salty

Aussie Brush Fires Leaf Memorial, make and send leaves.

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Eh what?,

Did I hear my name mentioned? News just to hand as Cliff alluded to is that the Tree maybe setback into 2011. One good thing is that it's a huge relief for me in that the talked about date was going to fall on my daughter's wedding? Ye Gods would that have put me in a predicament because there was no way I would not be a part of the Tree unveiling or planting. This is not a fabrication issue but an issue related to the Tree's final location. It's about land management more than anything else. It gives us a littkle breathing space. Anyway it maybe a good idea to put a circle around March for any intended trip.

Cliff makes a good point. If there is going to be a gathering of blacksmiths from around the world to attend the unveiling maybe the ABA(Vic) should think about throwing a chop on the barby and putting some tinnies on ice. It would be just fantastic to meet some of the blokes that have helped bring this Tree to fruition.

I shall watch this space and if there is some interest in catching a bird to Australia or indeed in hitting the road from some far flung locale in Oz we will get something going. Let's call it the Tree Project Debrief. Even if there's but only one visiting smith rest assured we will do our best to look after you.

Cheers

Strine


Onya Strine!

I totally agree - with a March 2011 tree planting in the wind, we could be looking at ABA (VIC) hosting blacksmiths from around the world for a major event. I am thinking:

1/. A big dinner event.

2/. Forge in days at the barn.

3/. Guided tours of blacksmith works in Melbourne area.

4/. Homestays hosted by Aussie blacksmiths.

This would be great - happy to help out.

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Tree Project update folks,

Today saw around 20 or so smithies gather at 'the barn' for a branch forging session for the tree.

Strine had us all organised into crews (well - press ganged is probably the more appropriate term)and we got to it, heating 10mm stainless steel bar stock and passing it through the power hammer to taper it off, before giving it a few good kinks to make it look 'twiggy'.

By lunchtime we had close to the 200 twigs done that we needed, then it was time for a BBQ lunch (despite the rain) and refreshing ale.

With all the 10mm and 25mm stock now forged, we will be moving the 50mm and 75mm stock for the major tree branches to another site with a much larger forge and power hammer.

And we now have the trunk forge organised, imagine finding a place that can forge a single piece of 300mm dia stainless steel that is 3m long, well we found such a place in Australia and they are ready and willing to help.

Wiser men than me will ensure this thread is updated with more news and some photos very soon.

I will try to do my bit to let you all know what I know about the project as it progresses.

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G'day Tree People,

Once again Dale has reminded us that nothing much gets posted here about the Tree. Sorry Dale we've been a tad busy with the hammer and hammers and keyboards don't get along too well. The best place to get news is to visit the web site.
http://www.treeproject.abavic.org.au/news.html
But for a quick update we are about to begin forging the heavy stuff having finished the 3800 other pieces, about 1500 of which have come from smiths the world over. If this includes you, dear reader this is a huge project and will still take a while yet to be put in the ground. We were gladdened recently to learn that memorials of this scale are doing well to be erected within three or four years from conception. It won't take anywhere near that long but we thank you for your patience in the meantime.
Another thing is that we are now sending an e-newsletter to every supporter of the project across the globe. If you've made a leaf, you've sponsored a leaf, you've made cups of tea for the smiths or otherwise supported the Tree in any shape or form AND we have your email you should have received the first newsletter last week. If not, we don't have your email address. If you wish to be included on the list please email a note to [email protected]

Cheers
Strine

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Thanks for the post Strine, and a big thank you to all the people involved with the construction of the tree, my small contribution of 6 leaves pales into insignificance compared with the amount of work being carried out to complete the tree. All the best and I look forward to making the trip to Vic for the opening.

Cheers Ian Ross

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http://www.treeproject.abavic.org.au/leaf-gallery_EU.html

Try this Dave. It has been a long time in the making but worth it in the end.

