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I Forge Iron

Al Stephens

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North Alabama
  • Interests
    Forging, wood, glass, copper, aluminum

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  1. The Athens Forge a member of the Alabama Forge Council will meet Sat. March 23, 2024 at 9AM. The demonstrator for the day will be the winner of the forging contest of a utensil handle made from 24" of 3/8 diameter material. The contest challenge is to forge a handle for a cooking utensil from 24 inches of 3/8-inch round bar. As stated the contest requires only a handle. Of course, if anyone wants to produce a complete utensil from the 24-inch bar, that's a valid entry too. So you can add another piece of steel to make the blade of a spatula, or a ladle, for instance. Or knife-makers can weld in some other steel with the 3/8 round bar. Or use 3/8 round high carbon steel, if you have some. Judging will take place at the March meeting on the fourth Saturday, March 23, 9:00, at Travis Fleming's shop. The March meeting will start with judging the entries and selecting first, second, and third place winners. Any AFC member is welcome to attend the meeting and enter their work in the contest. The first place prize will be $50. Second place will win $25, and third place will win $10. The regular March meeting will begin after the winners are chosen, with a demonstration of the winning entry. That's right, the winner of the contest will be demonstrating his or her winning entry at the March meeting, right after the announcement, so come prepared to demonstrate! Second and third place winners will also be invited – but not required – to demonstrate. There will be an Iron-In-The-Hat raffle, donations welcomed. The Athens Forge uses IITH money to continue to provide tools, material, equipment, and fuel, so that AFC members can have a the things they need to learn more about the craft. Visitors are always welcome. The demo will also be live-streamed at Athens Forge AFC on Youtube. More information its available at www.alaforge.org
  2. Once upon a time, I made my living selling hand forged items. At one point I had active customers in 44 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. Needless to say I had a line of "stock" goods that most customers were able to resell at a profit. Here are some of the lessons I learned. Custom made things were normally used to display or promote others work, I very seldom remade the piece to sell. Custom work ALWAYS takes more time to make, and many times created "shipping" issues. Price it accordingly. Always schedule your work load. You don't do your best work when you are worn out. Don't let a customer decide your work load. If you put one customer's work in front of another's, at what point do you stop? No two customers will ever display your work the same, what sells well at eye level doesn't sell well off the bottom shelf. Set your work standards high, and maintain them. OK, very rarely sells. If you should land a BIG customer, never build your business based on that customer. They will drop your item, just as fast as they started selling them. This was very wise advice I was given and it is TRUE! Living off the "fruit of your labors" can be very rewarding. It can also be very difficult. You must be able to both enjoy the high's, and be able to survive the low's. Good Luck! Al
  3. The Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will have its regular monthly meeting Saturday, April 22, beginning at 9AM. Our demonstrator for the day will be Zeevik Gottlieb, from Israel. Not sure what he will be doing, but sure it will be interesting. You can see examples of his work at Zeevik Gottlieb Art on YouTube. There will be an Iron-In-The-Hat raffle, donations welcomed. The Athens Forge uses IITH money to continue to provide tools, material, equipment, and fuel, so that AFC members can have a the things they need to learn more about the craft. Visitors are always welcome. The demo will also be live-streamed at Athens Forge AFC on Youtube. More information its available at www.athensforge.com NOTE !!! Zeevik will also be conducting a workshop Wednesday - Friday, 4/19-21/23 at Travis Fleming's shop. At this posting there is one spot left open. Cost is $100 +material cost. For information contact Travis Fleming at tcfhd@att.net or, Aston Reynolds at Ashtontr@att.net
  4. The Athens Forge, a chapter of the Alabama Forge Council, will have their regular monthly meeting on Sat. January 23, beginning at 9AM. The demonstrator for the day will be Athens Forge member Steve Alford. He will be doing a pass through trivet. AFC members also know Steve is the editor of the Bituminous Bits, the newsletter of the AFC. There will be an Iron-In-The-Hat raffle, donations welcomed. The Athens Forge uses IITH money to continue to provide tools, material, equipment, and fuel, so that AFC members can have a the things they need to learn more about the craft. Visitors are always welcome. The demo will also be live-streamed at Athens Forge AFC on Youtube. More information its available at www.athensforge.com
  5. Athens Forge a member of the Alabama Forge council, will NOT have it's regular monthly meeting on Sat. December 24,2022. Wishing everyone a safe, warm, and happy holiday season. The 1st. meeting in 2023 will be Sat. Jan.28th, 2023.
