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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.