Jump to content
I Forge Iron

My First Hammer-In


Recommended Posts

Smiths, 

Happy Monday! I just learned that the local guild is moving back to limited in-person meetings and, even better, is planning to host a Hammer-In this June. I am still dripping wet behind the ears and have never been to a Hammer-In. I'm kind of like my daughter, come to think of it: my smithing life started during COVID, so it's been a little weird. 

Anyways, I'm just wondering what to expect. I know that Hammer-Ins are probably different in different parts of the country/world. This one will be just north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and is scheduled over a whole weekend, if that narrows it down. I'm not looking so much for logistical stuff (food, coal, etc.), more trying to get an idea of what goes on. Do we just forge all day? Is it closer to a rendezvous or a quilting bee? Is there anything I should be sure to bring? 

If all else fails and my question is clear as mud, just tell me stories. I'd absolutely love to hear Hammer-In stories. I'll be asking someone from the guild the same question, but I figured I'd open it up to you wonderful folks as well since I haven't been around much lately. 

--SDG, Timothy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It varies; some are just a bunch of smiths getting together to smith---everybody brings their own stuff to use and show off.

Some are focused on a specific project with everyone working on parts of the project.

Some are focused on an area of smithing--like bladesmithing.

Some are focused on teaching, some on making a specific items 

Some are just a way for newer smiths to access tools and mentoring.

Some are a lot of eating and hand waving as folks talk about what they are doing---asking your local group what will go on is probably better than asking the world for local specifics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to ask the club, they'' be able to tell you if and what the focus will be. Our club started getting bunches of guys who'd never hit hot iron, a few who've never swung a hammer, literally never used a hammer.:o 

That changed the general club focus from a pro demonstrating an advanced technique or item to demonstrating and coaching beginners through a basic technique or two. Our last meeting the demonstrator made a number of simple twisted key fob/zipper pulls. A large component of his demo was about how to use found steel and what is and isn't safe to use. 

My part was to hold the tongs so he could concentrate on doing the steps in a visible way, rather than how he usually does them. He wouldn't need a hand in his shop. The benefit of having a helper was to demonstrate to the guys there's nothing wrong with getting a hand and the helper doesn't need to be some kind of expert if you show them how to do what you need. 

I tend to spend a lot of my meeting time helping guys do things as safely as reasonably possible in a room full of newbies swinging HOT steel and hammers. Getting the guys to NOT stand in the middle of the room with the anvil against the wall is a surprisingly common adjustment I needed to  make. Standing parallel to walls or benches allows two guys to work at an anvil with much less change time. 

We even had 4 young men do some striking and darned if they weren't pretty good at it. Pat had to drag out his home made anvil, the 100lb. Fisher wasn't really suitable for 3 energetic young men taking nearly over hand swings. Pat's home made anvil on the other hand is from a Port of Anchorage, forklift tine and is roughly 300lbs. of 4140. A good one for striker work. 

I've never been to two meetings or hammer ins that were alike. You'll enjoy yourself if you do nothing but watch, take notes and ask questions. TAKE A NOTEBOOK AND CAMERA! Most of all have fun. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Frosty said:

You'll enjoy yourself if you do nothing but watch, take notes and ask questions. TAKE A NOTEBOOK AND CAMERA! Most of all have fun. 

Frosty, I'll take a notebook and my wife! I often see events and family moments from a completely different perspective when I look at her pictures afterwards. 

Thank you both. I did reach out to a particular guild member and our guild email reflector to just say, "Hey, I'm new, here are a few questions, can't wait to meet you all." I'm more excited about this than I've been about anything in a while. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have any cheap business cards to hand out with your name, email address and phone number?   I also put blacksmith on mine and my SCA name so folks remember what the card is for.  Can save a lot of time at a hammer-in or conference and is less lightly to be lost than a ragged slip of paper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, but that's not a bad idea. I think there are places were you can get them free, or at least for next to nothing. I have a month-and-a-half, seems like I could make that happen. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Vista Print and got a fancier card with flames in the background to remind folks that Fun and Fire just go together!  About time to have another 500 made up deleting my southern address.

