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I Forge Iron

North Carolina Newbie

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My name is Jay and I live in a small town in western NC. I have a wife and three kids.

I have absolutely zero experience with blacksmithing, but the art has fascinated me since I was a kid. I cannot go to the fair, Dollywood, or any of the historic local attractions without getting stuck in front of the blacksmithing shed.

So I have finally taken the bait. After searching around the library and the web, I found this site. It has been an extremely helpful resource. Glenn and anyone else involved with maintaining the "I Forge Iron" site should be very proud. We owe them a debt.

Now, I said that I have no blacksmithing experience, but I do have a fair amount of metalworking experience. My living has been earned for the last eleven years at a roller bearing manufacturing plant. We do everything but make the steel. Turning, milling, drilling, heat treating, grinding, cussing; the whole nine yards. I am currently the third shift supervisor of the machining dept. They have been very supportive of my little blacksmithing venture, allowing me to carry off barrels and scrap steel, as well as utilizing our machinery or welding dept. to create whatever I want. My boss is as intrigued by my little project as I am and wishes to see if there may be any way a smith's skills can positively benefit the company. We are betting that it can.

So, gathering up these resources and studying the BP and Lessons sections, I have built a Supercharged 55 forge. I am merely finishing final details and tracking down a blower. Then I'm gonna start taking out my frustrations on innocent little scraps of red hot steel.

A note about my online name. The name Bottomgottem stems from the fact that I also work part-time as a musician. Specifically, I'm a bass player for several different groups. During our shows, the singer or front-man usually introduces the rest of the band. When he gets around to me, he uses the line, "...and on the bottom we got 'em. Bass in your face." At this point I let fly with a blistering and overly impressive little bass run that usually no one pays attention to because, well, I'm the bass player. Oh, well.

I want to take this opportunity to thank both Glenn and Richard Thibeau for being so much help, Irnsrgn and Hofi for intimidating me half to death, and everyone else for listening to and answering my annoying newbie questions.


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Welcome Jay. I live on the other side of the mountain (TN), just beyond Dollywood.

Have you made contact with the Western North Carolina Blacksmiths yet?

www.blacksmithsdepot.com-WNC Blacksmiths

Sounds like a good outfit. I wish I was just a little closer. I have to go abour 2 hours in either direction to hook up with a good group.

What are you doing for coal? I've heard that Grace Fuels in Asheville has bituminous coal, but I've never confirmed it. I'd like to find somebody that know for sure before I drive my old truck over the mountain. 'Course Kayne's has some dandy coal. Can't go wrong there.

Get to hammerin',


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Welcome Bottomgottem,
Your reference to the Blacksmith at Dollywood caught my attention.
My wife and I have made 3 trips to Pigeon forge & Gatlineburg Tn. over the last 2 years. We of course made the stop at Dollywood, little did I realize they had a Blacksmith and Casting shop there. My wife now jokes "Thought it would be Dolly you would be looking up"!!! Nice as that would be,;) I returned every chance to the Smithy, And like a kid in the candy store get stuck there. Friends and family just leave me and return later to collect me. I would stay so long and ask so many questions The smith himself got to explaining and teaching me how each bend, hot cut, punch, slit and weld was done and then jokingly look over and ask if I was getting it or should he demonstrate it again!:D He is a very gracious gentlemen and the shop is incredible. Hope you get to spend some more time there.
This was a simple Welcome that rambled on, Sorry.
So Welcome again, Lots of the same great folks here too, Enjoy!

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Hey Bottomgottem,
welcome to the club. Sounds like you have a small jackpot of a job site. My wife would choke if I started bringing home more metal junk than I do already.

oh, and congrats on the three kids. if the average number is two, you're above average

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Sounds like you have a small jackpot of a job site. My wife would choke if I started bringing home more metal junk than I do already.

We scrap several tons of 52100 per week. Most of it in the form of small chips; some not.

My mom also thinks that I'm above average.;)
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Welcome Bottomgottem from just north of Raleigh! I can sympathize with getting stuck at the blacksmith sheds in various places. I do it at the state fair, at the renfaire, at Jamestown Settlement in VA, about anywhere I go. The wife and kids just say, "Um we're going to look at . . . " I say okay, but then forget where they said they are going because I wasn't really listening :( . Glad to have you aboard!

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