Report on the Monmouth County Fair

East Freehold Park NJ
July 23rd – 27th, 2003
Prepared by David Macauley

NJBA again provided demonstrations of blacksmithing at the Monmouth County Fair from Wednesday July 23rd through Sunday July 27th. This year we doubled the number of forging stations at the event using two NJBA forges, John Chobrda’s portable forge and my personal pan forge. Several times during the event we still did not have enough forges. One of the big reasons for the demands on the forges was that this year we offered the public the opportunity to try some blacksmithing. This was a very big hit. We snagged several new members from this event, two of which Phil and Fred have been coming out to Marshall’s open forge quite regularly. Regular NJBA members such as David Macauley, Dan Rice, Jeff Morelli, Bruce Freeman, Marshall Bienstock provided instruction for those who tried forging. Many thanks to those instructors.

Our general meeting took place on Friday evening. It was very busy in the tent. Marshall demonstrated making a hinge for Art Monsen (a NJBA member), Bruce was busy assisting Sarah Rice learn forge welding. Dan Rice provided interpretation of out activities to the crowd. Tom Eden brought a beautiful collection of finished knives he has made. Alex Burke was pressed into service demonstrating how to make a horseshoe. I clocked him getting the shoe about 75% complete in about 20 minutes including time to make a punch or two.

Many thanks to all those who helped with assembly and tear down of the site. We were able to get the site completely torn down and back to Marshall’s by 8PM Sunday – not bad.
The fair again spurred some ideas for additional equipment for the NJBA trailer:
1. Folding table for displaying work, business cards.
2. More tongs especially general-purpose wolf’s jaws. We have been making many, but we could still use more – especially those for ¼” to ½” square stock.
3. Light anvil stand. The car jack stand that Marshall and Bruce created works better than the stump. We could and should replace the wood on top of that stand, which cracked. The wood plank is used to secure the anvil to the stand.
4. Another vice and stand – hopefully with some rails to hang tongs.
5. A nice small lightweight forge like the square black one already on the trailer.
6. Sharp files all sizes.
7. First Aid kit
8. Rivets 3/16”, ¼” , ½”
Some solid crates with lids such as milk crates. These work best to hold the canvas, lines, small, stock, etc.

Pictures from the Monmouth County Fair

Tom Eden

Tom's Knives

Bruce Freeman

Under the Tarp

Demo Table

Bruce Freeman

Anvil Work