February 2016 Central Chapter Meeting


The February meeting of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) was held at the forge of Dale Custer.

Thanks to Linda and Dawn for preparing lunch

Members in attendance included Dale Custer, Brandon Wilson, Tim Huddleston & Keith Heffelfinger

The morning was spent with open forging with Tim finishing his trade item.

In the business meeting, Dale updated us on the plans for the next smelt. The plan for the afternoon is to consolidate some more of the bloom. The furnace will have to be rebuilt the next time we intend to fire it up.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the ABANA conference in Salt Lake this summer, July 13-16. Anyone can buy tickets for the Iron-in-the-Hat.

Contact Dale, who is also our ABANA liaison, for more information and tickets.

Remember to pay your dues, if you have not already. They are actually long past due.

In the afternoon, those present took turns striking for Dale on the mace heads. One miss sent a top tool flying in an unfortunate and painful trajectory.

Tim Huddleston, CACBOA Member




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




February 2016 Northeast Chapter Meeting


NEA BOA meeting was held on February 6, 2016, at Jim Soehlman’s shop from 8am til 3pm. We had 22 members and 9 guests. Largest meeting to date for our chapter.

Members present were: Eddie Mullins, Dusty Elliott, Mike DeLoache, Bryan Carter, Kade Carter, Wes Ford, Brad Ussery, Aldon Philpot, Larry Ford, Raymond Lyerly, John Johnson, Dan Davis, Rebecca Soehlman, Jim Soehlman.

Ron Wells and Tom Upton from the NWA chapter and Robert Fox from the CAC chapter. New member from January meeting Andy Graves was also in attendance.

We had four new members sign up this meeting: Adam West, Jason Boggs, Matt Elliott and Elijah Thomas.

Guests present were: Jeremy Gunn, Emill Boggs, Chris Harrison, Sam Harrison, Jeremiah Tribble, Dan Martin, Serina Thomas and Mike Thomas.

Jim Bacon was guest at the November meeting/demo also attended this meeting. Jim has been a farrier at most of the big horse racing tracks in the USA from NY to Calif. Jim has lots to offer and much information can be gained just by talking with him.

Thank you Robert Fox for attending our meeting. We want to thank Ron Wells and Tom Upton for the largest ever coal delivery. 94 bags. WOW!!!

The meeting started in the typical fashion with the challenge question “who has not started a coal fire?” Dusty Elliott helped the newbies fire the forge.

John Johnson, proud owner of a newly acquired WWI cavalry forge, brought it and fired it up.
We had 3 forges and 3 anvils being used most of the meeting with a wide range of items being made: fork, knife, hoof pick, leaf, etc.

We enjoyed hamburgers and chips for lunch and had a short business meeting. There was mention that BSA wanted us to put on a demo at Crowley’s Ridge State Park were several boy scouts will be camping in April. We decided that maybe a few of us would do a two or three hour demo. Date and time are to be announced.

Jim Soehlman—NEACBOA Secretary




February 2016 River Valley Chapter Meeting


The February meeting was held at my shop in Greenwood. I believe we had the largest crowd since our beginning last year.

A great memory for me happened when a first time visitor hand forged his first project ever. He and his grandfather were the first ones to arrive.

I was starting the fire in one of the forges, and I asked him if he wanted to pound some steel. He was a little apprehensive, so I grabbed a railroad spike and said, “Here ya go make yourself a knife”. I briefly got him started and by the end of the meeting he had made his first knife.

It turned out great, and He was very proud. I’ll never forget that, as it displays just one reason I’m proud to be apart of the River Valley BOA.

We had several members in attendance along with 7 or 8 guests, and signed up a few new members.

Our trade item was a tomahawk / hatchet. We had three forges going with lots of participation and instruction.

During our business meeting we again reminded everyone of our yearly dues, and upcoming project ideas.

Jerry also invited everyone to his shop the following Monday evening to try your hand at forge welding.

We had four or five people in attendance, and all I will say is I need a lot more practice in forging a good strong weld.

Our next meeting will be held on March 5th at Jerry Holms shop in Van Buren. Our trade item will be a hardy tool. It must be tapered to accommodate the different hardy hole sizes. Hope to see ya there.

Todd Rowland
RVBOA Secretary




January 2016 River Valley Chapter Meeting


Much thanks goes out to Jerry Holmes and his wife for hosting our January meeting. Jerry’s shop is well suited for accommodating several people and everyone had a great time.

