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I Forge Iron

MacLeod

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About MacLeod

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Outer Hebrides Scotland (Isle of Lewis)

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417 profile views
  1. Jeez Frosty, they tell me 60 is the new 30 these days. And anyway, look at your peers on here judging by the amount of anvils and power hammers he has, Thomas Powers must be around a hundred and twelve by now and he’s still rummaging for more! Not a woman in Scotland that wouldn’t blush at Aly Bain winking at them over his fiddle. Amazing stats on the ifi membership Frosty, certainly for me it’s a great well of knowledge. The closest thing I can get now to an experienced smith looking over my shoulder.
  2. jhcc I reckon you’d be a ‘good man to have on the boat’. The depth of knowledge of all the curmudgeons and everyone else on this site, the willingness to share it and and the encouraging of others in the art continues to make me smile every time I have a poke about. I saw a conversation even about septic tanks that had my attention a few weeks ago. This is one of the times where the bh doesn’t make a v sound, it’s more silent or with a W sound so “an goh ah” would be closer. Throughout the west coast of Scotland it’s not only peat irons that differ from island to island, Gaelic pronunciation does too, so maybe different in the inner Hebrides, but they don’t eat the Guga either. Glad you liked the video, this video is a credit to its maker as he did a great job of capturing ‘steallag’s personality and the atmosphere of the forge and the humour of the Hebrides. A lasting memorial to the man and his father. if any of you ever visit the Outer Hebrides, you can see the door from their old forge (a glimpse of which was in the video) in the museum in Stornoway. It is covered in brand marks of initials and addresses of customers from bygone years. If you visit me, I’ll pour you a dram. Slainte! We posted at the same time! Lunchtime! Your tushkar and my tarisgear sound very similar. Many of the villages here have old Norse names, ending in bost, wick, etc. we speak the same music too!
  3. That is a cracker. Bit like the peat irons I’ve seen on Mull. In the Hebrides we have the handle in two parts, one forming the step for pushing down with your foot. Your cut peat and stack look very neat too, ours are wider and flatter. It’s very interesting to see the differences. I’m strictly propane right now but I have plans... I’ve only seen coal used by our last remaining Blacksmith, sadly no longer remaining, but they did use peat in the past.... Only have these pics to hand, very similar terrain. I’ll be looking to see how you get on with the peat And hopefully learn from your experience!
  4. It just so happens that I’m on one of these treeless islands too. One of my fathers early memories from the 30’s on the Isle of Harris was from when they were building the roads on the east side of harris. A makeshift forge went along with men doing the road. It was used to repoint and harden the metal bars they were using to break the rocks. It was peat that was being burned. As with peat for domestic use, the best was the blackest peat, (fits with no intermixture of Earth from your book?) the more fibrous grassy peat won’t burn for as long or as hot. Lord Leverhulme, the magnate who owned the island for a while had a hare brained scheme to extract gas from peat by heating peat in kettles and storing the gas given off. Did this when I was in school as an experiment and remember being impressed by the flame given off when the gas was ignited. With the epidemic in full swing by April coupled with a burst of good weather, managed to get the peat cut early this year, here’s myself and my son and Tess the sheepdog prospect hard at it. Coincidentally, I felt like a proper Blacksmith for the first time when last month someone asked me to fix their ‘Tarisgear’ (Scottish Gaelic for Peat Iron) this summer! The flat horn on the french anvil was perfect for reshaping the socket. Jonnytait, that extract sounds exactly how to do it. As an added bonus, if you line the pot with rocks, when you remove your charcoaled peat, replace it with a sheep’s carcass and cover it over. 24 hours later you have beautifully cooked lamb. Handy if your catering for a Scottish island wedding!
  5. Thank you! (And thank you also for teaching me how to bend flat bar the hard way the easy way!) did you know your tutelage reaches the Outer Hebrides of Scotland?
  6. Lol JHCC, you have no excuse for overestimating as I can see it’s sold in Quarts over your side of the pond. When I bought some over here it was by weight, so ordered 2kilos thinking it would be as heavy as crushed glass. It’s very light I have enough for everyone!
  7. Thanks Thomas, glad you’re keeping well despite the odd toe fracture. As usual I reckon you’re right and it would look better too. Mind you.... This is a gift for my sister, when my Nieces stub a toe in years to come, on what I hope will become a family heirloom they will surely not forget their uncle!
  8. Sure Billy, There’s no fancy joinery there though. To be honest that was the most stressful part for me, sharpie mark on a flat bit then measured 10 times and drilled socket holes
  9. Hallo everyone, hope you and all your own are well and safe and sound. I made this today, a slab of ash rescued from the firewood pile at the sawmill last year made a nice looking top which I did my best to keep off the ground with my limited hammering skills. Learnt a lot through making mistakes as usual.
  10. Sorry to hear about your back JHCC hope it’s better soon. I slipped a disc a couple of years ago and although I’ve broken over 11 bones before and had splinters up my fingernails and picked up a few bits of hot iron and seen my football team lose hundreds of times I have never had pain like it. I have good news and bad news. Remember all these hardy Hole tools that followed me home a few weeks ago that I didn’t have a hardy hole for because my french anvil has a silly slanty one(and then Frosty sighed and said ‘leg vice ‘)? Well, the good news is ‘Anvilina’ the old french Anvil, when I moved her earlier, I noticed, she has ANOTHER hardy hole!!! and it fits every one of the hardy tools I got!! Bad news? Oh yeah, it’s on the bottom of the anvil. Born lucky me. Back to the leg vice then.
  11. If Jetta knew what my cap said on it, I don’t think she would be happy to wear it. She doesn’t dislike them she just doesn’t understand why they don’t want to play.
  12. Billy Bones is a braver man than me. Thomas, you’ve got it good!
  13. Hi Frosty, hope you’re well! the leg vice is at the other end of the workshop (that’s about 6 feet from that one!). Yet again you have pointed out the straightforward, sensible, pragmatic solution that was entirely not obvious to me! I’m gonna use the leg vise. Goodness only knows how long I would have spent fixing yet another problem I didn’t have. That’s another dram I owe you!
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