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billp

A Civil War pricing question

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My double lung bellows was repaired one time in 20 years and it was getting towards time to work on it some more when I gave it away.

What was your construction that it needed so much work? Shoot mine still had it's original treated canvas "leathers" still good even after being stored outside over the winter a couple of times.

well my portable forge is as light as i can make it .it sits in my trailer all year and i do a number of rondezvous "in the middle of nowhere" with washboard dirt roads beating things up . ime on the road all summer and it gets used hard . in a shop hung from rafters they would probably last a long time!tried to add picture but no go will try later

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I understand petere76 that's why I'm not looking to go into this to make big or even small money if I break even it's a plus. As for re-enacting events I'm just doing it for the heck of it something different then what I have been doing. In the past I may have gone as a doctor but may have ended up in artillery, or infantry even tried calvary once but the horse didn't approve. The events I'm looking to doing are local around friends I have known for a while. They may buy a few things but not counting on it. I'm looking at this more as a way of introducing myself as a blacksmith and maybe (big maybe) starting to build a name for myself showing what I can do and maybe build a small business that way making custom items. The same with doing local craft fairs and festivals. As I'm looking to make things that can be used at home as well as in camp such as the fireplace sets like you mentioned, racks for coats or pots, BBQ sets, whatever. I'm even looking into doing something with crosses, bracelets, what-nots and curios. It's my hope as my skill grows maybe being more artistic in what I make. I was a bit artistic as a younger man maybe I can resurrect a bit of that and do it again.
All I know is I love what I do and just want to do more and be known as a blacksmith. After being a Teamster then an EMT being know as a blacksmith would make me just as proud if not prouder, knowing I left something behind still being used by someone else how ever long they last.
BillP

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Bill,

As a suggestion for product exposure. Seek out local organizations that have auctions to raise funding. Offer to donate an item such as a fireplace poker or a coat rack. Any item that is usable in your area of the country and would be well recieved as a gift. Make sure you offer only the finest HQ work for the auction. The quality of the product will speak for itself and the folks that buy at silent auctions will become your advertising. This technique has worked well for several up and coming smiths that I have known. Additioanlly, this technique gets you next to the clients that are interested in and can afford commision work.

Good luck my friend.
Peter

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Thanks Peter I'll be sure and do just that thanks again for the great idea.
Bill

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Bill I will not tell you what things can sell for but I will tell that to have the most fun at a show like that I would only take money if they did not have something to trade. just think S hook 3 eggs fire poker tow beers candle holder for a massage now your have fun. and hay that is why your doing it . and that would be more in line with how a blacksmith would have been payed back in the day.just a thought

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...just think S hook 3 eggs fire poker two beers candle holder for a massage...

That is a really great idea. It sounds like a lot of fun.

I also made up some requisition forms that require a justification, and signatures of their Sargent and their commanding officer testifying that they could not acquire the object from a sutler, in case I feel like using the forms. :D

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That really is a great idea I'll have to try that in April at an event close to home.

You made me remember once I did a big event in Missouri portraying an early war battle fought there. There were three guys at this event with Native American hair cuts dress as white traders portraying Cherokee Guard with one leading a chicken around on a rope. I asked my first Sargent and he said they had been going around trying to trade the chicken for other types of food. If they had no luck they would end up eating the chicken. Don't know how it came out but they were the most realistic re-enactors at this event and got my respect.
And yes I'll take confederate money any day as it's worth more then the dollar today.
Funny how things turn out.
BillP

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