SpankySmith

Blacksmiths are really something!

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I've got to say, I just had an amazing morning that has renewed my faith in people but really deepened my respect for blacksmiths. When I got hooked on blacksmithing recently after taking a class, I was touched by the generosity of the instructor when I emailed asking if he knew where I could buy an anvil. He sent out a blanket email to his own smithing email list and after some back and forth so got a good lead I followed today to Tennessee.

So I drive an hour and a half away to, I thought, just look at a couple anvils he had, pay the man the money and leave. But you blacksmiths!! What a generous, gracious group of people I am finding you to be! This guy is a 25 year Blacksmith with a capital B because it's not a hobby, it's his livelihood. After I decided on which anvil I wanted, he threw in a hardy cutting tool, but I mentioned I would be looking for a bending fork....so he fires up his forge on the spot and hand crafts one for me!!! For free, too,he wouldn't let me pay him for it!

That's not even the end of it, as amazing as that was. What followed was two hours of me sitting at his feet as he shared tips, tricks, tools.... Equal parts me pestering him with novice questions and him just happy to share his wisdom. It was the most amazing morning! I am humbled by such a generous act of sharing. Wow.

You blacksmiths! If even a tiny portion of you are like this, then just...wow!

End of the day I now own my first anvil (I'm just calling him by his first name, Peter) and two Hardie tools. And a ton of respect for blacksmiths.

post-1-0-41875100-1397338314_thumb.jpg

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Excellent story.  my brain automatically turns things correct side up, so, looks great. Nice accessories too!

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Greetings Hairbalz,

 

I think you got yourself a fine anvil... What you say about blacksmiths it oh so true..  Been at it for 35 plus years and never met one I didn't like..  I will share a story with you ... I took a friend to one of the biggest blacksmiths meetings in the country .. He was relative new to the community and did not understand how smiths are...  He seen a pretty young girl walking along with a bunch of good old boys in overalls and ask me if she worried about her safety..  I laughed oh so hard and told him .. What you don't know is She is one of us and what do you think would happen it she was put in harms way...  Just 500 or more of us wielding hammers.... Not to worry.... She will be just fine...

 

Enjoy and looking forward to pictures of your projects

Forge on and make beautiful things

 

Jim

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Love that story about the woman.
Apologies for the photo, I've had that happen before when I posted an ipad photo, but was able to rotate it upside down on my ipad and it posted right side up! But this one won't do that.. Weirdness. Sorry!

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I am glad you and Peter found each other. Probably the only guy you'll ever meet that doesn't mind getting hit with a hammer. 

 

Enjoy.

 

Mark

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Nice anvil and tools. Good to hear your story. I have only met one blacksmith and he was a bit like the guy you describe. He showed me how to punch holes properly and I showed him how I forge reo snakes. I came away with two of his handcrafted punches, free of course.
I later mailed him some steel tynes off an old horse-drawn rake so he can make more.
I'm pleased you had such a good introduction to smithing. Welcome to the blacksmith fraternity, and I hope you will share your progress here.

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I am glad you and Peter found each other. Probably the only guy you'll ever meet that doesn't mind getting hit with a hammer. 
 
Enjoy.
 
Mark




At least the only one who won't WHINE about it when I do! Lol!

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Good for you. Pay it forward at some later date to some other new smith.

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About the photos, that seems to be happening more and more these days - I guess it is unavoidable with smartphones flipping them the way the do.

I just learned a net trick - only know that it works with Win7 - it may work with other OS's - not sure.

Anyways Control & Alt & the arrow keys will flip the whole screen.

 

Helps with the sideways, upside down photo viewing.

 

Oh and nice anvil, how big is it?

Bill

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great story , and i  agree ! 

 

went to my first hammer in today, didn't know what to expect really ( it was designed to be a feature on power hammers , which are of very little interest to me right now ) the people i met were great. i learned more in the two hours i sat watching and listening than i have in 25 hrs of videos, or even reading books ! 

joined the local blacksmith assoc. and made plans to get some lessons with the host a 30+ smith

 

many thx to all ( if you happen to read this ) 

and many thx to all the people here for their advice and inspiration !! 

 

Bill 

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Oh and nice anvil, how big is it?
Bill



156 but I haven't put it on my scale to verify, will do that later today when I build a stand for it.

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Welcome to the Black Iron Clan Darlin. I don't know what it is about having someone genuinely interested in the craft, it just brings out the demonstrator/mentor in us. You'll be sponging information and practicing skills till one day you'll meet someone who needs to know something you know how to do and THAT's when you'll really start learning.