We had 15 members in attendance along with 5 or 6 guests. Our trade item was a set of tongs. I always like it when our trade items are something we can use at our own shops. We had two forges going with lots of participation and instruction.

 

During our business meeting we discussed the up-coming smelt scheduled for later this month, reminder of our yearly dues, and some opportunities of setting up blacksmithing demo’s at community events in the coming year.

Todd Rowland
RVBOA Secretary




January 2016 Northwest Chapter Meeting


The meeting at Robert Meuser’s had a fairly small showing, on account of fears of snow that never showed.

Bob Patrick demonstrated a fork with welded-on tines, and made Robert a new hot-cut hardy with the help of Bob Lock as striker.

A test-decal applied to the trailer suggests we’ll need to try a different approach for the trailer decals. The rivets cause too many problems for a solid decal. Robert suggested mounting a large metal sheet over the side to cover the rivets. Details are to be sorted out another time.

Dale opened up the meeting, mentioning that ABANA sent in some tickets for Iron-in-the-Hat at the conference in Salt Lake City. Dale said he’ll be there, so if anyone in the group should happen to win, he could probably help out in bringing the winnings back.

Next we shifted to the subject of the smelt. Bob Lock is getting both the clay and sand. I’m bringing a partly used bag of peat moss. David Egan said he’d see about getting a cardboard tube for the furnace form, and Clyde is bringing some twine.

Bob Patrick announced that Bob Lock will be working with him on building a lock and key, hopefully leading to an apprenticeship. Bob (Patrick) said he’ll keep the club up to date on the progress of the project and take pictures as things progress.

Sam Hibbs, NWBOA Member




January 2016 Northeast Chapter Meeting


The January meeting was held at Lloyd Clayton’s shop.

Members present were Brad Ussery, Raymond Lyerly, John Johnson, Jimmie Barnes, Wes Ford, Larry Ford, Mike DeLoache, Lloyd Clayton and Eddie Mullins. I was glad to see Wendell Hogan, a formerly active member, in attendance and he even brought along a guest, Jeremy Key, who joined. We also had another guest and now new member, Andy Graves.

I would like to thank Lloyd and his wife for hosting the meeting and providing the excellent pulled pork we had for lunch. I’d also like to thank Raymond for the knife handle material he brought and shared with the group.

Projects for the meeting were tongs and twisted RR spike garden trowels. These projects allowed the demonstration and practice of several techniques including fullering, peening, riveting, striking and power hammer use.

The February meeting will be at Jim Soehlman’s shop on the first Saturday of the month, 2/6/16. We are expecting Ron with our biggest coal order ever. If you ordered coal make sure you are there to help unload and pick up your order.

The March meeting will also be on the first Saturday, 3/5/16 at Mike DeLoache’s shop.

Eddie Mullins—NEACBOA Steward




January 2016 Central Chapter Meeting


Dale opened the meeting by thanking Robert Thompson for hosting two months in a row.

Dale thanked Christie for a wonderful lunch that hit the spot for a winter day.

The February meeting is at Dale’s and the trade item is “something that cuts.” Brandon is looking forward to Dale getting another railroad spike knife.

We had five members at the meeting. Besides Robert Thompson and his wife, Dale, Tim Huddleston and Brandon Willson attended.

We had an extended discussion of the upcoming smelt, including the clay used–how it is processed and formed into bricks. The discussion continued with how the furnace is constructed and fired. The critical size of the charcoal was explained by Dale. We are hoping that adding scale to the ore will boost our yield. The smelt starts on the 21st and runs until 23rd.

There is one ABANA T-shirt left. We discussed the Iron-in-the-Hat drawings that ABANA has extended to the affiliates.

Dues are past due.

Only three CAC members are current on their dues.

Tim Huddleston made a motion to adjourn and Brandon seconded it.

Dale Custer, CACBOA Steward




December 2015 River Valley Chapter Meeting


Unfortunately I had to leave the December meeting early and missed out hanging out with
my friends and some great deer chili; but many thanks goes out to Dallas Roberson and his
wife for hosting. You guys were wonderful hosts.

We had several members in attendance along with a few guests. This month’s trade item was a Christmas cane.

We had three forges going with lots of participation and instruction.

Each month I continue to see smithing skills increase in each member, which is very encouraging.