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G'Day Doug,
great to see all the photo's of my fellow Pom's efforts, as well as everyone else from around the world of course.
I'm wondering if the leaves I made up at Moony's were included in among the Aussie contingency? No worries if they were, quite like the idea of being an honorary Aussie :)

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Very nice to see the copper leaf that I made actually got there, I saw it posted in the USA pics labeled R F USA. I see that I should have made it longer. Looks like that will be an impressive tree.
Rob

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During my trip to Australia, on Nov.5th 2010 I was able to stop and see the majority of the leaves at Doug Tarrant's Shop. I was also able to help by welding a branch together, adding approx 2 dozen misc. leaves from the pile, and some gum nuts to it. This was a touching experience, in that I had sent some leaves and a flowering gumnut over there back in 2009. I'm glad I was able to make the trip and help out. It was great to meet those that were involved with the project. Thank you Dale, Amanda, and Doug for this opportunity to help out. - Jeremy K

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And it was a pleasure having you as well Jeremy. I bet you didn't expect to be working with iron in the form of ironbark logs! Thanks again for tidying up the tree I had cut down the day before. (Ironbark = Eucalyptus Sideroxylon). The branch you were working on is actually Limblet(A) #2 of 11. It will eventually have about 170 leaves. The pikky of the model shows Limblet(A)#2 arrowed.

BTW Jeremy do you want your gloves back or have you already replaced them?

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BTW Jeremy do you want your gloves back or have you already replaced them?



Doug - I'm sure it wouldn't be worth the postage to send them back - no worries - they are new and if they fit use them like you stole them. I did realise they were still were I left them outside your door, when we were about halfway back to Dales.
I did check a bit on the rods I have used for brazing copper,brass to Stainless and it's a silver brazing alloy that is cadmium free made by Harris. I'm sure your welding supplier would have a cross reference or similiar rods. They are a bit spendy but work great. - JK

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"Every day is a school day" or "a day in which you learn nothing is a day lost". I spent the day welding more leaves to Jeremy's branch today and stumbled across a couple of things about gas welding. The wind is not helpful was one. Another was that cleanliness is helful. And yet another was that if the filler rod seems to be disappearing with no addition to the weld area there's probably a pool of molten filler rod gathering on the toe of your boot. Nevertheless I'm slowly learning a new skill.

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Doug - I know exactly what your talking about on those findings. Like most processes - prep work is key. I'm glad to hear things are still progressing on the tree :) If it was a little easier for me to get there, I'd have no problem helping you with it. I'm glad (I know I've said it before) that I could actually see all the leaves that were sent in while I was visiting your shop - Awesome! I hope some corporate sponsors step up to help with the tree trunk mat'l costs. - Keep up the good work - JK.

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G'day Everyone,

Just a quick update. We are very close to receiving the final design from the Structural Engineers. As soon as we do, we'll be able to forge the trunk. I'm sure there will be room to view this operation if you're near the forging facility. There'll be lots of happy snaps at least. We have always thought a 3m to 3.5m (10 to 11 1/2 foot) length of 300mm (12 inch) billet will do the trick. It seems though 250mm stock will be OK. This will be forged from the 250 (or 300mm) down to 75mm which is the base diameter of the largest branches. It should draw out to about 6 to 7m. A big branch of 3m welded on top of the trunk will bring the Tree to about 10m (30 feet) high.

Also if we have your email address because you've made a leaf or two, an "e-newsletter" is not far away. Unfortunately a lot of leaves arrived in boxes with not much info as to who made the leaves. I'm sure the local collection point to which you sent your leaves will receive a newletter so it would be best to obtain a copy from them.

In the meantime un update can be got from the Tree Project website although there is no new news since August. Hopefully there will be more soon. Er....we're a bit busy emailing leaf images to sponsors at the moment.... and our boss-woman/Tree Project Manager has been working away from home for the last couple of months.

Cheers
Strine

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Thanks for the update Strine, I've been checking the tree site regularly and its good to hear some news. This has been a massive undertaking and I appreciate how difficult it must be for those involved to juggle work and project commitments. Hows the finance side of things, do you still need sponsors for the big branches etc.

