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I Forge Iron

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15 hours ago, matto said:

Really is coming together nicely and we are all jealous of you!!!

Thank you.  This coming weekend will be the first real together demo.. Be super nice to have everything organized and where it belongs.. 

 

Then I can get started on the foot hammer.. :)

2 hours ago, IronWolf said:

WOW thats a start from scratch RE-do fab job on that trailer, looks like you replaced or reworked every piece of steel on it !

thats a lot of fab time Well Done !! just looking @ that much work tiered me out !!!!!!!!!

Steve's Welding & Fab

Thanks..  I would have been better off with a completely new build.. For some reason I was fixated on using the rounded panels..   I swear this is the last trailer I will ever build but one never knows..  4ft longer  would be perfect.. 

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12 hours ago, Frosty said:

About the brick painting tricks. If they're to be new brick buy flat brick red paint and paint the stack or whatever and let it dry thoroughly. Now using a 1/4" wide paint brush and mortar colored paint paint the joints between bricks. Fast and easy.

Old brick is harder and might take a little cardboard mask. Mix a weathered brick color paint and let it dry. Then using the mask and flat: white, black or mold colored spray paint just mist the areas you want discolored. Then paint the joints and lightly spray with age colors if desired.

If you're doing aged brick it really helps to make sample sketches with crayons or colored pencils/pens to get a feel for the discolor patterns you like. Stipple the age colors.

It's similar doing this with concrete, lay and smooth the wall, walk etc. then trowel a 1/4" layer of brick rec mortar mix over it. come back with a joint knife and cut down to the concrete color and joint tip it.

JP: I'm a natural at demos I like talking and am generally pretty likable. I don't blow smoke up folks butts and actively try to dispell the whole myth aspect of blacksmithing. It's just knowledge and practice, no magic. I treat demos like theater and rather than stick to my shop techniques I use more theatrical methods. For instance rather than just change from pein to face on my hammer I give it a spin in my hand and stop it when the correct face is down. No, I don't twirl it like a baton I spin it in my hand and I cheat, the pein edge of the handle is rounded the face is flatter so I can feel which way it's pointed without looking. I have a few hammers that are equally balanced so it's hard to tell by the feel of it as it spins.

I do little flashy thing to entertain the audience.  Folk pay closer attention, learn more and remember what they see if they're having fun and laughing. I've gotten applause on more than one occasion for dropping something. I raise my arms and say Ta DAH! and take a bow as I pick it up. It's always good for a laugh and folk can identify with someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously.

I talk, describe what why and how I'm doing every step, answer questions, tell stories and jokes.

Why do you do demos if you don't have fun?

Frosty The Lucky.

Really sounds like a great demo..  You must be so entertaining to watch from the entertainment stand point. I'd love to see you in action.

 

That is certainly not me..  

 

Heres a little history of who or what I am. Maybe more than most care for.. But it's who I am good or bad.  lets see.. More than likely I demo to show people what blacksmithing was.. Vs is..   I'm  a very serious person.. I love animals, nature not much for BS or standing around, though I do enjoy good conversation and very interested in how others make a living or go about their day.. 

I'm also a trades person not an artist...    I like making functional everyday items.. Well what would be considered everyday items way back.. I'd rather build an axe than a sculpture..   

And way back when i really started to get more involved with hardware one of my buddies who was a blade smith tried to talk me out of hardware and into bladesmithing as a living 1990.. 

I guess it stems from trying to make a living from smithing 22 years ago..   First off I was self taught and had no mentors.. Information was scarce and unless you joined a group or knew someone and/ or could afford to travel (which I couldn't do) there really was no sharing... If I walked into a shop, the smith would stop working instantly and wouldn't start to work again until I left..  Wasn't much sharing back then.. At least in the limited circles I was in.. 

