Take a gander at this video and think again!
Blacksmithing while you are flat broke. A letter of encouragement.
So you’re a young person (some of you at heart anyway). You been watching forged in fire, Milwaukee Blacksmith and several other blacksmithing shows that are currently on cable TV. You’ve watched every YouTube video ever made on blacksmithing. And you have a growing desire to do it yourself. However you find yourself economically challenged. Otherwise known as dead broke. Liquidity Challend, or if you will dead crackered.
If you are sitting right here with me right now, this is exactly what I would say, “That ain’t no excuse!” I have watched YouTube videos on people in Africa who literally have nothing but fire, animal skin, iron ore, mud and charcoal. They use not one penny! Yet I saw them produce a hammer out of the Earth they were standing on. Come on! you live in America. You drive by scrap steel on the side of the road every single day. You have access to old car parts. Just look on craigslist you’ll have all the steel you need for smithing for years within one week of collecting the free scrap steel on that site! Heat? Make a forge for next to nothing! Dig a trench in the ground 3 inches deep. Lay a pipe in that Trench. Covered it up. Dig a hole where the end of your pipe comes out on both ends. Shape one in the shape of a Duck’s Nest. And on the other end dig deep enough so you have clearance around the end of the pipe. Fill the ducks nest with charcoal. If you don’t have it make it out of old pallets for free on Craigslist! Learn how to make home charcoal it’s on YouTube. On the other end of the pipe put a hair dryer on or make a fan out of a old cardboard box side and blow or fan air into the end of the pipe or fan down into the hole that will create greater pressure and push air through the pipe and bring your charcoal to glowing red in minutes. Now you can heat Steel. Now if you’re thinking your mind that this is too much work, a lot of trouble, or beneath you to work in the ground, then this ain’t for you!
My question to you is what is your desire level? How bad do you want this. You don’t need a Anvil with a perfectly flat face. Go to the junkyard find a piece of Steel over 10 pounds with a flat surface and you are in business. You don’t have the right hammer? You can get a claw hammer at the dollar store for a dollar! It’ll work until you can get something else. So what am I saying? The main thing that is keeping you from blacksmithing today is your desire. My mother has always told me, people do what they want to do. So if you ain’t doing it that means you don’t want to bad enough! I met a blacksmith in Watertown New York he had tables of items that he was selling. Oh did I mention he was in a wheelchair!
So this is my question, what is your desire level? How bad do you want to do this? You will know your desire level by what lengths you go to to practice this ancient art. I would take nails and put them into the hot coals of a fire. And then shape them with a claw hammer on a quarter inch piece of Steel. With no blower it was a long time between Heats. But hey I was smithing!
Just a note of my writing style as I proofread this. I am not at the Apex of literary excellence. LOL
One of the problems is that you want everything perfect before you start. Pefection is the enemy of progress! If you are one of the people who won’t do something unless they have the perfect tools to do it with. You need to break out of that mindset. You don’t start anything in life at the top. We all begin at ignorance. As we practice our craft we gain more and more knowledge. After doing this for 30 years I now know hundreds of ways not to do it! That’s what’s so great about blacksmithing, I have developed my own style. No one else does it the way I do it on the face of the Earth! And no one else will do it exactly the way that you do it! Samuel Yellin started out as an apprentice. His company is now producing some of the most beautiful works of blacksmithing art in the world. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Yellin/
I tell you when you’ll start blacksmithing. When you have vision. That means you know what you want to be able to do and the products you want be able to produce.
Next would be When will you have a strong enough desire do it! What if I told you that if you did not blacksmith you and your family would starve in the next year. I bet if you would go out blacksmithing! With that mindset you would be able to Smith in no time. You might be not be the best at it but you sure would start because you want to live and you want your family to survive. There are things in life that you must have. Water food shelter, these are things that you will not compromise on you must have them. And because it is a must you do everything in your power to get them. What it blacksmithing was a must? We do the things that are a must in our lives. Sit down and write down the things in your life that are a must.
Here is another way to put this that is a little closer to reality. What is the next depression is just around the corner. Or what if you lost your job. Could you survive with no income? What if you had a skill that allowed you to produce tools and the ability to produce parts that are no longer available for peoples vehicles or their tractor.
There is something taking place in the world right now that is as I write this, changing the way business is done in the world. Check out AliExpress. Look at the prices on that website for any item that you use. You will be blown away by how low the prices are. Only one catch everything on there is produced in a third world country or China. You can get anything on there in just a few weeks for pennies on the dollar. The only problem is when everybody gets hooked on sites like this, what happens when the supply chain is interrupted by a bad Trade Agreement or a war. This will drive a lot of businesses under. This was started by Jack Ma. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alibaba_Group there are people making millions of dollars on this right now. Check out some YouTube videos on it it might change your life.
This is my take away from it. What if this is the way that business is going to be done in the future. And I believe it is. It doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart. Every Bank and financial prognosticator on the earth is saying there is coming a severe downturn in the economy. For your sakes and mine I hope it is a long ways off. But I’m preparing now like it’s going to happen tomorrow. I hope you are too.
Back to blacksmith. Come on what are you waiting for? Get smithing for Fun and Profit.
If you like the story please share on social media. I know I enjoyed writing it!
Well you know you can always get me at my website.
Peace my friends
February 7th 2017.
I share this story with my permission from the Gulf Coast Blacksmithing Association.
This story illustrates a point about blacksmithing and ironworking being the king of all trades. I hope you enjoy.
The Iron Worker and King Solomon
One of the questions that I am asked about blacksmithing is what relevance does blacksmithing have for today?
I am not a prepper by any by any stretch of the imagination. However I do think it wise to be prepared for any eventuality. In the more years that pass the more I am certain of the breakdown of the American society. For that matter the world society.
