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JLP Services Inc (Jennifer) about me thread..

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Ahhhh Group B.... 

Talk about talent and nerves. 


Yeah, the diesels are no exception. But a turned up TDI, done right, can be a joy to drive as well as a tire-boiling beastie. Folks had a 96 Passat that we had a hybrid turbo, larger injectors, better exhaust, and a tune on. That thing would boil the tires through 2nd and half of 3rd, and if you hit the torque band right when you rolled on the go-pedal, would break them loose in 3rd from a roll. Also got 48mpg highway and started first try on a -20°F day at 5400 foot elevation, at 320,000 miles when they sold it. It had the mods done at 180,000. Tune was good too, it hazed but didn't really "roll coal". 

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Its great someone speaks the car language.    I ventured off into the go fast parts and many don't really understand that the more efficeint you make a motor the more power.  

The car on 91 octane had no knock at 28-29lbs of boost on factory compression ratios and pistons..  

Anyhow a grease burner can do amazing things.  Torque make a car fun to drive..  What did you do with a Passat putting out that kind of power in a FWD car?   

Sounds like fun though.. 

I still have my go fast car but needs to be restored now. Got some rust.. Once the shop is up I'll fix it all up and now they are more collectible. The pricing on SAABs has skyrocketed in the last few years. 

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The beauty of IForgeIron is that you can choose a subject and someone somewhere can help you out.  Black smithing, black powder, cars, horses, houses, fishing, hunting, martial arts, and the list goes on and on.  This thread has 77 replies and 2,077 views. That means  folks are interested, and watching, AND learning.  

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Honestly, it was the product of- "Well, it needs a turbo and injectors, why don't we do something a bit better?" My dad daily-drove till they sold it. The guy who bought it totalled it in a month... Miss that car, did most of my permit hours driving in it. 

Dad had a dyno-queen 99.5 F250 as well. Just short of 1000ft/lb to the floor. It was mostly built when we got it, but I helped build the fuel supply and regulation system, size the injectors to the HPOP properly, installed ceramic-coated manifolds and up-pipes, valvetrain upgrades, etc etc. Could tow their 6K LBS boat handily if you watched your EGT's carefully. 


I never got into actual racing, but canyon runs and various other dubious actions I did. Live and learn. 


Surprisingly, in the canyons, my moms old 92 Miata was a BLAST on the downhill. Not enough power for uphill pulls to be very thrilling, but we had the suspension set up just-so (the HawkEye laser alignment machine had just come out and the boss bought one) and it held those canyon 2-laners like it was on rails. Well, unless a washout put mud across the road after a blind curve and you proceeded to spin and nearly fly off the road.... oops. Yes, late-teen/early-20's hormones make you do... less than intelligent things. 


A lot of what I learned was at my first wrenching job- I did the fleet work. Mainly diesel, light-through-heavy. However, they had a performance division and they built all kinds of wild setups. From smallish import to furious big block drag beasts. I tried to pick up whatever I could. Was a good experience, to be sure. 

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I may as well continue the highjack of Jennifers about me thread. ( I read and enjoyed the journey. Thanks Jennifer)  

I never did anything more than street racing when I was younger although I did have some fairly quick cars. Unfortunately my mentor at the time was die hard Ford guy. Horsepower cost more in a ford. At one point I had street legal mid 10s 66 ford ranchero running FE power.

I built quite a few older muscle car motors and trans but life and family and reality sidelined that for a while. Fast forward to the present and have been molded into a Ford Guy while young.  I am still mostly a ford guy. I decided to fully rebuild the motor of our family car an 04 Excursion "The King of SUVs"    6.0 liters are much different to rebuild than muscle car gassers. When I started tearing it down I had an OH xxxx moment with how complex the newer motors are. So I dug in and really enjoyed the rebuild. When rebuilding I went for a balance between performance and reliability. I can tell you for certain our big black brick is fast now!   Smokes them in 1st chirps them in 2nd and 3rd when I have stupid foot!   My next motor rebuild is a 1969 428 Cobra Jet motor for my 1969 Ford F250 crew cab 4x4. I am planning on going with port injection on it to make it more steetable.

CtG I may want to pick your brain about the 7.3    My daughter and I recently bought a 97 crew cab short bed 4x4 with a 7.3 and want to do a little bit of this and that to it.

Jennifer  The story isn't over!   Keep going!