  6. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will hold it's regular monthly meeting Saturday Nov.26,2022 beginning at 9AM. Our demonstrator this month will be Athens Forge member Al Stephens. Al will be forging several pizza cutters. There will be an Iron In The Hat drawing Visitors are alway's welcome. For more information see Athens Forge.com. We will also be streaming the demo at AFC Athens Forge on Youtube, starting about 9:15 AM
  7. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will hold it's regular monthly meeting on Sat. Oct.15, 2022 beginning at 9AM. This month will be an open forge time for Athens Forge, and AFC members. This would be a good time to work on the projects needed to qualify to operate the tire hammer. There is a limited amount of material that can be purchased from the forge, so if you need something special, bring it yourself. Tools and forge's are available for members use. Visitors are always welcomed for more info. For more information see Athensforge.com
  8. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will hold it's regular monthly meeting on Sat. Sept. 24,2022 beginning at 9AM. Our demonstrator this month will be Steve Williamson, from Colombia, TN. Steve is a great demonstrator and teacher, so although not sure what he's gonna be doing, we will be able to learn from it. There will be an iron in the hat drawing so bring something for that, you have a full week to work on it. Visitors are alway's welcome. For more information see Athens forge.com. We will also be streaming the demo at AFC Athens Forge on Youtube, starting about 9:15 AM Just a word about the conference, it was great! I don't have a full list of the vendors, so I'll just say Thank You All.The demos were good( I know Travis has already been experimenting with some of the techniques). The Iron in the Hat and auction was VERY GOOD, even if I didn't bring home the tool box! Even the weather cooperated, for the most part. Thanks to all who helped make it a success.
  9. The Alabama Forge Council will hold it's 37th Annual Blacksmithing Conference, Sept. 8-11, 2022 at Tannehill State Park in McCalla, Alabama. Featured demonstrators will be Fred Christ & Poncho Willoughby. The family programs are Rings made from coins with Edd & Donna Harbin, and Green Coal (beginners) Classes. Commercial vendor will include Holland Anvil, Dave Custer Fiery Furnace Forge, Hawkins Knife Supplies and Blue Moon Press. In addition to Iron In The Hat Drawings and Auction there will be a special drawing for a Hand made tool box and tools. Full information can be seen at www.alaforge.org Athens Forge a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will hold its regular monthly meeting on Sat. Aug.27, 2022 beginning at 9AM. This month will be an open forge time for Athens Forge, and AFC members. This would be a good time to make something for the Iron In The Hat at the conference, or something for the tool box, or to work on the projects needed to qualify to operate the tire hammer. Visitors are always welcomed for more info. For more information see Athensforge.com
  10. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council will hold it's next meeting Sat. July,23, 2022 starting at 9Am. Our demonstrator for the day will be Athens Forge member and recent Forged In Fire winner Gary Graham, Season 9 Episode 8. Gary will be demonstrating a twist Damascus blade. We meet at 722 Commercial Dr. Athens AL. There will be an Iron-In-The-Hat drawing. Visitors are always welcome. For more information see Athensforge.com. The demo will also be live streamed at AFC Athens Forge on YouTube starting at 9AM.
  11. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council will hold it's next meeting Sat. July,23, 2022 starting at 9Am. Our demonstrator for the day will be Athens Forge member and recent Forged In Fire winner Gary Graham. We meet at 722 Commercial Dr. Athens AL. There will be an Iron-In-The-Hat drawing. Visitors are always welcome. For more information see Athensforge.com. The demo will also be live streamed at AFC Athens Forge on YouTube
  12. Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council, will meet Sat. May 28, at 9AM CT. Our demonstrator for the day will be Clay Spencer. Clay will be showing different tools to use on a tire hammer. We meet at 722 Commercial Dr. Athens Al. There will be an Iron-in the-hat drawing. Visitors are always welcome. For more information see athensforge.com. The demo will also be live streamed at AFC Athens Forge on YouTube
  13. Hi Randy, thanks for the pictures. If you need to use tongs do they create any problems? Al
  14. The Athens Forge, a member of the Alabama Forge Council will meet Sat. Jan.23 at 9am. We will meet in the new building located at 722 Commercial Dr. Athens AL. This is 2 buildings west of previous shop. You can park at old shop, or anywhere within the fence line of new shop. NOT in front of the Lion's Gym. The demonstrator for the day is our new Forge Master, Calvin Garland. He will be forging a belt ax. IF YOU ARE SICK (FEVER, COUGH, CHILLS, SORE THROAT) PLEASE, DO NOT ATTEND. IF YOU FEEL UNEASY ATTENDING A GROUP MEETING PLEASE, DO NOT ATTEND. Visitors are always welcome. For more info. visit athensforge.com Previous demos may be viewed at AFC Athens Forge on Youtube.
  15. Hi T. Savage I, and I'm sure many others, would also like to see pictures of your set up. I teach some basic blacksmith classes for a site that is connected with a local school district. It would help me to have suggestions on how we might make the classes more ADA compliant. The question has not come up yet, but needs to be considered. Thank You for your post. Al
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