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I hit the New England Bladesmith's Guild meeting this past weekend;… - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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[Sep. 23rd, 2002|10:50 am]
Doug Ayen
I hit the New England Bladesmith's Guild meeting this past weekend; when I have the time I'll write up my notes and do a blog of what happened. In other blacksmithing news, I'm starting up my bi-weekly knifemaking/blacksmithing workshops, contact me if you're interested in attending.

I guess I had a fun time this weekend; unfortunately, I just couldn't get work off my mind during the seminar. Too bad, as a lot of it was very interesting.

Goal for this week is to clean up the house and workshop enough that I won't be embarrassed by having people over. At the workshop, I'll be directing people who attend towards finishing off some of the projects that have been kicking around for a while. Maybe I'll even finish off one or two myself.

I also need to work on the Celtic long sword project. This shouldn't take more than a few hours, and mostly just needs to be done so I can say I've done it, and to get some pictures to help others who need that little kick in the pants.

What I think I'll do is start with some ore, charcoal, and a small crucible and show the Celtic crucible process for ironmaking. That just takes a bit of time and heat, no complex equations or anything. The result will be used to show the process -- crushed ore, crushed charcoal, plus heat and time = bad iron. Mind you, bad iron was better than no iron. Fortunately, I also have plenty of bad iron in my wrought iron collection, so all I need to do next is forge out some of the bad iron a few times until it's not-so-bad iron, then reforge until it's quite-serviceable-iron, which is about what the Celts used for their swords. No carburization is needed, no fancy pattern welding, just assemble a billet and forge into a sword. Oh, yeah, and take plenty of pictures.

For the power hammer woes I've been suffering, I think part of the problem is the unevenness of the shims and the excessive number. I'll try replacing the opposing wedges with a single piece of iron and see if that helps. also, I'll make a foundation block so that maybe it won't bounce all over the place anymore.

Need to mount the post vices where they'll do some good. If I get a couple of 6' 6"x6" hunks of wood, or maybe a couple of railroad ties or telephone poles, I should be able to mount them quite securely, if not terribly portably, by sinking holes in the ground. I'll try to get that done by this weekend (yeah, right.)

So, goal for the workshop (as opposed to the general cleaning schtick I need to do):

1) fix lights (2 florescents are out)
2) move equipment to where it should be
3) pour foundation for power hammer (probably not this week)
4) haul out trash
5) try to remove any hazards that could trip people up (i.e. get rid of loose tools on floor)
6) try to remember that I do this for fun.