Note I use my business cards as the price tag on work I am selling; so everyone who buys something I have made has a direct route to getting MORE!  (Hole punch and spool of red ribbon are part of my sales kit...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good idea Thomas.

 

tjdaggett, I’ve been going to our hammer-ins for a few years now and they’ve changed a little in that time. When I first started going, we would have a semi-formal demo setup. The demonstrators would go through and explain all of the steps in making a particular item. Recently, it’s more of just come and hang out. Bring a project if you want to work on something, or get some help/direction on how to do a specific step. If there is a new smith there, everyone is keen on helping, and everyone is on the look out to correct dangerous actions.
Of course our local chapter has a dedicated group controlled forge. The materials, tools, equipment, and tools are open for use by any member. When we are at individuals forges during the winter months, while the atmosphere is basically the same, one has to be care about what they touch. I would like to attend some of the other IBA chapters hammer-ins to meet other smiths, but also to see the atmosphere/culture of their setups. 
 

Go, take some tools and some show and tell. See what happens.

Keep it fun,

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have personal cards, I get them at the UPS store where we have our mail box. A box of 500 was cheap and refills cheaper because they're on file, now they just click my name and print. My next batch will need editing, we dropped the land line.

I kind of regret dropping the land line it was good clean afternoon fun screwing with telemarketers and frauds. Hello,(mr. my last name here) you have won the GRAND PRIZE of a new car and a couple/few hundred thousand dollars! And the game - is - ON.  They're paying long distance usually from Jamaica but often enough who knows where. So what the hey, keep them on the line as long as possible. I could sure use a new car, the old DeSoto is getting expensive to keep running and I need new clothes. Bouncing back and forth talking about DeSoto repairs and my old clothes. In between looking for that pesky SS card. I'm old and feeble you know, I'm looking for the card, I know I have it right here somewhere. Wait maybe it''s in the DeSoto! One of the dogs bark, I start telling them about the dogs with stories. 

I've kept some of these guys on for better than an hour before they get frustrated and say something I can scold them for like they are naughty children. I'm a feeble senior citizen you know so I tell them all about being taught proper manners. When they finally catch on and start cursing me I have to laugh and insult their lousy vocabulary and elementary school grasp of insults. You'd be amazed how outraged they get when you compare them to teenage girls. Sometimes you can shame them just by asking if their mother is proud their darling little boy is an incompetent low level liar and thief. 

DARN I miss the land line sometimes. <sigh> I have to scratch that number off my cards when I hand them out and I still must have a couple hundred of the last batch.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frosty, shaming telemarketers reminds me of when I was municipal prosecutor which involved mostly traffic offenses and misdemeanors.  One thing I tried to do as a prosecutor was to deter future problems.  Once a month we had interpreter day for non-English speaking defendants, almost always Spanish speakers.  I had one young man who was charged with shop lifting.  I don't recall the circumstances but my impression was that he had given into temptation and gotten caught.  While talking to him through the interpreter I wanted to discourage  any repetition of giving into temptation.  I asked him how long he had been in the US and it wasn't long.  I asked him if he had family back in Mexico and he did.  Then, I asked him what his mother would have thought if she knew he had come to "El Norte" and become a thief.  He paused, thought, and started to cry.  I figured that was more effective than any punishment I could ask the judge to impose to prevent a repeat crime.  I think I recommended a minimum fine and sent him on his way.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. George N. M.,

So when was the execution?!!

(Just kidding), you have a kind heart and it shows.

Regards,

SLAG.

