All posts by ro8v28@gmail.com

Working While Injured.

Well for the umpteenth time in my life I have injured myself. This time pretty severely. I almost cut off my thumb the other day and they leaf blower, of all things. Just a word to the wise if you have a leaf blower check to see that it has its guard on the intake still intact. I’ll spare you the Gory details.

So here I am right handed. I do everything with my right hand pretty much. Oh did I mention it with the day before bow season opener here in Iowa?

My mother once told me that people do what they want to do. This also goes for physical handicaps in my mind. I cut off another finger on the same hand many years ago and wanted to play my trumpet. It was my trigger finger or my first key finger for my trumpet. I learned to play with my last three fingers and then with my left hand. And after a while I didn’t even have to think about how I was doing the fingering on my trumpet it was just instinctive. I could have given up could have just said, now I have a reason not to do it anymore. However it is what I wanted to do. It’s like flint knapping and blacksmithing and scrimshawing. I want to do them therefore I will. I will do it even if I have to use my damn feet! I will find a way right thumb or no!

Oh, as far as shooting and missing my trigger finger I have probably killed more deer using my middle finger to pull the trigger then with my index finger.

I don’t know about you but I have a different work ethic than most people. I am a believer in God’s word. When it says that “we need to do everything that we do with all our might as unto the Lord,”I take it to heart. That means I’m not going to quit because I’m missing a part of my body. It means that I will find another way no matter what. It might mean I need to do more teaching than Hands-On work I don’t know.

As many of you know I make Dentures for a living. I work for a large Dental management company that will not allow me to return to work and less I am cleared by a doctor. To my knowledge they have nothing like light duty for me to do. So I must rely on God going forward for everything. Yes I have a mortgage yes I have payment. Who doesn’t. We all have our struggles in life. Mind you I’m not whining or complaining or even holding out my hand. My trust is in the Lord . Has been in the past and will be in the future.

Some of you might have remembered a YouTube video ideas that some time ago and I couldn’t use my right arm to hammer because it was so painful due to a shoulder injury. In that video I was hammering left-handed. So I’ve already tried it out and I plan to work left handed until my right hand is usable again.

I might not even get into doing some online computer work. Only the Lord knows. So if you’re feeling bad for yourself don’t. sometimes I get down and worried about my future however if I starve to death I will have the ability to walk before God and say to him isn’t it wonderful that I was able to starve for your kingdom. some people might say think that’s a stupid thing to say. However I do not. That is how completely I rely on Jesus Christ and my God for everything. As Paul the Apostle once said,” If I abound or if I have lack I will trust in the Lord!”

If you would like information about blacksmithing classes or Flint knapping I am in the Des Moines Iowa area. I take PayPal as well as most major credit cards. I have items for sale on my website and I sell items on eBay and Etsy. if you just like to talk about the difficulties you’re going through give me a call.

Love you all. Greg Malone 315-744-0007

Blacksmithing while you are flat broke!

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! 

Cross for a church in Haiti that was just made in my shop.

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

Pitfalls 

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

Greg Malone

February 7th 2017.

The Ironworker and the King Solomon

​ 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

A Rabbinical Legend
from the 1896 book by Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, 
and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work.   Isaiah 54:16
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Steel mezzotint engraving by John Sartain
of the 1863 painting by Christian Schussele

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According to Rabbinical tradition, King Solomon prepared a feast for the chief craftsman and artificers who had labored on the newly completed Temple (depicted in the background of Schussele’s painting). The throne of the king was on a raised dais facing the head of the table; at his right hand was a seat of honor for that craftsman who might be pronounced most worthy among all who had wrought on the famous structure.

The story is presented in its original formal 19th century literary style.
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And it came to pass when Solomon, the son of David, had finished the Temple of Jerusalem, that he called unto him the chief architects, the head artificers, and cunning men working in silver and gold, and in wood, and in ivory and stone, — yea, all who aided in working on the Temple of the Lord.

And he said to them, “Sit ye down at my table, for I have prepared a feast for all my chief workers and artificers. Stretch forth your hands, therefore, and eat and drink and be merry. Is not the laborer worthy of his hire? Is not the skillful artificer deserving of honor? Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn.”

And when Solomon and the chief workmen were seated, and the fatness of the land and the oil thereof were upon the table, there came one who knocked loudly upon the door, and forced himself even into the festal chamber. Then Solomon the King was wroth, and said, “What manner of man art thou?”

And the man answered and said, “When men wish to honor me, they call me Son of the Forge, but when they desire to mock me, they call me Blacksmith; and seeing that the toil of working in fire covers me with sweat, the latter name, O King, is not inapt, and in truth I desire no better.

“But,” said Solomon, “why comest thou thus rudely and unbidden to the feast, where none save the chief workmen of the Temple are invited?”

And the man replied, “Please ye, I came rudely because the servant obliged me to force my way; but I came not unbidden. Was it not proclaimed that the chief workmen of the Temple are invited to dine with the King of Israel?”

Then he who carved the cherubim said, “This fellow is no sculptor.”

And he who inlaid the roof with pure gold said, “Neither is he a worker in fine metals.”

And he who raised the walls said, “He is not a cutter of stone.”

And he who made the roof cried out, “He is not cunning in cedar wood, neither knoweth he the mystery of uniting strange pieces of timber together.”

Then said Solomon, “What hast thou to say, Son of the Forge? Why should I not order thee to be plucked by the beard, scourged with a scourge, and stoned to death with stones?”

