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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by primtechsmith

  1. The ABANA Convention is a bit different than the Conferences they host every other year. This convention is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organization with a long weekend event focusing on demonstrations by the founding members able to attend, and area affiliates forging as well in a "hammer in" kind of feel.


    Use this link to help glean some information:



    And also consider calling/emailing Central Office. JoAnn is a wonderful lady that can answer any and all of your questions!

    [email protected]

    Phone: (423) 913-1022


    Hope this helps.


  2. Having grown up in Virginia means schools would bus classes out to Williamsburg all the time. I remember going while in 5th or so grade and being completely blown away by the Anderson Blacksmith Shop. I actually snuck out of the group after leaving the shop and returned on my own to only be found out and taken back to my teacher. Who was, freaking out for “losing me”; little did she know I was far from lost. I knew exactly where I was and where I wanted to be.

    I made a few attempts to further my curiosity through high school. It fell on deaf ears.


    In college I was too poor to do much of anything. I had no TV, so the library gave me some hope on entertainment. I began searching out blacksmithing books. I found Bealer’s book and read it. I then went to the computer and found Anvilfire. That was 2001.


    My girlfriend stopped by and saw what I was reading and began to tell me her dad was a blacksmith. It is important to note I had fallen in love with her BEFORE she told me this news…


    I met her dad. I harassed him with question after question for months. It is amazing he even let me come to their house there at the beginning. I guess he figured I wasn’t going away and my interest wasn’t going anywhere.


    I remember showing up one afternoon and him inviting me into the forge. All he said was, “The first thing you have to learn is to start your fire.” Handed me matches and some newspaper and pointed to the firepot. That was somewhere around 10 years ago.


    He hasn’t thrown me out of his shop yet, let me marry his daughter, and he shows me something new every time I get in there with him. The education is an endless thing and his guidance has done a lot more for me way beyond the anvil. I am very fortunate to have him as my teacher, mentor, father-in-law, boss, and friend.

    That’s my story…



  3. Other things have kept me out of the forge on a regular basis for about a year now...I wanted to get back into the groove on something other than a leaf. So, talking it over with the boss-man I came up with a ladle. I am about 9 years too late on making my first one, but I went ahead and did it.


    3/8" square for the handle and a sheet metal disc(not sure of the thiickness).


    It turned out okay. Not quite what I had in mind with the handle, but it is good enough for an upcoming Iron-in-the-Hat...worth a ticket or two I hope.




  4. I have also enjoyed time with Frank. I watched a class he taught a while back and it was refreshing to hear and watch a guy so down to earth with such down to earth skills. No smoke and mirrors...just technique and reason to back it up.


    I have seen A LOT of the top/most popular smiths work in demonstrations and classes over the past several years and Frank is in the top of his class. It is about the forging and not himself....a refreshing break from the norm these days.


    I hope everyone gets a chance to watch him demo or take a class with him.

  5. My main hammer is my rounding hammer made with Brian. I own a Tom Clark, Brent Bailey, Elmer Roush, Doug Merkel, and other hammers...I do most of my work with the rounding hammer. I have a dedicated "cold" hammer hanging on the post vice, a brass hammer for cutting off, small hammers for riveting. I hoard as many hammers as my budget allows.

    I still go to my cross pein made by Brent Bailey when needing a controlled fuller to be done. I just wish it had a square face and not a round one. I also need to tweek the handle a bit more to be more like Brian's handle style.

    I am in no way near Brian's ability to use the dies of my rounding hammer for all the tasks. I had a great opportunity to spend a lot of time watching him work and completely understand his methods...just need to apply them I guess. I have never been able to "see" the dies and their jobs as clearly as the time spent with Brian.

    I have never put a hammer in my hand as natural feeling as Brian's. When funds get a little looser I am going to get him to make a cross pein for me like my boss's that was made with Brian. Here that Brian!?!?! As soon as Sarah allows me some funds I need a hammer like Mike's! (the smaller one...not those huge 5# monsters.) :-)


  6. Brian,
    That is great to hear you will be adding something to the BAM box for the ABANA Conference. I encourage anyone interested to get involved with that. It is an awesome tradition and I encourage everyone to get involved. It is a cool way to get your skills out there and help raise funds to continue the education of blacksmithing and also allow the lucky winner a GREAT box full of tools!

    I think Jymm Hoffmann uses H13 when pouring his anvils. You may want to talk to him to get the details and reasons for why he does what he does.


  7. Hi everyone,

    Thank you very much for all your comments, much appreciated!!

    Will definately give Frank Turley a go! Thanks!

    Bigfootnampa I do agree with you about actually putting this on a horse, it could be quite dangerous so thanks!

    Hi Peyton, I can 100% assure you that I am real!! : P I am genuinely trying to get as much information as possible about this as I have to reconstruct these tomorrow.

    I thought if I do loads of different forums then I will hopefully get lots of different replies!

    Please do send me emails if you have any info/pictures!! This is real! I promise!! : D

    Thanks again everyone, keep it rolling!! xx

    Thanks for reposting!!!!!!!

  8. I did a quick sweep of google with their listed email address....it looks like this was posted on several forums all over the place all at once. I hope this is an actual person wanting information and not someone phishing for emails to scam in responding to them. I am in no way saying this is a scam post. It just looks very similar to things that have been flagged elsewhere on the net. I would suggest no emails sent to the above address until further evidence is given that this is real.

    ...and yes I am paranoid about things sometimes! :-)

    Either way it did make me google the subject matter. Pretty interesting to say the least.


