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About jhiggins

  • Rank
    Junior Member


  • Location
    Oxford, Maine
  • Biography
    Love being creative.
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, restoring cars, hiking and snowboarding
  • Occupation
  1. Peter, I agree with you 100%. I have taken a few classes at the New England School of Metalwork and Dereck Glaser is definitely on the list. Some others that will be on it are: Doug Wilson, Caleb Kullman, Elizabeth Brim, Megan Crowley, Darryl Nelson, and Bob Alexander. Josh
  2. Thank you for the people listed so far. I am most interested in traditional artistic blacksmiths. Thank you, Josh
  3. After reading Frank’s post I can see how the term “Master” may not have been the best to use in my original post. Who do you think are the best of the best? Thank you, Josh
  4. I am looking to generate a list of master blacksmiths. Whose work do you like? They can be from the past or the present. People on the top of my list are: Samuel Yellin, Francis Whitaker, Tom Joyce and Cyril Colnik. Thank you, Josh
  5. I always try to be as safe as I can. Wear a respirator when grinding. Have plenty of ventilation. I recently have been wearing a respirator when I am welding. I think taking the necessary steps to be safe lower your chances for having future health problems. My grandmother lived a very healthy life. Never smoked, I never remember her drinking, ate healthy, and exercised. She died of cancer at age 75. Her mother lived to be in her early 90’s and smoked her whole life. Actually she quite smoking 2 years before she died. I know of a guy who must be almost 80 now and he has smoked and drank his whole life. He also did auto body work his entire career. He never wore a respirator for anything, painting, or sanding bondo. His son told me that he would finish painting a car and come out of the paint booth blow his nose and it would always be the color of the car that he painted. In my opinion he is extremely lucky, but it just goes to show you that you never know how things are going to work out.
  6. Last year I did a little over 300 feet of hammer textured ½ X ½ for a railing job. I hammered the corners cold then did the sides hot. I did this all with a hand held hammer. I do not plan on repeating that experience again. I have another railing job that is going to have hammer textured steel. I am going to buy 20 ft lengths of it from King Architectural. I realize you live in the UK but it might be worth it to just buy it in lengths already done for you. Here is the link: http://www.kingmetals.com/Default.aspx?Page=Home Josh
  7. Over April break I had a chance to visit John Larson’s shop. He builds the Iron Kiss power hammers. I contacted him prior to my visit and told him that I was interested in checking out his 50# and 75# hammer. When I showed up he had them all set up and ready to go with flat dies, in addition he also had a 100# hammer set up with combo dies. I hammered on several railroad spikes with the smaller hammers. They made quick work of the spikes. I then tried some 1” round. Both smaller hammers did a very nice job. I was really impressed with how hard the 75# hammer hit. I then tried some small chunks of 1 3/4” round. John said the 50# hammer could handle it. Since I only had two chunks I decided to try the 75# and the 100# hammer. The 75# hammer did a really nice job. It took it down quite a bit in one heat. The 100# hammer was very impressive. With the combo dies it really moved some metal. After I had tried out the hammers I talked to John about his hammers. John spent a great deal of time answering all my questions. It was nice to have someone really take the time to make sure a potential customer had all their questions answered. One of the things that I was the most impressed with is how straight forward the design of his hammers were. He explained to me what parts would eventually wear out and how it was quite easy to replace them, they were also parts that were very easy to get. I have not made a final decision on what hammer I will buy yet. I still have some more research to do. The Iron Kiss hammers are at the top of my list. Thank you again John for taking the time to meet with me. Josh
  8. Thank you everyone for the advice so far. Josh
  9. Hello, I have been looking at purchasing a power hammer for a while. I have found a used Striker 55 that is not too far from my house. It comes with 4 sets of dies, single phase motor, and a base. Sounds like it is in good condition. I am planning on trying it out soon. Anyone have any thoughts on what this Striker would be worth? I also am looking at the Iron Kiss 50. I believe that my compressor would run it at about 80% or so. How would the two hammers compare? Thank you, Josh
  10. Hello all, My name is Josh Higgins, I am 27 years old. I live in Oxford, Maine. I have been blacksmithing for almost two years. Last year I started a business doing blacksmithing and artistic metalwork. My wife and I are due to have a baby any day now. I am looking forward to having a little assistant around the shop. Along with blacksmithing I enjoy restoring cars, hiking and snowboarding. Josh Higgins