Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekend Full of Building Stuff

This past weekend, I attended a forge-building workshop at the Mesa Community Arts Center. It was most righteous. It took about a day and a half to build the forges. I think it could be an quick, one-afternoon job if you have the right tools and are just working on your own.

We built a forge for each of us, and one for the art center. They've got a pretty sweet workspace for blacksmithing. I expect they'll probably get more people interested in taking the classes when it isn't 105 degrees outside...

I learned a bunch of new stuff, including how to tap a hole (wow, was that easy...) and how to forge a bottle opener. Somehow, I forgot to take a picture of the bottle opener, but I do have a picture of my shiny new forge. I have, for reasons I think are obvious, decided to name it Dante.

Now I just need to rustle up a stand for it, and some kind of large piece of anvil-like metal to beat on, and I'll be set!


Trobairitz said...

Looks awesome. We were watching the blacksmiths at the renaissance faire this weekend and it looked like an interesting hobby/work. I am sure you will have many hours of enjoyment from it.

Canajun said...

Nothing like smacking around a few pieces of red-hot steel to get the juices flowing! Looking forward to your next (non-bottle opener) creation.

Stacy said...

What a coincidence! Just a few days ago, I found some instructions on how to build a small forge out of a flowerpot and an old vacuum cleaner. Your Dante looks a lot nicer, though!

So, when are you getting your leather apron?

Do enough smith'ing and you'll have wrists strong enough to snap off your throttle bar with a flick of your hand!

Lucky said...

Trobairitz - It's a LOT of fun, not to mention it's a total stress-reliever.

Canajun - Me too. Hopefully I'll be able to get a workshop assembled sooner than later.

Stacy - That sounds pretty cool! Must have been a coal forge. A determined smith could make one of those out of just about anything. Dante is a propane forge - my neighbors are all far too close for me to get away with firing up a coal forge. Coal forges do heat the metal with a quickness, though.

I've never worn an apron, just cotton clothes and stompy boots. I might have to look into that.

Forginng by hand builds up muscles FAST. Back when I was smithing on a regular basis, my pythons were rock hard. Maybe I'll write a weight-loss/exercise book: "Heavy Labor: Pounds Away!"

irondad said...

I can easily see you, having met you, as a blacksmith. And that's meant as a sincere compliment.

mq01 said...

that seems like a blast!!

Joe said...

I love the name, Dante! Perfectly appropriate, methinks!

red said...

I've been reading about blacksmithing lately and my interest is peaked. I think I'm going to have to attempt a forge build in 2010.

Good luck and have fun!