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I Forge Iron

New demo idea that worked!

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Usually the kids I demo for could care less what I make (or even if I hammer anything) as long as I dunk the peice in the slack tub and make it steam. :)

Today, I did a cool off-the-cuff demo for a bunch of kids that worked really well.

Usually when no one is around I work on my own stuff...Today, I had a leaf hook that the leaf that just didn't turn out, so I cut off the leaf end, and was trying to figure out what to do with the hook end when the group of kids walked in...

I told them I was going to tie the end in a knot and wanted to see who could untie it. (It was a small thin hook, so I "tied" a hole in the end instead of flattening the end and cutting or drilling a hole to screw it into the wall.) I then dunked it in the slack tub to cool, and passed it around.

Those kids tried so hard to "untie" it! It had never occured to me that they didn't quite understand that the metal need to be red hot to bend as easily as I "tied" it.

I had those kids undivided attention for the next half hour or so, asking suprisingly astute questions, like how each of the different types of hammers move the metal different ways. (I was using a couple of different hammers to make a leaf.) To say the least, I was amazed!

That demo is sure a keeper!


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That is an outstanding idea! A great hands on application that is safe and effective.

A friend will pull a piece out of the fire and tell an unsuspecting lad "if you've got a quarter I'll lick it" When the money appears Max will then take the quarter lick it put it in his pocket and then put the iron back in the fire. :)

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I was at a Country Music fair where crafts were not the main event. There was almost nothing for younger kids to spend their money on. I started to make a leaf keyfob when it occured to me that kids usually don't carry keys. I forged the leaf into an arrowhead, dimpled the surface and edges with the ball peen to make it looked knapped, and curled the "vine" end over to make a simple loop. I put a leather thong through the hole and had an arrow head necklace. I sold all I could make for $2.00 each. I didn't make a lot of money on the arrowheads but it did bring the parents to our booth to see where their kids got the arrowheads! :P

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Another kid pleaser is to have some scrap pine around and brand it with the piece, they like to see the smoke and flame

For a cub scout camporee we started making simple number "branding irons" and branding their unit number on a piece and giving it to them---we did the irons out of some 1/8" steel wire we had (election sign frames) and went through all the scrap we had brought to light the coal forges with...

NB you can brand leather too.


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