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What did you do in the shop today?

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 We didn’t do any forging, but I had a really fun visit with Jennifer/jlpservicesinc  and got a tour of the future home and gear of her smithing school. 

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Beautiful as always Alexandr, thanks for the pictures.

Your projects aren't pathetic Chris, they're early steps. Think Alexandr didn't make strange first projects and mistakes?

Nobody is born knowing this stuff we all have mystery WTH? early projects.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Wow, Alexandr, I didn't see those pictures of the fireplace screen when I last posted.  That's true art, my friend.  To me, that's what blacksmithing is all about.  I'd love to be able to do that some day.

Frosty, I'll more than likely never progress much further than steak turners and bottle openers.  It's encouraging to see work like Alexandr's.  I'm afraid I've started much too late in life to advance very far in the craft............but I"m having fun, none the less.

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"I'm afraid I've started much too late in life to advance very far in the craft"?

Nonsense. Unless you're on your deathbed, you always have the opportunity to advance farther. All you have to do is devote yourself to a simple principle: Every time you go into the forge, make sure you come out a better smith than when you went in. 

That means training your eye to see line and form, your hands to direct your tools to make the metal flow where you want it, your consciousness to focus on the task at hand while still planning your next steps, and so on. Take time outside the forge to look at examples of work that you like (in person, in books, or online) and think about how they were made and how you can adapt their design and construction into your own work.

Don't limit yourself. Just focus on getting better, and you'll be surprised how far you will go!

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We'll see, I guess.  I've way too much on my plate in life and don't cotton to giving much, if any, of it up right now.  When I mentioned I was going to start making wood carving knives for the carving aficionados in our area and that it would include working with a forge (which I would have to build and set up)........................my poor little wife just rolled her eyes and said "what hobby is next????"

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Chris, my projects are primitive to put it nicely. They're rough as all get out. I see improvement every time I light my forge though. Progress not perfection is the name of the game. So long as you're improving and building new or refining already learned skills that's all that matters.  You can't pick up a guitar and play like B.B. King without learning to play scales first.


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I get that, Pnut.   But one should be in awe of people with gifts like Yehudi Menuhin.  I know he played a lot of scales............but there is a God given gift we don't all innately reclieve when we are born.  I believe Alexandr has such a gift...............that I don't think I have when it comes to pushing metal.


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I know what you mean Chris, but I agree with all the above comments. Even the most skilled of any thing had to start somewhere. You must think like I do sometimes that I have to be perfect at every thing. But blacksmithing definitely takes a lot of practice to build the skills. I used to be embarrassed to post any thing I do on here, but not anymore. My skills are where they are and I've done it enough now that I can see improvement and that's a big motivator. It can only get better from here. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. You be the best ýou can be. And admire someone else's work, but don't make it a standard that you should be at. 

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I often get asked how did I get to where I am..   My answer is: I have made more mistakes at this point in my life than successes. 

I expect to fail at anything first try..  I then see the failure as progress and do it again..   If I am not happy with something I'm making.  I don't make just one.. I will make whatever number I have to to get to the level of perfection I feel the item should be up to..  It sounds tedious to most but i have learned time and time again.. it is my own self I need impress.. When I am happy with an item,  that is all that matters.   :)

Eventually, the failures happen less and less and before you know it all things are possible.  One more thing.. .    "   If you don't like something about your forgings, " CHANGE IT"...  Be willing to make a trillion mistakes.. you will learn the fastest this way. The other huge advantage today is.  Places like this forum, or local classes or other smiths willing to help..  I could teach someone in 6 months what took me a lifetime to learn..

JHCC It was a great pleasure visiting.  Thanks for reaching out and swinging by..  Sorry the shop tooling was hidden behind all the growth but you were a trooper. Will be really excellent once it's all under cover and cleaned up..  Maybe sometime in the future there will be maybe some time to chat, eat, and forge..   I didn't get done with the critters till 9:15.. LOL.. They were all mad at me.. 

When the shop is up. I will be having a forge in of sorts with a few people..  I'll let you know.. 

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Finished this mini cleaver and sheath today. Ram horns that I left rough as possible, only sanding the ends, edges, and finger holds. Antique finish on the sheath with a light sanding with 220 before applying it. 






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Mr. K. B. 21,

That cleaver will be used for 'food'.  The blade's striations and "cracks"  (perhaps even inclusions, like cold shuts, unlikely, I know ), can harbor disease causing bacteria such as  salmonella species,  Campylobacter,  and the much, more serious,  Chlostridium  tetani* 

These bugs can survive the heat of a dish washer when they're in the cracks and crevices. How will the tool be cleaned enough to eliminate them? You could use Clorox after every use.  But that is not very practical for cooking outside of a home kitchen.

This problem should not arise for use in a home kitchen. (unless food prepared there is sold or used for  the public.  (like a church picnic).

Could the rough finished handle,  also,  be problematic for the same reasons,  supra?

Just Sayyin',


*this bacterium causes tetanus.  (& lock jaw)

* this discussion has been addressed in much greater detail  in several threads  on I Forge Iron.  (concerning other knife makers, and their knives).

At least one of them fairly recently.

Should they be put up as "stickies".

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Welded some brackets onto the stand and drilled some bolt holes to attach the bandsaw. Cannibalized the 1/3hp motor off a disused drill press and a V-belt off my joiner to bring power to the drive train. 


Now I just need to get some blades. 

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I finally had a chance to get int he shop today. Made a plate to go on the anvil with 4 different shoulders, because my anvil doesn't have good ones, added spots to set rivets,  a 5/16 drift and a set of bolt tongs.


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