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I Forge Iron

Turley Forge photos in a blog

Frank Turley

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Wow, what luck!  After seeing some of the whopper's that have "crept" into reporters' stories about me; I tend to expect them in other's reports as well---so if it seems like someone has said something completely bogus I try to assume that it's another reporter gaffe.


I guess my favorite was quite some time ago now when a fellow in Finland was asking on a medieval recreation forum about arts & crafts projects kids could do at his "viking summer camp".  Having a write up on making simple penannular brooches using large copper grounding wire that I used when I taught people to make them at Pennsic, I sent it to him.


He wrote back, to say that it was a big hit, the kids were able to make items accurate to the period, useful, pretty and that a local paper had done an article on it!  He provided the translation it mentioning  how the kids had made these viking items using the instructions left by the "ancient smith Wilelm" (my SCA name)  So I guess I have a bit of old world patina too...

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Soldat: The long version? I saw an engraving in an 1894 catalog of a "Horseshoers' Turning Hammer, Chicago Pattern." Nowadays, we sometimes hear it called a Cat's Head. The engraving showed a circular shape on the side which looked to me like and indentation. I made my indentations with a counterpunch. They serve no function except as eyewash. Years later, I purchased such a hammer on line, a V&B brand*, and the circular side was a flat place remaining from careful grinding and finishing. I have also seen a Heller Brothers Chicago Pattern which had the flat, circular sides, but was a little heavier than the V&B. Both companies used a rather small eye and quite broad cheeks either side of the eye. When you pick up the hammer, it's heft is deceptive, heavier than one might think.


Working from the engraving, my hammer is similar to the manufactured ones, except I wound up with a broader peen and a larger, rounding face. It came out to about 2 1/4 pounds.


The old catalog, "Manning Maxwell & Moore," termed our modern day rounding hammer, the New York Pattern.


*Vaughn & Bushnell

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