DebbieJ

Setting up - Looking for friendly advice in SW England

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

I'm setting up a coke forge in a derelict outbuilding at home near Bath... I would really like to get it right as it's costing me a small fortune in building work, electricals, etc.! Just asking for a bit of advice if possible as I've only ever worked in one other forge. So - I'm wondering if there are any friendly folk out there in the South West that wouldn't mind showing me their place and / or spending 15 minutes with me? It would be great to meet some fellow smiths too anyway.

 

I've got very little experience, but I love working with metal and so I'm just going for it. I've got quite a small area allocated and the ceiling is only 7" but I do have the luxury of an upper storey that I could knock up into which I'm thinking I might well have to...

 

Sorry - bit of an open question - I'll be doing some layout sketches tomorrow which will probably help.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Debbie

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Debbie,

 

It will be worth you keeping an eye on this site as there are a few County Shows in your area that all have blacksmithing competitions,   http://www.blacksmithscompetition.co.uk/index.html

The dates for this year are not up yet but they are usually around the same time each year. Also have a  look at the links to each show on the left hand side for some contact names, most are blacksmiths.

 

Have a look on the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths site under their awards section and there should be a list of medal holders and some contact info. There is also the Blacksmiths Guild down Exeter way. John Bellamy is a member and posts on here in the Blacksmiths UK section.

 

Have a look at the BABA web site as well for some contact info.

 

I can't help in regards to popping round as I am about 3 hrs away, but good luck in your new venture. Everything will fall into place eventually and get tailored to how you work.

 

Have fun,

 

Mick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't comment with regards to distance as I think of 200k's as not that far :D I thought that going from Luton to see Brighton and back to London on the same day was ok but my sister who lives in luton thought I was daft. But I must say that English smiths are really great folk !   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mick :) that's really great! I'm researching a lot at the moment but just want to get cracking. I think I'll just have to give a few people a call. As Ian says - I hear that English smiths are really great and friendly, so maybe I should just not worry about picking up the phone!

 

Hopefully I'll see you at some shows at some point!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't comment ;) but if I'm ever over your way (and I may be towards the end of the year) I'll give you a shout!

 

I can't comment with regards to distance as I think of 200k's as not that far :D I thought that going from Luton to see Brighton and back to London on the same day was ok but my sister who lives in luton thought I was daft. But I must say that English smiths are really great folk !   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Debbie, You are welcome to come down and chat at Westpoint when we are there,  http://blacksmithsguild.com/news.html for the dates and what we are doing, will be there next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

Beth and Colleen are also not that far away, depends on how far you want to travel.

 

There are also plenty of blacksmiths around the Bath area and over towards Shepton Mallet, Yeovil, Dorchester, There will be smiths local to you at the North Somerset Show on May 5th at Wraxall near Bristol, plus lots of ironwork and a live competition taking place.

 

7" doesn't seem high for a forge, (that's usually the gap under the floorboards, could it be a bungalow?) Or is it going to be called "Lillipution Forge"?

 

Good luck and have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck Debbie. I'm from West Oxfordshire, so about an hour and a bit away.

I can't recomend the blacksmiths guild highly enough.

 

John will set you right on just about anything you want to learn, or the craft in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

I'm setting up a coke forge in a derelict outbuilding at home near Bath... I would really like to get it right as it's costing me a small fortune in building work, electricals, etc.! Just asking for a bit of advice
Debbie


Are you after blacksmithing advice or advice on how to build your workshop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pointers guys! And yes - should have been 7' not 7" - that would be special! :D

 

And yes - just on setting up the workshop at the moment - though I a certain that I will need blacksmithing advice after that!

 

 

Are you after blacksmithing advice or advice on how to build your workshop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a builder turned blacksmith in Frome, are you thinking of employing someone to convert your space or just wanting to visit an up and running workshop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joel - just to visit other workshops really and talk to people who've been there and done it. I've got a builder that I work with (but he has no experience of anything like this!) so I'm trying to get / be the knowledge and he's helping with the conversion...

 

Do you think your contact in Frome might  be up for a chat? (No prob if not!)

 

Thanks :)

 

I know a builder turned blacksmith in Frome, are you thinking of employing someone to convert your space or just wanting to visit an up and running workshop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan Evans has a great setup , however if you get envious of awesome kit then it'll be a bad idea, Alan is an awesome chap to boot. ;) and then while you're in the area visit Beth as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ian - i was just about to say the same! debbie im in glos - your MORE than welcome to come and visit my workshop, im an artist before a blacksmithrelly and truly, but i like to make all kinds of things, and depending on what kind of things you want to make, i can maybe help a bit. alan who ian just mentioned, is the real deal, and indeed, yes an awesome chap :) and a genius and proper artist smith. he lives near me. what kind of metalwork do you like or want to make? what are your areas of interest? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Joel - much appreciated! :)

 

I'll ask him. He's a busy family man though so I can't promise anything.

 

Yeah - I've already kinda got workshop envy from a guy I spent some time with... that's also a good reason for me to see some others too I suppose. Thanks for the contacts!

 

Alan Evans has a great setup , however if you get envious of awesome kit then it'll be a bad idea, Alan is an awesome chap to boot. ;) and then while you're in the area visit Beth as well.

 

Thanks Beth - I would love to come and see you - I'll message you :) I'm not even really sure what I'm going to make yet if I'm honest. I have crazy ideas but I don't know yet if I can translate them into the real thing - I've set aside a few months from my day job to have a go and see where I'm at. I'm quite creative and good with my hands, plus my basic training seemed to go quite well - knocked up the usual - hooks, candlesticks, towel rails, but nothing too exciting. Can't wait to get started for real and see just what I can get out of my head and into reality! :D

 

ian - i was just about to say the same! debbie im in glos - your MORE than welcome to come and visit my workshop, im an artist before a blacksmithrelly and truly, but i like to make all kinds of things, and depending on what kind of things you want to make, i can maybe help a bit. alan who ian just mentioned, is the real deal, and indeed, yes an awesome chap :) and a genius and proper artist smith. he lives near me. what kind of metalwork do you like or want to make? what are your areas of interest? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Debbie, I live in Bath, and work as a smith/welder/oddjob man at a local business near Radstock. You may have seen our stall at the Christmas market. I have my own modest workshop at home, where I do the odd job, and tinker building machinery for what will hopefully one day turn into my own proper business. You'd be welcome to come visit sometime

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Debbie, great to have you here... You're not a million miles from me, I don't very often get up to Bath though, but very happy to help with whatever I can :) And of course an open invite to come visit my humble tin shed!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.