Maybe it was me but it certainly was different..    So, my earliest creations were knife making (11 years old).  It wasn't till a person I worked for doing carpentry knew I had a forge and made stuff, asked me to make him some hardware..  it was hideous..   I soon realized while yes I could make knives.. i really had no concept of what real forging was.. I was 16 at the time and living on my own..   

I then started pursuing hardware making in earnest.. spending what money I could afford on coal and equipment with bartering and trading with a cash kicker..   Of course I had read just about every blacksmithing book I could get my hands on from the age of 10.. MT Richardsons  was my favorite.. 

I prefered the old schools stuff vs new.. 

Anyhow,  eventually I got the hardware thing figured out and was working on my own.. The rule of strike while the iron is hot became my life blood and mantra.  99% of my business was custom orders and I would quote these jobs out..  I also had a 30% variance up/down on quoted price..but prided myself on being on target..  I also had a time clock which I would punch in at the start of the job and would punch out at the end..  I was all business.. I had taken a business course related to blacksmithing and they had a formula which according to my outline would require me to make about 110.00hr..   There was no way I could charge that..  I settled on 60.00 back in 1990-91.. 

 

So in order to come close to the 60.00 per hour AND come close to the quoted price I learned to work very quickly..  With no messing around..   This stuck.. Both mentally and physically..   So it applies to pretty much everything I do..  No time for messing around.. Get the work done and it should have been done yesterday.. 

With this being said..  It's the largest reason I love to forge iron..  You hit it, it moves.. Instant action..   Also, because of the ingrained work ethic's of my earlier years it applies to everything I do..   The happiness comes from when it's completed and it's a job well done.!!!   I used to be a machine..  

I've been told I am a rather intense person..  But its funny because during teaching it's the exact opposite.. At least now it is..  Maybe it's because I have gotten older.. Not sure, but I'm still pretty intense..    My sports of choice..  Martial arts, Free style solo rock climbing,  DownHill mountain bike riding,  breath hold diving.  Deep over 130ft scuba diving and cave diving,   Rally car driving..   LOL..   Can you see it..   :)

 

I am not an entertainer for sure.  Here is a letter a gentleman sent me names removed..  :) Maybe I'm entertaining after all.. :)

 

Hi Jennifer,

 I think that is the name you gave me. My daughter and i met you at the Hardwick fair this summer, and we were both very impressed with you. You seem to love you craft and seemed to love to share it with others. You don’t realize of course, blacksmith women, how fascinatingly beautiful you are, and how strangely you have acquired an added and special and dangerous loveliness to the world. 

 

You are every think i would love Rosie to be strong independed, motivated and skilled. I truly appreciate the time you spent with use explaining and demonstrating you craft. Rosie and i love to draw and love art of all kinds you are inspiring to us both,

 

 I do wish you would were safety glasses. You seem have great awareness and control but i would love for you bright eyes to last a life time so that you beauty you create will continue.

 

I am always crazy busy all the time but i hope that we will meet again. if so I would love to draw your portate  or perhaps you would figure you have beautiful arms. I am no superman but I know what he looks like.

 

Well keep up the good work 

 

Sincerely yours 

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Okay so you take yourself more seriously than I take me, maybe if I'd been a little more serious.

Have you a background check done on the letter writer? He sounds like a stalker to me. Just joking he actually sounds more than a little self conscious writing you. Hes daughter probably made him.

Your idea of fun is a lot more dangerous than mine, I stopped trying to free dive deeper than around 60' if you spear a decent sized fish they can take you down so you want to maintain your margin. No cave diving either you can't fit a chicken for scuba it bubbles around my beak.

We have such different backgrounds, it's kind of amazing we understand each other at all. Cool.

Frosty The Lucky.

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52 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Okay so you take yourself more seriously than I take me, maybe if I'd been a little more serious.

Have you a background check done on the letter writer? He sounds like a stalker to me. Just joking he actually sounds more than a little self conscious writing you. Hes daughter probably made him.

