Posts Tagged ‘Artist Blacksmithing’

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I finally got back to doing some work in the shop other than wood repairs of the homestead or fab work to enclose a section of property that needed a new fence/wall.

I managed to make two smaller crosses one a pseudo crucifix and the other with a rose. Both have been delivered to their intended recipients and both said they liked them. Success! I did start another more challenging project in the form of a larger knife, blade about 8”x 2.5”x 3/16 max., OAL about 15”. I was hoping to find some brass or bronze to use as a bolster, but that isn’t happening from my sources, sooooo. The plan is to finish it when I return to the shop after Christmas and the New Year. I also have to make a few things to allow me to get a better temper of the blade.

Crucifix starter kit

Crucifix starter kit

Small Crucifix

Small Crucifix

Cross with Rose

Cross with Rose

2014-12-09 10.05.26

I plan to do a few things to improve my shop in the New Year 1st and foremost to finish off the anvil repair. I thought I could live with the large chip out near the horn, but…. It drives me crazy and I would like to use that area without that interference. As I reported before, I believe that the repair actually improved the hardness of my anvil face as it seems to make the work easier, of course that could just be the satisfaction of having made the repair.

It seems that a few of my friends here have an interest in owning a knife made by me, so I will have to take a detour from decorative work to make a few. I hope to do a better job of sharing my work and processes, such as they are with you in the coming year.

It is hard to believe that I have been in Albania for over 2 years now. Time flies when you are having a good time. I hope that everyone has had a good year and is able to feel a part of the Christmas season. Furthermore I hope that everyone is:

Healthy and Prosperous in the coming New Year!

So until next year!

Surfing the Old Year out.

Surfing the Old Year out.

From Albania!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Vince

Hello All,
It has been a while and I know many of you see my posts on Facebook as well, but for those that don’t I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you of the great time I had at the ABANA Conference 13-16 August. Marvelous time. The Demonstrators were as wide a variety as you can have and all were doing something really special for the conference. Everything was well thought out and executed by the Committee and the Volunteers. Big Thanks to All of them. Even the Conference program was well thought out, spiral bound, schedules, demonstrators bios, a few bits of blacksmith info and lined and graph paper for note taking. Perfect. I saw many taking advantage of them. So, it was time and money well spent as a conference and of course there is the added bonus that I was able to spend time with most of my friends from VAB that I haven’t seen in almost 2 years, literally I haven’t talked that much in 2 years and had a sore throat the entire time. I also got to meet several of my Facebook friends in person. There were lots more people who I should have met, but they were in my opinion overwhelmed by the crowds as demonstrators or simply too busy and I know how these events go, everyone wants a piece of everyone, so I missed probably more than a few. I can only hope they aren’t put off. Again the Conference was great! 2016 is going to be in Salt Lake City and planning will begin in earnest shortly, if you can volunteer for the committee let them know. It takes a lot of work and if they have enough hands then the burden isn’t so large on each.
Okay there’s me review and pitch for the ABANA conference. Here are a few photos of my friends and me.

Eric's trailer - camping as rough as I want it to be.

Eric’s trailer – camping as rough as I want it to be.

Me striking for Joe and his workmate

Me striking for Joe and his workmate

Me pointing out my nail.

Me pointing out my nail.

Joe at one of the workshops.

Joe at one of the workshops.

Matt likes the Fisher & Norris display

Matt likes the Fisher & Norris display

Joe pointing out his nail.

Joe pointing out his nail.

Bear, Donnie and Joe

Bear, Donnie and Joe

Everyone's happy we are in the Sat night dinner line. Matt, Joe (head), BobO and Eric.

Everyone’s happy we are in the Sat night dinner line. Matt, Joe (head), BobO and Eric.

I told you there they gave you a good portion Matt. I don't know BobO, maybe just a few more fries.

I told you there they gave you a good portion Matt. I don’t know BobO, maybe just a few more fries.

