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I Forge Iron

Iron in the hat


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I was just at my first one a few weeks ago at our guild meeting. The way they did it was you gave them the iron and they would put a solo cup next to it. then you bought tickets say $1 for each. Then you could put as many in any cup as you wish. Later someone pulls the ticket for the winner of that cup/piece of iron. So the more you spend and the more you put in a cup the better odds you have.

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To add to what piglet said it is used to raise money for the guild. Members donate items and the guild sells tickets to the members to try and win something someone else brought. Since I have never done this before I was looking for advice from others on what to take as a donation.

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Basically it's a raffle with many objects, some of them scrap iron, some forged pieces. I started out bringing boxes of spikes, but I noticed they got fewer and fewer tickets as the club members got all they wanted. Then I started bringing other items like an axle, a leaf or coil spring, etc.

As I got some practice I started bringing things I'd made - candleholders, knives, a backscratcher, etc. along with some scrap iron.

Won my first pair of tongs at the first meeting I attended, that worked out well (with a bunch of tickets in that cup). :)

It's a nice opportunity to show off your work and win items made by others.

Edited by BeaverDamForge
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In general, it should be OK to put anything in Iron in the Hat that someone would want or could use. Personally, I like to see folks put in something they made. I like to have things my friends have forged. If you aren't into forging yet, you might consider some steel, tools (blacksmith.. or not), baked goods, plants, gloves.... whatever.... as long as it's useful.

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DKForge, put in anything or nothing at all. I know that doesn't sound like good information, but that's exactly right. We've had guys feel generous and put in a couple hundred dollars worth of steel. Of course there's all kinds of miscellanious scraps of steel, most of it not very interesting (but then that's probably just me) all steel has some use. Don't kill yourself, but if youv'e got something useful you can spare -- great.

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If you have 2 of something, put one in the INH. USEFUL steel, bag or bucket of coal, NICE wood for knife handles--piece of cherry? I have seen just about everything, EVEN some items that had Francis Whitakers touch mark on them!! I notified the guild's Pres. as to what those items were and how valuable they are and they were pulled to make a display board for the guild. (would have been nice to have one of the prs of tongs that had his TM!) There is not too many items that won't be wanted by someone! so you can't go wrong no matter what you donate. Good luck, hope you get something you need.

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Pretty much what everyone has said. Thomas Dean summed it up nicely. Here's a few pics of some stuff at one hammer-in I attended. Note the diversity of items, from large steel whatchamacallits, what-have-ya's, hammer handles, air tools, lantern, etc. One good win at IITH at a Hammer-in and you will be hooked. One of the funnest parts of blacksmithing, IMHO.

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Edited by keykeeper
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I have seen a grocery bag of green beans someone picked from their garden in Iron in the Hat. Suprisingly, or not, they received a good deal of tickets. As others have said, use your imagination. Grinding wheels for 4" grinders, gloves, just about anything will generate interest, and if your guild meetings include wives, some items for the ladies are always welcome too!

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When and if you have time, auctions have been great for iron in the hat for me, I scored a pallet of old rivets, and those are always acceptible to donate, old but usable hammers, chisels, plow disks are very well accepted, one guy makes woks out of them here. We see everything at ours, hats, books, chain mail key rings, you name it. If no one puts a ticket in your cup, it sucked, thats all folks...

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One good win at IITH at a Hammer-in and you will be hooked.
I won a post vice at one! :D
One of the funnest parts of blacksmithing, IMHO.
:( Unfortunately my club has gone to a 50/50 raffle at recent events - the winner gets 50% of the money from tickets sold, which amounts to a streetcorner lottery. I have nothing against others gambling, but I'm not going to participate.
... if your guild meetings include wives, some items for the ladies are always welcome too!
Even if the members have wives or GFs, gifts for them are good! I've won a couple items specifically for the GF.
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I won a post vice at one! :D:( Unfortunately my club has gone to a 50/50 raffle at recent events - the winner gets 50% of the money from tickets sold, which amounts to a streetcorner lottery. I have nothing against others gambling, but I'm not going to participate.
Even if the members have wives or GFs, gifts for them are good! I've won a couple items specifically for the GF.


I agree, IMO IITH is for the club/guild, NOT for some luck individual. I too would not participate. my $.02
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Another method is the straight draw: all items on the table all tickets in 1 vessel, draw the first ticket they get first choice, second ticket second choice, usw...

How we did it at SOFA and do it at SWABA

Edited by ThomasPowers
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Of course buying lots of tickets supports the cause as well. Be creative... the last one I was at somebody offered a large roll of paper and a butane lighter, and called it a "coal forge starting kit" that was funny ! or there was a nice UK Stout called "Lump of Coal" with a nice hand forged bottle opener.......... which my 12 year old happened to win... go figure !

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I assume you are coming to the OBG meeting. The guild always does the iron in the hat as a way to pay for the meals we provide at all our meetings. We also will give you 5 extra tickets if you bring a hand forged item. Let me know who you are at the meeting. It will be held at my shop. See ya

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