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I Forge Iron

'alternate' traditional hobies/ handcrafts.


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I know Thomas Powers has a wife that does spinning, Frosty & co are the 'goatkeepers'(sorry Jer it made me smile )and a few years ago when I visited Reece Nimi he and his wife had just come back from 'pickling' with friends, this intrigued me so on returning home I checked it out. What fun, so now I do pickled peppers(never having had one but could recite the rhyme) etc. I've just started to make yogurt and cheese , I've seen Interesting posts on handmade brooms here etc. So I thought it would be great to have a thread showing just what all else you interesting folk get up to :)

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i do some archery now and then, when the mood strikes me, i have a hunting bow, none of that olympic recurve stuff, sights, balance rods or things like that, too many things that can go wrong i'd say, i've been looking for a viking style bow, i know a dude who makes them but im gonna wait until i get into the viking fighting re-enactment club here. they also have an archery division and if you're in that you can get a discount 

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Cooking from scratch, canning, just this year I've gotten into smoking meat.  Now that the weather is turning toward cooler temperatures bacon (mmmmm, bacon) and smoked salmon are on the list.  Beer brewing (aren't all smiths brewers?), ciders and meads, I'd like to try my hand at distilling as well. 

 

The Lady Wife is a fiber wonk, she has raised angora and cashmere goats, gathered and cleaned the fleeces, processed the fiber, is a spinner, (both wheels and hand spindles), a knitter, and a weaver, and is the local expert on historical knitting and weaving techniques.  Oh, and dyeing with natural dye stocks (not everyone moves a 5 gallon jar of pee from one house to another)  She also knows quite a bit about traditional leather tanning.  And she shoots a .68 caliber smoothbore flinter.

 

Those are the just the highlights, the stuff we do every year.

 

Geoff

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Archery here, too, compound bow I only use for target practice, too much of a Bambi-lover.  But I built one of those "lifetime" targets for myself from compressed carpet strips.  Works pretty well, I get to hang the object of my choice in front of the target (or effigy of my choice, depending on who ticked me off at work that day), take out some frustrations.   I have dabbled with all kinds of other hobbies across the years - pottery, painting, woodworking.  

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I collect, restore and use old hand tools to build furniture and toys.  It was the need for a lathe tool that got me into smithing. Treadle lathe is currently in use working on a tip and turn tripod table. Got a '03 Velocipede scroll saw (think tractor seat and bike pedals in cast iron with pinstriping) that gets used for toymaking. I sharpen my handsaws and use planes, brace and bits and just about every other hand powered tool for woodworking. Only the 1948 bandsaw (Darra-James) and the big Atlas drill press draw power in my woodshop.

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Dried meat, we call that biltong :) fun to make but I have a problem with 'rats' two legged ones(teenage or older mostly :)
I love cooking /baking too, seen videos of canning it looks awesome but its difficult to get the equipment here.
Never been to or found any reenactment of any serious sort, however my family has an interest in medieval warfare and weaponry so when I visited Saladin's citadel in Cairo(they have created an opening in the wall- 30 meters thick) I felt sorry for those crusaders that had just arrived wearing a microwave to see this. Also knowing that the nearest decent trees for your siege engines were probably in Lebanon

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Geoff, I recon calling someone a fiber wonk could just get you a 'clipped ear' or some such :) Sparky Bambi lover as in grilled or roasted? :) just kidding . As for restoring old tools just seems like another day at the office :)

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Fiber wonk? Want I should tell Deb you said that? It might make a visit interesting, think I'll hold it in reserve. <wink>

 

Deb spins almost anything fibrous. We're down to one retired old lady goat, Deb hasn't bred them for quite some time now. We have 3 sheep to keep her company though one is going into the freezer before long. Lamb, mmmmmm. I believe Thomas coined the phrase "steel wool couple" a while back and that's Deb and I.

 

Deb also trains our dogs for all sorts of competitive things, agility, nosework, trials, uh. . .there's more I can't remember.

 

I cook and bake, always have and I'm not a bad hand in the kitchen. Riding herd on the place and critters keeps me busy enough to stay out of trouble but I don't know if I can call chores a hobby. Ah what the hey, it's a hobby farm. Oh yeah, I almost forgot I tend to write a lot.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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We live in a semi-rural area with a bit of property.  We raise poultry/livestock so I process a lot of our own meats and make several types of cured and fresh sausage.  I also perform contract hay baling services for many of my neighbors.  I enjoy cooking and we typically host get-togethers several times a month, which range from 8-16 friends/family members who live in our immediate vicinity.  My wife is an amazing seamstress, who teaches quilting and other sewing subjects to both adults and children.