Cheers Ian

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Hi Everyone,

Well, we're into the hard slog now. So you all thought forging enough stainless steel to make a leaf was tough, then perhaps realised, hang on, forging the trunk from 3500mm x 300mm round will be really really tough. Not so, that's the easy part. We are now into dealing with the powers that be and the powers that wish they were. The next step includes feasibility studies, environmental impact statements, geology, traffic management etc etc etc. Pretty much stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with blacksmithing. I think we're in good hands though. There's a lot of smart thinking flying about the meetings. I may as well be a fly on the wall cos a lot of it goes over my head. By the way us blacksmiths are "stakeholders" now don't you know. In fact we're the major stakeholder so our wishes and desires are very much in the forefront of any meeting agenda, as they should be.

Sadly we live in a world where we are governed, sometimes over governed, by rules and regulations and unfortunately, although the power of this Tree is beyond belief it still has to conform. Sadly too, this stage will take sometime to get through. Hang in there folks. It will happen in the end. The latest update at http://www.treeproject.abavic.org.au/news.html has a little more information.

Cheers

Strine

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Just looking back to the pictures from when Jeremy K was over and helping weld up a limblet and is that not one but two Coopers brewery products I spy being used as Blacksmith lubricant? xxxx fine stuff that and used in our shop on a regular basis for lubrication purposes, once the machines are all turned off of course.

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Just looking back to the pictures from when Jeremy K was over and helping weld up a limblet and is that not one but two Coopers brewery products I spy being used as Blacksmith lubricant? xxxx fine stuff that and used in our shop on a regular basis for lubrication purposes, once the machines are all turned off of course.




Farmweld-yes there was a few coopers keeping us lubricated. I found the Coopers went down smooth during the dry mouth times. A trip well worth taking on my part. - JK

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Hi, just an update on the Tree Project; we've just received the second draft of structural diagrams from our engineers tonight, which means we're getting closer to forging the trunk and main branches. Watch this space!
We've also sent out hundreds of images of leaves to all the people (mainly from the fire affected aresa) who have sponsored leaves for the project and got some great responses.

Here are a couple of them:

Congratulations to yourself and everyone who has involved themselves to date in such a momentous and meaningful project; I am happy to have played a very, very small part in it.
—Cathy

Thank you for the photo. The dedication of you and your fellow blacksmiths is absolutely astounding. I wish you well in your endeavours to complete this project. It was an honour to come to Victoria and assist communities such as yours.

Cheers,
—Ian A. Firefighter, Dural Rural Fire Brigade

Well done on creating what will be a moving tribute to all those who lost their lives and the loved ones left behind.
—Marie-Claire



We're still looking for businesses or community groups to help sponsor branches on the tree to help us with installation and site costs, so if you can help out, there's a sponsorship form here: Sponsorship form

Now, when I figure out how to upload images I'll post a couple of piccies of the branches that have been put together. I've also got a photo of the terrific forged corkscrew Jeremy K sent me. (Thanks, I love it!)

Warm wishes, Amanda (Who deals with the council, organises forging and leaf sorting days, takes photos and does all the non-blacksmithing stuff because I couldn't forge a decent leaf to save myself.)

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And another note, if you've sent us a leaf and it's in our Leaf Gallery with incorrect details, please let me know, I'm the person that fixes all that. We've had a great response from people here who have seen the gallery of leaves blacksmiths from around the world have sent us- some people have been moved to tears. So, thankyou for lending us your time and skills for this project, it means a great deal to the people affected by the Black Saturday fires who are still rebuilding their homes and lives.

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G'day All,

Latest news is that we have this week, received a donation of $25,000 from the "Community Enterprise Foundation" Black Saturday Bushfire Appeal through the Bendigo Bank Hurstbridge, Diamond Creek, Eltham and Doreen, Mernda and Kinglake West branches. This money now places us in a position to purchase a 300mm diameter x 3500mm stainless steel billet. Next job is to forge this into the trunk which is scheduled for August after which the welders can hit their straps and start putting it all together.

Cheers

Doug

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