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I Forge Iron

Hello from Durham North Carolina ...

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My name is Mike Fleming... I have been pounding metal for 15 years...I started out on a friends coal forge but soon switched to a Forge-master gas forge for ease of portability...Jimmy Alexander who was the President of NC ABANA took me under his wing and my journey began.... My first anvil was a piece of Railroad track that I found at a salvage yard....I looked around and tried to find an old anvil but most had so much damage done to them I finally bought a new Peddinghaus..... The difference was like night and day....If not careful you can lose teeth from the rebound....It was a tad loud so I took a magnet and found the sweet spot on the side and cut the ring by 60 percent.... I started with mild steel to build up my endurance then tried other metals to see what they did when heated..... After making bronze turn to sand, watching silver melt into the forge and watching wrought iron splinter it started to make sense....For several years I was a member of NC ABANA until at one demonstration by a name I will not mention I became frustrated at his attitude..... I had started working with stainless and asked him for pointers....He said you cannot work with stainless....He then made a soft steel candleholder for his demo...I went home and made one out of stainless and sent it to him.....The thing about working with metal is working with it..Never limit yourself.... I look forward to learning from everyone here...From what I have seen it is a great site..... As for hammer choice I am partial to the Hofi style but have several to choose from....Doug Merkle made my first two really nice hammers for me....He had just finished his work with Uri Hofi and really makes a lively hammer....My shop is a 20 foot overseas cargo container.... I wanted something safe, secure and non flammable.... I have a treadle hammer that Jimmy built before he passed away but primarily hand forge...I have made large metal art pieces but prefer smaller pieces...I am a woodworker by trade but do suppliment my income with metal pieces...Bottle openers, oyster knives ,stainless jewelry, knives are just a few things that sell fast and help pay for my metal addiction....I constantly try new things.... One of my best selling art pieces is made by stacking quarters, heating, smacking the xxxx out of them and making pendants from the end result.... When you sand through the different layers you get amazing results.... Well, enough about me...If anyone has any questions please ask....Thank you for allowing me to become a part of your site......

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Aw heck, you got one thing backwards. Thank YOU for joining the gang. That's all this site really is, a bunch of guys who like playing with fire and beating poor defenseless steel with hammers. It's where we get together to chew the fat, solve each other's problems, cheer the successes pray for and cry over the pain and tragedies together.


That's it, that's us. You're as much a natural part of the gang as I am a likable story teller. Good get to know you story, we have a lot in common. It makes talking so much easier don't you think?


Frosty The Lucky.

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Greetings and Welcome Mike,


Looks like you have what it takes ..  You live in a great area and have access to some great smiths.  IFI is a super resource and the folks are the best. Looking forward to your imput and comments.  By the way nice ink on your arm.. Do you have a 2x4 on the other arm?  LOL


Forge on and make beautiful things


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