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We never suped up any of our rally cars, we just ran them stock. My favorite was a vw rabbit cabriole convertible I learned to drive in at 13. I don't remember what year it was, 80 somthing, but man did that bunny fly. I had it for 4 years. I bought it for $25 at the local junk yard, my dad helped me fix it up to "won't get you stranded" and I was responsible for the rest. I don't think it ever got registered due to some paperwork snafu, but that just solidified it as a banger. I learned all the back dirt roads at 50mph, how (not) to jump a car and how to not drift into big rocks in the road, also how to put a tire back on the rim in the middle of nowhere with nothing more than a lug wrench, a rock, a stick and a bicycle pump(and ALOT of cursing). Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't total it on multiple occasions. I even took it rock crawling, and did decent against a lifted 87 Toyota pickup on 30s. He only went further when he went over a log that I couldn't get around. I had a slight advantage though as he was a city slicker, while my driveway was what he considered "gnarly" off road. He didn't understand that rock crawling is only partly about getting over the rock, it's mostly about knowing your vehicle and how to place your tires properly. Oh and lots of scouting out the route so you know what to do before you get in a hairy situation, and so you know your way out before you head in.

That car ended in the simplest way. I wasn't even rallying it. I was just heading home in the snow, slowly going down the last hill right before my house, called dead man's grade, lost traction and went straight into a tree. Was lucky the tree was there though as there was a 30 ft drop on either side of it. 

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My folks 02 Excursion (7.3) has about 270k miles and is still rolling. Could use some love as she ages... replaced the trans at 200k with a BTS and rebuild the oldie-Goldie 10.5 Sterling in the rear. They did the turbo after we moved. Besides brakes, alternators, glow plugs, and front end stuff (typical) she has been a true champion.


They don't have anything modded any more, but dad's EcoBoost 150 is no slouch. Mom's '14 Passat isn't quick but does get 50mpg. 


Powerstrokenation can be a great resource- just be mindful that there is at least as much "armchair master" as actual master. 


The 6.0 is pretty darn stoutly built- fully skirted, cross-bolted, beefy castings... if only the FICM, Injectors, oil distribution  fittings, and emissions systems were as stout... did you Bulletproof it?? 

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They went from 6 bolts per hole to 4 per hole without sufficient bolt size increase. The clamping load is mediocre from the factory. A nice set of H11 head studs solves that. 

Exhaust soot mixes with the oil vapor and forms a nasty sludge. It can build up and severely restrict the inlet. 


OBS and SD haha

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Back to blacksmithing and your lyre gate.

Apparently you did this before 2000. That shows an Incredible skillset to work to dimension and all that implies. Now you have had ~4 years of practice to regain your skills. I don't think I've ever seen one of your vids that shows the techniques and skillset used in the lyre gate. Perhaps you will consider doing a lyre gate practice piece, as if you were bidding a job. Do the lyre, the two verticals and the two horizontals that frame it. This covers all critical details. Then hang it on the wall in your new shop and see what it brings you.

If it took you back then 6 weeks to do the whole thing, you could get that much done by spring.

This certainly would take you out of the realm of basic blacksmithing practice type vids but  would certainly be an indication as to how far your practice has taken you.

If not the lyre, then how about practicing the techniques used? I know you don't like measuring and dimension work, but it would be cool to see you make say 6-36" pickets out of half square with a tenon on each end on the edge of the anvil to dimension. It's as important a skill as making 6 leaf finials. And when done, just cut the tenon's off and you still have 35" left.

Other suggestions from your lyre gate would be angle tenon's or just turn the lyre scroll itself.

I suggest this because there are many catch 22's to overcome to be a working traditional Smith and it appears you have already overcome quite a few. Perhaps a demo/advertising piece such as your lyre would put you in a good place to move up to major commissions than just more hardware would. Alas, it just might cut into your plans to teach.  If you do it,,, it might, if you don't,, it probably won't. Not to mention the challenge to redo your lyre gate will be. 

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Anvil,   I love the amount of enthusiasm you have for me to do the work.. :)  That alone is fun. 

I'm not quite sure why you think I don't like to make things to dimensions..    Nearly all items I have ever made are to dimension..  and You are correct.. it is an important skill set and should be considered as one of the standard basic skill sets..   Forging to dimension is always important.. 

  I don't usually like to make an item twice unless its for a customer.  I would make this again if their gate got damaged.    And since this gate is a one of a kind.  I won't be making another or copy. 

I will though at some point be making some gates and hand rails for the house and for demos in the new shop as well as a huge mobile

It is funny you mention time getting back in shape..  LOL.. I hardly consider forging once a month getting back in shape though I must confess I'm starting to feel a little better about it.. I figure once the shop is up and things are in place to have a forge and such on real terrain, I will take on some other fun work I have been waiting to do.   I started forging again on real projects 9/2016 That was the first job that I actually made more than a trinket with a set of hinges.  this would be covered in the next chapter of my story.  Ideally I need to forge everyday for a month, then I'll start to feel as though I'm starting to get in somewhat better shape.   That and 6months time and I would be in forging shape.. :)  

As for the videos and basics..  Thats all people really want to see and to produce a video that is anything else just doesn't fly.  My channel hasn't really grown at all since I started it where others started at the same time have exploded..  