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Frosty, we'd be happy to host a visit, though I'd love to see your part of the world.  I've only been to Ak once, just long enough to get on a cruise ship headed south.  Marianne (aka The Lady Wife) bought up a fleet of Canadian Production Wheels (pretty much every one in the PNW) and a 48" floor loom this year, oh, and a Columbine, and she's got me working on an "indian head" wheel on an old treadle sewing machine.

 

Ian, should you get back here (Ries lives about 1 1/2 hours North of me) I'm sure we can take you to a reenactor event.  TLW is part of the local scene of fur trade/Hudson Bay/Mountain Man groups (roughly 1750-1850, to include the American Colonial period, French and Indian wars and the opening of the West).  It's fun times, some shooting (blackpowder) drinking, eating, drinking, some drinking and eating, and all while wearing funny clothes.

 

It's interesting how many of us have "crafty" partners.

 

Geoff

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Craft skills, I've done the basics in scouts, Wood carving ( not so great), basketry ( so so), leather working ( a bit better),... I did some canning and dried meat/fruit when I lived out in Washington state. I help teach basic archery for 4-H. I prefer to shoot traditional for target practice, I have 2 traditional long bows ( you shoot them off a glove, no rest) and a couple recurves and long bows with rests as well as my compounds and cross bow. Never got much into blackpowder, though I do have a  black powder Ruger .44. Every thing else gun wise is more modern. My other big hobby was diving and I did get the chance to dive one of the old brass hat Mk V suits.

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Woodcarving, leatherwork, ceramics, and lots of cooking. My Scout patrols always had the best eats on a camp out. My kitchen currently has several commercial Hobart pieces ; 12 qt mixer,14" buffalo chopper,12" automatic slicer, and other attachments like the veggie slicer,meat grinder.... I am a machinist by trade, and like heavy duty equipment. Craigslist, and auctions have got me the great deals on these items.

I have played around with tanning, usually with fresh roadkill; skunks,raccoons,squirrels.

Recently picked up some vintage woodworking equipment, and need to get it going so I can get some projects out of the idea stage, and built.

And as my handle implies, I also do gunsmithing

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Biggun, as an ex artillery man I thought 155 howitzer :) and if someone said 'the Hobart on the kitchen counter' i'd be looking for the welding machine! I must admit that 2 xmases ago I spoilt myself with a Kenwood major with virtually all the accessories (for some dumb reason they Don't bring in the icecream maker.?

Geoff , not only are a lot of 'the partners' crafty a lot are 'bookie' librarians, bookshop ownersoperators, researchers, teachers and university lecturers. There are also a fair number( like mine) of designers of one sort or another.

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Historical re-enacting. Mostly French and Indian war period, say around 1760. Have been going to some War of 1812 events as it is the bi-centennial period for it. Making my own iron work and stuff 30 years ago is what got me into blacksmithing. Could'nt afford to buy stuff and go to events too while raising a family. Still farm some and have been making our own repairs my whole life. Learned to weld very young, maybe 8 yrs old or so. Always loved metal work.

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my wife does piano tuning and teaching and repair. 

i personally think that is an unusual trade....

there are possibly fewer piano tuners than blacksmiths. i don't see an ITUNEPIANO forum.  :P

i am also into steam engines, and driving trains.

keeping trade traditions alive is so important, and i am glad there are so many of you who feel the same way.

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Yes, my handle can be a little misleading. I work on standard firearms, not cannons, and I myself am not a large guy. Depending on how you read it you might also think I do plastic surgery...;)

My Dad made scale models of historic cannons, and I worked for a machine gun dealer where I did some service work on various .50's,MK19,minigun,DshK 38, etc.

My handle goes back to the early 90's, and was actually thought up by my former business partner. Gunsmith, etc were all taken when I was looking to sell some muscle car parts on EBay. He came up with that, and it was clear to use.

I have friends that own Sherman tanks, Ferrets, Saladin, Saracen, and various fieldpieces in various bore sizes.

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Woodworking most of the time. I would love to do much more but life tends to interfere.

 

On my crafty bucket list is making a dining room set, by hand, no electricity, with tools I've made myself. It will take a while.

 

And every year in November I participate in Nanowrimo and write a book. 

 

But my primary hobby at this time of my life is beating depression. Everything I do now is aimed towards that.

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But my primary hobby at this time of my life is beating depression. Everything I do now is aimed towards that.

 
Ok , so you picked one of the hardest of them all, it's difficult but with the help of those near and dear I recon it's doable!

I hope that you beat it, good luck
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