February 2016 Northwest Chapter Meeting


The Northwest Area BOA February meeting was hosted by Ed Osoris in Springdale. Ron Wells again provided safe transportation to a truckload of smiths.

Ed served a delicious and filling lunch of smoked ribs, barbeque sandwiches, salad, and chips. We had lovely sunshine, and brisk breezes.

BOA members in attendance at this February 13th meeting included Dale Custer, Bryan Parsons, Jimmy Owen, Les King, Tim Mason, Dan Mowrey, Samuel Bollman, Jim Watkins, Caleb Watkins, Deana Watkins, Sonny Sartwell, Judi Sartwell, Mike Japczyk, Stosh Japczyk, Hardy Todd, Charlie Vernon, Jerry Holmes, Joe Doster, Garret Manley, Ron Wells, Mark Evans, Jake Evans, Will Lockard, Erick Lindberg, Cheryl Miskell, Clyde Foster, Heidi McLaughlin, Buck Dahlstrom, Allen Dietzschold, Jason Wright, Paul Steventhal, John Garland, Steve Low, Tom Bates, Ervin Potter, Ron Shiery, Tyler Usrey, Tom Upton, Chris Bliss, Fawn Kurtzo, Michael Breer, Joseph Breer, Jordan Rachlen, Donna Rachlen, Bob Lock, Dave Roberts, Ed Osoris, Robert Raelriger, Andrew Allen, Kelly Shelton, and Greg Johnson (joined after this meeting).

In the business meeting, Dale discussed the second iron smelt at ESSA and passed around part of the bloom and a chunk of “sponge iron.” The sponge iron has some copper in it, which will interfere with forge welding. We lost the end of the tuyere during this smelt, and will have to replace it.

Dale observed that the Magnet Cove iron ore is poor quality, which is why the first smelt was not successful (most iron ore is poor quality now). Ross Wilkerson sent 100-150 pounds of mill scale to mix with the iron ore to bring it up to 60%. Dale said the second iron smelt was “absolutely a success,” yielding about 20 pounds of iron bloom. Dale’s smelting mentor said 20 pounds was good.

Iron in the Hat tickets should be available next month. These have to be remitted in June.

Speaking of “Iron in the Hat,” the ABANA Conference is in Salt Lake City in July. Sonny and Judi are going, and Dale is going.

Amy Pieh is in charge of the conference.

Lorelei Sims, author of The Backyard Blacksmith, will be there. Judi said, “She’s terrific! She’s is 6 feet tall!”

Dale observed that we are a “sub-group” of ABANA, and said that everyone should consider attending the conference.

Blacksmiths from all over the world share their techniques and skills—attendees can make lifelong friends, too.

Charlie Vernon and Jason Wright are new members.

Fawn Kurtzo is Heidi’s daughter, and she “might” try her hand at the forge when she’s not so busy earning a degree.

Caleb Watkins is a fairly new member.

Dave Roberts is a guest from Evansville.

Cleo Lloyd went from visitor to member, joining right after this meeting.

This was Will Lockard’s second meeting; he joined last year.

Chris Bliss, from Arizona, is another new member, and he bought a bag of coal.

Jordan and Donna Rachlen, also new members, helped Ed with his new forge.

Finally, new member Greg Johnson brought his daughter Mikailah.

All in all, we had a big, enthusiastic crowd of blacksmiths and lots of new members!

Cheryl Miskell, NW BOA Secretary