Mass production of rustic art.
Custom Motorcycles. Skulls, Handle bars, foot pegs.
I picked this beautiful old post vise up at a garage sale, here in Des Moines, Iowa.
The lady of the house stated that it was owned by her father on the family farm. It was up in the rafters of thier attick for over 10 years! I will probably use it for the rest of my life and then pass it on.
Enjoy the video!
Why blacksmithing? I have heard it said that blacksmithing is the King of all Arts. It is the foundation of all trades. I am convinced of it . You might ask how I believe this is true. Name another Tradesman who does not use tools created by the blacksmith in making any artistic, shaping or building trade? The carpenter uses many tools made by the Smith. The Goldsmith uses hammers, shears and many other tools such as mandrills for ring sizing that are made of steel. The stonemasons all used tools made by the blacksmith. There are many types of specialized Smiths that all used tools made by the blacksmith. There is the Goldsmith, the tinsmith, the coppersmith, the silversmith, to name a few.
Above is a original advertisement for 1 of the Kerrihard hammers I have in the shop.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution every tool made in the world that required durability and toughness was made by the blacksmith. The Advent of the Iron Age changed the shape of kingdoms and dynasties. When steel came up on the stage of the world it changed weapons, tools, and the processes of everyday life. Just one item the hand saw. Think about how that one little item changed everything. If you wanted to cut a piece of wood in half prior to the hand saw you had to chop it in half and if you wanted the ends nice and square you had to use a hammer and chisel to make it so. Think about it a thin piece of Steel with little teeth on it that could cut through a board! Producing a smooth finish and square ends that were easy assemble and make things out of. That was just one of the items that caused Great change.
Some people say that Blacksmithing is a forgotten and/or Lost Art. This could not be further from the truth. There are many blacksmiths even thousands of them who practice this forgotten art.
I am naming my organization Malone Forgotten Arts. I practice blacksmithing as well as Flint knapping and I am a scrimshander. In fact if you go to Google Maps and look up Malone Forgotten Arts in Des Moines Iowa you will find my shop and learning center.
There is a story about King Solomon inviting all of the skilled trades men who built the temple to a feast after the temple in Jerusalem was finished. Search around the web and see if you can find it. It is very interesting.
I enjoy philosophy and religion. I would love to discuss it with you at some time if you are so inclined. Some people shy away from these subjects but I find them fascinating and very fulfilling.
A photo of me hard at work in the shop
Getting back to the Fun and Profit part of blacksmithing. There is nothing so satisfying at the end of a frustrating or difficult day as to heat a piece of metal to over 2000 degrees and then beat the tar out of it. In doing so making a useful tool or art piece that can be used or sold. You may ask what is the fun part. Well I have made several Spears based on the movie 300 and have used them very efficiently over and over. You may ask what is the profit side of it? I know A Smith named Alec Steel who is making good money making Hammers and other tools and conducting classes. So there are ways to make money in this sport. You just have to have the will and the drive and the never-say-die attitude that will Propel you to be successful in blacksmithing. There is a whole Market in repairing bent or broken iron implements for people. There is huge earning potential in this area. I have repaired and refurbished many post vices and made a good deal of money at this.
The picture above shows tools made by Alex Steel in his tool making class.
Well, I hope you have a great day. Peace my friends.
This is a photo of the author having a good beard day in the backyard.
Please be sure to check out the other links on the site. I think we have some great content. Peace my friends.
Build this Forge a few months ago for a friend of mine. Anyway it had a smaller burner on it. So I just swapped out the burner for a bigger one. I took a piece of quarter inch rod, and Forge welded it into a ring. It’s not the prettiest weld but it only took a few minutes to do. If you would like to learn to forge weld with a propane Forge or to build a propane Forge please hit me up on Facebook or through my website wwww.malonegreg.com
Gregory.T.Malone on Facebook
So I took a commission for a Christmas present for one of my relatives. I love to use drive shaft for my blades since it is so wear resistant. It also hardens beautiful and holds an edge for a long time. Great for chopping.
Here is a demonstration using a Kerrihard power hammer to draw the metal out to the dimensions that I want. I am making a camp knife with a tang that I’m going to put a deer antler handle on. The drive shaft is 1 inch diameter.
If you’re interested in blacksmithing please let me know I teach classes on a regular basis.
Hey we’re famous! Well sort of.
I hope you had time to look at the Cityview magazine article. Here’s the link if you didn’t have the time to take a look at it.
The author of the article who was a very kind man who made me think about a lot of things during the interview process. One of the questions that he asked me was if I thought that Jesus was a blacksmith? He went on to say that the stereotypical deposed occupation of Jesus was a carpenter. But he says that the word used in the Greek for Carpenter was more along the lines of a craftsman. The thought is somewhat intriguing. My comment to him was that Jesus certainly came into contact with the products of the blacksmith of his day. I’m sure the rod iron Nails in his hands and feet or Testament of the blacksmith’s craft during his time on Earth. Also the tip of the spear that pierced his side would have no doubt been crafted by an ancient Smith.
The new power hammer is up and running.
All I can say about that Beast is that it is one of the hardest hitting and fastest hitting power hammers I have ever seen operation. There is some debate as to the original color of the Kerrihard power hammer Circa 1922? The owner of the hammer and I have been descussing whether or not he color of the power hammer was originally green or red in color. I don’t know if the debate will ever be settled however one of my Facebook contacts states that the original paint color for the machines is the green that you see in the video.
Another new development in the shop is another Kerrihard power hammer!
Some of you may know that the power hammers were made in Red Oak Iowa.
There will be more exciting news next week about a new product offering.
Peace my friends!