bweimholt

Any Smithy's in San Diego?

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Hello all,

 

I’m trying to find a skilled Blacksmith, instructional school, or a blacksmithing guild in the San Diego area. I have poked around in the pin “finding a blacksmith group near you.” Looked at Bandy guild in Escondido, bit of a drive but do-able if that’s my only option. I’m looking to retire from the navy soon and have always wanted to get my hands dirty with blacksmithing. I’d love to meet up with some knowledgeable folks out there and get a bit of experience. 

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I don't know the hours, or what months they work, but that cute little 5 block square section of oldtown has a working mission-era shop. I stumbled on it several years ago, apparently you can volunteer at the counter for a while, and work your way to the hot stuff. Vista has a good group, also.

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hey there is a great place in Vista... It is at the Antique Steam and Gas Engine Museum. They have a huge full working blacksmith shop and the teach all kinds of classes from basic blacksmithing up to advanced blacksmithing. A few of the instructors are, Ken Rose, Dave Carroll, and Dave Vogel. I have taken a few classes there and the also have a "open forge" times when you can just show up and use the shop. Dont know were you are located at but it is worth the drive.They have a web site ... www.agsem.com, check it out they have all the info on there about the classes and how to sign up for them. Another resource you might want to check out is the California Blacksmith Association. It is a great group that can provide you with lots of good information and the also host several events during the year. Hope this helps and good luck.  

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  I haven't had any experience with the Vista or the Old Towne shop, but I have been hanging around the Bandy shop for about a year and a half now.  They are unaffiliated with any blacksmithing groups, but are part of the Escondido Historical Society.  I know that the Vista one is affiliated with the CBA and does classes, although their schedule posted on the internet seems kind of awkward.  I don't even know if the Old Towne shop has classes, or if they have any affiliations.

  If you go to the Bandy shop between 9AM and 4PM on any Saturday besides Christmas weekend, talk to John about when his next class will be starting up.  He's the big guy (6'+) with a pony tail that is doing demos for the class or answering my million questions.  I'm sure he is glad that I have fewer of those, although they're getting more complicated now.  The class is in 3 hour (9-Noon and 1-4) sessions, pay as you go, so if you learn quick and work hard, it can be very reasonable.

  Depending on what part of San Diego you live in it can be quite a drive.  We have a guy that comes from Pine Valley most weekends, and another that stops by from up near Ventura on occasion, so you won't be alone there.  It's kind of inconvenient having us all spread out, but just imagine being the one guy without an anvil, or any interest, in a neighborhood full of nothing but blacksmiths.

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You can visit the blacksmith shop in Old Town on Wednesdays and talk to them.  I do not think they have a teaching program but you can ask. 

 

Both Bandy and Vista are good schools.  I looked at both when I started and picked Bandy as it was closer.  You can see our web site at bandyblacking.org or look up the Escondido History Center which our guild is a part of.  You can stop by on Saturday during the school year from 9-3 and talk to John who teaches the beginning class.  We have an advanced class/open work in the morning and the beginning class in the afternoon.  Currently due to popular demand there is also a beginning class in the morning.  The class runs for 10 weeks and is $30 a session.  We also have a wheelwright class.

 

If you have a passion for blacksmithing the drive from San Diego isn't a factor.

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Wanna' go back in time? I demoed for the CBA Spring conference in Vista in 1994. I demoed for Bandy Guild in Escondido in 2012. All good people. Some of the Bandy Guild members are ironing a repro Spanish galleon, part time, in San Diego.

 

Sayings and Cornpone

"When re-forging a forge weld, use a bright heat."

     Francis Whitaker, "dean of American blacksmiths"

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  It's too bad I missed the show when you came out here.

  I helped bend up a lot of the deadeyes (thing chained to the railing that holds the ropes for the rigging) for that ship.  I just attached one to a chainplate yesterday.  It's kind of silly though, the engineer for the project specced out full penetration welds using MIG for it all.  I think forge welding would actually be faster, and more than adequate for the job, and even period correct.  We're also making 3/8" (I think) silicon bronze blind bolts, with modern threads, and hammered finish heads.

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Lee Greens Shoein shop in Yucaipa will know where you need to look.

Thanks for the tip.  I'm in there every month or two buying coal and other miscellaneous stuff that I think might be useful and never thought to ask him that.  Duh.  :)

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Hello, All.  For the people new to this site, like me, you have found a great place to hang out and be enriched.  A few years ago, I dropped in on the Smiths at Old Town.  Very welcoming, they directed me to the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) In Vista (as FireCat said, www.agsem.com).  "Take the Basic Blacksmithing Class and bring back a Certificate of Completion, and you can come back here and swing a hammer with us for the Tourists! It's FUN!", he said. 

 

I went, Payed the fee, took the Basic Course with Ken Rose one Saturday a month for three classes.  Were it not for a Turn in Fortune, I would have gone even further. It was just just an outstanding experience. It is a  coal fired shop, including a steam powered overhead belt driven Demonstration Machine Shop,  and a working Wheelwright Shop.

 

Never made it back to the Hammer Swingers in Old Town (Sigh, Some Day!!!). For now, No matter which of the above member suggestions you decide on, be sure to check out AGSEM.

 

That Bandy Shop sure sounds interesting! Capt Squid, would that actually be:  www.bandyblacksmith.org ?

 

Robert

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Thanks for the information, very encouraging. I am intrigued with blacksmithing and hope to get into a beginner class at Bandy.  I am a Realtor (health care administrator formerly) and just love wrought iron art - gates, ornamental pieces and useful items. It's a drive for me but sounds very much worth it. Hoping the waiting list is not huge... 

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  We start classes back up the third Saturday in September, but you could stop by or call the first Saturday and see where you stand on the list.  Look for the big guy with a ponytail, name of John, just don't tell him I sent you.  All kidding aside he's the guy that teaches, and maintains the list, although adult education and the historical society surprise him every once in a while.

  In the meantime, there are a lot of good books that would give you a leg up on the rest of the new guys.  I have physical copies of Lorelei Sims  The Backyard Blacksmith and J. M. Drew's Farm Blacksmithng if you're interested.

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Welcome aboard Jennifer, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.

This site has literally thousands of posts archived by category. You'll need a comfy chair, a snack and something to drink but about any question you might have is probably answered more than once. Of course that's a blacksmith trait anyway, ask two smiths a question and get four answers.

Frosty The Lucky.

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