Do we really have to stay here and listen to this Joe?

Do we really have to stay here and listen to this Joe?

I've been training with Albanian women at the market. hahaha

I’ve been training with Albanian women at the market. hahaha

We know who to call next time Matt.

We know who to call next time Matt.

Eric's trailer - camping as rough as I want it to be.

Eric’s trailer – camping as rough as I want it to be.

Next post I will post some pics of the gallery and demo tents. Then it will be back to my mandolin building now that I have the tuners, strings and picks that I need.  Don’t worry eventually I will get back to doing some blacksmithing, I brought some files and hammers back with me and I have a few projects already lined up.

See ya at the Forge!!!

 

      So what have I been up to.  Not much I have been busy attending to my much neglected book and I am happy with the progress on that front. I did manage to make a few smaller things of original design and discover that I managed to mess up my own design. Lesson learned again… pay attention to what you are doing.  Both the coat hooks came out okay, but not the same length which is what I was after. For some reason I wrote down the wrong measurement on the second one! The shorter one is 11CM instead of the 18 CM on the body length.  I needed that measurement to be the same for both.  Oh well they are for me and now I have both processes down. These hooks keep you from getting those annoying pointy spots on the coats you hang up.

     Next up was a Fredrick’s Cross out of round bar. Came out okay and I just wanted to know that I could do the entire thing at the anvil.

       I had a nice chat with the ESAB region manager about product availability and possibly introduced him to a person that is interested in taking over this area to do provide quality welding equipment and accessories. That is sorely needed here. In a couple of years we will see if that happens.

       I also played around with making an axe with a wrapped head rather than a traditional drifted eye for a wooden handle. What did I learn, hmmm. I can do it all with hammer and anvil.

       My wife wanted some hooks to hang her robe on in the bedroom and wala here it is.

        My friend Evis stopped by and I showed him how to make a rose. He was short on time and we didn’t take a picture of the finished product, but it was a quick study with satisfactory results. Always a crowd pleaser, roses. 🙂

Without further ado:

Making a rose

Making a rose

Towel bar - notice no bunching of the towel allows it to dry completely

Towel bar – notice no bunching of the towel allows it to dry completely

Rd Bar Fredrick Crosses

Rd Bar Fredrick Crosses

Coat Hooks

Coat Hooks

My drawing board

My drawing board

DSCN1044

This is a set of hooks I made to our robes on in our bedroom.

Axe Head - mild steel test

Axe Head – mild steel test

Axe head - steel handle - wrap holding head

Axe head – steel handle – wrap holding head

Axe head detail

Axe head detail

Axe head detail 1

Axe head detail 1

Axe head Detail 2

Axe head Detail 2

Me forging a rose 2

Me forging a rose 2

Greetings and Salutations Everyone!

    Things have been moving along since my last post. I welded the end of the first 5 rod stack to be twisted into a rope newel and added a bar to twist it with. I stopped to go shopping as I needed some angle iron to make welding the picket elements together easier. The next day I put them together and now all they need now is to be cleaned, cut to length and a little clear coat to keep them from rusting up again before assembling.

Pickets ready for cleaning

Pickets ready for cleaning

    While I was out and about I picked up some old tools at a used tool shop I know of and this allowed me to now have a hardy tool and more will be made as time goes by. Now I really was looking for some ball peen hammers, but I found four others, four with handles and one without. I needed a beater hammer as I put a couple dings in the face of my two good hammers I brought with me the other day, so I will not be doing that any more. I still need a ball peen. I guess I can live without it and make a ball tool or two to do the same thing. We will see. They are nice for texturing, etc. I didn’t even see one in the three tool stores I go to now. I found that interesting.

