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I Forge Iron

Best tool maker


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Some of his tools classify as artistic peices as well. They're both functional and beautiful. Thanks for the site. I'm saving that one for sure. Some of those hammers are too pretty to use as a hammer. I'd have to wear a tuxedo while forging.

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I don't know think he is still teaching but for tools Clifton Ralph would be someone who would be great to learn from. Steive Parker makes some of the nicest tongs and makes nice bick irons.

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Clay Spencer has a nice power hammer tool class. Look at the A.F.C. website and down load his collection of pic. and description on how to build.


I couldn't find a thing on the Asian Food Channel. ;) Do you have a link slowpoke?
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Clifton Ralph and Stevie Parker noted. Clay Spencer of the American Football Conference? :D Or Clay Spencer of the New England School of Metalwork. All three good choices but the football player and Asian Food Channel guy aren't currently teaching. :D

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Best tool maker, teacher etc.? How long is wet string?
Mark Aspery,Brian Brazeal etc. are obvious choices, The late Grant Sarver would not imediately spring to mind as he did not teach in the formal sence yet he was a prolific maker of good tools and you could bet your last biscutt that a lot of experienced guys learnt a thing or two from him.

I would like to mention 2 guys here: one is Ken Mermelstein from Stumptown Forge who makes awsome ergonomic hammers and based on my observations a really dilligent teacher! And the second would be John Emmerling from Gearhart who makes Air-hammers and the like, John I can attest, is an awsome teacher. Sadly John taught me how to make Damascus and now I'm infected(Thanks John) B)

These two are worlds apart in what they make and how they teach yet each in his own right is Brilliant, but by comparison ?????????
I'm not sure how you compare strawberries with good single malt?

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Mark Aspery, Brian Brazeal, the now correctly identified Clay Spencer, Mark Mermelstein, John Emmerling, Clifton Ralph, Stevie Parker, and Brent Bailey all noted.

Anyone can make a list of the best and not everyone will agree with all the names on the other's list. Ask for only the best from each person and less people will agree but, make a list from those best no one will disagree.

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Derek Glaser of the New England School of Metal Work. Not only makes excellent tools but teachers others to do the same. Peter Ross, No coincidence that Mark Aspery and Clay Spencer are all frequent fliers at Derek's during the warmer months.

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I mentioned Elmer Roush in another topic for my vote as a quality blacksmith, he is a all round smith in any field, making histrorical pieces/ tools is a speciality that he has perfected. Have a look at his web site and his dragon hammer nice work.

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Mark Aspery, Brent bailey and Peter Ross come to mind..To be honest friend(and Im absolutly not taking anything away from these guys) there are many smiths who can teach you how to make tools just as nice..
Making good hand tools comes down to practice,some very basic heat treating knowledge and the right tools to make tools..

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My personal feelings on this are, make yourself the best tool maker you know. Do dozens of punches, tongs, hardies, any way you know how to. The more you do the better you get. If you want to learn from someone thats fine. Not all of us have that opportunity. I have to learn by doing. Very few people here to learn from. And none within 400 miles at the moment. So, I read study and do the best I can. I have been progressing slowly. Certainly not as quickly as I would like. But I am getting better.

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