  9. I have no blacksmith ties in my family...other than my mentor/teacher/boss is my father in law. I also hear too often the horseshoe comment and carry a irritation on rr spikes. At the end of the day there are two things that fight back my "Lewis Black" rant.

    1. Teachable moments. I suppose my day job of being a teacher is staining this one up quite bad, but ignorance is a curable disease. Stupidity is terminal...Those that ask me if I shoe horses are the same ones that I can expose to the work of a blacksmith. I guess my glass is half full too. If they are asking/commenting then they have some level of curiosity or want to talk about it.

    2. Sellability...I have seen that items easily recognized as other things fascinate and draw in the windo shopper customers. Seeing it is a rr spike or horseshoe used/forged into something useful or artistic might be exactly what is needed to make them stop and buy something. They are more likely to stop and look if something recognizable catches their eye. From there the fun starts at being a salesman of your own wares.

    The example I can share here is my leaf key fobs. I use 3/8" square...forge the taper, fuller on my guillotine tool and make the leaf. I step back behind the fuller and drill a hole for the key ring. Customers like to see what the material started out as I think...it helps the imagination. I tell them that the square is the original size the metal started out before it became a leaf. I have sold a few with this idea...

    For the record, I have been doing this less than 10 years and only as a hobby. I think I would be right there with you, Randy, if I had been doing this as long as you!

    My .02

  10. I know this is a bit late but thought of sharing the information just the same...

    The Teaching Tent at the 2012 ABANA conference will be named the "Bill Fiorini Memorial Teaching Tent" this time in honor of him.

    Kirsten has made mention of possibly having some of his tools and unfinished projects in the gallery and possibly in the auction as well. ABANA is accepting any donations in honor of Bill to go towards the teaching tent expenses.

    Bill was a natural artist and dedicated teacher.


  11. Congrats on the hammer. Brian's hammers are the best I have ever seen or used. I love my 2# rounding hammer.

    I really treasure the experience I was able to glean from spending the few weeks he was here with us in Virginia. Being able to participate in making my hammer and just watching and listening to him work gave me a deeper understand of moving material under hammer. Spend as much time as possible around Brian...He is the very best in my opinion.

    I need to get me another hammer...a cross pein like my boss's. I just need to save up some cash and/or make up a holiday! HA!!

    I am also looking forward to South Dakota this July to hang out around him again at the ABANA Conference.


  12. Here is a link to the info on the conference for anyone interested.

    Call the ABANA Central Office and talk to JoAnn if you have any questions on it. I have been there once already in the fall and toured the site. It is a cool location...a little bit our of the way, but is a prime spot for a family vacation.

    You can save a little cash by camping on site. The college next door is offering up dorm rooms and meal plans to that could save you some coin.


  13. BP

    After seeing a few pass thru examples in print and in person I decided to play around with it and into an idea I have been kicking around. It is 1/2" round with a 3/4" split and drifted hole. The leaf was made after passing the nub through the hole. Tenoned on the end to go into the round plate disc I beat up and slightly domed.

    I wanted the hole to look somewhat like a hollow in a tree...It still needs to be refined, but is a start.

    The best thing about it is the base for me. I lightly hit it with a 4 1/2" grinder to highlight the high spots. With a coat of clear spray paint it turned out okay.

    Not sure what to do with this "element"...but, I do like the idea and lines of it. Maybe in the future something functional can come of it...This one ended up in Iron in the Hat.

    Ideas and criticisms are always welcome...





  14. This is a Unity candle I made for my kid sister's wedding this past June. The cross is 1" square and the four parts are attached with angle iron pieces with rivets. A 1/4" round bar is tied in a knot placed in the middle(for her tying the knot...haha). It is about 15'' tall. base is about 8"x11" I think. Everything is riveted, tenoned, or screwed together(the candle cups). They were happy with the outcome and so was I.

    I had a lot of help with making it all come together from "yesteryearforge". I am lucky to have a good hand to siphon my hallucinations into finished items. And to remind me that no matter the project it is all a bunch of small steps.

    Hoping to get into the forge soon to practice some more...





  15. Next Meeting
    Date & Time: April 23rd 9:30am - 4:30pm
    Demonstrator: Jim Cooper

    Demo Topic: Working Copper and the fundamentals of Inlay
    Lunch: Hot Dogs, Chips, drink, etc. for purchase or you can brown bag it!

    IRON IN THE HAT: Bring an item or two and buy a few tickets to try and win some of the other things on the table! Remember the more tickets you buy the better luck you will have!!!

    There is always room for you to bring something to Show & Tell. We encourage you to bring a few things to show off...sometimes we can learn just as much from these items as the demo!

    All are welcome! For directions go to: http://www.blacksmithguildofva.com
    Or just contact me.
    Peyton Anderson 434-390-6203 [email protected]

    For the Latest Guild News visit and JOIN our Blog: http://bgvablog.blogspot.com/

    Visit our Special Events page: http://bgvaevents.webs.com/


  16. Next Meeting Information

    May 15th 2010 9:30am-4:30pm

    Yesteryear School of Blacksmithing
    15421 Five Forks Rd
    Amelia VA 23002

    Do not forget about Iron in the Hat!!! This is how we fund this guild and keep it going!

    There will also be a Show & Tell area to bring any recent works you have and want to show off.

    Demonstrator: JIM COOPER
    Jim is a professional smith who has a formal art degree and training for the National Ornamental Metal Museum. He was also the resident smith there for a while. He has done large....I mean HUGE art pieces. Some of his work is in the Member Gallery: http://www.blacksmithguildofva.com


    Bigger image click here: http://www.blacksmithguildofva.com/displayitem.php?item=3119&linkdesc=photo by: Jerry Jones&catid=166


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