Ridgewayforge

What have you been given?

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I'm sure most of you have been given something (or many things!) free or almost free throughout the years, just becuase someone heard you were a smith. Let's hear about it!
I know for me last night I was given a knife blank of Damascus steel by a man who had heard I did some forging. Even though I don't make knives (yet), That kind of generosity is great to see!

So, what've you been given, either by random people, friends or mentors, "just becuase you're a 'smith"?

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Just talked to my uncle last night, his friend use to do some blacksmithing years ago and said I could have all his stuff, Not sure exactly what is there other than he used to try to make swords and my uncle tried explaining to me that he had a cool old hand crank blower thing, he didn't know if that's what it was called. So I know he has a blower at least and who knows what else, I should know in the next month or so when my uncle brings it down.

Keeping my fingers crossed for an anvil, they live out in the old farm land boonies so who knows what he may have found.

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Be sure and thank those that have provided you with gifts. A sincere THANK YOU and a firm handshake will only partically express your gratitude. You should follow it up with some thing, item, or project made using the gift.

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Yes, that is very important, I like to give things back to the people that have given me anything, be it Items or Information I always try to show my appreciation. Blacksmithing makes the greatest gifts as well, most people have never even known a blacksmith let alone had something made for them by one, so even the smallest piece can be very cool.

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My good friend gave me a 167lb peter wright anvil when I first started. He then gave me a 75lb unmarked anvil and a 4in postvise. I have made him a knife a tomahawk and a coat hook with a longhorn steerhead on the top. I always have friends dropping of materal, old tools, horseshoes. An other friend stopped by and saw my 1910 champion post drill i had just restored. Next time he showed up with a set of drill bits for the post drill. I will often come home to find a box of old wrenches or hammer heads sitting by the shop door. I have alot of good people helping me support my smithing habit. I always try to get something I made back to them.

I tend to work with my shop doors open (weather permiting) and will often have people walking through the neighborhood show up to see what I'm doing. I try to give back by always taking time to explain what I'm doing. Always trying to fan the flame of interest in others.

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When I first stared out I was friended by a old blacksmith by the name of John Thames form Alabama who retired here. One day he brought a post vise with worn and chiped jaws and asked me if I could weld it up for him. So I TIG welded it and wire wheeled it and gave it a coat of oil. When he came to pick it up I would take no money for it. So later that day he returned with another post vise, basically a clump of rust and gave it to me as he saw I still did not have one. So I fixed that one and still have it today. Over the next few years He would bring me a post drill, and a old Marvel power hack saw. and buckets of coal. He worked with me and taught me alot. The most important is how to be a friend and to give from the heart without expecting something in return. I miss his friendship alot. May he rest in peace.

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I had a good friend that gave me chunks of tool steel, Tongs, hammers, even an brand new anvil with my name cast in the side of it. But by far the most important thing he gave me was the gift of knowlege not only from himsefl but gave me the chance to work with and learn from some of the greatest smiths and people on the earth. I miss my friend every day since he has passed so in his honor I try to pass on all of the things he helped me learn. Rest in peace Tom Clark.

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Chris Ray had given me a gas saver. A wonderful addition to any shop, but the most valuable thing I've been given from others is knowledge. ANd from so many I won't even start a list of who they are or were. Thanks to them all!

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I guess my biggest gift is from the Good Lord above , I new lease on life as i have just Beat lung Cancer after 18 months . I lost the left lower lobe of my lung However I am alive and cancer free . for that I am very thankful to the good Lord above

Sam

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I have been given so many things throughout the years by people when they hear I am a smith, and like all the rest I try too give back to those who have given to me. I think one of my favorites was a 108lb peter wright anvil and lead smelting pot from a friend of my sisters. They got a candle holder in return wheic was not enough but then they moved away and we lost touch with them.
Like so many have said already here the best gifts I have been given were from other smiths and a couple here on the this post and site.
Thanks to all and God bless you everyone.

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I was offered the oportunity to operate/run a blacksmith shop.........just for the asking. Seriously.

It is owned by the Ohio Historical Society. I stepped up. Others didn't.

This is my playground. It never hurts to ask. You just never know what you'll receive!