Your idea of fun is a lot more dangerous than mine, I stopped trying to free dive deeper than around 60' if you spear a decent sized fish they can take you down so you want to maintain your margin. No cave diving either you can't fit a chicken for scuba it bubbles around my beak.

We have such different backgrounds, it's kind of amazing we understand each other at all. Cool.

Frosty The Lucky.

I actually get stuff like this quite often.. Men, Women, boys girls.. as you know it's the passion or wow factor that provides the best entertainment.. 

 

I like cheerful and happy people.. I'm just a doer..  Middle aged.  and happy to swing a sledge, dig a hole or roof a house.. LOL>. 

Differences are the spice of life..   I know where I am today is where I am supposed to be.. I also know that all my brothers and sisters are where they are supposed to be.. It's understanding that in reality there is no difference of who does this, or can't do that..  It's a matter of looking at the differences and seeing in reality we are all the same..   I love to hammer hot metal,, I believe everyone on here does also..  

We may go about it differently or have different opinions or different methods,  but in the all of it.. It's still forging metal, and sharing a passion..   It's all good..  

And as your Name points out"    It's all a Little Frosty till you sit by the fire and have a cup of cocoa with a friend..      

Thanks..   Do let me know when you have demo's scheduled next year I'd love to try and see one..   :)

 

As for any fun stuff all I have done is worked on the trailer.  I haven't been swimming or to the beach once this summer..  Next year.. 

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I  much prefer to have happy people around me and learned early on to cheer them up myself. Being able to make perfect strangers smile or laugh is like a super power, a good one. Where I am today is on my way to the next thing. I believe in free will so I don't know if I'm where I'm supposed to be but here I am I'll make the best of it and move on.

I taught myself blacksmithing as a method to be able to do for myself. To be able to make what I need from what's available even if I have to start with dirt. It was also escape from working in Dad's shop where working to the ten thousandths was every day, I needed the eyeball, tactile, manual release of shaping things by hand with the most primitive tools, fire and something to bash with.

I like different it represents something new to learn. Just leave little Frosty out of it will ya. I LOVE a good straight line but . . . <SHEESH!> :P

Art on Fire is usually the last Saturday in June, I'll let you know the date when it'd decided on. Catch a flight up I'll introduce you to the club even if I have to call a meeting. Silly guys elected me president for life when I was in a coma. :rolleyes: It'll serve them right.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 9/18/2016 at 1:05 AM, Frosty said:

About the brick painting tricks. If they're to be new brick buy flat brick red paint and paint the stack or whatever and let it dry thoroughly. Now using a 1/4" wide paint brush and mortar colored paint paint the joints between bricks. Fast and easy.

Old brick is harder and might take a little cardboard mask. Mix a weathered brick color paint and let it dry. Then using the mask and flat: white, black or mold colored spray paint just mist the areas you want discolored. Then paint the joints and lightly spray with age colors if desired.

If you're doing aged brick it really helps to make sample sketches with crayons or colored pencils/pens to get a feel for the discolor patterns you like. Stipple the age colors.

It's similar doing this with concrete, lay and smooth the wall, walk etc. then trowel a 1/4" layer of brick rec mortar mix over it. come back with a joint knife and cut down to the concrete color and joint tip it.

JP: I'm a natural at demos I like talking and am generally pretty likable. I don't blow smoke up folks butts and actively try to dispell the whole myth aspect of blacksmithing. It's just knowledge and practice, no magic. I treat demos like theater and rather than stick to my shop techniques I use more theatrical methods. For instance rather than just change from pein to face on my hammer I give it a spin in my hand and stop it when the correct face is down. No, I don't twirl it like a baton I spin it in my hand and I cheat, the pein edge of the handle is rounded the face is flatter so I can feel which way it's pointed without looking. I have a few hammers that are equally balanced so it's hard to tell by the feel of it as it spins.