I'm not actually sure I will continue to do the videos..   I have a bunch more info to present but as for longer videos or other more intense projects they will more than likely move to a paid  channel.   

I'm flattered that a smith of your caliber is intrigued by the gates.

the Gate was made in 1996.  The Door pull and push plates were 2000.  These hinges were the first things made when I came out of retirement.. the few little things I made in between didn't mean much and I did not consider them real smithing. 

I'm still holding out, that you in fact will step up and make some videos.   I love to see great smiths work and I'm sure you would be one of my favorites. 

Boothman gate (2).JPG





Here you might find this interesting too. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Jennifer, so far this has been a most excellent read.  I really enjoy your story so far.  Good show on going with barefoot horses. I love that folks are coming to realize that  horses are barefoot kind of animals.  We kept our horses barefoot, but for long rides over rocky terrain they would wear "tennis shoes".

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  • 1 month later...

Really awesome read, what a journey. Very impressive skill set you have developed, not many people can say they have such a wide variety of skills and passions. Looking forward to hearing/reading more of the story as it is added. 

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  • 5 months later...

So it's been awhile since i been back here.. For good reason with normal work and then the school build. 

So resurrection.   The forging rebirth. 

When I quit smithing and moved into auto parts/weld fabrication, I started looking for more equipment like a bandsaw.. 

I happened across a Johnson model JH saw a few towns over and bought it.  Being a lover of old iron this was a vintage saw that I knew nothing about..   I ended up doing a web search and it brought up a thread on  "shopfloortalk" forum. 

I ended up going there and joining and started a thread on the bandsaw...  A few of the guys there reached out with help and in my history I mentioned blacksmithing, welding, fabrication..  I still consider them my home group..  Bunch of awnry old curmudongseons but welcomed me into the group and once they had seen I had some skills and willing to listen to advice it was heaven..    

After a time frame some members started to ask questions about blacksmithing and I'd do a sketch with instructions.

No videos at this point.. 

After a few years here in Rutland I was asked if I would be interested in going and doing a demo at the Old Trades day they have here..  I reluctantly agreed and dragged my trailer up to the demo 2 hrs late and with a rotted floor.. '

At the demo I made these hooks..  Frankly I was happy i could still forge weld, but not my cleanest forgings..  I was happy when the day was over and on my way home..  Really wasn't very pleasant. 

But I did get invited back..  So that summer because the trailer was literally falling apart on the way home.(parts were falling off) . That spring I pulled out the old plywood and forge and revamped the life back into the trailer. 

The roof was original to my first trailer and though the new trailer was 2.5ft longer I just left the roof the same length. 

I wanted something light that i could haul with old SAAB cars and this fit the build..   it looked really ratty which was part of the fun..   I often would get comments about it being ratty though mechanically it was perfect..  I once got asked at a demo to surround it with haybales to make it more "Picturesque"..   LOL..   I was "sure bring them over.. Bring the fire department too..  LOL..  

This trailer was retired a few years later the reason being I wanted to bring everything into an enviroment I could control.. 

Though this trailer had a roof for sun.. The wind at times was terrible and I hated being covered with soot and ash /cinders.  

That fall I was asked by a person who now knew I was a blacksmith if I could help his cousin make bumpers for a 34Ford..  I offered and did help but the guy was terrible to work for..  Everytime I would say we can do this..  He would say'  ARE YOU SURE YOU CAN DO THIS..    lol..   5hrs from hell.. The exact reason why I got out of it to begin with.  

After the fact he was very happy but what a pain.  It took longer to explain the process then it did to do the work.  (I'm sitting here shaking my head)..  






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So at this point I had been asked by the guys on SFT about tong making and especially bolt tongs aka Hollow bit.. So put together a video for them as well as a video on chain making.. 

2015 is when I redid the trailer.. 

While I was at it I decided to go and look and see what was out there in Youtube land for smiths and videos and Alec S. came up.. 

No offense to Alec but I looked around even more and realized there was not much real blacksmithing  or Trade smithing being done. 

I then proceeded to buy some inexpensive 3D cameras and filmed the first real forging job which was a set of strap hinges for my Best Buddy Dominic..  This was literally the first time in 13 years that I did some real smithing..  (this was the first videos and started the process and YT channel)

it was crazy since I figured I still "Had it"..  Turns out the things I really had were no muscles memory.. 

