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Any interest in a open forge night at a blacksmith shop?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by IronMonster, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    My partner and I have toyed with the idea of opening the shop up to a select few once in a while. Basically an open forge night where I might do a quick demonstration and then let people get some metal hot to see what its like, We have 7 anvils and 5 forges in the shop so quite a number of folks could play and we could rotate though a pretty big group in a few hours.

    We are both active members of the Northwest Blacksmith Association and try to do outreach to draw in people who would like to know more. Andy, my partner is also the beginning blacksmith program instructor at Pratt.

    Our group also hosts monthly demonstrations in Longview at the
    Cowlitz County Regional Conference Center. If any of you farther south would like to check it out let me know. The next one is Sept 27th and features my good friend Dave Lisch demonstrating how to make a pattern welded knife out of wire rope/cable. You must join our group to attend for insurance reasons (dues are $60/year I think) but then its free to attend the monthly workshops.

    Anyway I thought I might see if there was some interest in putting together a Northwest Firearms forge night. I probably would ask for something like a$30 donation which would cover forge fuel, material and snacks, Probably start at 5ish and run till 9 Shop is in Auburn WA out by the Muckleshoot Casino. A few hours is not really enough time learn anything but most still find it fun just to get some iron in the fire and beat it till it looks different. In the past I have limited visitors to the shop to 18 and older but if someone wanted to bring a responsible and well mannered teenager that would probably be fine with the understanding they where your responsibility. Keep in mind this is a industrial shop and pretty much everything in it is capable of scaring you for life or killing you.

    There would be no drinking while people are playing in the fire but maybe in the last hour or so we might have a few growlers for folks who are done playing in the fire and just want to visit.

    20-30 people is probably ideal, I could probably host 50 but that gets a little hectic. If a weekday night did not work for most folks I might also consider doing it on a Sunday afternoon.

    Anyway for starters I just want to gauge interest. If it seems like there are enough folks who would like to see it happen then I'll try and firm up the details.
     
  2. receo

    receo Sandy, Oregon Active Member

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    Wish I lived closer.
     
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  3. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ditto on living closer. Sounds like great fun, the best way to learn! Kudos!:)
     
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  4. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I will definitly be hitting you up when I get home!
     
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  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Do you guys have power hammers or drop hammers? or is it all manual?
     
  6. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    image.jpg We have 5 powerhammers, a fly press, a treadle hammer and several forging presses ranging from 200-400 ton. I just bought a 750 lb Chambersberg hammer on eBay but it will get installed at another location (where I hope to move to sometime down the road). The largest hammer I have in Auburn is a Nazel 4B
     
  7. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I love the idea in general. Met a really nice "blacksmith" when I was down in Yosemite this year. He was there under contract for the summer to demonstrate for the tourists and was a really stand up guy...
     
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  8. husker

    husker portland Active Member

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    Lost art it is.

    I sound like Yoda.
     
  9. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    You are not likely to find many blacksmiths who are not solid folks. Hard, dirty work has a way of weeding out the weenies ;-)
     
  10. Diatribe

    Diatribe Issaquah, WA Member

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    I am in Issaquah and I'd definitely be interested. Thanks for the idea.
     
  11. Norm0931

    Norm0931 Hillsboro, OR Sgt. Sheep Silver Vendor 2016 Volunteer

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    Wish there was something like this in Portland area.
     
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  12. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Longview is not much of a drive at all, Less than an hour.
     
  13. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    While I'm geographically challenged at the moment, I will definitely make time to be there at some point in the future. Also, since you have the gear, what are the requirements for putting forge dies on some of those hammers? Also, rotary forging? I like the idea of making cannon barrels properly...
     
  14. Torqk911

    Torqk911 Yacolt,Wa Member

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    If this is a go. I would be game in attending. Maybe could try and make a primitive knife blade. haha
     
  15. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    It seems like there might be enough interest to put together at least a small group. I'll keep working on it and posting updates.
     
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  16. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I would love to beat out some metal. I am in the market for an anvil. I want to build a small forge and get to small projects.
     
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  17. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    There are a number of blacksmiths on the peninsula, Jim Garrett in Port Townsend is one of the top blacksmiths in the country. Dean Mook who is also in Port Townsend is exceptional as well Steve Lopes. Jim makes Nimba Anvils, I own one and they are fantastic. Not sure what your budget is its kind of cool that you can just run up the road and buy one of the finest anvils made in America
     
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  18. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Id be down!
    Supposedly the trade ran in our family until we transitioned over into farming.

    I hear due to the heat WAY back in the day lots of blacksmiths went blind around 20-35 due to cataracts caused by excessive heat?

    Either way I want to try my hand at it, even watching up close would be a trip.
     
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  19. Qjay

    Qjay Vancouver, not BC, Washington, not DC Active Member

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    D'oh! I just missed this! Aaaargh!
     
  20. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Where can I get some coal for my forge????