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I Forge Iron

In the new year I resolve to improve my blacksmithing by:

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I just plan to spend more time at the forge.....Hopefully.


Same. I'm just beginning and getting after it on a regular basis would be great. It's too cold here for me to re-arrange my garage to facilitate taking all of the gear out and putting it back in... plus it's hunting season for a couple more weeks. I'm hoping for a warm spell sometime before March to get things moved around and organized.
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By striving to increase/ improve my scraphounding abilities and number of sorties dedicated to specifically hunting for new sources of free iron (I always do keep a weather eye out wherever I am going...)and putting to use the digital camera Santa dropped down my chimney.
One of those newfangled contrapations I know nothing about, but I'm looking forward to putting some mileage on it. Dang twentieth century is sneaking up on me, like it or not...

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I resolve to start 500 projects and finish 250

this years goals so far

finish aluminum gate project
finish bed project
finish spire table
Convert aluminum truck bed into a dumper

mine personally

build my hammer base and get it fully setup (working 3 jobs killed me for awhile)
Design and Build my chopper
Finish 8 foot tall Vase holders (for mom)
Keep improving my practical math skills
Build a Yoder style powerhammer

come up with some amazing designs for interesting projects
some geometrical type projects based on islamic geometry, art deco,
and alot of free flowing type designs

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To get a roof and walls built around my smithy, as cost efficiently as possible!

Being happier with what tools I have, because a better blacksmith can do much more with much less.

To become proficient at forge-welding, because not being able to do so is holding me back.

Include my 4 year old daughter in what I am doing in the smithy. You never know....some of you might buy an autographed picture of her at the anvil someday.

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Getting my youngest son(mid 20`s)into the craft.That way I`ll have someone to push me.

While Joe was up for the holidays he kept talking about a bladesmith who sells thru the shop he works at.Seems he`s quite taken with his custom work.I reminded him of the do it yourself approach to getting what you want and was surprised to find him open to the idea.
We pulled and reworked old hammer heads he liked and rehandled them to fit him using local wood,buffed up some tools I had doubles of and even roughed out an anvil from some heavy rail I had out in the yard.I`ve since found a small electric blower that will work well on a brake drum forge and will bring that and the other prefabbed forge parts down to PA when I deliver the anvil.
With any luck SWMBO won`t have to worry about selling all the tools when I finally decide to cross over.

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As for blacksmithing my goals are;

Attend another blacksmithing coarse in Edmonton
Spend some more time behind the hammer
Im tempted to look into an art coarse at the local college too
to get my creative side working some more

I've got a few projects for around the house that will be good practice for me

I'm building a stair railing for staircase going the loft
coat hooks for the entrance porch
a fire tool set for the fireplace

For the shop I got a lot to do to get it up to snuff

I need to build a nice heavy work bench
I need to finish building my homemade air compressor
Build a slip rollar
Build a rotary tumbler
build a hydraulic press
start on my cnc plasma build


I want to look into developing a product line that will challenge me to hone my forging skills
and produce somethings that I might be able to sell at a farmers market or something.

all this to get done after working 12hour days. I really hope I can stay motivated.

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Practice, Practice, & more Practice. I received several books on blacksmithing and metal work for Christmas, along with the Hofi DVD on moving metal. I've read most of them at least twice now, so time with the forge and hammer seems to be where to focus my efforts. I also plan to attend meetings of the Mississippi Forge Council to network and learn new skills.


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I think that my craftsmanship and creativity is developing on its own as time progresses and I force myself to do it correctly without cutting corners. For me the most important resolution is to take time to appreciate and get to know my fellow smithies.

I can learn so much more from my fellow smiths than I can on my own, and it is not just about the craft. I am fortunate to be in the company of some fine individuals and I want to know them personally aside from our craft. These are people who amount to more than the average person I have been accustomed to being around.

Always strive to be like someone who is better than myself.

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