Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Tour de Shop"

I reorganized, straightened, and generally overhauled my shop the other day.
I switched the anvil and vice so that now the anvil is next to the forge! MUCH BETTER.

The vise went where the anvil used to be, so that if I am looking at the forge and I turn 180 degrees around, I am then looking at the vise.

My two, 2'x8' steel tables hold shop supplies. Eventually most of the shop supplies will go on shelving and these will be work tables. However, there are some other things we must do before we put in the shelves.

From my shop entrance this is the left hand wall.

Here is the center of my shop!

Close-up of my foot powered hammer! (Treadle hammer!)

Close-up of my air powered hammer.

Welder and welding table!

The steel room isn't finished yet but when it is I'll get pictures of it as well!

Also a bit of exciting news! The Fiery Furnace Forge Blacksmith Company is now officially the "Fiery Furnace Forge Blacksmith LLC." I've "upgraded!"

Anyway, that's all for now! I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written! Things have been super busy and remain super busy around here!

Dave Custer

Monday, April 11, 2011


Here is an order I made today. Two "Christian" fish symbols. They are 17 inches long and 7 1/2" wide and I had to make two identical.

Step one in forging iron work is to draw the project out in full scale. Pictured here is the drawing along with the four pieces of 3/8x1-inch flat bar cut 22 1/2-inches long.  

Making the first bend. Since the stock was larger it held its heat longer. This was nice as I could bend some, compare it to my drawing, and make adjustments several different times per heat. I ended up bending all four bars to shape in about five heats a piece.

Bent to shape!

Each fish was composed of two pieces. They had to be forge welded up at the nose. Here I am scarfing the metal to prepar for the forge weld.

Here is the forge welding part!

Now the metal had to be flattened out where the pieces crossed at the tail. This was done under the power hammer.

A rivet was placed through the tail, screw holes were drilled, and then a flat black paint was applied. This is the finished product!

We did a single day show last Saturday in Knoxville TN.
This is my new demo set up at the show along with my booth display.

This morning the sun was coming through my shop window and I thought it lit the anvil nicely.

"Turn out, me boys, with hearts so free from fear!"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Promised pictures of firescreen

Here are the pictures of the finished fireplace screen!

(The vest is complements of Miss Nicole Hansard, my ever staunch and unfailing friend.)

Here are also some pictures of my new demonstration anvil stand. The tray is for all of the tools I carry around.

For punches and chisels

For hammers

For wire brushes

That is all for now but I will soon have pictures of the shelving I've added in the trailer I bought and of my new demo forge completed and painted.
Until then,
"Where duty call or danger, be never wanting there!"

Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Romans 5:8
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
 Romans 10:13
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved."

Friday, April 1, 2011

New forge and.....yes I going to get pictures of the finished fireplace screen

Ok so I know my regular readers are DYING to see the finished pictures of the fireplace screen. I am sorry that I have not been able to get those as of yet. My regular photo shoot background is not large enough and I haven't had time to construct a larger one.

The reason that I have not had time is as follows.

As my readers know, I bought a 12-foot enclosed trailer for craft fairs this year. I have retired my old demo trailer I built a few years back because it does not provide enough packing space for products.

However, I am still doing demonstrations and I can't pack my 8-foot demo trailer inside the 12-foot enclosed trailer, so I had to build a small portable demonstration forge.  SIZE is everything in this case. Small and compact was my goal. I need a forge that is capable of heating decent size stock but nothing huge, it needs to have the blower and vice mounted firmly to it so that I won't have other table or stands to move, it needs to be on wheels so that I can move it easily, and it needs to be sturdy.

After two days of cutting, grinding, measuring, marking, welding, and cleaning, this is what I came up with.

This is the forge base. The round hole being cut out is where the firepot will go.

Next is the three main parts of the forge. Forge base, Air inlet/ash dump, and Firepot

Forge base

Air inlet/ash dump


with legs

And I'll spare you the bore of the rest of the build pictures and skip to the pictures of the finished product just after the first test fire. It did very well by the way.


This is my one of my old Champion hand crank blowers. It is mounted on the handle that I use to pick up the forge and roll it around with.

This is the actual forge part were I heat the metal. This forge has a slide out rack that holds long metal in the fire. There is a swing gate that closes a slot in the back of the forge. It is in the open position in this picture. This gate allows me to lay metal flat across the firepot while it is sticking out both sides of the forge.

underside view

the vise mount and wheels

The vise was obtained from Chase Saxton, owner/operator of  the Blacksmith of the Bluegrass, blacksmith shop in Bowling Green Kentucky.

I hope to get those firescreen pictures up soon and also a video of my power hammer running! 

"What can wash away my sin? NOTHING but the blood of Jesus!"