Blacksmithing is something that I became interested in around 40 years ago. Until two years ago however, almost all I did about it was read. The reason I say 'almost' is that about 30 years ago I ran into a guy who was selling some blacksmithing gear. For $150.00 I bought a 150 pound anvil, a 'rivet forge' (that's kind of a roll around BBQ grill adapted for burning coal) which included an antique hand crank blower. Also included in the deal were a post vice, one five gallon pail of coal and another five gallon pail of wood shavings for kindling. It was a pretty good deal back then. In today's market, it was fantastic.
Anyway, those items sat in my garage for literally, decades. As a Cub Scout Den Leader, I did wheel them out once or twice, but had little to no success at accomplishing anything other than causing one of my sons a bad blistering burn on one of his hands. Erik healed up well from that and I hope by this time that he forgives me the neglicence.
My fascination with blacksmithing comes from two things, I suppose. First, being a heavy equipment and heavy truck mechanic, I've always done a fair amount of welding and fabricating. From rebuilding dump truck boxes, to hard facing excavator buckets to repairing drill rig kelly bars, there's always been a lot of metal work going on. Second, and this one's probably kind of subconciuos, my maternal grandfather was a blacksmith. I only remember meeting Carl Falzone once. He died when I was around 7 or 8 years old. But one of the few stories my mom ever told me about him was that when she was a young girl, he'd taken her to work with him one day. Her main impression of that day was of the huge volumes of water he drank as he sweated over the forges and work he was doing. Not much of a picture of what kind of things he did, but it must have stuck with me.
In any case, I finally got around to resurrecting that old blacksmithing gear I'd purchased and have begun learning how to use it. Below are some photos of a few odds and ends I've made with them.