Our next meeting will be held on January 2nd at Jerry Holmes’ shop east of Van Buren. He
resides at 1604 Daugherty Rd, Van Buren, AR.

Todd Rowland
RVBOA Secretary




December 2015 Northwest Chapter Meeting


Thanks to Clyde and Connie for hosting the meeting. The food was excellent, and Clyde’s smithy is very roomy and well stocked.
Everyone really enjoyed being there, and the weather was great.

On our way to the meeting we always have breakfast at the Kings River store. Ira Collins,
a farrier, was at the store and decided to attend the meeting. I think he liked it. As we were
leaving the store, Lynn Holman came in and heard about the meeting. Lynn came and
enjoyed it and will be joining BOA, shortly.

Lynn is a retired state trooper from Oklahoma. He indicated a desire to accompany Ron on a coal run to Vinita. Ron told me he was looking forward to that as he will find out if he has been breaking any laws.

It seemed like there were a lot of people at the meeting having a good time watching artistic blacksmithing.

Visitors present who became new members were: Larry Van Dyke, Deanna and Jim Watkins
and their son Caleb, Thad Brown, John May and son Eoin, and last but not least, Nancy and
Marlin Spradling who will be renewing their membership after being away for a year. Betty
Jones who joined last year at Clyde’s meeting was back and renewed her membership. Jerry
Holmes introduced Dan Mowrey a new River Valley Chapter member. Counting the new
members, we had 31 members in attendence.

The next meeting on January 9 will be at Robert Meuser’s forge in Mountain Home. The trade item has yet to be decided.

The iron smelt is to be rescheduled, so watch the newsletter for information and dates.

Heidi and her son Buck rode with Ron Wells and me. Heidi had helped Ron get the coal sacked and loaded. She gave Ron a small red pickup with the bed loaded with tiny pieces of coal. I’m pretty sure it was coal she pried from under her fingernails after helping Ron with the loading!

As always, the meeting was educational. I’m sure that all the other members consider we are all good friends. The monthly meeting allows us to visit, trade stories, and learn about each other.

That reminds me of a story that Ron told on the way home that was really funny. It was about being able to tie really strong knots since he was very young. ( Separate website post )

See you in January, weather permitting.
Harold Enlow, NWBOA Secretary




December 2015 Northeast Chapter Meeting


The NEA Chapter met at Jim Soehlman’s shop in December. I would like to thank Jim for
allowing the members to use his shop while he was out of town and for still providing a
delicious ham for lunch. I’d also like to thank the other members that brought food for the
pot luck.

We had a good turn out for the meeting with a number of items forged. Present at the
meeting were Larry Ford, Wes Ford, Lloyd Clayton, Spiro Spanos, Mike Deloache, Brad
Ussery, Dusty Elliot, Bryan Carter, Jade Carter and Eddie Mullins.

I demonstrated one method for forging a carving fork for Wes, and Lloyd Clayton forged a tomahawk from a rasp and demonstrated forging a billet with multiple pieces of layered steel. I also got to light the first fire in Larry’s newly built forge, and Spiro got the honor being the first to use it. It is a
nicely made portable forge on wheels. I believe he and Wes are going to make more nice
modifications to it. I can’t wait to see it when they get done.

Bryan and Kade worked on forging leaves and I believe Dusty forged a Steak Turner.

The January meeting will be on the 9th at Lloyd Clayton’s shop and the February meeting
will be held at Jim’s shop again on the 6th. We are currently hoping to have Ron deliver coal
to the February meeting. We always look forward to his visits and really appreciate the
service he is providing to the club.

As this will come out after the new year I would like to wish you all a belated Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year!
.
Eddie Mullins—NEACBOA Steward




December 2015 Central Chapter Meeting


We had a wonderful time at Robert Thompson’s home and forge for our third annual CACBOA
Christmas party. We miss Herman and Suzanne, but Robert really stepped up to make it a fun
evening. We only had six members, but there was food for about 30. In the fine tradition of
BOA, I think we left them with very little to clean up…


In addition to the feast and gift exchange, Robert gave us a demonstration of forge welding on
his new coal forge.

I was surprised to see the forge draw so well, since the chimney took a right
turn above the smoke shelf and went almost horizontal for about six feet. Nevertheless, it
worked like a champ (provided you weren’t the one standing under the end of the flue when the
newspaper used to start the forge burned up—I thought it was snowing for a few seconds there).

