Saturday, May 09, 2009

Blacksmithing and Envy

For 40 years metalsmithing has fascinated me. When in high school, even before, I would go to the library and check out every book on the subject. Unfortunately, my parents wouldn't let me set up a forge in the back yard. I'm not sure why. It may have been the combination of my youth, fire, and the tools to forge sharp things that put them off. As a sop to my interest I was allowed to take "machine shop" in my senior year. This was partly because I'd met all the other requirements for graduation!

Immediately after high school I went into the service. Let's face it, there's no room for anvils, forges and all the other stuff in any army barracks and most landlords don't want such in their apartments either. I found no exceptions to these "rules".

So, after all these years, I've been thinking, still, how I might get the stuff together to set myself up a blacksmithy. Today, a regular customer comes into the shop. What does he brag on? Why, his new-to-him anvil, forge and tools. He got them all together for one money just the other day.

I'm going to tell you I AM a bit envious. Oh, I do realize that my dream just might not be meant to be (sort of like my singing). Mom's place has a flue in the garage which could be used for a forge... I guess we'll see.

The Art of Blacksmithing is one book on the subject that I actually bought many years ago. There are others...

1 comment:

TrueBlueSam said...

I had to do some 'blacksmithing' when I worked for a well servicing company. Cable tool bits have to be dressed (upset, sharpened, fit to a gauge) so they will cut the hole, and to the right size. It's not too difficult to build a forge from fire bricks and a blower that can be fired with LP. The fascinating part of dressing a bit was the quick work you had to do in quenching the freshly dressed bit, grinding down to shiny metal, and watching the colors work down to the end of the bit to temper the metal properly, then quenching again.