July 2015 Central Chapter Meeting

The Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) met on Saturday, July 18th at the forge of Larry Layne in Sheridan. We had eight members and a guest present. Back in Little Rock, the temperature was in the triple digits, but somehow, even though it was further south, it really wasn’t bad at all in Larry’s shop.

I suspect that’s because Larry’s shop is not entirely of this world. It’s a little bit of heaven, with a solid brick paver floor, rough cut lumber walls, heavy beams, and antique hand tools hanging everywhere. The forge is miles from anywhere, deep in the shade of pine timber country, I’m sure there are animated woodland characters running about somewhere.

Dale and Tim worked with our newest members to teach a few techniques and produce some small items at the forge. I used Larry’s huge set of Centaur swage blocks to dish out some heavy gauge sheet metal for a project that may show up in the newsletter later this year.

Scooter brought out the barbeque for lunch, and I ate so much I nearly had to take a nap. I heard something about cobbler for dessert, but I think by that point I had slid beneath the table.

I came to in the midst of a lively discussion about the new “Forged In Fire” reality show on the history channel, followed by an interesting conversation about the fact that everyone seems to have had an ancestor who was a blacksmith.

We hope to have another intern this fall, but have not finalized arrangements.

We talked about the various demonstrations we have scheduled this fall: Pirate Rendezvous in September, Harrison Harvest Homecoming in October, and the Faulkner Count Museum Open House in November.

We even started making tentative plans for the ABANA conference in Salt Lake City next summer.

When we finally staggered back to the forge, Larry showed us the double-chambered bellows he is rebuilding, and demonstrated his homemade engraving tools.

Or maybe that was all a figment of my food-induced coma…

Robert Fox, CACBOA Secretary

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