blacksmithing

Saman slab bench

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Saman slab bench

A busy December

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December was a very busy month for me.  I completed and installed the hardware for the "treasure chest" engine cover for the pirate ship.  That necessitated a trip to the boatyard in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, and a half-day's time.   As I feared might happen, the dimensions I was given for the engine cover were not accurate.  Fortunately, they were wrong in a way that I could cope with, since I had taken over sufficient tools to make just such a modification.  I had to shorten a pair of the straps, but the joints could be concealed where they pass under the other straps, so no harm done other than wasting a bit of time.  Treasure chest completeTreasure chest completeI also had to do some fakery on the woodwork itself, as the box was made of plywood with the grain running the wrong way, and it looked like a plywood box.  I was prepared for this eventuality and used a hook scraper I'd made and carried along for the purpose, and carved some shadow lines in the plywood to simulate plank joints.  I darkened these with a bit of dark stain, used a rattle can of black paint to add some shadows and "age" to the thing, and it looked considerably better.


3-Day 3-Week 3-Cities Blacksmith Workshops in Peru

Blacksmithing | | |

I recently finished my second blacksmithing seminar in Peru and wanted to share with you a video and photo album showing footage from the various workshops in Huancayo, Lima, and Piura. The video is also an educational video for beginning blacksmiths. It explains the processes I used to make the Nazca Lines Book Ends.

Fun project in bronze

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Recently I've been working on a rather fun project involving forging and fabricating silicon bronze.  The client has a ship that is being re-fitted to look like a pirate ship, and this project involves making the hardware to decorate the engine cover so it looks like a pirate's "treasure chest."


shutter job 3

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shutter job 3

shutter job 2

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shutter job 2

shutterjob 1

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shutterjob 1

Wow! My arm aches! Treadle Hammer now or later?

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I recently started my first blacksmithing job, a couple of "shutters" for an old house. The project has 680 pieces which make up the shutters(17 different pieces about 5"long, 40 of each) I decided to wait to get a treadle hammer because I thought that it would be really good practice to do by hand. The pieces are all fairly simple and I figured the repetitive drawing out, forming a ball, simple scrolls, and fullering would hammer home the techniques(I plan on welding the pieces together). As I sit to type this, however, my arm feel like it is going to fall off. My question is if this is a growing pain and will slowly become less bothersome as I keep at it, or if I should start looking into buying a treadle hammer? I plan on investing a lot of time and energy into this craft and will probably get a treadle hammer in the near future anyway, but I really wanted to know how to do all of the techniques by hand before I start depending on a treadle or power hammer. I would love hear any thoughts on this.


Didymium Safety Glasses for Blacksmithing?

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I was wanting some advice on appropriate eye wear for blacksmithing. What kind of light rays am I dealing with? I wouldn't think they would be as harmful as welding, but don't know. I've looked at a few websites, particularly glass working sites and have seen a few options. Clear lens, IR3 greenlens, didymium lens, or didymium & IR3 lens(ACE IR 3.0). I want to keep my eyesight and these glasses are not cheap, so I'd like to get it right the first time. Any advice would be great.


Blacksmithing workshop in Huancayo, Peru

Blacksmithing | |

The blacksmithing courses started last week with a 3-day workshop in Huancayo, Peru. I thought I would post a couple of pictures of the first city I will be touring to give these workshops. When I first arrived to Lima, I spent three days with the blacksmithing crew of Aceros Arequipa making hot and cold chisels including removable steel handles. This was quite a task since we had to forge 34 chisels made of 1-1/2" high carbon steel all by hand. No power hammers! This task did help me train the smiths on how to effectively buddy forge with large sledge hammers. They also learned the process of heat treating and hardening the tools steel using magnets for temperature control of the hardening process.