littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

Recommended Posts

Thank you. I was just wondering. What are you teaching on tomorrow? Is it a class just for students or open to anyone? I think I read what you've said about that before, but I'm not sure. Sorry to be pesky with so many questions 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A SCA Barony about 1.5 hours north of me is having a Day of Arts and Sciences and I volunteered to teach a couple of hands on classes:

10 am  S hook

1 pm Penannular Brooch from copper.

6 students per class

Part of my being a Peer in the SCA is teaching and encouraging people to participate in the historic  crafts . (Why you sometimes see people using my SCA title of "Master" here; funny as I don't require it at SCA events...)  This is my first chance to get back in the local scene since I moved back and got a new job, (and my apprentice is supposed to help up there where he now resides.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. It sounds like fun and it's great you can share your knowledge with others like that. Good on you for giving your time to share the craft. I'm sure they appreciate it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of folks out there who would take up smithing if they knew they could do it with simple, cheap tools and materials.  I give a lot of "Hook them and reel them into the dark side" classes.  If nothing else it increases the pool of people who don't freak when you mention having a forge at events or your back yard.

I would have started a decade earlier if I had been exposed to blacksmithing instead of being exposed chained to a rock with an eagle tearing out my liver each day\\\\\\never mind, that's all ancient history now---but I do have a dandy scar!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put off taking the plunge for a couple years because I couldn't afford all the expensive equipment like dirt 

Familiaritydoes make people more comfortable. As an example, When I was a kid riding a skateboard required being able to defend yourself from the idiots and knuckleheads who would inevitably start a fight with you. Now it's completely acceptable and no one bats an eye.

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on. I have acquired some nice,  new things since I've been smithing. But I still tend to use the the simplest and cheapest things I have more than anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn’t afford dirt-cheap until I hit pay dirt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang; I'm cheap; but Pnut---you're Dirt Cheap!

The very reason why I keep telling the story about how I once built a complete beginner's set for under US$25: Forge, Blower, Anvil and basic tools.  What is that---a week of Starbucks?

Bye all y'all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re showing your age, TP. Nowadays, that’sa day and a half, tops. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, that's funny. I can't say my forge was cheap, but it was a Christmas present pooled together by several people, so I didn't put any money on it. I mostly use yard sale tools I picked up or things we already had. One of my go to hammers is an old 1lb. ball pein that was laying around in the shop. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got started for less than twenty dollars. I've since spent money but I hesitated to get started for so long because I thought it would be too expensive. As soon as my eyes were opened to how low the initial investment can be I was all in. 

Pnut

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For years it cost me nearly nothing. Everything was scrap or junk from an old metal yard. Fuel was wood. 

Took me about 3 or 4 years before I started really looking for a better anvil. 

Last few springs I have been going to the Orange engine show. It is a vintage engine show with lots of 1 lunger and steamers and such.  Last year a guy gave me a tour and he even said it's a new time.  He said it's on old persons game as the prices on the engines and parts are way to much for a youngster.  Back when he was coming up they used to give the engines away. 

I'm always amazed when they show a TV show or a video of someone who has started smithing in the last few years and they have every bell and whistle out there.   

Then I start to wonder where it all went wrong. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cost me almost nothing.  Was given a chunk of rail and made the rest from scrap.  Bought a couple hf hammers.  I’ve made every smithing tool I own other than a few hammers, pair of tongs, and the few power tools I’ve gotten mostly given to me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mostly everything new I've got has been a birthday or Christmas present. Most material has either been given me or came from the scrapyard. My anvil is the only thing I've bought outright that was pricey but I started on a track anvil then a Vulcan in really bad shape. And a hammer I paid a little bit for. But the more I do this, I understand deeper how it's not the tools that make the craftsman. I prefer to not even use power tools if I don't have to. Nothing against them. I just like to keep it as simple as I can and the more I can forge something to finish, the less I have to use other means to get the result I'm after. In a nutshell, it's nice having things, but you don't have to have much to make beautiful things. Where there's a will there's a way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, everything is more expensive now than then but when complaining about that (complaining about the cost of things today is part of the job description for curmudgeons) actual inflation has to be worked in.  I bought my first forge and anvil (a 100# Vulcan) for $25 each in 1978.  Today, with inflation, that would be a bit under $100 each, still a bargain but at least that is 2019 dollars.

In a sense, it is a good thing that black smithing tools are in demand and because of that are getting expensive.  That means the craft has more practitioners who are wanting a limited number of tools. It's simple supply and demand.

And has been pointed out, it is the skill and experience of the smith that are the major contributor to producing a successful object.  Fancy tools just make it a bit easier and faster.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, George N. M. said:

Yes, everything is more expensive now than then but when complaining about that (complaining about the cost of things today is part of the job description for curmudgeons) actual inflation has to be worked in.

Interestingly, the little Iron City vise I got at Quad-State last fall retailed for $12 in 1891, which translates to about $340 today.

Iron City sold two models of vise with 6" jaws for $22 and $23 in 1891 (I don't know what the difference was between the models; probably weight), which comes to about $620 and $650, respectively. That puts the $420 (including shipping) for a new 6" vise from Kanca in perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cut a small piece of the bearing race and got it forged to a decent shape. Normalized 3 times. I got to go out of town tomorrow so will be a few days before I can quench and see if this steel is going to make a decent knife.

20191123_163738.thumb.jpg.d3036f5536cabc5ce1467a4c8ea7235f.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished my first knife. Polished to a 3000 grit. Rescued wood with a BLO finish. Very proud of how it turned out. 

A5DF6C14-02FF-4925-A09F-4FD9BCBF47C4.jpeg

702C0F1A-86E8-42E0-A6C6-1CABAB549030.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Randy Griffin, look up working and heat treat specs for 52100 steel. That is the alloy most used for smaller bearings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my 110 power just about squared away, then hung a single LED fixture, and my clock radio up and threw a hissy fit! :angry: Some LED's are not clean, I found an EMI filter on-line and ordered that, onnacounta I don't want to pack the light all back up, then try to refund it. 

So, the drop light is still on duty.

pmGCNPp.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Randy Griffin, look up working and heat treat specs for 52100 steel. That is the alloy most used for smaller bearings.

Yes, I've been reading everything I could find. I don't have the right equipment to heat treat it to its full potential but I hope to get a decent knife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tangle diver.  sometimes those Leds need some time plugged in to correct.   With this said.  why EMI filter?  Do you have something on the line or close that would cause interference? 

Randy,  52100 can be fickle and its one of the only steels that I quench in oil on a regular basis.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scrapped leather chaps and straps with some hardware from a friend of a friend turned into Blacksmith Apron. I am left handed so the pockets are slightly oriented for easier access. Still debating a scribe/pencil pocket in the center.

 

97215399-8111-41B5-A600-AC04C5401010.jpeg

FAD53228-2C3A-4854-9AF9-6B96BEA2BAE2.jpeg

050BD754-BBBA-4B9A-9FDF-7F4C292E065F.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read the apron thread in the PPE section. I stitched the straps in the wrong way. They need to be rerigged to go over the shoulders and cross in the back to the hips and then secured. I have enough neck issues, dont need the extra weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/22/2019 at 6:39 PM, ThomasPowers said:

 you sometimes see people using my SCA title of "Master" here; funny as I don't require it at SCA events..

 I closed my Dojo years ago, 2 of my higher ranked students teach still, I occasionally assist them.  I only expect my Masters title to be used when I teach, outside of class most of my students call me Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.