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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Doniphan, MO


  • Location
    Doniphan, Missouri USA
  • Biography
    Elected County Prosecutor Turned Novice Blacksmith
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, Tool Collecting
  • Occupation
    Prosecuting Attorney

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  1. The Blacksmith Association of Missouri (BAM) will hold its 28th Annual Ozark Conference on May2-5, 2019 at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri. The Conference Book and Registration forms are attached. Although BAM does not have funding available for paid advertisements I know that a number of ABANA affiliates and related organizations have newsletters and that the editors are always looking for copy to fill up the dead spaces, so I am sending these to your affiliate or organization for informational purposes. If you think your group would be interested in our Ozark Conference, please feel free to publish all or any part of either file. We usually have a good crowd of 100-200 in attendance with a dozen vendors and lots of tailgate activity. We welcome the participation of members from other groups and can promise them good demonstrations, programs, and fellowship. If you have a web page, web calendar or a Facebook Page, putting a link to the above information would also be appreciated. 28th Annual BAM Ozark Conference Cover Page.pdf 2019 BAM Conference Book.pdf
  2. Has anyone heard of welding heavy plate to the top of a 55 gallon drum upon which to bolt the vise and then fill the drum with 400 lbs. of water for stability; and drain it if the vise needs to be moved?
  3. I spent four hours at the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop in Doniphan, MO on Saturday working on a new fire tool for the shop. I had a nice model to work from made by another smith that we received as a trade item at a BAM meeting several years ago but I wanted a different decorative handle and twist so I studied up on YouTube and completed my first Rubic or Cube Twist on the center of the shaft. I did not want to use that twist as a handle grip so I made the handle grip with a thorn twist. The entire piece was drawn out of a 25 inch long piece of 5/8 inch square stock. Although I left the working rake end unfinished, I did a power wire brushing and a brass brushing on the twists while at a black heat and then, when cool, applied a spray acrylic lacquer to protect the brass coating.
  4. The Garden Gate that I am working on has lots of scroll work but I wanted to add a floral motif on each end. These two flower and leaf assemblies will be welded on each side next to the scrolls. I used two 12 inch pieces of round stock and a pre-cut flower blank for each piece. I first used a texturing hammer to break the surface of the stock. I then forged a leaf on both ends of one piece of stock with a tapered stem on each end. I did the standard technique for chiseling in the leaf veins and sinking the leaves into a wood block depression. I then nicked the bar about 2/3 of the way down the piece of leaf stems and bent the two leaves together slightly off center. The other rod was cut down to 10 inches and a tenon was forged on one end using a Smithing Magician in order to affix the flower petal blank. I first textured the flower blank using the peen of my hammer and then used a ball peen hammer to rivet the tenon onto the stem rod. The two pieces were then wired together with baling wire to hold them together for a forge weld. After the leaves and flower stems were welded together I heat the assembly to orange, clamp it in the post vise and use scrolling tongs to bend every piece into as naturalistic shape as I can manage. Each assembly is then power wire brushed and then brass brushed while hot to give the forging work brass highlights. I finish with a clear spray acrylic.
  5. One of the posts I received on the Blacksmith for Beginners Facebook page was that my "modified pineapple twist" was actually a "thorn twist". I had not heard the term before but it seem appropriate. It is just a pineapple twist without scoring any lines with a chisel or hot cut.
  6. Every blacksmith needs a poker with which to tend the fire pot. It can be traditional or unadorned and merely practical. But I wanted one with character. So I forged out of a piece of 3/4 inch square stock a Dragon Headed, modified pineapple twist handled poker. It does the trick.
  7. A new project in the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop last Saturday; one of a matched pair of shelf supports or individual hanging basket holders. A 1.25 inch by 1/4 inch base plate was fullered at the ends and drawn out into leaf motifs and textured. A 1 inch by 1/4 inch bar was textured, drawn out to a taper on one end and a fishtail scroll on the other end and bent through a 90 degree angle. A one inch by 3/ 16 inch bar was forged into a snub end "S" scroll using a scroll form. The three pieces were riveted together through drilled holes with copper rivets and the entire assembly power wire brushed. The fishtail and the leaves were brushed with a brass brush to highlight those areas and everything sprayed with a clear acrylic.
  8. A great article on Wikipedia for Main Gauche. Thanks.
  9. Actually, the blade was of secondary consideration to the handle twist. But the precise name was at best a guess; more of what it wasn't than any surety as to what it was in terms of medieval derivation. Probably from my vague memories of 50's swashbucklers where a swordsman would have a long foil or epee in one hand and something like what I forged in the less dominant hand.
  10. I did research the blade shape on Wiki and noticed the entry on estoc or tuck, but it did not have a photograph that I could compare it with the stiletto. You may be right in that my blade and handle are a bit too long.
  11. This Saturday in the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop I did an up scaled version of the naked pineapple twist that I used for the first time the Saturday before last when I made a letter opener out of 3/8 inch square stock. This week's project was a version of a short sword (stylistically a misericorde or stiletto) out of 3/4 inch square stock. It took a lot of hammer work to draw out and taper the conical blade to a point. Here are some pictures of the finished project along with some closeups of the handle and blade. The guard was 5/16 round stock inserted through a drilled hole in the handle and then forge welded. The twist was a standard pineapple twist without any chisel lines scored prior to twisting and reverse twisting.
  12. Yes, the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop is open every Saturday morning by one or more of our local BAM members. Check out our website at: www.doniphanmissouri.org/tom_kennon_blacksmith_shop Sometimes there are enough of us to make a crowd and we trade off on forge time and sometimes it is just one or two of us. Feel free to join us. If you are coming a good distance you can call me to check on our status for any last minute changes. 573 996-4931
  13. A member of our Community Forge, Ron Kelly, had a session in our shop video recorded by his son in law. Really great production values and a great view of our Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop in Doniphan, Missouri. The link is:
  14. Here is one of mine with a pineapple twist variation on the handle where I did the standard pineapple twist procedure without first scoring any lines so that the resulting diamond pattern is less distinct, but still noticeable. I think it makes a great handle and I am going to try it on larger pieces.
  15. The Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop was back up and running this weekend after our flooding disaster earlier this month. We had water five feet deep in the shop. Fortunately, we were able to move out most of the equipment to higher ground just before the water rose into the shop. It is all back in place now and I was able to do a small project. It was a letter opener made out of 3/8 inch mild steel. I did a variation of a pineapple twist for the handle where I did not score the sides with a chisel as usual. I saw this at the BAM Conference last month and gave it a try and I really liked the result. Here are pictures of our shop in flood along with this weekend's project. Mod note: This is a short video featuring the same shop.
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