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Very cool, most you have gotten loads of good stuff. so far I have gotten both my Post vises given to me. plus the anvil (stake thing) that I have. for all the tools I have very few haven't been purchased.

oh yeah, I almost forgot. I asked my Dad for some of my Grand Pa's tools. he sent me one wore out hammer with about an 8" handle. knowing my Grand pa it was his favorite. he was a roof builder for the Clipper Brick company. every month or so the roofs would burn off over the kilns and he would rebuild them. he did that for 30 years.

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What have I been given?

The anvil I use was given to me (free) by a friend at work.

The stump the anvil sits on is a lovely hunk of walnut that came down in a storm. One of my daughter's friend knew I wanted a stump and had a piece cut to the height I requested when she was having the tree dismantled.

The owner of the fencing academy gives me broken foils, epees and sabres - which I've turned into any number of things.

A gentleman at church gave me a trove of steel that I'm still working my way through.

Then there's all of you - I've learned so much here, for free.

Truly, I am blessed.

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I consider the greatest gifts to be the stories given to me by old smiths talking about the days when they were *young* smiths. These insights on the world of times past far outweigh other things I have been given like anvils, postvises, etc

Another great gift was a pile of old metallurgical books given to me by a father of a friend who knew he had incurable cancer and wanted his old working books to go to someone who would use them and appreciate them!

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I first received four coil springs. They just showed up. Not sure from where. Thanks? Whoever? This was a great addition to my re-bar which was about all I had at the time.

A buddy of mine (Dan) had bought some property. There was a lot of "Junk" on this property. I picked it over and came home with a small load of "treaure". Thanks Dan.

Old N Rusty invited me to open shop in Baton Rouge. First time I ever used a power hammer (100#). That thing scares me! Thanks Danny!

My HR guy here at work brought me the brake pedal off his Chevy. :blink: Thanks Robin?

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Don't be afraid! Come back and play with the L.G.!! Nobody comes to Open Forge, thereby denying me the warm cuddly feeling of GIVING things to the deserving. In my career as a blacksmith, I have been given MANY things, been helped in many ways, it is PAYBACK TIME! Y'all come!

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I've been given a few things over the years........But the very FIRST... and one of the more memorable.......was a small French patterned hammer..........from Bill Gichner, when I was first starting out in my blacksmithing career.

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Chris Ray had given me a gas saver. A wonderful addition to any shop, but the most valuable thing I've been given from others is knowledge. ANd from so many I won't even start a list of who they are or were. Thanks to them all!


Chris gave me a lot, starting with friendship for a guy who poked into a conversation he was having with someone else. Chris and I were kindred spirits and connected in a number of ways, some just weird. I was diagnosed with type II diabetes at almost exactly the time and day he passed away. I sure wish I'd had the chance to meet him.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I can't begin to count the gifts I've been given. There's the god given gift of a basic talent for hands on and a desire to learn things. There's what Mother and Dad taught me, in part a feel for metal, Dad's idea of baby sitting was to plant me on the ways of his spinning lathe behind the tail stock where I got to play race car with the adjustment wheel so long as I didn't turn it past the free play. Mother taught me honesty, respect, humor and courage. On and on it goes. People have been giving to me all my life so I give back or as R.A Heinlein said, paying it forward. I enjoy sharing what I know, makes me feel good.

Frosty The Lucky.

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thanks to all who have contributed to this site and given me information and inspiration. Mike Tanner gave my son and I a 176# anvil to start our blacksmithing adventure. Thanks again Mike.

Eric

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after hearing that I was a smith at a neighborhood bonfire, my new neighbor gave me a dozen (real) used horseshoes.

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Beside the knowledge imparted to me by my mentor Ike Doss he gave me a pair of tongs and said someday you will figure out how to use these.:) The second thing I was gifted was a Champion Lancaster hand crank blower, when a friend found out I was building a coal forge. That blower is still going strong after 30+ years.

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My anvil was a 15th birthday present from my parents. Both my kids are now older than I was when I got it.

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I bought all of my smithing gear, but at prices not seen today $1 a pound or less for anvils, $3-$5 for tongs, as well as top and bottom tools, etc..

My friend who is getting started was recently given some anvils when a bladesmith friend passed away. One is a big Fisher sawyer's anvil. He was offered a swage block but never went back to pick it up.

 

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