I do little flashy thing to entertain the audience.  Folk pay closer attention, learn more and remember what they see if they're having fun and laughing. I've gotten applause on more than one occasion for dropping something. I raise my arms and say Ta DAH! and take a bow as I pick it up. It's always good for a laugh and folk can identify with someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously.

I talk, describe what why and how I'm doing every step, answer questions, tell stories and jokes.

Why do you do demos if you don't have fun?

Frosty The Lucky.

I love to be around happy people.  it brightens the day..     Me, I'm a worker ant.. Not one to sit around..  But can be happy also.. I just sound like a downer because of where I came from..   

Anyhow,  Friday I went to the NEB fall meet (My first meet with the group) and ended up making some stuff at the open forges. Which they had 6 units setup.  A forge side rake (side poker) and a blacksmith twist handle on a shovel which had no handle..  I never expected it but since there were no forge tools I took it upon myself to get the move on..  My first time at the forge in weeks.. Took a little while to get warmed up but all in all was good demo's for the guys hanging around and watching.. 

And since both items involved forge welding one of the guys spoke up and said he never had a successful forge weld.. So gave him a lesson in chain making which is an excellent exercise to develop technique and timing without fiddling with extra hands or tongs.. 

So we each made a link then I tested mine by smacking the weld back down towards the other side and it just about made it to within 1/2" before the weld failed.. I expected it to fail so wasn't a biggy..   There was a lot of variables going on and I used a lot of green coal to stoke the fire so the next guy would have plenty of coke to work with..    

I was so surprised they everybody used a shallow fire and a nearly empty firepot..  I filed that bad boy up..

When I got done I asked the guy if he was going to test his.. He said " H no"..     LOL..   Was a great day.. 

 

So, back to this tread..   

Saturday I went and did the last demo of the year here in town..  Friday was a great warm up at the NEB and it felt so good to be in with my equipment laid out the way I like with a forge built the way I wanted.. Ah, such a relief..   Working at the NEB event reminded me of why I don't like working on the ground.. Moving blowers.. Smoke and soot and cinders all over me.. Ick.. 

I demo'd from 10-2pm and didn't even get dirty,

 I had a wonderful group come through and since this was the 4th year of doing it, I had a ton of town folk come by and take pictures of the new trailer and exclaim on what a fine job I did.. One guy came back about 5 times to check out everything each time saying what a fine job.. He is a post and beam builder as well as wonderful carpenter..  I asked if he was going to build one.. He said "NO"  it's just a work of art.. :)

This year was especially nice not only with the new trailer but because the level of involvement with kids was amazing..  It used to be the parents that want to stop and watch and the kids would be egging them to go..  This year I had so many kids holding the parent there to watch what I was doing..  And the amount of girls just hanging and watching was the most I have ever seen.. It was so inspirational..  So many good questions and the girls ranged in age from 5-8 to 20-25..  Anyhow was just the best day.. LOve it.. Also got some great 3D footage of me making a large toasting fork.. 

I did forget to fill the water tank before I left for the show.. So that was a bummer.. it holds about 25 gallons so recruited one of the town guys and we hustled water in jugs and pails from behind the  church.. 

The day finished up at 2 I had made 2 bars with blacksmith diamonds to keep the drawers shut for trailer transport,  1 hook, 2 nails the fork and started to work on a set of butterfly hinges for the front of the trailer again.. 

Was home by 2:40pm had some lunch and headed back to the NEB meet.. 

Arrived at the NEB meet to see every forge taken up but kids..  got some nice 3d footage there also.. I noticed one kid was struggling with what looked like a small knife..  It was about 5:30pm and was going to call it quits and head home.. 

The call went out to the group for supper.. So every body cleared out but the guy making the knife.. He sat down and started to eat at the forge.. :)   Awesome.. 

