May 2015 River Valley Chapter BOA Meeting

The May meeting was held on the second at my place. It was a sunny day without rain. Several members attended along with a couple of visitors. I was working on having the metal shaper in operation but am still working on how to power the equipment. The main obstacle is matching an electric motor up to a gearbox to have the right speed of the ram. The crew also saw my Edwards #10 shear in action.

There were two forges going in the morning to help finish projects and a forge welding demonstration by Jerry Holmes. After dinner, everyone gathered around to watch me make a flower. Several members made candleholders for the trade items.

Gale fixed a wonderful dinner with a choice of gumbo and/or German skillet. To top it off, we all had Southern Strawberry punchbowl cake for dessert.

The June meeting will, again, be at Jerry Holmes with a set of hooks (J, S, L) for a trade item. The July meeting will be moved to the second Saturday (July 11) to allow everyone to celebrate July 4th. It will be held at Gary Braswell’s and the trade item will be a door handle.

Ross Wilkinson—RVBOA Secretary

May 2015 Northwest Chapter BOA Meeting

The Northwest Area BOA May meeting took place at Cheryl Miskell’s house, in Marble Falls. Dale called the meeting to order and thanked Cheryl for hosting. Dale thanked Mark Morrow for his remarkable demonstration of how to make a cutlass. ( Separate website post, TH.)

BOA members in attendance at this May 9th meeting included Dale Custer, Tom Bates, James Brantley, Joe Doster, Harold Enlow, Clyde Foster, Robert Fox, Keith Heffelfinger, Lynda Heffelfinger, Sam Hibbs, Gary Lee, Bob Lock, Nathan Low, Steve Low, Robert Meuser, Cheryl Miskell, Mark Morrow, Bob Patrick, John Peterson, Elmer Poston, Judi Sartwell, Sonny Sartwell, Hardy Todd, Ron Wells, and Ross Wilkinson. Guests included Ross Wilkinson’s family, Bertie Wells, Phylicia McUmber, Frankie Brantley, Brayden Low, Dean Hamilton, Garrett Manley, and David Kernodle. We had a total of thirty-six people at this meeting!

Dale reminded members that the June meeting will be at Rusty Wheels on June 13. Set up will be at noon on Friday, June 12. Please join Ron Wells on Friday at noon to help set up. The trade item is a trivet.

The July meeting will be at Robert Meuser’s home. Trade item is a spoon. Robert lives in Mountain Home.

Robert Meuser presented Ron Wells with a poem he wrote in recognition of Ron’s selfless contributions as Coal Meister for BOA. Ron Wells said he very much appreciates the recognition.

© Robert Meuser
Listen my blacksmiths
And you shall hear
About our coal meister
We hold so dear

He trucks to Oklahoma
Through rain or snow
When we need coal
He’s raring to go

He digs with his shovel
In coal so black
Dumps fifty pounds
In an old feed sack

He secures the bag
With a wire tie
Then brings it to the meetings
For you and I

We thank you Ron Wells
From the bottom of our hearts
We think you’re the best
You’re a good old fart

Ron Wells

(Per Ron Wells, David Kernodle has joined BOA via a mailed application.)

Stosh has a long gas forge for sale.

Cheryl Miskell, NWBOA Secretary

May 2015 Northeast Chapter BOA Meeting

We held our meeting as scheduled at Lloyd Clayton’s shop on May 2, 2015 from 8 am until 3 pm. Our trade item was a three pronged fork. There were three attempts and two that were successful. Some days you can forge and some days you should read about forging I’m thinking.
There were 14 people in attendance. Lloyd Clayton, Tera Clayton (that had an awesome spread again for lunch), Eddie Mullins, Raymond Lyerly, Jimmie Barnes, Cody Barnes, Matt Quinn, Courtney Quinn, Braelyn Quinn, Dusty Elliot, Tracie and Terry Taylor (Tera’s parents), Rebecca Slayton-Soehlman and Jim Soehlman.

At our business meeting we talked about the Crowley’s Ridge demonstration. A few things have changed regarding the demo. Crowley’s Ridge has agreed not to charge us for a site on the stipulation that we do not sell any forged items in the park. We agreed to that. It wasn’t possible to have the demo on a regular meeting date, so we are going to have the demo on June 20th. Eddie made contact with Ron for coal to be delivered to Jim’s shop. Jimmie Barnes volunteered to host a meeting in September in conjunction with his sorghum harvest so we can see and participate in sorghum cooking….more details to follow on that. Courtney Quinn suggested that there was a professor at ASU that may be interested in BOA. Eddie is building the frame for the second sign.

Coal has arrived.
We aren’t as focused as some of the chapters seem to be in their direction, but we discuss what we would like to learn and seem to come together to share knowledge at each meeting learning and teaching what we know. We are enjoying the group and learning so I feel we are moving in the right direction. We would welcome visits from other chapters.
There has been a change in the plans for meeting date in June. The last Voice said meeting will be held at Crowley’s Ridge State Park. That has changed! The June meeting will be at Jim Soehlman’s shop instead (see sidebar).
The Crowley’s Ridge State Park demonstration will be held on Saturday, June 20th at Wolcott, AR. (north on Hwy 168, approximately 5 miles north of Jim’s shop), from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The park interpreter ask if we could make things that would have been used by early settlers on the “Ridge”
The first Saturday in July is the 4th, so our July meeting will be held on the second Saturday instead—July 11th. We will start at 8:00 am. End time will depend on the heat. The trade item is a striker for flint. Any volunteer’s to start a fire with their flint and steel?

Jim Soehlman—NEACBOA Secretary

May 2015 Central Chapter BOA Meeting

The Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) met on Saturday, May 16th at the forge of Thurston Fox (my father) in Mayflower. We had 11 members, including two who joined this month. The weather had been predicted to rain all day, but it turned out quite nice!
This was the first meeting at Thurston’s new forge location. The shop is so new that the grass is still green under the anvil and forge. We literally finished setting everything up the evening before—meaning I had no trade item—very embarrassing for the host of the meeting…
The project was “making a ladle or spoon from a plan” (see project notes, next page). A lot of the stuff we make is more art than precision. There’s certainly a place for that, but I thought it would be interesting to be given a precisely measured plan to follow. There’s a lot to be said for the ability to follow a shop drawing.


The exercise went better than expected. I’m a bit ashamed to say now that I had any concerns at all. Our CACBOA members took to the plans as if they were all a little OCD, and the results turned out wonderful. I guess it’s true what they say—that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you try. This is a huge difference in skill level from the same group even a year ago. I’m very excited to be among a group who are gaining in skill so rapidly. I’m looking forward to great things!

Robert Fox, CACBOA Secretary