Looking for a simpler life, but not too simple…

Posts tagged “blacksmithing

Blacksmithing Class

Smithing has interested me ever since we interned on the farm in Albuquerque, NM, where it was introduced to me. I had the opportunity to stop and take a weekend-long blacksmithing class in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, last weekend while on our way to visit family in La Crosse. I love the uniqueness and the endless possibilitiesĀ  of things you can make with smithing. Its a dying trade that not too many people know how to do anymore, since we live in the age of machines.

This was my teacher David Day. He has 18 years experience smithing.

Here are some of the things I made: a coat hook (top left) that I made frome a push rod out of a engine, a ornamental leaf (top right)which was made out of a 1/2in diameter piece of metal . and a pair of tongs custom fit for my hands. ( The tongs they had at the class sucked; I couldn’t hold any piece of metal tight with them.) I had so much fun, and learned so much about the dynamics of smithing and metal. I wish there was a way I could smith on the road. šŸ˜¦ It is so simple but yet so complex at the same time. I have hopes of using my carpentry skills, and smithing skills together one day to make some really beautiful pieces of art. I can’t wait to have the chance to do it some more.



Yesterday I went over to Chris’s dad’s house to help work on some gates for a few of the openings I Installed. I didn’t know he is a blacksmith. This is something that I am so interested in learning. When I arrived he said that we have to make some hinges to hang the doors on. So we went to the table he made out of fire brick with a hole cut out of the center and a cast iron bowl in place. The bowl also has a hole in the side where he has a hand cranked fan to push air into the coal, making it super hot.

Here is a pic of the hand cranked fan.


This is Scott getting the steel hot enough to bend.


After a while you have to add water to the surrounding coals around the pot to keep the fire contained.

Wetting The Coals

This is Scott bending the steel.

Strong Enough To Bend Iron

On the anvil Scott has holes drilled to put misc tools on. This one is the cutter, its used to cut the steel you are working with.

Strike While Its Hot

I’m hoping in the near future Scott will let me try my hand at forging. It is very intriguing.