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New River Forge Council April Meeting

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The monthly meeting of the New River Forge Council
will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Thursday
April 28th, 2011 at Eugene Ratliff’s Shop in Oak Hill, WV
(304) 640-0304. Feel free to come out and have a good
time. See attached directions on February 2011 meeting reminder.

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  • 6 years later...
1 hour ago, Jo Frost said:

My son isn’t very interested. What should I do to prepare him to bring him to a meeting?

You did see that this post was from back in 2011, right?  I'd check to see if they are still having meeting and whether they moved.

Is this a typo?  If not I wouldn't force anyone to attend a meeting...

On the other hand if you mean he is interested there are any number of things you can do to prepare him, to some extent depending on his age and previous skill set.  I don't know about he New River Forge Council, specifically, but every blacksmith meeting I've ever attended has had a "green coal" style section where novice smiths can get a chance to try things out under the general tutelage of a more experienced member.  In many cases this will be age and ability determinate.  I expect the follow typical rules and recommendations will hold:

  1. Wearing proper personnel protection (PPE): including natural fabrics, heavy leather shoes/boots, eye and ear protection (many shops have extras of the last two, but if he has safety glasses of his own, I would certainly bring them).
  2. Direct parent supervision and signing of various release forms if your boy is under a certain age (different for each shop, but blacksmith meetings are not day care for younger children)
  3. Get him to view some of the better traditional you-tube smiths to learn about technique: Brazeal, Aspery, Ross...
  4. Make sure his expectations are reasonable: tapers, twists and hooks for a first session rather than breaking right out with pattern welded Viking swords
  5. Practice hammer control before the meeting if expecting to forge: get a box of 16 penny nails, a 4 x 4 and a 2#, wood handled, engineers hammer.  Set the 4 x 4 at a reasonable anvil height (see other posts regarding this).  Drive all the nails into the wood, striving to strike the nail head with the center of the hammer face.  Read up on good form for hammering and holding the hammer.
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