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I Forge Iron

It's good to be a blacksmith when...


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My brother is an avid hunter. One day he came over looking for some eye bolts to use putting up a deer stand. After looking around my shop for awhile he asked me why a blacksmith doesnt keep eye bolts on hand. I told him I did, all he had to do was pick out the size threaded rod he needed from my stock and I'd make him the size and length he needed.
Read my signature.
And the official name of my shop is DoDabber Forge and yeah-but shop, cause everytime a friend or family member comes to me and ask me if I can fix or make something for them, my answer is "yeah, but it'll take me..."

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At the hunting camp this winter a friend made the comment we needed a fire poker. I went home that after noon and whipped one out. I handed it to him the next morning and his reply startled me. "It needed to be longer with a hook on the end!!!" and as a good friend that I am I replied, "You know where I hide the key to the shop.....I'm going hunting!!!" My fire poker is doing a swell job.......

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Needed a scoop. Didn't have a scoop. Had a 5/8" square of mild steel a couple feet long. Half an hour later had a scoop and some nail-in hooks.

Needed a gate latch the hound couldn't operate. Made a gate latch and some key-chain fobs.

Needed a doggie barrier for the van.

Needed a lid-lifter for the dutch oven and a tripod for the fire-pit.

Needed... oh, you get the idea. Hammer On!! B)

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I'm part of a "medieval recreation" group and take a forge to events. I greatly enjoy folks coming up to me in a dither needing something special and being able to create it on the spot---especially for cooks as they tend to "tip" in food...Like one event when a cook wanted to cook something on spits in front of a beehive oven door, so I made a special set of spit holders that would stand to either side of the door and then made the spits to fit them. They are now a standard part of the oven equipment.

Or when I wanted my wife to be able to turn off the water to the house as we were having plumbing issues; so a forged a turn off "wrench" with a 4" handle so she didn't have to grub down in the water meter hole to do the job.

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Being able to make stuff that was needed immediately in the 2008 earthquake was great. Tent pegs to go into concrete, crowbars to lift debris and keys to switch on fire hydrants so people could get water.

A less important but very satisfying job here is being able to fix tools, barrows etc. for people who could never afford to have them fixed properly. Also redressing and regrinding tools.

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A less important but very satisfying job here is being able to fix tools, barrows etc. for people who could never afford to have them fixed properly.


How much extra would you charge to fix them properly then? or would you like to rephrase that 'cos I believe what you wrote is not what you meant.

I would go with just helping others because you can

I am an exile from Yorkshire because I don't adhere to the Yorkshire saying "If tha does owt for nowt, do it for thissen" (Ian will translate if necessary)
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It's good to be a blacksmith when....'
It's 12 degrees outside with snow blowing sideways, and the inside of the forge is warm enough to crack the door to let some cool air in! And when the neighbors all want you to come to their special events and demo, and usually you get goodies to boot!!
And last but not least.. when you recognize that before you started smithing, there was a large space unfulfilled in your existence that now no longer echoes around in your soul!!

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It's good to be a blacksmith when you get tail ended in a pile up and the only vehicle that really got damaged was yours and you can fix it. Re-straightening the bumper brackets for my ford ranger was a true moment of realization of how useful an anvil really is. As long as I'm healthy enough to swing a hammer, I will always own an anvil. Even if I don't own a forge. Spears.

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My youngest daughter once backed my truck into a post, one of her many talents, I made her help me as we took off the bumper and it's supports and used the screwpress to flatten the supports and then straighten the bumper and then had her help me re-install it. Much more of a learning experiment than just having her pay a shop to do it!

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Old n Rusty---it starts out that way; but soon gets to the "It's ok but I want it: lighter, with a different center of gravity, 2 left hand bends and the whole thing painted jonquil----get out to the shop and *do* *it*!

My wife figured out that *custom* means *custom* pretty fast!

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It`s good to be a blacksmith when...

You come home and find several hundred dollars worth of metal related things(like bronze prop shafts) that one of your friends/customers left in the driveway because they knew you`d know what to do with it.

There`s venison steaks, fish fillets,several lobsters or a bucket of clams or shrimp left in the shop fridge or a pie/cake/corbread on the bench and you have no idea who to thank for it.

You were dreading having to mow the lawn when you got home and it`s mowed,trimmed and edged when you get there and it`s obvious it wasn`t your mower that did it.

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