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I Forge Iron


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Long rambling post; please feel free to ignore it!


I taught my irregularly scheduled "you---yes I mean *you*--- can forge!" class at NM Tech Saturday.


It is run through the Fine Arts Metals program at the associated Community College and is basically trying to hook students into getting started smithing.


I've been doing this quite a few years now and have been encouraging them to get a set up for the class (and so I don't have to lug so much stuff back and forth---4 anvils and stands for example.)  Well their budget reflects the place of fine arts at a TECH school and it's been a long slow haul---I sold them a postvise for about half the going rate so it could be bolted into the steel frame of the building as students need a rigid postvise!


However they had a brief shining moment when someone  actually signed off on them getting some new equipment!   So they picked up a very nice inline treadle hammer and a burner for the gas forge they were building.  I was excited as this meant that I didn't need to bring a second forge---but the instructor hemmed and hawed a bit about telling me it worked.


Anyway I looked it over and thought it was very nice indeed and then I had them turn it on and I lit it.  WHOOM-WHOOSH sounded like someone had kicked in an afterburner and had dragon's breath halfway to the wall.  Looking at the regulator I noticed that someone had marked the knob and the regulator with a line and they were neatly lined up.  So I went over and backed off the regulator 3 full turns till the line was neatly lined up again and they had a forge and not a flamethrower.  And it was a very nice forge.  I also got people using the treadle hammer and not doing the heavy hitting on my poor small travel anvils. (91, 112, 125,134#)


They just needed somebody with some experience to show them how.  I expect they will do a lot more hot work on their own now and the treadle hammer will get more whomps too.  A good thing as I now live 3 hours away instead of 15 minutes...


So many people want to try to learn in a vacuum never realizing that the reason they may not like something they thought they would is that they are doing it WRONG and they don't know it.

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Congratulations Thomas, a shining moment indeed. You might need to tighten the lock nut on the regulator, I'll bet you dollars to donuts it didn't come from the maker 3 turns over. Shop teachers when I was going to school would shadow other teachers like hawks if they visited the shop class and readjusted things they just had to mess with.


Not that it's only teacher who just have to turn any wheel, knob or screw they see it's human nature but teachers seem to make the common mistake to believe expertise in one thing applies to others more than some. There are just some things it doesn't pay to take chances with. My high school heavy metal shop class teacher would have one of us removes the torches from the bottles if other teachers visited and made no bones about why. He wasn't terribly popular amongst the staff for some reason.


Sorry, for the windy reply I just thought it was worth saying, parable wise it couldn't hurt and might help.


Frosty The Lucky.

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I belong to a social group that's heavily populated with "Teachers".


The "herding cats" analogy is often applied to this group,  ... but I think it goes deeper than that.


It seems to me that most Teachers live in a World without adults, ... or consequences.


This lack of peer review, ... or accountability, ... seems to foster an irresponsible approach to many things.



God knows I don't have the patience to do their job, ... nor do i have the patience to have one putzing around my Shop.


It's best that our paths only cross in relaxed social gatherings.  :P






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