Tag Archives: blacksmith

The Wait List is no more

Several years ago I was accepting orders for a number of standard items which were then made and shipped. This quickly became an overwhelming amount of work often time leading to many months of lead time to get the order out and little time for me to explore my own interests as a blacksmith. A wait list seemed like a good idea. Working at a comfortable and only dealing with a few customer requests at a time. Unfortunately, that proved difficult as well. It would often times takes weeks of back and forth communications to finally be able to quote a job which the customer then chose not to follow through on. The wait list grew quickly with even more people hoping to place an order all the while my time available to work on orders was becoming less and less. So the wait list was put on hold and eventually it went away, but there are still people contacting me in hopes that they are still on that list. The simple answer is no, the list no longer exists and I am no longer taking orders. Anything I have for sale will be listed in the Etsy shop. So this is a what I feel like making when I feel like making it system. If you need it right away, you will need to look elsewhere. But if you’re willing to wait and check back often, there will be an ever changing variety of goods in very limited quantities. http://www.blackbearforge.etsy.com

Keep in mind that this is my retirement activity that helps pay the bills. Not something I want to be obligated to a 40 – 60 hour work week.

For now my main shop activity is producing YouTube videos about blacksmith for anyone interested in learning about the art and craft of blacksmithing. Videos may be seen at https://www.youtube.com/c/BlackBearForge


Warm beer anyone?


A few weeks ago a friend was commenting on a TV show he had seen where someone took what he thought was an old style soldering iron, and used it to warm his cup of coffee.  While I have never actually seen this done, I have heard of a “flip iron” being used to make a hot toddy or hot buttered rum.  I felt pretty smug knowing what he was refering to.

Imagine my surprise when I recieved the following message a few days latter. “I’ve been searching for an iron tool that is used in the upper-midwest during spring bock beer festivals. The solid iron “head” of the tool is heated in a fire and then dipped red hot into a glass of beer. The result is a hot foamy head of beer.”

Here is the picture provided by the customer

Here is the picture provided by the customer

Now I really should learn from the way the old timers did things. It would save me lots of grief.  But not me, I have a 100 pound power hammer.  So why not just make these from a single piece of 1″ round bar?  Even under the hammer drawing 10″ of 1″ bar into 40″ of 1/2″ bar is a lot of work.  I suspect that this took about 3 times longer than the alternate and probably more traditional approach.  I am pretty sure the old timers would have used a shorter section of the 1″ bar with a short stub drawn out and the 1/2″ handle forge welded on.  But, live and learn.  My customer gets a great value and I got a great education.

I suppose I need to make a shorter one and try the hot toddy or hot buttered rum, but I’ll leave the warm beer for more adventurous types.

Here are the 43" long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum ;)

Here are the 43″ long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum 😉

The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.

The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.