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I Forge Iron

A New Blacksmith From NC

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Hey Guys, my name is Luke and I'm 18 years old. I recently took a blacksmithing class at the John Campbell folk school to see if I might like to pursue blacksmithing as a career and sure enough I fell in love with the craft! Anyways I've been setting up my own shop and I'm just about ready to start working and I decided that it would be a good idea to get into a forum to glean some wisdom from other smiths.

I also thought I'd take this opportunity to show you guys a bit of what I made so far.
This is a backscratcher... Everyone else was making fire pokers and I don't have a fireplace so this was my way around that.
My first pair of tongs. They were made from 1/2" square.
Just a little leaf key chain.
A steel ball. Supposedly in all my teacher's years of blacksmithing he'd never seen anyone make a steel ball. Haha.
A hook made from 3/8" round. I'll probably be one of those smiths that starts with round if they want square and square if they want round.

And finally a picture of my anvil, which I obviously didn't make.

And a couple of videos that show what I did to the anvil and what my forge looks like.

I just pulled this from the description of the video of what I did to my anvil.
"This is a hand forged anvil (evidenced mouse holes) that's probably around 100 years old (I really have no earthly idea) and weighs roughly 200 pounds (also a guess as we don't have a scale). It was given to me by someone that was moving away and wanted the anvil to find a home with someone that would use it. She had gotten it from her parents who had found it in a barn they bought back in 1952 in upstate NY by the Hudson River.

When I got it it was really rough looking and it was clear that it was abused by previous owners. There were chisel marks on the face of the anvil/around the horn and there was paint on the face of the anvil and some spray paint on the side which I removed with a wire brush.

This is the process I underwent for removing the paint on the face of the anvil...
I ground off all the paint that was on the face and horn of the anvil. This revealed tons of deep scratches, dings and marks. I then continued to grind the surface until it was nearly completely smooth but some stuff was just too deep to really effectively remove without creating more trouble. After I did that I took a belt grinder to it using 40 grit sandpaper to remove a little bit more material and the circular grinding marks. Once I was satisfied I switched to 120 grit and went back over the whole thing. "

I apologize if there are too many pictures, I just like sharing. Thanks for reading!

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Hi Luke,
Welcome to the forum. Being in NC you have some good smiths in your state. And the state above you...I am in Virginia.

Here are a few links that may help:
These guys are an Affiliate of ABANA and have a few sub groups throughout the state.
NCABANA: http://www.ncabana.org/

We have a fe NC guys come up here for our meetings too...you are welcome anytime.
We meet at the Yesteryear School of Blacksmithing for each meeting.

I hope to maybe see you at an event or two one of these days...

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You should try to show up at the first quarter meeting for NC-ABANA. It's taking place on March 20th. Everyone is always welcome. Here's the announcement that was sent out:
NC ABANA Members,

As usual, I am a little late with the newsletter (about 2 weeks) so you all may not receive it in time to hear about the First Quarter Chapter Meeting.

The meeting will be at Dean Curfman's shop in Morganton, NC, on Saturday, March 20 at 9:00 AM. Doug Merkel and Anderson Phillips will be demonstrating.

Thanks and see you on the 20th.

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Thanks for the replies guys. Unfortunately being in Oriental it would take me around 7 hours drive to get to either of the meetings y'all suggested. I will be joining the NC ABANA however and there's a regional group based in Wilmington so I'll try to get to that meeting.

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