As I walked by the Kid making the knife I heard a woman call to me and said. " Oh, you must be the lady all the guys were talking about making a blacksmith twist handle in like 15minutes and a poker"..    YUP.. I said..   She introduced me to her son which was making the knife made a little conversation and headed for the car..  I had the car today as I had bought a firepot on friday but had the 77 BMW R100RS and no way to get it home.. 

So I got about 3 miles down the road and decide the kid might want a lesson on knife tip making.. 

I went back and pulled up in the car and asked..  Want a lesson on forging knife tips.  The kids face lit up like a christmas tree..   

I ended up making a full knife.. The lesson was supposed to be about directional forging which is was but in the process I ended up making a drop point camp knife, half hidden tang.   I had like 30 guys standing around watching me and had 1 kid swing sledge, one twirling the blower on and off.  

The demo/lesson was good but since I had only planned on forging the tip of the knife as a lesson the blade came out a little wider than I would have liked.. Anyhow I gave the kid "Jesse" the knife and asked if he got the lesson of forging vs mushing and using the hammer to pull the material where you want it to go.. 

 

He smiled said " Yes"..  Thanked me many times and the Mom came over with a big thank you.. I almost got a hug I could see it coming but at the last moment she caught herself..  I love hugs.. 

Was a good day.. I have a huge blister on my thumb as I have no callus on it since I've been working on the trailer and very little smithing.. 

So there is the update on the trailer, the NEB fall meet http://newenglandblacksmiths.org/ and all the like.. 

 

Few of the trailer in it's nearly completed state, as setup.. everybody I asked about the view and if they could see well enough what I was doing was a resounding yes..  I had a group of girls camp out at the back deck on the grass to watch.. :)

There are also a few of the Youngsters at the NEB meet and the parts I made on friday night.. 

 

 

 

 

 

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That trailer is absolutely beyond words.  Single adjectives cannot describe it.  

I have a couple of questions; how is your flue pipe setup to telescope & precisely what is a blacksmith diamond?  I think I see an 10-sided prism, with the tenth face being the joint to the base rod.  If so, you just solved an issue I've been pondering for a bit.

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13 hours ago, aessinus said:

That trailer is absolutely beyond words.  Single adjectives cannot describe it.  

I have a couple of questions; how is your flue pipe setup to telescope & precisely what is a blacksmith diamond?  I think I see an 10-sided prism, with the tenth face being the joint to the base rod.  If so, you just solved an issue I've been pondering for a bit.

Thanks. It's so nice to work in.. 

The stack gets lifted up onto a thimble which is mounted to the roof and a support structure under it..  This thimble acts as a water tight pass thru for the stack from the forge.. 

It has a tapered fit so once the stack is up, you wiggle it just a little bit and it locks onto the thimble. It takes 2 jacks on each side to raise it back up to lay it down for transport.. 

Here is a visual reference and lesson on the blacksmith diamond..      Ideally when finished all edges should be sharp and the square sections should all be square and the triangle sections should all be sharp triangles..   Certain  finials were considered difficult to master and showed the level of mastery by the smith.. The blacksmith diamond is one such item.. 

 

While not that hard to make, to make them all perfect without a file is challenging..  Besides that its a fun item to make.. 

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Doh, I didn't even consider laying the flue down.  Overcomplicating designs is a bad habit...  :(

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to sketch the instructions & post pics.  That's considerable metal to move by hand.  I guess I now have a new exam to master.  I will review the videos first.   Square edges, no file, square edges, no file......

15 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

     Ideally when finished all edges should be sharp and the square sections should all be square and the triangle sections should all be sharp triangles..   Certain  finials were considered difficult to master and showed the level of mastery by the smith.. The blacksmith diamond is one such item.. 

While not that hard to make, to make them all perfect without a file is challenging..  Besides that its a fun item to make.. 

 

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1 hour ago, Anachronist58 said:

Excellent thread, JLP. Inspiring.

Robert Taylor

Thanks.. 

38 minutes ago, George Geist said:

Nice job. Why the stack so high?

