Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Forge - Working on the Anvil Stand

Progress continues on the anvil stand.  To hear my my wife talk about it, it's quite a rite of passage for a fledgling blacksmith. You can't simply go out and buy an anvil stand for a home shop at your nearest Home Depot.  The gist is that you need to build a stand (at the proper height for your build) to hold the anvil.  And, you need to construct it in a way not only to keep the anvil from moving, but also to decrease its ringing.  It's not necessarily an easy thing to do.

Luckily, we have a friend, Steve, who has been through all this before and has a beautiful design for a stand.   I have steadily been working through Steve's instructions, building the box, then cutting out the rubber and metal pieces for the anvil to rest on, and finally putting in support posts for the anvil to rest on and attaching those posts to the box.

Pretty much everthing we do, we do as a family, so the boys helped fill the box with sand.  Steve brought his truck (fully equipped with his forge, anvil, grinders, etc...) over this afternoon, and he and I worked on putting the anvil on the stand (the anvil weighs 335 pounds, so this itself is no small feat!) and then constructing metal bands to tie the anvil down to the stand.

We made progress. The bands are resting on top of the anvil, waiting for their next step in the process, and the anvil is on top of the stand. This is an awesome accomplishment!

Next time Steve and I get some free time, we'll work on tying the anvil and stand together with the bands and various other tasks.  Progress!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blacksmith Shop Links

Here are the sites for the stuff I ordered this summer to complete my home forge:
    Shed: (6x10 Khaki Vinyl)
    Anvil: (335# Euro)
    Forge: (Tabasco model)
    Hammer: (Brent Bailey Cross Pein)
    Tools: (Welder, OC tongs and various other essentials)

Without exception, these folks are all great to deal with and I would recommend them highly.  Please check them out and I am sure you will experience the same!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Forge is Lit!

The Forge is Lit!
My friend Steve and I decided to test out the new forge this afternoon. Steve is a farrier and has been mentoring me on my journey as a blacksmith.

We had lots of flames at the moment of ignition (a few too many flames, actually):

Then, we decided to read the directions on how to light the forge the first time before trying it again (there's a lot my wife could say here, but thankfully she did not....):

After we changed some settings and removed some shipping material from inside of the forge, it worked like a charm:

Thanks, Steve!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Forge - Step 4

We're picking up steam here because I am scheduled to demonstrate blacksmithing at a colonial fair and marketplace on October 17-18th. That's not far away at all! So, we put together the forge this afternoon, with some help from my boys. I'll move it out to its proper place in the shed when it actually becomes operable after I get a propane tank.

We've also started to put together my colonial attire, which I need for my October demonstration. We picked up a shirt, stockings and workman's cap on our last visit to Williamsburg so I'm starting to even look like a 1770s blacksmith! I actually like the cap, which is quite a departure from my standard black ball cap. I'll order some breeches and figure out the shoes (from Fugawee) and I'll be all ready!

Now, what do the blacksmith's wife and kids wear? As one of our friends noted in a recent comment, we're all about doing things together as a family so you can be sure the whole team will be there supporting me! Besides, my wife says if she can figure out the kids' attire, we'll have their Halloween costumes all ready! The most important thing on the "to do" list is building the anvil stand, which I started on today. I made a bit of progress today, while the boys "worked" next to me in the basement shop. Anyone who knows us knows why I haven't been able to finish the stand yet. It's a bit challenging to build something this challenging and at the same time make sure the boys don't get injured! It is nice to have them close by, though, and I cherish the time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Forge - Step 3

Progress continues - The shed was delivered on Monday morning!

After some tricky maneuvering to get it into place in the back corner, we were all set. 

Next up is building an anvil stand. I am eager to get started. I've decided to name the forge Black Forest Iron Works (based on my family name) and I've learned I can sell my wares at the local farmer's market. 
And, when we get a free minute, we need to decide what color to choose for my colonial-style breeches!