So, this chore was the first time that I actually could see in my mind what I was making. 

Few understand that i have to be able to see in my mind what the object is..   I pretty much can look at something and that imprints an image in my mind and then I can make it. 

When i quit blacksmithing I was not able to create the image in my mind so I literally could not forge anything. 

After this hinge set for my Best buddy,  a few months later my step father said he would like some fake hinges for his garage door. 


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Alec Steele does some interesting stuff but for some reason I find him irritating.  I don't know what it is, the cadence of his speech, attitude, word choice, whatever but he does not click for me.  There are others, e.g. Jennifer's or Black Bear Forge or Torbjorn Ahman that I enjoy watching but it is a chore for me to watch Alec.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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George I get it..I have a hard time watching many of them.  Alec S was just one of the ones that I watched. What he did was brilliant..  Not only creating a market for tooling and methods but started a revolution.. Really great job.  Self branded and created the market share to bear it.. Kudo's. 

it is unique seeing how all the main players that you mentioned including Alec have changed formats slightly.. Maybe finding there own or figuring out "Their brand/content".. 

At that point in time it was the reason why I decided to make "How to" videos instead of fluff..  There are so many videos out there and even 4 or so years ago the market was flooding with newbie content. 

Sadly, my form of "How to" isn't that popular so struggle to justify new videos but somehow I get inspired every so often and the people who do follow the channel give support just at the right time so keep going.. 

Few realize it's just a trailer.. LOL.. I've made over 80videos in that trailer..  I am looking forwards to getting back into a real shop with heat and space for tooling and cameras. 

So, maybe I will evolve some once the new shop is up and open too..   LOL Probalby not..  Just better cameras..  :)

One thing that did dawn on me.. 

All videos made by smiths are " How to" videos of a sort..  Anybody who watches them can pick up information or techniques. 

Really what I want to make are "Instructional" videos.    I consider "How to" like the old popular mechanics with projects that can be done if followed along. 

I think many miss this point..  

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I can't stand the "Gee wow look what I've discovered!" videos showing common techniques dating back centuries.

Or even worse there was one where the person said on the video "I've never done this before; but this is how to do it!"

Much prefer videos by experts, JLP included!

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I must say i agree with most people. I liked Alec's earlier videos. Now i find them... Stressful? Also. Here's my giant power hammer number 28 and watch this half hour ad for Squarespace and raid shadow legends. Good on him for making it that big though.

Black bear forge, Thorbjörn Aahman and JLPs are my favorites. I have lots to learn and i just think these channels are really relaxing and instructional to watch.


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Out of all the videos.. I like Mark Aspery's the best.. 

I recently re watched the early JLP ones where there are only titles and I like those much better than the newer ones with talking.. 

There is something about reading the steps and watching the work that just clicks with me..  My Buddy Dick L. watched it and commented on it so decided to watch the Ladle video again..   I really liked it. 

Ok, so after that trailer rebuild I literally used it for 1 season and started work on the " Demo trailer build".  thread here:

The hinges in the photo were made in the new trailer. So it was nearly a year since the rebuild on the other trailer took place. 

Ok, So after that demo in the new Trailer build  I read up the day before that NEB was having a meet in Colrain, MA.. 

So, I hopped on the motorcycle and drove out there only to see people hanging and chatting..  Me being introverted I fired up a forge and made a side rake and a shovel..  I just welded them up and left.. 

next day I went back and the news of a person showing up and forge welding had ran thru the group.. 

so I introduced myself and set forth to be an active member both of NEB and ABANA..  I started to look around more and met a few more people. 

At the Orange engine show I met a pretty good smith.  I didn't know he was a smith but he was checking out all my work..   Some time went by and somehow we connected at the NEB meet and became facebook friends.. 

Something to remember is I only forge about once a month time being what it is.  But anyhow Richard W posted a photo on his FB page and I reached out offering a hand in forging 1 assuming he did not have much experience..   LOL.. 

he is an accomplished smith in his own right..   I showed up and we made a deerfield latch.. I did one cusp, he did the other..  The latch still hasn't made it onto his door.. :) 

that is enough for now..  More later.  Rebirth has arrived. 

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On 12/23/2020 at 10:09 AM, ThomasPowers said:

Or even worse there was one where the person said on the video "I've never done this before; but this is how to do it!"

Usually with the title of the video being "How To......." 

It's frustrating. 

Often I'm frustrated trying to learn something forge wise and they go straight to a press or power hammer. Nothing wrong with it but as someone without I'm trying to learn or do it myself by Hand. Still can watch and learn. Just take the idea of what the power hammer is doing and apply it to more labor intensive hand hammering. 

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