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I Forge Iron

Greetings from Old Blighty!

Dave Budd

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Another British member here (I know him as Matt.S on another forum, not sure of his name here?) invited me along, so i thought i should start by saying hello and introducing myself

My name is, yep you've guessed it, Dave Budd (I couldn't use a silly name, I would only forget!). I live on Dartmoor in Devon (England) and I'm a fulltime knife and tool maker, though I also run courses in a variety of ancient crafts such as greenwoodwork, leatherwork and bowmaking. I work entirely in my 10 acre woodland, with any forge related courses using my archaeologically correct Iron Age forges. My day to day work is done in my 'modern' workshop, which is primarily solar powered though I do have a (dodgy) old Lister generator as a back up.

I'm self taught so the variety of things that I forge is limited to what I need to make. So it does mean that when it comes to general blacksmithing and particularly artistic forgework I'm not as fluid as I would like. Mind you the only general forgework that i nned to do is for my own use and twiddly bits that I make at shows. Otherwise I focus my efforts on my bladesmithing

a couple of examples maybe...

my normal sorta thing:

something a bit posher, coz I have to show I can

Somthing a little, well, little! (all forged spring steel, all heat treated and I started to sharpen them too)

oh, ok, something for you Americans A 10" bowie next to my dog Saxen

Well, that's me. Be gentle?

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Welcome aboard Dave.

There's lots of interest in ancient forges and equipment here and other places. I'd sure like a look at your iron age forge and tools.

I used to do quite a bit of field expedient forging, making my set up from whatever was available and as fancy as time on location would allow. I like comparing how I did things with how they were done in ages past.


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thanks for the warm welcome folks :)

Ah, Matt87 here. Gotcha. You see it's tricky if you have multiple personality disorder! What's this friday night thingy and what is 10pm in English time?

Frosty, When I started up on my own I knew I had to get out to shows as teh best way to advertise myself with the lowest expenditure. So I had to demonstrate something (I get bored stood behind a table talking all day) but at the time I had a small car (same size as Ford Fiesta) so a full on forge set up was out of the question. Luckily my archaeological backsground came into its own :D And I put together this little lot based on excavated examples from Britain and northern Europe during the Iron age (mostly the kit is from the 6th century BC). Pretty much nothing has really changed in three thousand years: all you need is a fire with an air supply, something to hit the metal with and something to hit it on!

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ah a familiar face or two :D it is indeed a small world

I don't think I shall be chipping in with the live chat then I'm afraid, not unless it coincides with a bout of insomnia or a late night at the pub!

Not wrong about kneeling down all day. It's not great fun but as long as I can get up frequently it's ok, so at shows it's fine as I'm up and down like a yo-yo talking to people. It always makes me laugh when people wonder at the fact that i can make things in a simple hole in the ground with bellows and charcoal. I can do pretty much everything with that set up that I can with my modern forge and a 1hp blower! Really very little in terms of the tools has changed in nearly 3000 years.

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