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Michael Cochran

Planning on attending my first meeting

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There is a local AFC group that meets about 25ish miles from me and I plan to attend a meeting in the next couple months. Since this is going to be my first time I have no idea what kinds of things I should bring. I would greatly appreciate any input you guys could give me. I do plan on calling the forge master listed on the AFC site but wanted some input from more experience people. If it makes a difference, I'm going to the one in Cullman, AL. If anyone's on here that goes feel free to give me a shout here so I know whom to look for when I show up.

Things I plan on carrying including a new pen and a notepad so I can take notes as well as my camera (just in case). Seeing as how I'm not a member yet I don't expect to get any forge time but as I said, I've never been to one of these functions so I have no idea what to expect.

Thanks in advance.

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Mc, happy to hear you are gonna make it to a forge meeting, my local "community of like minded believers", aka, Smiths, has been an invaluable resource and experience.

hopefully someone from the Cullman group will chime in, but just to give you an idea, in Athens folks arrive early for chatting, BS'ing, eating the donuts I always bring, asking questions and tossing around ideas and projects amongst each other.  Then we have a (usually) brief Business segment, announcements about upcoming meetings, classes, conventions, hammer ins, etc.  Then a demo of some kind, anything from tools to forged items.  Sometimes from there they'll open up some forge time if anyone wants to try something.  That's followed by Iron in the Hat drawings and then it's pretty much done.  There are some meetings that are dedicated production sessions, like when our group had a big assembly day to make everyone a Smithin Magician last year.

once you get plugged in make sure you get on their email list so you'll get the meeting notices.  

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If its like the group I attend, a few extra pairs of safety glasses and gloves that you could accidentally forget to pickup and take home with you after the meeting is a nice start.

 

Russell

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I didn't even think about glasses and gloves. I'll have to stop by the store and get another pair of glasses. I've got two pairs of leather gloves in my shop but big suprise I can only find two left hands lol. Guess I should get me another pair of those too.

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Our local group always asks that you bring something for Iron in the Hat, something you've made or some raw material you picked up or whatever.  I just bring donuts.  :)   Yes on the safety glasses though our group and the building is large enough that I'm usually so far away from the demo anvil that if I don't have glasses on its not an issue.  That said there are always extras around if you forgot yours and want a front row seat to the demo.  Except for group project days I haven't used gloves at a meeting.  Individual chapters will vary though, of course.   Btw, we had a late arrival at our meeting yesterday, don't recall his name but he was from the Cullman group.  SPYIN, no doubt!  :ph34r:   :lol:

Edited by SpankySmith

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Good Morning,

The most important thing to bring is, YOURSELF. Just make sure Mr. or Ms. Yourself has an open mind, eyes and ears. I have found it is best not to have an open mouth. Memory Items are a sign that you are seriously interested (pencil, paper, digital Camera). A little offering for the pot is also a good sign, (cream for the coffee/tea, Donut holes are never un-appreciated), make sure to bring your own coffee cup/mug. Showing up with your own safety gear is a bonus. If the get-together is anything like the different places I have been, they will have enough tools and equipment.

Like a good walk in the park, Steal with your eyes, leave nothing but foot-prints.

Neil

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I'm in Hayden also but I have always attended the Vulcan Forge meet at Tannehill. Why? I reckon because their forgemaster called me back and Cullman's didn't.

Definitely take gloves & safety glasses, a hammer if you have one (ball pein or engineer's hammer will work), maybe your own chair to sit in during demo, water, snacks.

 

 

 

 

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Jwilson, where about in hayden? I'm actually in nectar just around from the strawberries and pumpkins.

id like to go to Tannehill one time for an iron pour but haven't made it yet.

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Greetings from the Cullman forge group.  jwilson645 - sorry our forgemaster didn't call you back but sometimes he's a bit forgetful about such things.  But I know the Vulcan forge group has a lot of good members.  Sometimes we "visit" each others meetings to take part of something that the other group is not offering.  For example,  Cullman forge had a handson demo about forging a scotty dog from angle iron and a few months earlier Vulcan had one on quarter coin mokume game'.  And since Cullman meets the first sunday of each month and Vulcan the second sunday you can get a double dose of smiths each month.   Spamky - Ii don't who was "spying" at your meeting but you are certainly welcome to come "spy" at any of our forge meetings.

Normally the Cullman forge opens up about 9 am the first sunday of the month and we try to have a demo or some activity set up.  We've got hand hammers, tongs, and a permanent structure.  If you need a special tool or hammer, you'll need to bring it, you should provide your own safety glasses though we have some spares, two permanent coal forges, two portable coal forges, multiple permanently mounted anvils , portable anvils, mounted post vises, a power hammer and a treadle hammer.  If you're a newbie, we'll set you up with an experienced smith for a beginners lesson.  

If anyone has questions or needs more info on the Cullman forge, write it here or send me a PM.  And if you want to be added to our monthly forge notice, let me know and I see that you're added to that list.

 

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I finally made it out to the Cullman forge today and I have to say I had a good time. I met some good guys and watched a few things and spent most of my time there standin right next to The Other Dave and didn't even realize it till close to the end lol. I look forward to more visits in the future as being able to have realtime feedback is really nice to have.

Thanks Dave for your help with my chisel slitter and center punch.

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