November was a busy month for most of the NEA Chapter and we only had 2 members able to attend the meeting, myself and Dusty Elliot. Although Jim was unable to attend he still graciously allowed the use of his shop. I would like to thank Jim for allowing the club to use his shop for the last several months.
He has a great set up that is just getting better. The December meeting will be held on the 13th, from 8 AM to 3 PM, and will be at Jim’s shop again. I would also like to thank Jim for the great job he has been doing photographing and submitting the minutes from our monthly meetings..
Dusty and I made the most of the situation and spent quite a bit of time at the forge. I have a forge at home and since several of the other members do not, I normally do not forge at the meetings giving them the time at the anvil. Since there was not much competition at the meeting this month I took the opportunity to forge a pair of box jaw tongs. I have been in the bladesmithing mode of late and needed a new pair. I made these by upsetting ½ inch square stock, a technique I hadn’t used for this application before. Dusty also got to spend quite a bit of time forging making leaves. She is improving each month, and I am sure will do so even more once she gets her forge set up at home.
With Glen Owen’s recent move, the club is definitely left with big shoes to fill. Glen was the teacher in the club and now I am trying to help in that role as best I can. Dusty fell victim to this at the November meeting since she had no alternatives LOL. I did show her a new technique for making leaves that she picked up on quickly, so perhaps I didn’t do too badly as an instructor.
Mentioning Glen reminded me that I would like to extend a big thanks to him for his efforts
with the club, and more specifically with me. If not for his time spent helping me, I would
not be at the point I am today. Hopefully I can do the same for others new to the craft.
Since this is my first submission, I thought I would provide a quick introduction. I started
forging in March of 2013, so am still pretty new and still learning at each session at the
anvil, something I hope never stops. My first attempt forging was done with assistance of a
hair dryer in a backyard campfire and that was all it took – I was hooked. I bought a welder,
built a forge and have not looked back. I had the good fortune to meet Glen within the first
couple weeks and he gave my skill level a big jump start, and even helped me find my anvil.
I only wish I didn’t wait until I was forty to get started. My forging projects range from
jewelry to knives, from tongs to camping gear and all points between. Traditional joinery
and forge welding are a particular current interest. Since I failed to take any pictures at the
meeting, I have l include a few pictures of my recent projects, don’t be too harsh on
them : ) . Pictured are a hatchet and spoon knife along with my first carved spoon, a pair of
strikers used for flint and steel fires (thanks to Dan Davis for my primitive fire
introduction), my first attempt at a small fry pan, which still needs to have a handle added
on a grill I designed for my squirrel cooker and a couple of in process knives.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and wish you all a Merry Christmas!