The September meeting of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) met in Bryant at the brand new forge of Tim Huddleston. In the proud tradition of CACBOA, Tim had saved up a few “Tom Sawyer” projects for the group to practice on. I had to leave early while Tim and Shane were cutting out sheet metal for a forge hood. I’m sure it was a great “demo.” I have to admit that I left with shop-envy in my heart.
The first thing everyone noticed when they turned the corner into Tim’s shop was his latest acquisition, a 500+ pound anvil. Apparently, it had been in a railroad machine shop when a crane fell out of the ceiling breaking the anvil at the waist. It’s hard to imagine anything breaking that huge chunk of metal, even harder to imaging it breaking at the waist and not the horn or tail. Those railroad blacksmiths welded and bolted the halves of the anvil back together, and it now rings solid and true. Now that’s blacksmithing!
The trade item was a pair of scrolling tongs. One member, who shall not be named, came with raw stock and made his trade item before lunch, with lots of advice and assistance from the rest of us. It actually turned into a very practical demonstration of adjusting tongs to hold work, forming tong bosses and reins, and punching and riveting—an end-to-end project.