When the Son of the Forge heard this, he was in no sort dismayed, but advancing to the table, snatched up and swallowed a cup of wine, and said, “O King, live forever! The chief men of the workers in wood and gold and stone have said that I am not of them, and they have said truly. I am their superior. Before they lived, I was created. I am their master, and they are all my servants.

And he turned himself round and said to the chief of the carvers in stone, “Who made the tools with which you carve?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

And he said to the chief of the workers in wood, “Who made the tools with which you hewed the trees of Lebanon, and formed them into pillars and roof for the Temple?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

Then he said to the artificer in gold and ivory, “Who makes your instruments by which you work beautiful things for my Lord, the King?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

“Enough, enough, my good fellow”, said Solomon. “Thou hast proved that I invited thee, and that thou art all men’s father in art. Go wash the sweat of the forge from thy face, and come and sit at my right hand. The chiefs of my workmen are but men. Thou art more.”

So it happened at the feast of Solomon,
and Blacksmiths have been honored ever since.

If you would like to attend a class or would like any blacksmithing information in general please contact me I’m glad to talk with anyone about this Noble art.

You can blacksmith! Try blacksmithing! Forge wrought Iron. Learn the basics attend a class!

tmp_cl_img.1480355558.391770.jpg wp-1471978936340.jpg wp-image-2042159794jpg.jpg wp-1466339730569.jpg
You can blacksmith! Try blacksmithing! Forge wrought Iron. Learn the basics attend a class!
 I started my blacksmithing journey at the age of 14 in 1975. He was introduced to Darryl Hughes of Hughes Construction in Muskegon, MI. He was part of a Christian Boys Group called Royal Rangers. Darryl brought in several old hacksaw blades and a vise and hammer and had the boys draw a knife shape on the saw blade, the blades were put into a vise and the part sticking out was whacked off with a hammer, kersmack! I know, dangerous! No one was hurt and I was Hooked on hammering iron, even if it was cold!I have been hammering, one way or another, ever since.
I got his introduction to coal welding after buying a Parker Scientific coal forge and a Buffalo 400 Blower for $20.00 in 1987! I bought them from an old Sailor named Walter Christman. He was a contrary old geezer who owned Walt’s Chevron in Lowville, NY. I loved him and harassed him every chance I got! Any way, he had the afore mentioned equipment in a shed on his property. His son Gary and I retrieved it from the mud in which it had sunk and I have treasured them ever since. Just a note on Walt and my relationship. As I mentioned he was in the Navy and I was in a Department of The Navy. The Marine Corps. Every November 10th, (the Marine Corps Birthday) I would show up at Walt’s Chevron and sing the Marine Corps Hymn to Walt! The air was blue with expletives and taunts of “You ain’t  nothing but a seagoing bellhop!” from Walt, as he smiled! I miss him.
Blacksmithing is truly an ancient art form that uses the most plentiful mineral on the earth, Iron. We even have Iron in our blood if you want to know how important it is!
Once upon a time, I had a business in New York, where I lived with my wife Pamela, called Malone Blacksmithing. 

One of the questions that I am asked about blacksmithing is what relevance does blacksmithing have for today?

If I would have asked you 10 years ago, if you would have been anticipated the current upheaval in our society or in the world for that matter, would you have guessed it? Think about these questions. What events on the national or world stage could happen tomorrow? Or the year after that, or the president after that.

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.

I can Envision a day where it will be best to barter goods and services. There will come a day where using money can be downright dangerous. I am absolutely sure of it.
It doesn’t matter what happens in the future one thing is certain. People will always need tools, and will always need those tools repaired to have a more productive life. Not only tools but repairs to cars and farm equipment. I believe that the United States is heading back to its roots a more Agricultural Society. The farm, Garden and the local Smithy will be a staple once again in the American society!
For my own purposes, I just like the self-sufficiency of being able to make my own tools and equipment. The tens of thousands of dollars it would have cost me to make and repair the things that I have had over the years is no little cost savings I assure you. I have repaired cars, motorcycles, lawn tractors, plows all sorts of farm implements at very little cost.
Lets get scientific! There’s a lot of physics involved. Newtonian physics actually. You learn about forces Mass vectors plasticity Inertia. I think the more that we can learn about Newtonian physics the better off we are. It also teaches you a whole new way of thinking about things and how to repair things and make parts.
Here is what happens; You are also taking a very hard and very resistant material making it plastic, shaping it, between two dies (the hammer face and the anvil) and then making sure that it works for the application that you are making it for. How you hit it is as important as the item you are making. Maybe you enjoy working harder and not smarter. I am an efficiency ninja! I want to boil things down to their most elemental properties. I want to make that part with the fewest blows possible. Part of the reason is that I am getting older and want to make my body last as long as possible.
Can you make a living at it? YES!
Some of the ways that you can do this are:

Mass production of rustic art.

Architectural. Hinges, doors, gate, fencing,

Custom Motorcycles. Skulls, Handle bars, foot pegs.

Agricultural. Plows, Discs, Harrows, Rakes, Forks.
I haven’t even scratched the surface! If it is made of metal, you can make it. From a ships anchor to a bobby pin!
I say it’s good for your future your family’s future and the future of your country.
The Beginning Blacksmithing Class has been a great success! Over 55 people have taken the course in the South Side of Des Moines area. The genesis of which came from a simple advertisement on Craigslist.
Hammer on Brothers & Sisters! Hammer on!

Rehabbing an Old Post Vise.

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!

Rehabbing Old Post Vise.

 

Blacksmithing for Fun and Profit.

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.
Greg Malone
315-744-0007

 

 

 

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.

Forge Welding With Propane

​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 

Making a knife for christmas

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.