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BILL EPPS updates...

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Ok. I am going to make a few posts to this thing to let you all know whats going on here in Virginia with Bill Epps demonstrating for a couple of days.

DAY 1:
I left work and went straight to Yesteryear Forge where I sat around the wood stove with Mike talking about random stuff and asking a few of my never ending questions....about 6:30 or so Bill Epps pulls up. Gets out of his car...and the show begins! First thing he said was that Mike's shop is too clean to be a blacksmith shop! Ha!!! He then showed us a few of his "ideals" on power hammers and gassers. Then we talked a little about hammers and technique...followed up with some good stories around the wood stove. After an hour or so I got him all checked into his hotel...and here I sit awaiting a really great day tomorrow filled with projects.

Tomorrow: Bill is going to go through his bag of tricks and do some neat projects that anybody can make and sell. He is starting out the day with a pair of tongs. Mike also asked him to make me one of his famous "20 dollar anvils".....I have a weakness for the mini anvils. The wife has now accepted my obsession and allows me to display them all on a shelf! Ha!!

I will update again tomorrow evening. There is still time to make it here! Especially you Sam...quit with the excuses and get on the road!!! The 500# Euro awaits the lucky ticket holder.


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DAY 2:

So let me tell ya'll something....you missed out on a really awesome day. Bill started out making is horse with a tail out of a horseshoe. Then went into making a flower pot holder, leaf, tongs, hoof pick, rams head....all before lunch.

Then we all ate some great food provided by the Tanner family(with lots of help from Sarah!!!) And did Iron in the Hat. We had 3 tables FULL of items plus some heavy stuff laid around also...Then came the anvil raffle.

And the winner is...............David Hutchison!!!!!!!

Bill then went back to work making his $20 anvil, and working out a really beautiful horse head out of 5/8" square.

Let me tell ya'll Bill Epps ain't no joke! I have learned as much or maybe even more by just sitting around talking about stuff. He had with him is project books. If you do not own one yet you need to cruise on over to the IFI store and get all of them. The books are just like Bill. No filler, all projects all the time. Not a page or word wasted!!!!

One of the best days I have spent in a really long time...and tomorrow is going to be more demoing by Bill! The door is open to ya'll still like always if anyone wants to show up tomorrow.

More tomorrow...pipe projects, a leaf for our demonstrator board, and whatever else we can come up with.


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It was over a 3 hour drive to get to meet him ;)

Joseph Art School, Box 106, Joseph, Oregon 97846, 800-459-3605
Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, 8245 SW Barnes Road, Portland, Oregon 97225, 503-297-5544
Blacksmith's Schools Page
Home Page

There is alot going on out west.
Granted you may have to go to the next state.
But washington and california are really busy areas blacksmithing wise.

very cool, you are very fortunate to have someone that knowledgeable even near you, let alone instructing you.
looking forward to another update!
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Rainsfire, in what part of Oregon are you located in? There is smithing to be found in most areas, it just takes some looking. Let me know where you're at and I'll try to point you in the right direction. The NWBA just held the Fall Conference in Stevenson Wa. in the gorge last month (blacksmith.org).

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DAY 3:

The day was bitter sweet. We had another day to watch Bill work, but it would be the last day for us...We had about a dozen people come by and spend the day leading Bill through a few projects they had questions on. He made a dragon head and turned it into his leaf for our demonstrator board for 2007. Mike then asked if he could make a mule head for Linda...AKA: "L TANNER" on here. Her nickname has always been "Mule" so he thought it would be cool for her to have something. Linda has been away all week at the ABANA Board Meeting and had to miss the demo to help the blacksmithing cause down in Memphis. So...Bill went a step past our expectations. He made the Mule Head and then Turned the rest into an actual Mule Shoe.

After a short break of sitting around telling stories on each other (and a few stories on some unsuspecting smiths out there) Bill jumped into re-fitting one of his hammers with a handle Mike had laying around....Bill just had to pick the one he wanted out of the few thousand stacked up in the near by smoke house(That's true by the way...we call it "fire wood" here in the winter! :) ). It was cool. He literally burnt the hammer up then wire brushed off the char until it was the shape he wanted. Then with some emory paper he cleaned up the soot on the handle and hammer head and got back to work.

Bill explained the process of forging a horse shoe and he also gave us a quick lesson on the horse's hoof as well. It was then time for David to lead the demo for the last part. He not only won the anvil but 2 hours with Bill as well. David got Mr. Epps to make a swan out of some 1/2"x1 1/2" laying around. After finishing that project David asked him to show us how to draw out a small area off the side of flat bar...sorta like the clip on a horse shoe. Well Bill came through with flying colors like always. Everyone started to head back home or to their hotels for the night.

I don't think there could have been a better ending to the Blacksmith Guild of Virginia's 2007 demo schedule...and the anvil raffle was the icing on the cake. Especially for Mr. David Hutchison. He is on the way home 500 pounds heavier, but I have a wealth of great memories with an awesome blacksmith...and new friend in Bill Epps. I have learned a lot from him by the internet since I started in 2004...but none of those conversations and blueprints can come anywhere near hanging out with him over the past 3 days.

This is what it is all about...Can it get any better than this???


Will post back here when I have the photos uploaded to the guild site...and few here in the gallery also! It would be wrong for me not to share a little Bill Epps mojo here on iforgeiron!!!!!!!! :)

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The demo Was Great!!! I only was able to come to the demo on sunday cause I was at a show(got to make money) on sat. Oonagh (my Significant other) and I showed up Sat night at the hotel to share a room with Solvarr and his wife. When we walked in Solvarr is on the phone with Bill and invites him down so in 10 minuts im talkin with Bill Epps!!! The next morning we met him in the Breakfast Nook at the hotel and sat with him and David(who won the anvil!!) Then off to YeasterYear to the demo. I was very Impressed with how aproachable Bill is. He found out that I am a smith that speacalizes in REN Faires and he asked to see some of my work and gave me pointers on some things I need to change and Improve. I was Totally Blown away with how nice he is.

This demo is a memory I will Treasure Always. Bill has been an insperation to me since I first saw his work. It was a great experience to watch him work.

Bill, you are a gentelman and a scholar.............Thank You


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The upload ios complete for the two day demo across the street at Blacksmith Guild of Viriginia - Home

I also hung up a few more over in the gallery here.

I want to talk about a couple of them here.

David Hutchison not only won the anvil but a 2 hour session with Bill. He got him to make a swan out of some 1/2"x1 1/2" bar stock laying around.

Bill liked Mike's Little Giant. I think the new nickname for this one is "sweet little hammer"...Bill kept saying it. You can see him smiling while using it!

Bill Epps in the flesh...what a great experience!

The Birth of the "Epps Dragon".


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