We had the obligatory business meeting: talking about the ABANA conference, the failure of the
December smelt and our hopes for the January smelt, and the Ypres cenotaph (see page 19).

Dues are now past due! Slackers (like me) that have forgotten to pay in, mail those checks in or
bring money to your January meetings!

Robert Fox,
CACBOA Secretary




November 2015 River Valley Chapter Meeting


I would like to begin by paying tribute to Ross Wilkinson for his generous contributions as the River Valley secretary, and his unselfish assistance in developing our chapter this past year.

We have grown in many ways and much credit should go to Ross. We will miss him.

Our meeting in November was held at Gary Braswell’s shop in Lavaca. We had several members in attendance along with a few guests.

This month’s trade item was a meat fork, which displayed our developing growth in blacksmithing skills.

We had two forges going, and several of us made some knives and crosses.

We had great fellowship around the dinner table with some wonderful gumbo. Many thanks to Gary’s wife for providing a great meal.

Our next meeting will be held on December 5th at Dallas Roberson’s shop in Lavaca. He resides at 1409 Hwy 96. Our trade item will be a candy cane highlighting your favorite blacksmithing twist.

Todd Rowland RVBOA Secretary




November 2015 Northwest Chapter Meeting


Thanks to Lynda and Keith Heffelfinger for hosting the November meeting.

They spent quite a lot of time getting their place ready for this event, and it is a very nice setting. There is a spring fed creek which runs between the house and the smithy.

Keith gave some demos, one of which was an anvil small enough to use for a keychain. I was impressed. We all liked his forge and blower. He built both the forge and blower from scratch and the blower is a bellows.

He also taught us how to work pipe and has some good artistic designs. He should have been a teacher! Lynda made some tasty chili for our lunch.

The weather was nice enough for all of us to eat outside in the yard. Of course, the meeting followed lunch and Dale didn’t give us a chance to doze off after the great meal. He talked about the second smelt the club is planning for December 4th, 5th, and 6th, at ESSA, the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

 

Members present at the meeting were Tom Bates, Joseph Breer, Michael Breer, Dale Custer, Harold Enlow, Clyde Foster, Keith Heffelfinger, Lynda Heffelfinger, Sam Hibbs, Eric Lindberg, Bob Lock, Hardy Todd, and Ron Wells. A couple of fellows signed up as new members. They are Scott Ridey (an experienced smith) and John Hairford, who is looking for equipment for his smithy.

After the meeting, Scott gave a few of us a demo on how to make a beautiful leaf. I always learn a lot at the meetings and appreciate the talent and help of the other blacksmiths.

The December meeting is at Clyde Foster’s place near Marble, Arkansas. The trade item is a Christmas ornament.

The January meeting may be at a different location than originally planned as Cheryl may have to have back surgery.

Dale has ordered the T-shirts and maybe some caps, also, since he has gotten enough requests to place the minimum order.

Ron Wells is not one to let anyone down who has ordered coal and even though he wasn’t feeling well, he managed, with the help of Bertie, to deliver the coal orders to the meeting, as he had promised. We hope he is feeling better by now. I

hope to see all of you in December at Clyde’s.

Harold Enlow, NWBOA Secretary




November 2015 Northeast Chapter Meeting


Meeting held at Crowley’s Ridge State Park, 11-7-15 from 10 am until 3:00 pm.

Members present: Larry Ford, Raymond Lyerly, Brad Ussery, Bryan Carter, John Johnson, Aldon Philpot, Lloyd Clayton, Carl Steyer, Jim Soehlman and Rebecca Soehlman Guests:

There were an estimated 100+ by Elizabeth Whaley, Crowley’s Ridge State Park interpreter.

The focus of the demonstration was to make items that a blacksmith in the 1800’s would have made for people that were homesteading on the Ridge.

 

We touched on a small portion of what could have been made but the crowd seems to love watching and had lots of questions.

All of us took the opportunity to interact with the onlookers and make it interesting for them. It’s fun for all when you can tell the onlookers that when “Pa” needed a horse shoe, he went to the barn and made it and when “Ma” needed a spoon or wall hook, “Pa” went to the barn and made it.

I’d like to personally thank Raymond Lyerly for showing up to my shop and helping me load all the equipment and for following me home and helping me unload.

Jim Soehlman— NEACBOA Secretary




November 2015 Central Chapter Meeting


This month’s meeting of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) was once again hosted at the forge of Tim Huddleston in Benton.