Coal smoke is pretty heavy so this keeps the smoke moving along over peoples heads vs coming out a short stack and settling back down into the crowd.. Also  a longer stack will offer an increase in cyclic negative pressure between full on and off.. I use a hand blower.. 

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JP: I've started to respond to what we were talking about regarding to our different demo styles but it'd be a poor digression in an otherwise outstanding thread. Once I get my head wrapped around what I've been up to maybe we can start another thread about demo styles. I'd be incredibly surprised if there aren't a lot (100s?) of folk with demo styles to learn from here.

I love your trailer, the more I see the better it gets.

Frosty The Lucky.

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8 minutes ago, Frosty said:

JP: I've started to respond to what we were talking about regarding to our different demo styles but it'd be a poor digression in an otherwise outstanding thread. Once I get my head wrapped around what I've been up to maybe we can start another thread about demo styles. I'd be incredibly surprised if there aren't a lot (100s?) of folk with demo styles to learn from here.

I love your trailer, the more I see the better it gets.

Frosty The Lucky.

It's all good..  After what you had said, I gave it a lot of thought..   I also had someone video me this past demo day..  While I do work like a person with their hair on fire I also do chat it up and engage people..  Sometimes it's a matter of not seeing what it is you do so the video was great to watch.. 

As for a demo training thread I'd be game..  No such thing as bad information and the nice thing about a place like this is the open sharing.. Something in my earlier days I would have foregone..     

Also, I don't think you or I  have detracted in anyway  with our discussion on demoing..  If anything it might help others who are thinking of demoing but don't really know how to get started in how to converse, act or portray..  

If the demo gets done and shows what blacksmithing is..

This was my 3rd demo of the year.. And add in the 2 days of demoing (didn't really demo, just had people watching, or did I. Does teaching count as a demo?) at the NEB event well that's 5 days of demo's this year.. I'm still having fun and the last demo in town was excellent.   

if you do start a thread I would certainly participate but in reality we covered a lot of terrain.. Not sure I'd have much to say..   Just kidding I love to hear myself talk.. :)

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  • 4 months later...
1 hour ago, Northumbrian said:

Cool thread enjoyed reading this.

Somehow, I doubt my wife will let me do the same to her horse trailer ;)

 

Thanks, It's worked out great.. Way better than I could have planned/hoped..   Here is a link to my Youtube channel.. All the videos dated this past year have been done in the trailer...  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8WRbArfgi8kSaDek7kh_1Q

 

Paid 400 USD for the trailer originally. .  Sat in the back yard 4years waiting for a new life..  The partner got a newer Feather lite trailer about 3 months after getting this one.. 

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7 hours ago, Northumbrian said:

Thanks for the link I'll check that out.

Your welcome.. Let me know what you think.. :)

4 hours ago, Anachronist58 said:

Just took another look at this thread, JLP, your rig is an inspiration.

Rolbert Taylor

Oh, and really enjoying your videos, just saying, others should give them a look.

Your to kind..  2 more pieces to install and I will consider it all done..  The punch rack and the foot hammer..     Thanks for the video plug.. :)

3 hours ago, JHCC said:

Thanks for adding the link to your thread..      I hope to get more done this coming year and once it's no longer freezing and can get a some more light in there the videos won't be so grainy..    Just sayin.. :)

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  • 2 months later...

Holy Hammers that is an incredible build! And you did this all on your own? Amazing. Man, I wished I knew you back then. I'd of packed up the dogs and Sandra and we'd come up to help. Sandra would probably tell me to go play nice, work hard, have fun and I'll see you when you get back. She's more of a planter garden person. When I was a Marine I knew I'd been home to long when she'd ask me "Isn't there a war or somewhere you need to go do your snipper stuff, maybe go on a Med float so you can bring home some rugs from Morocco,  something" 

That anvil stand is genius engineering,  I don't think I would have thought of that.

When I grow up I want to be as talented as you.

Regards

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