littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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 It was a freebie from a coworker who found it in the garage of a house she just bought.

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I have spent alot of time designing, and fabricating things to make thing for the forge as of late.

Today I took the day off today to play. My 3rd opener. Still working on cleaning up the details on my work. Today was a win, even though it took me 2 hours to produce a 30 min project.

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Very nice work, Peppie.  I don't think that's a 30-minute opener, but if you can do that level of work in just half an hour..... that's impressive!

 

I managed to finally get the rifle rack together for a fella wanting to display his old flintlock.  I'm looking forward to seeing the smoke pole in place.

 

IMG_6945.thumb.JPG.5cd2894d7ae8970543535cc5eae4d70e.JPG

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Nice owl opener, Peppie. And I'm with Vaughn … more than half an hour's work there. Initially anyway, until you get a set procedure.

I've been playing around with a few poker handles after demo time recently. You learn something every day with these, especially the twists. Reverse twists need some thinking, and I have found that a twist is not easy to undo successfully. Like the carpenter who measures twice, cuts once, I have taken to thinking twice, twist once!

Here are a few tries:

 

poker handles 2.JPG

poker handles.JPG

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Nice work guys.. 

Peppie the owl is a really nice design.. 

Vaughn, nice simple bracketry.. 

Ausfire,  nice pokers.. good variety.  Getting ready for a show? 

 

 

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Not really a show, Jennifer, I just like trying a few different things after the daily demos.  I get a bit tired of billy lifters and bottle openers all the time. I don't often try new stuff during the time we have a lot of visitors, and I never forge weld the ends of those pokers with visitors close. People don't like getting covered with sparks. No sense of adventure at all.

It's nice to have a range of items for people to look at. I keep one of most things, and the rest go into our shop.

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Each time you talk about your schedule and the museum I get very curious about how it works with you at the shop????

I read it's like a living history museum with demonstrators... 

Are demonstrator's paid by the museum or volunteer work or just with items they sell at the store?

Who supplies materials and coal? Yourself or the museum?

Were you into smithing before you knew about the museum?

Sorry if the questions get to personal and then no response needed..

I did go to the museums website but not a lot of info on the finer workings..

As for spatter and burning on lookers..

I use a large piece of clear plexiglass at the main viewing area for forge welding..  it works well.. and I can slide it up and down as wanted or needed..

This last visit to Virginia and historical Williamsburg brought me to the blacksmithing shop.   The way they dealt with spatter was to put an arm on the stump that held a piece of plexiglass just in front of the anvil with plenty of work room..  it was maybe 2x3'...

 

I wanted to cover more area so use a huge 4x6' sheet on adjustable ratchets but see now the smaller section mounted closer to the stump would probably be just as effective and much less expensive to purchase and to change out on a regular basis.   

I get sheets of used plexiglass at the recycling center for free now so have a few sheets stock piled..

 

 

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Nice pokers Aus.  I finished a gothic cross from a blank from Kens iron. It hard to see but its 2 pieces

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Kevin, I've looked at the cross blanks a couple of times. How did you like it? How did you feel like it worked, compared to your thoughts going in?

Yours is very nice! I'd just like to get some feedback from someone that I know has purchased and used an item before I pull the trigger on the same item.

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Peppie, Vaughn, Aus, Kevin, Ben, Nice work. You all make me wish I had more free time and wasnt just trying to fill a table for a show this weekend. Eh, I love making this stuff. ;)

Started 4 spiders and an octopus this evening. The octopus "might" be my new business card holder since I sold the last one. Or I have another idea for one with a skeletal hand holding them. Might do both. Need a spare since I put a pricetag on them. Eh, some day I'll make one that I won't sell.... 

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Nice work peeps! 
 

Das, can't wait to see how these turn out. 

 

I've been trying to catch up on stock removal knives, and haven't been able to forge the last few weeks. Really dying to, especially after seeing everyone's work. 

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On 10/22/2018 at 7:47 AM, jlpservicesinc said:

Each time you talk about your schedule and the museum I get very curious about how it works with you at the shop????

I read it's like a living history museum with demonstrators... 

Are demonstrator's paid by the museum or volunteer work or just with items they sell at the store?

Who supplies materials and coal? Yourself or the museum?

Were you into smithing before you knew about the museum?

Sorry if the questions get to personal and then no response needed..

I did go to the museums website but not a lot of info on the finer workings..

I've quoted your questions so I don't have to scroll back. And no, they are not too personal.

1. We try to make our museum as much 'living history' as we can. It's nice to have lovely exhibits like our pristine vintage John Deere tractors, but people do appreciate the human interaction as well, so we do demonstrations and involve the visitors wherever we can.