This was Tim’s third time to host in 2015, and he is already on the schedule for February of next year. If he keeps this up, some of us just need to move in. Is there a spare bedroom now that your oldest is off to college?

In the morning, I worked on a hand-crank drill (brace and bit set) I am trying to forge that is turning out to be more of a learning experience than a project.

Robert Thompson worked on a leaf bottle opener and Salauddin worked on an arrow for his heart project with help from Brandon.

 

We had ten members and three guests present, and Dale, as usual, helped our guests feel welcome and worked with them on a simple project.

Dale also demonstrated a “super quench” formula that he had mixed up. Tim and I had punched a hole in a mild steel plate to use as monkey tool to set a shoulder tenon on my brace.  After hot punching the plate, we quenched it in Dale’s mixture.  The steel actually screamed like a baby. Dale tried to score it with a chisel afterward, and was barely able to make a mark.

Debbie fixed some soup that, I kid you not, tasted just like the “Zuppa Toscana” from the Olive Garden, my favorite soup in the world. Really tasty. There is going to be some blood spilt before we decide which of us gets the spare bedroom.

In our business meeting, we discussed the CACBOA Christmas party next month, hosts for future meetings, recent demonstrations, the BOA trailer, T-Shirts, and the 2016 ABANA conference (which you will hear more about in upcoming months). BTW, the BOA trailer is parked at my house. Please let me know who gets it next so I can make arrangements for pickup or delivery.

Robert Fox, CACBOA Secretary




October 2015 River Valley Chapter Meeting


The River Valley’s October meeting was held at the Fall Festival in Greenwood AR on October 3rd.

This is the last meeting that I will have the honor of serving as secretary. I has been a pleasure to serve alongside Jerry Holmes and assist in the development of the chapter from its inception last January.

I have taken a position with ArcelorMittal in Shelby OH.

It was a great day for the meeting and we had a small crowd of members in attendance. Along with the demonstration forge set up by the chapter, Dan Mowry was present with his trailer. We all had a great time of forging and fellowship all day. Several visitors stopped by to watch the demonstrations and f few expressed interest in joining the organization.

Todd Rowland will fill my position as secretary starting in November. Let all welcome him in his new role.

The next meeting will be held at Dallas Roberson’s shop in Lavaca on November 7th, and the trade item will be a meat fork. The December meeting will be held at Gary Braswell’s in Lavaca on December 5th.

The December trade item is a candy cane that showcases your favorite blacksmithing twist.

Ross Wilkinson
RVBOA Secretary

** Webmasters Note**  

Ross, we appreciate all you have done to build the River Valley Chapter, and the contributions you have made to the BOA as a whole.  We will miss your advice, your knowledge and your family.  Return back to us often.

Tim Huddleston  – BOA Webmaster




October 2015 Northwest Chapter Meeting


Twenty-nine members were present at the Rusty Wheels Show near Harrison. It was a really good turnout.

Tom Bates and Harold Enlow helped me set up the BOA Forge on Friday, October 9th, 2015. When we started around noon there was a light rain. In about an hour it cleared and the rest of the weekend was beautiful.

Saturday was the regular meeting of the NW Chapter of BOA. We had a very special treat planned for the meeting. Mark Morrow, expert knife and sword maker, demonstrated how to put the handle, guard, and pommel on a Bowie knife. I’ve built many belt knives in my younger years, but now I know how to do it properly. Mark is an excellent teacher.

Evelyn Lock, Bob’s wife, brought wonderful cookies and fudge for midmorning refreshments.

Sales weren’t as good as the week before at the Harvest Homecoming. We did raise $51 for our treasury.

After lunch we had a short business meeting chaired by our president, Dale Custer. T-shirts will be ordered shortly. Mark will finish the Bowie knife and send it back to us.

The November 14th meeting is at Keith and Lynda Heffelfinger’s shop at Timbo. The trade item is a pair of hinges. The December 12th meeting is at Clyde Foster’s shop at Marble. A Christmas ornament will do for the trade item.

Cheryl Miskell will host the January meeting at her place North of Jasper.