Mr. Frosty,

Should the SLAG help set up a go fund me account in order to re-hook up your old land line? Let me know good guy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a land line until February of 2018. When I moved I didn't get another. I got a cursed cell phone. The bright side is I wouldn't have been noodling around on the interwebs and found IFI had I gotten a land line:D

Pnut

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember accessing IFI on a dial up system on my land line.  It's amazing how poor of service people are willing to accept with a cell phone compared with a land line!  (I used to get the "Morning Report" which had things like number of dropped calls for the Network the previous day when it was all hard wired; same report the VP reviewed!  Had a boss tell me once that if I messed up the company would be getting a million dollar a day fine by the FCC; but no pressure!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't surf the net on my cell phone, I talk to people an take the occasional picture with it. I often say unkind things to people who text me a second time. I do check the weather and occasionally a map if I'm on the road but that's about it. The only selfie I've ever taken was a mistake, the stupid phone is covered with button things. 

I'd love to have an app that turned the face into a phone dial, my ring tone is brrrrrng, brrrrrng. Unfortunately you can't do much of anything without a touch pad. I don't think dialing my pin# would be that practical or nostalgic. 

I'll probably have to take my Kindle online when Deb and I start Snow Birding in her RV. <sigh> 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want to make a cell phone with a barrel for me?:) Talk to me, M.J.! A 10 shot rotary?!:D What caliber? Ooh ooh, dial a caliber! Unlimited long distance? :wub:

I'm excited! 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Frosty said:

don't surf the net on my cell phone,

I've been looking at tablets etc. but for the last few years my phone has been my only means of internet access. I've seen a few cheap tablets. I might buy one if I can convince myself to spend some money. 

Pnut

Pnut

Link to comment
Share on other sites

M.J.: I'll pay for the kit and give you the $2k for a phone with a barrel: a .22Win mag auto load derringer, a 5 shot magazine is plenty, would suit me right down to the ground. 

Deb uses her Kindle for internet access when traveling as well as her Iphone. I listen to audio books on my Kindle but will connect to the interwebs when we start traveling. Probably sooner to get practiced up. Deb and I got "forced" into Iphones when Verizon "upgraded" to a new chip set our old flip phones couldn't use. It just so happened the local store didn't have anything BUT Iphones and android phones were "back" ordered several months. 

This one is the last Apple product I'll own if I don't absolutely have to. The probably expensive trick will be transferring contacts and photos to the new phone. IF emailing them to my computer printing the contacts to manually load and emailing the photos I want to carry with to the new one doesn't work. 

Sorry about the Apple rant, I have more beefs with them. Please don't tell me how wonderful they really are if I'd only convert to applism. You're wasting your keystrokes.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Frosty said:

M.J.: I'll pay for the kit and give you the $2k for a phone with a barrel: a .22Win mag auto load derringer, a 5 shot magazine is plenty, would suit me right down to the ground.

Frosty The Lucky.

sorry didn't mean that kind of barrel  :( i didnt know the right term for it then, i meant rotor 

heres an idea though https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lifecard]&docid=608036656169026825&mid=8EAE12882DCCB39BFA378EAE12882DCCB39BFA37&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

or if you really want the phone gun https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/cell-phone-pistol/#:~:text=The Cell Phone Pistol (IC380) from Ideal Conceal,traditional EDC handgun would be impractical or inadvisable.

sorry on the disappointment 

M.J.Lampert

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Noooo, you said.

22 hours ago, M.J.Lampert said:

frosty if you paid for it i might be able to figure somthing out i have some electric knowledge say 2 grand usd on the barrel:D

I agreed to buy the rotary cell phone kit and give you your asking price of 2 grand usd on the barrel. I'd like a .22 win mag barrel. a 5 round auto loader would be nice but a single shot will be okay. 

Just for the record I'm not confused I know exactly what you MEANT but it was such a nice straight line I had to mess with you a little. Relax brother I'm just funnin with you.

I'm not into hidden weapons, if I know I need a weapon, I'm bringing one that takes both hands. Maybe I'd like a key fob that accurately reproduced the sound of a 12 ga. pump chambering a round. I'd just be worried I wasn't running away from someone crazy enough not to care about facing a 12 ga. and double aught.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked that one too. Glad to give you a smile. 

Unfortunately I thought of "unlimited Data tat tat," too late to include in the post. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
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.

×
×
  • Create New...