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I Forge Iron

Toto's cold today!


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Greetings from the Flint Hills of Kansas!

Normally I go by the handle tk421 ("TK421 Why aren't you at your post!") but since someone grabbed it before I signed up, the moniker of my youth, "The Legendary Bill Hughes" will have to suffice.

I was led here from The Home Foundry forum.

Because eventually I'd like to cast some aluminum necks for (electric) guitars/basses after scoring some beautiful spalted maple last spring.,

Unfortunately all local metal casters here in Manhappiness have passed within the last decade and I haven't found anyone to fill their shoes.

That said, in October I came across a couple of Champion blowers.

Since there's 2 and I have a chunk of RR-rail (is railroad rail redundant?), I figure while my maple is drying I can get some exercise since I'm not hauling around Marshall stacks much these days.

So if there any 'Smiths around the Flint Hills/K-State area, hit me up if you want to impart some wisdom while throwing back some cold ones while smoking some ribs!

-Bill Hughes

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Thanks Brian.

I see you're from Peoria which has a small space in my heart for giving us Wilco, Son Volt and of course Uncle Tupelo.

Cool/sad fact, I was at Uncle Tupelo's last show here in good ole Manhappiness, KS.


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I have friends who still live in your area, and friends from your area. Alas, none are into metal arts, lol

I live in KCMO, and I'm active in the Free State Blacksmith Club - technically the Kansas club but all their meetings are held within an hour drive of KCMO and only a couple hours from Little Apple (Osawatomie, Paola, Lane, Ottawa, Wellsville to name a few places). We've got one member I know of for sure that does aluminum casting because he was in the middle of a batch in his shop when he hosted a few months ago!


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Lived in KCK for Y2K until my truck crapped out and Wyandotte Housing Authority gave the landlord the choice to bring our residence up to code or kick us out.

Obviously he chose the latter.

If you per chance crossed the river and saw the "Why not Wyandotte" sign on the side of 6th and Central, that was on the side of building I lived in.

A couple years after the Checkers on 8th and Central burned down, they finally put a Metro stop there.

Go figure.

Although our landlord was a cheapskate, he was still alright.

Definitely miss (drinking beer with my roommates while-) cruising/dumpster diving the west bottoms in his plumbing van.

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Welcome aboard. 

You seem an audiophile. I love music. Everything for Stan Kenton and his orchestra to Motorhead. There is another thread that is "My own motivational music" in the "everything else" heading. Check it out and if there is something you would like to share please do.

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We looked at a few properties in the Dot so yeah, I actually know exactly where you're referring to! Sucks that the landlord chose option B, but I agree, not surprising.

Metro stops are tricky. Some (maybe most?) businesses don't want them in their vicinity because it attracts vagrants and litter. A few years back, Walmart terminated their agreement to host a fairly large metro stop. The city added multiple metro stops throughout our neighborhood but one was in our neighbor's front yard. Like, what?! I'm not opposed to metro stops in the neighborhood - but in someone's front yard?! The neighborhood pitched in and got the city to move it. Crazy that it was only there a few weeks and their yard was completely trashed. They also added a stop on the side of 40Hwy, which is downright unsafe. There's no sidewalk and no shelter there, just the pole indicating it's a stop. And it's right after the off-ramp from I-70, so cars are regularly zooming by. I don't know where else to suggest they move it, but there don't seem to be a lot of options. Just saying, maybe that's why they finally added one at 6th & Central. After Checkers burned down, they had a spot they could use.


As chance would have it, I approved a group request on the Free State group last night from someone in Manhattan. Was that you?

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When my roommates moved in '94, within a month the bar next to that Checkers was "bombed".

It was gang related and it never opened back up, but what a "Welcome to the neighborhood"!

I didn't move in until summer of '97 because my band members hadn't graduated yet.


After graduating high school in '92 and before going to record my first "EP/CD" I attended The Recording Workshop program in Chillicothe so at least one of us knew if our engineer was milking "the mix".

While there, went and saw G-Love and Special Sauce at The Palace in Columbus and the MFA art exhibit at OSU  that had some of the best sculpture work I've ever layed eyes upon.

Went thru the Rock-N-Roll Hall of fame the next weekend which was not at all what I expected/imagined.

Ironic that "Draftday" is on TV while typing this!


2 hours ago, Shainarue said:

As chance would have it, I approved a group request on the Free State group last night from someone in Manhattan. Was that you?

Guilty as charged!!!

Looked it up after refilling my bourbon decanter.

Needed the distraction from the IFI rabbit hole I fell into.

Wish I could say for certain I'll be attending the meeting next Saturday, but the hatches have to be battened down before I commit.

I begrudgingly admit I'm getting old.




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Welcome from the Ozark Mountains.

When I saw your location, I thought you were from Australia, we have a lot of members from the land down under. A great group in OZ.    OZ roll call - Everything Else - I Forge Iron

I can't control the wind, all I can do is adjust my sail’s.
Semper Paratus


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I love The Palace, the Newport Music Hall has some great architecture as well but is more run down and not as well kept.  The Taft in Cinci is also a really nice place. Saw Gov't Mule there a few backs and Peter Frampton encored wit them. That was the night that i realized just how good that man is on the Guitar. Warren Haynes is one of my favorites and he even stepped back when Frampton got going. 

G-love and Special Sauce, i have not heard them in quite some time now. I saw them with Ekoostik Hookah a couple times. 

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Irondragon Forge ClayWorks;

I always tend to forget "Kansas" isn't the only "Oz"

Notice you're in Arkansas.

Canoed the White a couple of times in my youth and a friend of mine transplanted to Velvet Ridge after her mom and stepdad moved there.

While not as familiar with your neck of the Ozarks, have been to Branson quite a few times and wish you well.


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I used to green sand cast some; that's how I got into forging sideways. Up in Washington though. I would advise that you check the Dave Gingery books for a start. There are a lot of good books out there, but he's not bad for a simple, easy to understand book on beginning green sand casting. Other advice is seek out other casters - if you can't find them in the forging community, try college art programs. Casting has a steep learning curve and many chances to obtain interesting new scars and respiratory ailments. Good equipment and ventilation is a must - especially crucibles and PPE. Stay away from zinc until you're more experienced. Fume fever sucks.

I'm gradually setting up my forging area now and have been procrastinating on setting up a casting table while waiting for nicer weather. My wife wants me to teach her.

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