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I Forge Iron

Got laid off...good and bad

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I'm an electrician by trade...and just got laid off this last week. So, I've had plenty of time to forge lately.

I've been stopping in at some local stores and have been able to leave some stuff at two stores for consignment. Pretty stoked on that.

Also started a Facebook page; which I've been having some decent results from.

Let me know what you think! Good or bad!


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Looks like you have some original stuff there. If you take advantage of being layed off and forge as much as you can, your hammer control gets better, your knowledge of how the metal moves, gets better and you will get better at everything. I got layed off last December, and have done a fair amount of forging. Some on my own and a lot working with Brian. If you can get some #2 Bare copper wire you will be amazed at how much you can learn from forging that. Do not take it to bright red but you can take it to dull red and forge till it gets shiny or starts sounding metallically, then re-heat. I make rings, bracelets or bangels, key fobs, calla lillies, from copper. You see every hammer mark, you learn to keep it square, it just helps all the way around. If your making presents for family members, donating, or giving away items, it does not matter if it takes you all day or days, to make something. If your making items to sell in order to do this for a living the items need to be made as efficiently as possible so you can make the amount of items in a day that can be sold to bring in the income you need to make. Whether they get sold that day is not the issue, but finding an outlet to sell them will be part of the job. Myself, I like to make lots of smaller items in the 10 dollar to 50 dollar range. Efficiency is the key thing Brian always talks about, there is a good reason for it. Looks like your doing good to me, hope it all works to your advantage. Good Luck.


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Congratulations on getting laid off. What an opportunity. You know the old adage, when one door closes another one opens. Looks like you're already taking advantage of it. Last time I was laid off I made it a goal to create a lot of tooling and a tooling rack for the forging press. It gave me time, with some pay, to get a lot accomplished. Good luck on your new goals in life!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I am in the same boat as Jerry....I quit my job after 20 yrs of structural welding and fabrication...Went and got my business license and now the only idiot i have to listen to is the one i look at in the mirror every morning. I realize i will never get rich and i will never have a big production shop and at times i doubt that my hammer control will ever be as good as Brian Brazeals or Peter Ross' but i can only hope. I have dreams and blacksmithing is a big part of the realization of those dreams. I had been tinkering with blacksmithing for over 20 yrs off and on but now i actually look forward to getting out to the forge everyday to see what new kind of gizmo my vivid imagination can come up with as well as hammering out an old tried and true S hook.. Sales havent been stupendous...but i see loads of room for improvement in where and how my market will grow. Being in the historic city of Richmond Virginia i have tons of options for truely handforged items. Winter is gonna be a test since Xmas is tomorrow and lots of folks disposable income went into some plastic electronic thingy that they just cant live without and will probably not last the year.
Anyways...for those of us whose dreams are filled with coal smoke all i can say is best of luck and live your dreams!!

Keith Hicks
MMM Fab& Forge
Richmond VA

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