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I Forge Iron

Hello from mid Sweden


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Hi everybody,

I have been lurking and posting occasionally for some time but not presented myself. I am always short of time and I do not consider my person as very important - so much for apology - to the subject.

I am Göte Svanholm born 1938

In my late teens, my father wanted me to improve my German and set me up with a friend who was  "Kunstschlosser" His name was 'Willi Krauss' in the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This led to some four hundred hours of intense training in blacksmithing and to my becoming fluent in German (of the Bavarian variety).

I then studied engineering for six years, made the compulsory eleven months with the army, became an empolyee for some twenty years followed by starting an engineering company which I am now closing down except for a few old customers.

I always wanted to take up blacksmithing again and a few years ago there was a kind of schooling available in a smithy that was started in the seventeenth century. I went there a few hours weekly and it was a pleasant surprise to find that I still remembered what I learnt sixty years earlier.  Unfortunately, the master became so ill that it stopped.

I did not want to stop a second time, however, so I started to look for equipment and today I have a small shop of my own. Anvil: described under that topic. Forge: Field forge (used by cavalry farriers in the field) modernized with electric motor.  I am definitely a hobby smith mostly making small gifts like bottle openers, door handles, gardening tools and whatever is needed in the family or on the estate. Sometimes I help people out. My last project August 2015 was to help a friend with an iron garden gate that did not close. However, that was ten percent smithing and the rest turning and filing.

My smithy is on the old family estate (50 acres) so I have zero problem with neighbours, zoning etc. It is in mid Sweden on the most northerly bay of the lake Hjälmaren. Of course any member of IFI would be welcome to see  me.

I think this answers 1-7 of the questions Glenn has put.

8: I am not aware that my attitude has changed

9: All the main tools equally: Anvil, hammers, tongs, forge, smoke exhaust, roof and walls.

10: that is a hard one. This site is full of really good advice to the budding blacksmith. The obvious has been said many times. Perhaps I would say: Remember that Art is long and Life is short so make sure to be efficient in learning. The famous swordsman from the seventeent century Miyamoto Musashi said "Study all arts".

11 is even harder. I could not possible give advice to Glenn or Frosty or or.... However, there are other people "involved in blacksmithing" that ought to remember that there are more than one way of doing things and that what they have learnt is not necessarily the only way to follow. Someone said that if you ask two blacksmiths how to do something you get five different answers. I would like to add: "and all five are right".

12. I have experienced many things but not really as a blacksmith  

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Welcome;  I agree with your comment #11  and liken it to Kipling's poem: "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
spacer.jpgAnd every single one of them is right!"           http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_neolithic.htm

I've visited Rothenburg ODT several times, even picked up a copy of their Medieval Criminal Justice Museum's book for my research library.  I'm so glad it was rebuilt after WWII.

Edited by ThomasPowers
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Gote: I think you have advice for anyone with wit to listen. The more you write the better I like you. I hope we get a chance to meet some day.

Frosty The Lucky.

You are really too kind - occasionally;). I Would like to see you forge welding but the distance is a little too far these days.


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Gote.      Welcome to IFI Your shop location sounds nice on the family  estate .  welcome back to Blacksmithing it's a great way to enjoy retirement and this is a great place to learn and generate new friends world wide.  I  understand  the "distance is a little far these days" as well.  I was fortunate to have traveled to Sweden on a number of occasions from one side to the other as I was a SAAB dealer for 30 yrs.  I remember traveling though the country side on a Bus Scania of course and saw a lot of farms and what I presume would be an estate.  I was always impressed by the ages of places in Sweden in the US something 200 yrs is OLD, almost New in Sweden.

Enjoy maybe we will see you in the chat room some time.  Dale 


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