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I Forge Iron

Wish This Were My Full Time Job


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I was asked by Dillon to introduce myself. I am consumed by self-doubt but here it is...


I live in Jax, FL where the winters are only about a month long and it's nice and hot and humid the way I like it.


I've been working with wood for about 20 years. One day someone gave me a free beat to crap scarred anvil...so I built a propane forge and a small coal forge and started banging on metal. Went to the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association (FABA) conference about four years ago (and again this year) and just burned up everyone's ears asking questions. Life changing to me. I can work with metal and lose myself and then around 2pm wonder why I have the shakes and realize I haven't eaten anything since 5am.


My blacksmith skills are not the greatest. I usually forge to complement an element of my metal scultures. That's part of why I came to this website...to learn more. I could cruise this website for hours.


My little company is slow going but I've received some good comments on what I do so far.


Every time I think I am good I look at Robert Noekle or David Ponsler or Jason Pidcock's stuff (or anyone else on here) and think "I am not worthy" :-) It's good inspiration to me to see the high levels of work that other people can do.


I usually put some music on and start to draw on a sheet of metal or stare at some helicopter or car parts and start to put together a sculpture. Sometimes it comes out the way I want it. Sometimes I throw it in the corner and maybe pick it up again months later with new ideas.


My dingo Pinduli guards my tools and chases lizards while I am working.


I've replaced my homemade propane forge with a Diamondback two burner forge after asking the advice from Jeff Olson with Olson Ironworks. It rocks.


I use a simple Hobart Handler MIG welder, a Thermadyne Cutmaster 42 plasma cutter, my Chambersburg 100# hammer, and various other equipment.


I really like to make things that are unique and "weird".


Opening up my workshop in the back and smelling wood and burned metal and old incense calms me as much as skateboarding and surfing.


That's about it.



Jax, FL






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'I really like to make things that are unique and "weird".'


You'll fit right in! 


(My wife has be known to charge my smithing students/apprentice to keep an eye on me and make sure I eat, drink and rest appropriately; especially since I am an insulin dependant diabetic...)


Since you too are in a warm climate:  my favorite summer forge tipple is a can of club soda mixed with a 20 oz bottle of gatoraide.  The fizz and dilution make it ok to drink!  (and I have BIG mugs to drink it from---I like lidded beer steins---keps fly ash, grinding swarf and yellowjackets out of it!)

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Welcome to IFI.  I'd love to see pictures of your work, especially the metal sculptures.  It helps to see what others are doing, though I see so many cool things people have done on this site and rarely have time to actually make my own version.

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Welcome to IFI,


 Ditto on what Dan said. PIctures, we need pictures for what good is art if we can't see it.


I too wish this were my full time job but alas, I like to eat and I entered into blacksmithing too late in the game to establish myself and hone my skills. This is not to say that one day I can't make it my full time job. Just not right yet.


Keep on keepin on and enjoy what you do.


Mark <><

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Welcome to the nut house, errr smithinng site.  None of us started out knowing what we were doing, a few of us still don't.   But we got bit by the smithing bug and we dont want a cure.  You are in good company.    Read the forum posts.  Most any questions you have will be answered there, pack a lunch and a few gallons of water,  and you may wish to take a GPS,   Ask for help if you get lost.  When a person asks a serious question they get answers, all we ask is to try.  Pure keyboard smiths dont last too long here, but dirty hands and a willing mind will go far.

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Welcome aboard Phil, glad to have you.


You might be surprised at how many smiths started out wood workers who just wanted that ONE special one of a kind tool. Next thing they knew they're a blacksmith who also works in wood. There's almost no end to what a guy can make if they put their mind to it and few things in life beat making STEEL do your bidding.


Think about it, human civilization is built on steel, has been for a few centuries. Humankind's oldest tools besides that great big brain and thumbs are fire and something to bash with. The soul deep satisfaction of using mankind's oldest tools to make steel our servant is goodness incarnate.


Welcome to the addiction, it's a lifelong learning curve, enjoy the ride.


Frosty The Lucky.

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