2. Our demonstrators are not paid. I am the curator at the museum and that is a paid (part time) position, but my daily blacksmith demos are voluntary. I do them because I like blacksmithing and enjoy the interaction with our visitors from all over the world.  I usually do some work around the Village first and then start the scheduled demos at 11.30. This varies if we have special school groups or coach tours. We also have volunteers who work in our old printery, people doing vintage engine starts, and we have a wood turner doing traditional woodwork. At times we have a camp cook doing billy tea and damper for the guests. On special days our volunteers include a farrier, whip maker, tin panner, axemen, quilters, rock drillers, and so on. As a retired teacher, I take children into our 1880 classroom for an old time lesson.

3. Materials and coal … well, firstly I never use coal, only charcoal. Sometimes I'll toss a piece of coal on the forge because I like the smell of it. Reminds me of steam locomotives. I supply all my own materials. Charcoal is easy to get after the bushfires and I usually have many bags in reserve. I buy my steel locally and use a lot of 12mm,10mm  and 6mm square, along with a few round bars. I am fortunate in that we have a massive supply of scrap at the village and I can avail myself of any amount of axles, springs, and wrought of all sizes. I am fortunate also in that we have a souvenir shop at the Village and I can either market my stuff through there or sell straight off the forge. I usually like to clean up the work at home and it returns to the shop next day, priced and labelled and with a coat of Rustoleum Clear.

4. Yes, I had been doing smithing at home (but not every day) a long time before starting demos at the Village about 8 years ago. I still have a well equipped smithy at home, but most of my work is done at the museum. Sometimes I'll do the more tedious stuff at the home forge and save the more interesting work for visitor time. After the visitors go I will often stay back a while and try some different ideas … some work, some don't.

Hope that answers your questions adequately. As you can imagine, the Village is a great place to work. Every day is different, and it's good when you look forward to coming to work.

 

Mod edit: https://www.historicvillageherberton.com.au/

Mouse over the front of the steam engine and click on red rectangle.

 

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Hey Snuffy. I was nervous to get making them because the blanks are 20USD each so I was afraid about making a mistake. But after watching Kens instruction video I got going and it went well.

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I continued work on a bearded-axe bottle opener for a friend. Still a little clean-up to do on the axe head, though the die grinder at work helped significantly. The axe head was smashed out of a 3/4" Grade 5 bolt. I also bashed some rebar into shape for a handle and rough-forged a tenon. I'll do some cleanup on this, too, before final assembly. I think I'd like to give it a bit of "wood grain" texture.

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I also completed work on a steel feather. I've seen some really nice ones on here (I think) and wanted to try one just to see if I could. This is the first "art piece" I've done, by which I mean it doesn't have another use or purpose, though I suppose it'd make a good paperweight. It's made of collapsed angle iron, as I like the quill that's left by the angle. Finish is boiled linseed oil/black oxide. Should I give it a clearcoat too? Any preferences on matte vs. satin/semigloss vs. gloss? I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out, but I hope to do a better job on the next one.

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Kevin, thanks for the tip. I might just buy one and try it. Aus, that sounds like a dream job. If I ever make it to your continent, I'll try my best to come see the Village.

 

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Visited Latticino in his shop, where we played with an idea he had as a variation on the classic “blacksmith’s knife”. Here’s mine, as forged:

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I also got to play with his fly press, which is a sweet bit of tooling. 

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Cool stuff and fun Snuffy, John.

Well, while looking at more spider refferences I'm not proud of these, but I like em. Man could I do better.. ah well, artist eye. Finished 3 of 4 started spiders. Still one more and more yet for this show this friday and saturday. I'm under the gun as usual. :rolleyes: Happy Halloween. 

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20 hours ago, ausfire said:

cook doing billy tea and damper for the guests.

Query from the opposite side of the planet. Billy tea and damper?

Sure I could google it but I'm feeling curiously lazy tonight. Wait, would that be lazily curious? :huh:

One day I'd love a tour.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Frosty, you need to come over here for a tour and sample the billy tea and damper.

OK, a billy is a steel tin used to boil water on the fire. Tea leaves are thrown in to make billy tea. Whirling the whole thing around your head three times to settle the leaves is optional. (I can forge special handles for executing this manoeuvre.) A blackened billy was often carried by swagmen.

Damper is a sort of heavy bread made in a camp oven. (Perhaps you would say Dutch oven)

This delicacy was often served with cocky's joy. There you are, Frosty, another Australinism for you to google. Since you are 'lazily curious', I'll make it easy for you. This is what we serve:

https://www.aussieproducts.com.au/damper-with-cockys-joy/

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On 10/24/2018 at 12:08 AM, Daswulf said:

 Finished 3 of 4 started spiders. Still one more and more yet for this show this friday and saturday.

Das, I am seriously in awe of your ability to look at a pile of stuff most people would see as 'scrap', and instead see a zoological wonderland, and then actually create the beasties you have envisioned.  Well done, as usual.

 

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