Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Gift for Mom

     Well, its that time of year again! Its Christmas Eve, and I, the ever poor college student (you see, only college students start blogs. It gives meaning to their lives.) am going shopping today. I am going Christmas shopping, if you haven't guessed, and boy am I cutting it close! I have currently about 3 1/2 hours. (which would explain why I'm writing a blog post instead of shopping..........go figure!)

However, I put my blacksmithing skills to work, at least for my mother's present. I would like to take this opportunity to share it with the world out of vanity and useless pride (although it looks pretty fine in my opinion!). A plant hanger hook is what I designed and made for my dear mother!
I am super pleased with the way the finial came out. It was an experiment with tapering and scrolling, and I love it. I hope my mom loves it too, because I made it for her and I love her.
The whole thing sits against a board with the long flat part facing downwards, being screwed into the post that way. Then, you can hang a flower basket, deer carcass, hat, or anything you choose on it.
I was really excited about this project, and I made sure it was really nice. I used my magic solution (vinegar) to remove the scale and the rust and then used a twisted wire cup attachment on a cordless drill to shine it up. It will be primed and painted after Christmas so that it can be used outdoors.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Oh wait, I forgot MY Christmas List! 
12 tons of smithing coal,
11 pairs of blacksmith tongs,
10 Lords a' leaping,
9 Mousehole Anvils
8 Punches of all sizes
7 cut-off hardies
6 geese on a spit that I forged
4 post vises
3 cone mandrels
2 Wally Yaters Swage Blocks (A and B)
And a brand spankin' new Smithy!
Merry Christmas, dear reader!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I caved...

     There are very few things that I am adamant about. Very few. (at least when it comes to forging. In other areas of my life I am like a boulder.) But of the few things I promised myself time and time again was that I would never, ever, make myself a knife out of a Railroad Spike. In my mind, I would not conform to the classic newbie bladesmith fallback, but would rise above it. (Besides, I don't like forging knives anyways. I prefer not to make weapons, but rather tools. Its and ideological thing.)

Anyways, (before I carry you, dear reader, away on some tangential journey due to my heavy use of parenthetical statements!) here is the glorious broken vow.

The knife!
More views of it!

That's my touchmark on it- Just a simple little circle    O
I must confess- This was really fun! It was a good challenge for me, having never shaped a blade before, and I think it gave me good practice working with thin stock on edge. I may well do another one, and I would like to make all of you, my good and gracious readers (provided you have lived long enough to make it this far on my parentheses-encrusted blog), an offer. I would like to sell these knives, as bragging-rights and display knives, for only $40 plus shipping. (Rest assured, the money I make will be going to the program I mentioned in the post below this- The Boy Scout Merit Badge.  Interested parties need only send me an e-mail @ I hope you have enjoyed viewing this as much as I have enjoyed making it! I am not done, however, as I still have to polish, grind, soak in vinegar (pickled knives are a Maryland delicacy!) and wire-wheel it. Maybe some file work, too. Depends on how creative I get. And how much time I have until I can get some more coal....Regardless, happy hammering!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Outfitting for Two (or more)

So, the other day I set about outfitting my shop for two. Why for two, you may ask? Well, dear reader, it is becuase I am going to be teaching a class.
Come next summer I will be teaching the Boy Scout Merit Badge Metalworking for troops in my area, as a chance to give back to my community. So, I have begun making tooling (and in some cases buying it where necessary) for at least two people, that way at least two scouts can forge at a time.

On Saturday I forged a hot-cut hardy out of 1060 steel (it was a pandrol e-clip from a nearby rail line). It fits my hardy hole, which is 3/4". A bit on the small side, but it works for what I need it for now. It has a bit of wobble in it, which I am not too pleased about. I am in the process of making another one and I might go back and modify it.

Today I started on the second hot cut, but got rained out. All I was able to get accomplished today was making a small hook, as my warm-up excersize. 

Just after cutting it off from the 3/8" bar:
 All done, the hook is a drive hook and can be hammered into a post or beam. It was a fun thing to make!

Well, as I close this blog post I am going to just say that I might have taken on an impossible task, making two of every tool that I will need to teach the Merit Badge, but I am going to persevere, because it will allow some young boys to experience firsthand this exciting hobby!

A Blacksmith Blogger!

Ridgeway Forge Co.

Forging quality work...
Hey y'all! My name is Patrick, and I am a blacksmith. I am a blacksmith from Central Maryland, and am writing this blog to follow along my travels as a budding blacksmith and metalworker. (I am also new to this whole blogosphere thing. Therefore, I have no sense of blog ettiquette. I will therefore use whatever flowery and superfluous language I want....Maybe I should title the blog Hammer and Dictionary instead?)