NJBA October 2001 Meeting
at Mike Walkers's

Report by Josh Kavett
This meet was one of the best events in my NJBA tenure. I think that all who attended would agree. The day started out around 8:30 with coffee and donuts socializing while roaming around Mike's fantastic shop. About 15 NJBA members were there, and about 15 others from the Delaware, Md., and Pa area. This was the first time he ever opened his shop for a demo making it a treat for all who attended.

It has to be one of the most organized and complete welding and forging shop most of us have ever been in. Mike has accumulated just about everything one could need for any project, and had it organized in a way that he can find everything.

Mike demonstrated his techniques for cutting and forging leaf forms. He began by plasma cutting a blank, then marking his name and leaf type on the back. Hot chiseling the veins, then thinning out the edges and shaping followed, giving the leaf "life". He discussed various tools he uses to give the leaf forms character. It was a most informative demonstration.

After lunch break and IITH, Mike gave a short tour of his house renovation. A most fantastic job. One really must see it to appreciate what he has done in "residing" his house. Fifteen years, and untold hundreds of tons of local stone later, he has his own almost completed castle.

After the tour, we all settled back in the shop for a demonstration by Kerry Rhodes. He demonstrated forging and shaping three inch common copper pipe. It was an interesting demonstration of an aspect of forging most of us do not consider. He then forged out a wizard head from 1" square steel bar. He demonstrated hot splitting, hot chiseling, and hand and power hammer drawing of the stock. A most interesting demonstration. He also spoke about a large commission he did building furniture and various fitting for the local Harley-Davidson dealership. Very impressive work.

The day ended around 3:30 with a cleanup, and everybody heading home. It was a great day...perfect weather and host.

A large Thank-You from NJBA to Mike for his demonstration and use of his shop, and Eva Walker for her help with lunch and other details that helped the day go smoothly, and Kerry Rhodes for his demonstration

Kerry Rhodes forging a wizard head

Mike Walker viening a maple leaf,
note the nice hold down

Mike Walker texturing a ginko leaf

Sample pcs. of Mike's work

Mike Walker and Bruce Freeman next
to Mike's "small" cone mandrel

Mikes 500lb. Fisher Norris anvil