Guests and new members were introduced. Ross Wilkinson’s wife Gayle and sons Walter and Daniel were present. Ross was in Ohio where he has started a new job. We are going to miss Ross. Brennon and Jacey High were present. It was their first meeting since joining. Eric Lindberg, a new member was also present. Brothers, Hunter and Noah Burroughs joined. They will be in the Central Chapter. Pete Eldridge from Alpena joined. My friend Larry Nutter from Lead Hill also joined Saturday. (Oh no, not another woodcarver!)

Since Hardy was not at the meeting, the idea was entertained to continue the meeting indefinitely.

However, this was just an idea and the meeting was adjourned.

Those present at the meeting included Bill Angle, Tom Bates, Samuel Bollman, Wayne Bollman, James Brantley, Joseph Breer, Michael Breer, Hunter Burroughs, Noah Burroughs, Dale Custer, Joe Doster, Pete Eldridge, Harold Enlow, Robert Fox, Keith Heffelfinger, Lynda Heffelfinger, Brennon High, Jacey High, Eric Lindberg, Bob Lock, Nathan Low, Steve Low, Robert Meuser, Mark Morrow, Larry Nutter, Bob Patrick, John Petersen, Elmer Polston, and Ron Wells

Ron Wells
BOA Treasurer and Coal-meister




October 2015 Northeast Chapter Meeting


Meeting was held October 3rd at Fred Barnes sorghum shed.

Members in attendance were Jimmie Barnes, Brad Ussery, Mike DeLoache, Aldon Philpot, Larry Ford, Wes Ford, John Johnson, Rebecca Soehlman and Jim Soehlman.

We had lots of guests: Bryan Carter, Kade Carter, Fred Barnes (host), Kacey Barnes, Misty Philpot, Samantha Philpot, Casey Smith, Bonnie Smith and Richard Slayton.

The day started off with “squeezing” the sorghum cane. After the juice begin to flow, some of us fired up a couple of forges and begin to teach the basics of forging to some of our quests. Most of our meeting are in shops but today was a beautiful day and the outdoor forging was really fun.

Hooks for hanging metal stock out of the weather where made by Aldon and Brad for Jimmie.
Since we had so many guests that were interested in being hands on, we made lots of leafs. Bryan and Kade each making really nice first time leafs said they would be back for the December meeting to join.

We look forward to having them. Misty made a good looking leaf that had an unplanned twist that really got crowd approval.

There were side discussions about anvil refacing and we are looking for some other chapters to help us find someone that does this.

As it neared lunch time, we all congregated toward the sorghum shed were an old wood stove was finishing up it’s work on venison chili, beef chili, peach cobbler and apple cobbler. There were hot dogs to be cooked on a campfire if you choose to. All this mixed with the sweet smells of sorghum cooking near by.

We missed all the members that didn’t get to make the meeting. Hope to see you soon.

Jim Soehlman—NEACBOA Secretary




October 2015 Central Chapter Meeting


The October meeting of the central Arkansas chapter of the blacksmith organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) was held on Saturday, October 17th at the forge of Thurston Fox in Mayflower, Arkansas.

We had eleven members present , along with several guests., including a neighbor who dropped by to see what all the excitement was. I think he saw all the cars and thought there was a party.

We started off the morning with a demonstration of the making of a dogwood flower (see project notes on next page).

I would like to say that the demonstration was well-received, but, to be honest, I think the members were seriously distracted by the trade item for the month—”your preferred weapon for the zombie apocalypse.” Ross and Gail’s two youngest boys (Albert was visiting an uncle) in particular were dying to use the trade items on the pumpkins Dale supplied.

It was a constant battle to keep said weapons from said boys. To be honest, I think some of our members were secretly with the boys on this one.

We had grilled burgers and hotdogs for lunch, followed by a quick business meeting.

After the meeting, we FINALLY released the hounds and demolished pumpkins. For enthusiasm, I think young Daniel Wilkinson must be awarded top honors, but for sheer precision and style, the judges unanimously gave the highest scores to Christian Shelton.

After that, we broke into some free forging. One member brought some knife blanks to heat treat, I had some assistance finishing a nail header. Thurston Fox demonstrated some leatherwork, and we forged some horseshoes into a more circular shape which he used to make some unique drink coasters.

Our next meeting is back at Tim’s on the third Saturday in November, but we have also borrowed the club trailer for our second year to participate in the Faulkner County Museum Open House on Saturday November 7th, from 10:00—4:00 in downtown Conway.

We hope any of you who find yourselves in that neck of the woods can drop by!.

Robert Fox,
CACBOA Secretary