Tock

Why blacksmithing? initial pull

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What is was your reason for learning wanting this as a hobby/trade/art/job?     For me it is a cure-distraction from a life of Ptsd! I might not be good at it and I just wanted to “hulk smash” stuff at first but it is evolving into so much more learning and love of being creative!  Some veterans get a service dog. I get a service anvil. 

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Yep, swords as a kid, horseshoes as an adult.

Anything that takes enough of ones focuse with out being exhausting (like driving on ice) keeps all the squirrels caraould and moving in one direction. You will find your not alone in forging chains to keep your demons fettered.

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I've done woodworking for years. Wanted to be able to add metal to the projects, so built a propane tank foundry. Now I could cast metal. Then thought since I 've got that, might as well build a forge and be able to shape hot metal. Then I saw Bob Kramer's knives and now I'm working on getting to a level to be able to do pattern-welded blades.

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Mr. Tock,

I got into this fine craft in a typically roundabout way. (typical for me that is).

I still do art and my canvases are usually five eighths thick plywood. (they are primarily really sculpture.)

I use selected rusty metal, among other things. But I also wanted some specific elements. So I started to fashion some.

I soon discovered that hammering hot iron is the most relaxing and legal activity I have ever done. (go figure).

SLAG.

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I got In to it because my best friend got in to it. Then I got Hooked/addicted, and continued doing it because I couldn't Imagine stopping.B)  

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I’m a history nut ,I’ve got 2 blacksmiths in my family history , sorry ancestors, I’m not doing great work . I’m an electronics repair tech to pay the bills , just do this for my therapy of dealing with idiots all day, I can only hope and try to be a tenth as good as some of you guys.

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it’s a good therapy session. I am a Union Sprinklerfitter to pay the bills     I have just got into this and I will go for a tenth as well.  

 

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20 minutes at the anvil and you do not remember what the problem was, much less the fellows name that caused the problem. A shrink takes that long just to say how ya doing?

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My Dad's family is mostly in Virginia, western part. Visiting in the 50's always brought a stop at a farm that also made good whiskey and were blacksmiths-- wheel wrights mostly. It didn't take much to get me hooked on hammering. My first forge was my Dad's blow torch and a chunk of rr track made a serviceable anvil. Living in Chicago for a few years then working at a Ford stamping plant south of the city I still liked metal working so I gradually got together tools for blacksmithing then we moved to a small town south of the city out in the farm lands--on a farm and I've been enjoying life a bunch more doing things I enjoy. Having a loving Wife for 57 years don't hurt either!

                     Jerry

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First I wanted to make a set of stirrups out of rasps and then I was wanting to make one piece spurs. I very quickly discovered that both were not beginner projects. I’ve made a lot of other things and for some reason haven’t ever gotten back around to actually making the things that got me started in the first place. 

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I started in horseshoeing and then started making hooks, fireplace tools, and then door hardware back in 1977. Loved the work and history, never looked back. Now look to end my days doing it and passing it on.

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2 hours ago, Glenn said:

20 minutes at the anvil and you do not remember what the problem was, much less the fellows name that caused the problem. A shrink takes that long just to say how ya doing?

Yep...

As a rookie police officer, I got started to relieve the pressures of the job.

Along with hearing/remembering my grandfathers exploits as an Army blacksmith under Gen. Blackjack Pershing chasing Poncho Villa all over the southwest & Mexico.

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14 hours ago, Ranchmanben said:

First I wanted to make a set of stirrups out of rasps and then I was wanting to make one piece spurs.

History lives on! Glad to see that even as a person’s age declines the love for knowledge family heritage and creativity don’t fade as generations pass. Thank-you “old timers” for passing on wisdom even if it is redundant for you all to see the same problems over and over.   Life’s not short make those spurs  

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For me it was initially to support my machining hobby, being able to resize or preshape a blank before machining saves both time, materials and electricity. There is also the ability to heat treat components after manufacture permitting the use of wider range of materials.

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My father collected knives. He developed the interest when he was a boy, as his father also collected them. When Dad passed away 5 years ago, I received his collection, which included many knives from my grandfather's collection as well.  I never had much interest in knives before this. They made me kinda nervous. Heck... paper cuts freaked me out. I could only imagine cutting a finger off with a big Bowie knife or meat cleaver... Lol.

However, there were so many beautiful pieces that I had never known he had. As I held and examined each of them I became enthralled with the detail and craftsmanship, along with the power and utility of these beautiful tools. I found that I really understood his connection with the knives, and I knew that shared it too. I started to think about my abilities and if I could ever craft anything such beauty and utility. My first thought was... No way!  I have never been able to draw, paint, sing, dance or do anything much in the way of an artistic expression.

However, I remembered that when I was young I carved little figures out of sandstone and wood. Apparently they were good enough to get some attention from the adults in my life. My parents proudly showed them to their friends and I received several commissions to make items for some of them. It made me think that perhaps I might have a small measure of talent in three dimensional artistic expression.  I thought "knives and other products of the blacksmith are 3 dimensional!  Maybe I could do this". So started teaching myself to forge things a few years back. I am still a very green novice and only in the last year I've discovered this forum, which has helped me get on track in many areas where I started off on the wrong path.

The good news is that the few things I have successfully turned out have made me believe that I actually may have a few molecules of talent bouncing around in my head. And if I keep at it, they may organize themselves enough to help me make some things that others would like.   Fingers crossed! :rolleyes:

 

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For whatever reason when I was a kid, 13-14 years old, I enjoyed the idea of being a blacksmith. At the time I had no support so my attempts didn't go so well. After many cold burning fires, broken cinder block anvils, and ruined pieces of metal; I gave up. I always wanted to get back to it, just didn't have the space, money, tools, or whatever excuse I made.

 

I think my big draw was making weapons as a kid, but now it's more to express my artistic side and beat on metal. Naturally I still want to make weapons, but tools also intrigue me.

I'll be honest, the one thing that really pushed me to getting started was watching the smiths on forged in fire. Seeing how some of them got by at home with little more than a chunk of steel and a fire, was inspiring. Plus I'm trying to stop using excuses, it's not easy.

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When I was 5 or 6, my dad took me to a "ghost town" tourist deal. No live demos, just displays.

I have never forgotten the blacksmith shop. A dummy sitting in a rocking chair with tools all over the forge and covering  the floor.

Now all I need is the rocking chair..  :)

Actually a true story. I've pursued this dream since that time. At many critical crossroads across time something related to this amazing craft has been there. I've always taken the path indicated by "hot iron".

And a grand journey it is!

 

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3 hours ago, Tock said:

History lives on! Glad to see that even as a person’s age declines the love for knowledge family heritage and creativity don’t fade as generations pass. Thank-you “old timers” for passing on wisdom even if it is redundant for you all to see the same problems over and over.   Life’s not short make those spurs  

Oh there’s plenty of time, I’m only 34. 

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I certainly hope you have a bunch of decades before you.  I'm never sure I'll make it to tomorrow as I've not been privy to such information...   One nice thing about blacksmithing is that I've know a number of smiths actively working into their 80's and at least one who'd forge a bit in his 90's.  

But; as jolly old Horace used to say to me "Carpe diem "! (Or when in his cups and railing about floor coverings and Mars: "Carpet Deimos!")

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Just started myself mainly because its awesome. I really like working with my hands and blacksmithing is one of the few hobbies where you can actually make the a lot of tools you need using the the hobby itself, I just love that. It will also be nice making some stone mason tools for my actual job as well.

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