Furnace Town Meet March 16th 2002

Report and notes by: Marshall Bienstock and Anton Holstrom

9 AM– Ken Zastro–

  • Ken demonstrates leafmaking
  • Using a Hoffi hammer
  • Talks about proper hammer technique
  • Stretches and exercises to prevent injuries
  • Covered hole punching and the difficulties with “Pure Iron”
Demonstration — Leaf from 3/8” round
Point over horn, set back end of leaf on step of anvil. Ken cuts using a brass hammer and states that punching a hole in “Pure Iron” is harder because of it’s ductility. The punch should have a 20—30 degree taper.

Decorative detail — Square Knot
Using 1/4” round bend loop in middle of 2 rods each 24”. The inside of the loops measures 3 times rod diameter. Bend the loops over the edge of the anvil. Slip the ends through the loops and pull and tap the loops toward each other. Reheat and tighten up with hammer. Ken then made a three legged candle holder from the piece.

10:15 am—Mike Walker
Demonstrated leaf making and tooling

  • Veining tool
      - Use proper size and shape tongs for material used
  • - Mike used 9” of 5/8” coil spring to make this tool
  • - Mike makes the handle octagonal
  • - Keep tool straight
  • - Hot rasp or grind edges to final shape for the job slightly radius corners to avoid marking work

Demonstration - Ginko leaf
  • Mike often uses real leaves as patterns
  • 1/8” material for leaf—cuts to shape with a plasma cutter
  • Heat leaf and thin edges and sides to give life like appearance
  • Vein tool with Veining tool (Above)

  • Ginko leaves have veins that radiate from the stem to the outside edges
  • Next roll stem into round tube using step on anvil
  • Finish; Mike polishes surfaces, runs oxide colors and coats with wax
  • Has sold many metal flowers at flower shows

Bob Morris “Teaching Blacksmithing”
Teaching students to make a Wizard Head
Teaching — Main principles

  • Be prepared, a one hour class requires four hours preparation
  • Motivate students to retain material taught
  • Make a story board of steps in the process
  • Teach how to make all the tools necessary
  • Bring something to give students such as wizard heads drawings or handouts
  • Bob likes two blacksmith books for basics;
    Jack Andrews - New Edge of The Anvil
    Randy McDaniels - The Blacksmiths Primer
  • A fire tender takes the worry away about proper heating
2:30 Nol Putnam
Demonstration #1 How to Build a gate
  • Has three gates at the National Cathedral in Washington
  • The big jobs are generally got by the presentation.
  • He gives the customer 2 blue prints -1 water color and - 1 sample section. The customer must pay for this.
  • When you make this gate, make it your style. All Blacksmiths have a style and they are different.
  • Always work from full size drawings.
  • Go to art store for onion skin paper. The bottom sheet has the outside dimensions and the sheet above is used to sketch. The final drawing on good velum onion skin and print on mylar.
  • Over design for safety and less liability

How do you hinge the gate?
Nol hinges into ground. If customer wants anything different they must sign off. Phosphor bronze thrust washer on bottom, and ball bearing on top of pin.If the gate is going to be used a lot install zerks fitting and grease. 1 1/4" Square bar with 3/4” hole drilled.
Bending the arch, heat in thirds, one side, then the other, then the center.

Bookkeeping and timekeeping
How do you price a job? First you need to know the shop rate
Time in shop 8-9 hours
Chargeable time 4,5,6 hours
Days per year/5 weeks off 235 days X 5 hr/ day =1175 hrs/yr
Overhead, gas heat, phone, rent, salary = $6,000/ mo or $72,000/ year
Shop rate = $60/hour
Keep track of overhead
Charge for your work, part timers undercharging kill full time smiths

Example stair railing
Need 55’ cap rail, 60 pickets, 6 ballisters, 60 scroll units
Cost ____ X 20%
Keep track of every job, break job down into components keeping track of; Forging, time, materials @ 1 1/2 x’s cost, assembly, finishing and installation.

Nols new shop 30 x 35
125# Beaudry with 5x8 dies. If he wants to draw out he places a rounded dye over bottom die.
Jib crane to move heavy objects.
Skylights over anvil and forge.
He keeps a Makita with wire wheel handy.
His hammer is Swedish pattern with the face upset until flat, the cross peen is upset to a larger size
Heat to red and anneal, sand. Temper by heating both areas to red and with bucket of water quench face then peen and continue until warm to touch.
The leaves he makes by hand and uses no dyes, wants the irregularity. He works one side than the other.
Polishing with emery paper.

Grapes are generally made in dies of 3-4 different sizes and gas welded together.

Note: Some Blacksmiths use dyes which are half flat and half rounded. This means they are always forging on one side or the other and this places extra stress on the guides.
Anvil height - wrist high, hammer handle length from holding in hand to elbow.
Anvil horn to right side makes it easier to see when making leaves
Top tool should have 45 degree offset to keep hands from being over hot work or blocking view.
When passing metal always keep hot end towards floor and not up in the air where it can fall and bum someone.
Working metal fast and hard generates molecular action and generates heat.
Architects drawing — all measurements to be taken from jobsite, do not trust the drawing!

Forming a weld scarf