October Meet at Dan Cruzans'

Steve Mankowski from Colonial Williamsburg was the demonstrator. Steve has been with the Williamsburg Blacksmith shop for 14 years and before that worked at the Genesee Village in NY.
nail header
Steve started the demonstration by forging some nails, keeping two rods going and discussing the process and techniques used by blacksmiths and nail makers in colonial times.
Steve made a Suffolk style latch with arrow head ends and a drilled and pinned thumb latch. Steve started by marking out 6" of 1/4"x1" flat stock and then rough forging the upper arrow head point on the end. He said to be sure to leave enough mass of metal to do what you want in each section when rough forging. He then fullered in behind the point using the

hammer and anvil edge, forming the part to be punched to pass the thumber through and started to rough the handle out. He then punched the hole for the thumber and drifted the hole and finished forging the area.
Then he worked on drawing the arrowhead out. Starting from the center and working toward the tip and working some toward the handle to form the arrow head. He worked most of one side, then the other and so on till he had the shape he wanted. He then cut the piece off the bar and pointed and fullered the end the same as before and roughing the other end of the handle also. He then refined the handle to shape and broke the edges before hammering into the swadge he had with him.
The handle is curved by putting the top then the bottom in a vise and hammering the curve in from the back. The ends are adjusted on the anvil to keep it even.

The thumber is made by hammering the metal over the edge of the anvil spreading it out to the sides and then drawing the other end out for the lifting tang. The latch bar is started the same way and then punched for the nail. The keeper is started over the far edge of the anvil and then finished up by drawing

out the part that is hammered into the frame. The staple is a piece of 1/8"x1/2" with the ends shouldered and drawn to nail points and bent over.
Steve next demonstrated a hinge with a leaf type end. First he drew the end of a piece of 1/4"x 1 1/2" out for a taper about 1 1/2" long. He than folded the stock back by hammering in the vise. The next step was to hammer the stock back up and around to form the eye. As the stock is worked back around the work is moved to the anvil and a drift is inserted to keep the eye sized correctly. The eye is refined and the stock welded. The eye is further refined after welding by working the drift back in a little at a time. (Flux was previously heated and crushed borax and iron filings)
Steve worked his way down from the eye refining, champhering the edge and punching the holes as he went working each section till it was finished. The end was finished up leaving a raised boss on the end and forming a leaf type end.
The pintle was formed the same way as the hinge eye with slightly thicker stock After the eye is rolled up the pin is then welded in as the piece is shut. the final steps were to refine the hinge surface in a bolster block and put in barbs on the edges

Many thanks to Steve for the demonstration and many thanks to Dan Cruzan for his hospitality and the opening his shop to us.

Old spade drill press as described by Steve

Pictures from the meet

Dan Cruzan and Steve Mankowski

Steve Mankowski


Demoboard 2

Demoboard 3

Sample Hinges

Sample Hinges 2

Sample Hinges 3


The latch in the fire

Suffolk Latch

Suffolk Latch 2

Suffolk Latch 3

Tim Suters Wine Rack