New tools to be

New tools to be

Needed one - the others, you know how it is

Needed one – the others, you know how it is

     I found a reliable source for steel, but only up to about ¾” round and 5/8” if I catch him right for square. They don’t get much call for larger stuff, for now that will do when I need new material.  The approx. ¾” goes for about $14 for 19.5 feet or 6 meters. I don’t know if that is a decent price or not for steel, but it is what it goes for here. It became complicated because of the price and my friend who brought me thought that was too much. I didn’t get a chance to discuss, stainless and tool steel. Next time I go, hopefully I will speak enough bad Albanian to make myself understood. Hahaha.

Afterwards we made a trip to the local scrap yard. I did pick up 80 kilos of assorted steel at about $.50 per kilo, mostly rebar in various diameters, but  I did get five 30” bars of high carbon hexagon steel bars about 1” flat to flat. These will make excellent tools, e.g. mushroom stake, leaf stake, etc.  I started making the mushroom and leaf stake today, but the boss called and let me know that lunch was almost ready and I should start to come in. Now how can you argue with that? J I doubt I will get back out to the shop today I have to finish some homework for my Albanian lessons and a few other non- blacksmith related things to do, so I think the day is pretty much done for me. Oh well there is tomorrow.

1st Scrap Yard Run

1st Scrap Yard Run

1st Scrap Yard Run

1st Scrap Yard Run

      It wasn’t all hard hammering today!  I made a nice little pseudo sunflower for the wall to accompany the dragon fly I made last week. I have it all painted and it is drying nicely. You will like this story; I wish I could have taken a picture.  I was looking to dry the paint faster as the paint I have available takes a long time to dry, three days most times. I have done this I don’t know how many times in the past and like they say there is a first time for everything. I fired up the forge and was using the heat from the gas forge to speed dry the sunflower and I guess it go a little too close to the dragons breath and Whoooosh, flames leapt up and the flower looked really neat all aflame. The paint pigments weren’t even burning!  J J  I did stop and consider taking a picture buy I didn’t want to burn the actual paint color so in the slack tub it went! Haha! Now I have all these little bits of yellow floating on the top of my tub. So the lesson here is…. Once again…. Linseed oil is very flammable, but it was pretty funny.  Regardless the paint job is drying as we speak.  Everyone liked the dragon fly so I know combined with the flower it will be a big hit. What’s a yard without a bit of whimsy? Somebody told me that at some point. This is going on the wall of the forge and will provide some needed levity and color to the building. 🙂

Sunflower and Dragon Fly

Sunflower and Dragon Fly

Before I forget the dragon fly is held on the wall by a hook through it’s head off the flower. Some of the paint ran, I will touch it up tomorrow. I will post a picture of it’s final mounting next time.

That about does it for now. Until next time ….

See ya at the Forge!!!

Vince

I have been getting my apartment here finished and am almost completed. I have an anvil that I need to go pick up on Monday. Things are starting to get put together. I did have to deal with a family crisis for the last 2 weeks and should be getting back on track by the end of next week. Thanks for your patience – I will have something posted next weekend for sure.

Photo-0062

Here is a better look at the progress on the building that I am having renovated. It should look pretty good when I get done with it. I was sick yesterday, still am today, the workers got a lot done. They ran out of cement yesterday and they needed my approval to order some more so today there was no work. Paulin the guy who is doing most of the work will have the cement delivered tomorrow. My wife took these for yesterday. Thanks Bianca!

Photo-0063

I started work a little earlier than I intended today. Cleaned out one half, but until I fix the roof it will continue to drop the cement ceiling down so it will need some work again to clean it out. I am also going to expand it into the other room of the building. If my plan comes together it should look very nice once I get it cleaned and fixed up.

Image

Eventually I will open up the wall inside to make it one big room, install doors and windows – there are two chimney flues so I have one for a wood stove and one for a coal forge if I can find a source. Until then I will use a gas forge that I am waiting for to arrive with my car. Hopefully in the next few weeks. Things move ahead. The language barrier for me is difficult, but I have only been here for 3 weeks now. I think I am doing okay.

In a couple of months I will be seeing ya at the forge!