 

Nothing speeds the climb up the learning curve like showing someone else a thing. They'll ask things like, "Why did you do THAT?" and you find yourself deep in self examination because you just do IT that way and never really thought about the why. OR they ask, "What would happen if you do X?" and you're both off and running. I find I learn as much or more than the folk I teach.

 

Oh and the "Black Iron Clan" thing just came to me as I was typing, I liked it so I left it. Teaching folk is like that sometimes a THING just comes to you or the student and everybody walks away richer. Knowledge is something you can give away and not lose it.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

I spoke with Frosty and Black Iron Clan has been copyrighted by IFI

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^^^
Frosty, sounds like another t-shirt in the make for Glenn to work up...? maybe ideas now for the graphics... ;)

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156 but I haven't put it on my scale to verify, will do that later today when I build a stand for it.

So, ... it's stamped 1 - 1 - 16 ?

 

 

 

.

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Great story. I've had similar experiences. About ten years ago I needed a firepot and a blower. Ran into an old timer blacksmith doing a demo at a county fair. He invited me to his shop the next week to buy a firepot from him and maybe he might know where I could find a blower. Got there that next week and he had a beautiful big firepot for me that he thinks came out of an old railroad shop based on it's size, for $25. Then he says "I found a blower too that you can have for $50", sold! A Champion 400 in great shape. Then he shocked me. Reaching back alongside the bench he pulled up a bucket with a second Champ 400 complete but entirely disasembled. That one had a slightly bent bronze gear but said he thought I looked like I could figure it out so I could have that one too. TWO blowers for $50! Later he found a floor cone for me at a reasonable price and gave me for free a post vice as well. It happens. He was getting on in years and getting out of it and he could see I was rarin' to get into it.

 

Someday I'll help out some young guns too just like that. That's how you give back to the craft.

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So, ... it's stamped 1 - 1 - 16 ?

 

 

 

.

 

I forgot to weigh it!!!   I was so excited when I finished the stand I couldn't wait to mount it.  The etching on the side is hard to see, I'm going to "powder" it and get the details, I took the 25-year blacksmith at his word when he said 156.   I can make out the Wright easily enough, the rest I'll have to powder to see.  

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Looks like a good purchase.  Don't know where in northern Alabama you are located but there are several local forges of the Alabama Forge Council up here-abouts.  And a multitude of smiths available for information, help with techniques, tools, and free advice.  There are forge meetings almost every Sunday of the month where newcomers are welcome :).  And a myriad of blacksmithing conferences during the course of the year. 

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I know this is an old thread I started a few months back, but I had more to add to it. Today I got to spend a full day with a local Master Blacksmith, his time paid for by the local Forge Council, through a scholarship fund for Newbies such as Me. It was awesome. I'd been doing some work on my own, so walked in with some basic concepts, but brought him a literal list of things I was getting stuck on. Had his undivided attention for a day and by the time we were done I had more tips and pointers than I knew what to do with, we'd made a fullering tool for me, I learned how to split steel more effectively, I got pointed to a nearby steel dealer selling rod for 1/4th what I'd been stuck buying it for at Home Depot.....and more! Too much to cover here, it was awesome. Just wonderful. As I've said before, blacksmithing should be illegal, there is no way something this fun hasn't been outlawed. And again today I was struck by the generosity of the smiths I've met so far. I was struggling with a very nice wrench I had that really needed a handle welded on it to make to a proper twister, and at the end of the day this guy just cut a piece and welded it on. Awesome. You blacksmiths...I think I'm in love with all of ya'll!!! :)

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Of course you are Darlin, we're a loveable bunch. <wink> I've never encountered a more knowledgeable smith that wasn't almost eager to tell or show me what s/he knew. Funny thing, I find myself looking for folk to show what I've learned. I think it's some kind of supernatural conspiracy to spread the addiction everywhere.

 

You may not feel like you know enough but you ARE a blacksmith, as much as anyone I know. Eagerly sponging information and skill sets is one of my major criteria, for what MY criteria matter. <grin>

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have seen this also!  At my first BAM conference I splurged to buy a good anvil (260 pounds) and as my son and I carried it toward our truck two smiths saw us and SPRINTED over to help!  I now know this to be common behavior!!!  As a group these are really exceptional people!  

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And remember... you two are also part of that group.  :)

 

 

True!  I try to watch for opportunities to hold up my end!  The bar is set HIGH!

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