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I Forge Iron

Blacksmith philosophies.

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Often I get asked about why I spend all this time making something that just right way.  Hitting it what seems to be for ever.. :)  Or why I choose a 7/8" round bar to upset to get 1.250 square bar in a video. 

this video towards the end of it pretty much sums it up nicely.  (timeline 24.28) I strive to do the best work I can do on all items and it has to meet my requirements as to what I am trying to achieve. 

Also watch how Francis swings his hammer..  




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  • 2 weeks later...

I think whatever you do, you should do the best you can and always aim for better. My in -laws recently had all new windows installed in their house. It is over 100 years old and and was the town post office at one time. They waited for about a month and a half before the guy even started. It was supposedly because he had to order and cut the wood, and get the glass cut, which I understand may take awhile. But when he showed up to start, he was cutting the wood in a trailer he had parked in their driveway. He showed up around 10 in the morning and left around 11:30. Came back around 1:30. They cut wood and pulled out one window. Installed one window. Then left. It went that way for  about 2 or 3 weeks. Only working for maybe 3 or 4 hours. Sometimes he didn't show at all. That's one thing. They ordered a rustic look. It was rustic alright. Gaps where you could see daylight. Crooked cuts. Cross bars were uneven. Gaps running along the bases where air and bugs could filter in. He was supposed to make screens, but they paid him and dismissed him. Now my FIL and my husband are building screens, filling gaps and are having to completely take windows out and replace wood because they discovered the guy put them in over rotten wood. Also, they will need to be sanded and revarnished because they are full of rough cuts, splinters and runs from one coat of crudely applied varnish. On EVERY window. What they have built looks so much better than what the "pro" built. It wasn't cheap either and it's still more money to fix his blunders and make the screens. Anyway, I would have been embarrassed to have done such shoddy work. Not meant as a rant about this guy, but  If that kind of work is his mark as a craftsman, it speaks poorly of him. I want whatever I do to be the best I can do and to speak highly of me when someone sees it. Even simple things like sweeping the floor. And if someone gets something I made, I want them to feel like they got something that I was proud to have made and they can feel proud to own

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Completely agree Frosty. Especially when your charging thousands of dollars for a job. Even small things should be done as well as you can. Money gets spent and you will pass on someday, but things we make or build will stay around. I want to make things that people a hundred years from now will still look at and say Wow

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I know for myself it's been a long road back from what could have become a disaster. 

I love blacksmithing. I love the way the metal moves. I love the way it presents a challenge each time I forge (faster, better, more efficient).  I love trouble shooting now and find little aspects that in my earlier days of driven living/wage verses for pleasure to make a huge difference in projects I take on.  Allows for me to be even more picky. 

Reason why I mentioned this is because it takes a certain way of being to be "burnt" out and still produce to that same level or desire.

 When I quit smithing I had nothing left to give and since I had all ready started to shoe horses it meant I could leave smithing behind with little if any problems.  I owed no money as there was only 1 outstanding job on the books and I did not take a deposit so whatever i have time wise into the job was my own loss. Of course the people whos job it was called me for months asking where the hardware was, but I was burnt out enough I never even called them back.  just poof. Gone. 

Anyhow, I understand both sides of the coin and I know it's all to easy to fall into that despair. 

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I can see your point about that. That's why I think if I had to do this for a living, I don't know how well I would do with it. Who's to say though? I've always been a person that puts a lot of myself into what ever is important to me. To pursue something passionately that I love or even just something that is my responsibility to do,  I do it to my utmost. That's not to say mundane things get the same amount of attention. They don't for sure. A couple of years ago, I lost about any will I had to do anything but breathe. Even that was iffy. Life went by mechanically. Just doing what need be done and keep myself busy. Blacksmithing has been a saving grace and I'm thankful I picked up a hammer. 

I was just really disappointed for my in laws. They've had a rough year, and all she wants out of life is new windows and siding for her house that she's been waiting for for years. She's 71 and not in the best health. I guess he just really (word I can't say here) me off. I think I'd rather just not take the job and tell them honestly I'm not up to it you know?

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