Thursday, September 29, 2011

fireplace set, Part 1

Besides the various small projects I have on hand, I am currently working on a fireplace set. (stand with three pieces.)

I did a rough full scale drawing on my metal table. The project will be forged to a close proximity of the drawing, but not strictly so. Tollorence with a piece like this is much more friendly than, say a window grille.

Some of the forged elements; center piece and legs

Just after the legs have been forge welded to the center bar.

The forge weld......

Starting to bend the legs.

The legs bent and leveled.

The top of the center bar.

One of the hooks for the fireplace tools to hang from.

The hooks being welded on.

Close up of the hooks welded on. The welds will be wrapped with 1/8" steel cord.

That's the latest progress.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Steel room pretty much finished.

I still need to put the lights up in the steel room, but other than that and a bit more organization it is pretty much finished.

My old steel rack took up too much floor space. When it was loaded the rack itself took up 12x4 feet of floorspace.
This is the original rack.

I hated to trash this steel rack so I modified it and salvaged the majority of the material. I made a short rack that can hold any steel from 6 inches long to 4-feet long as well as holding any plate and sheet material.

I took all of the long steel (4-12 foot long pieces,) and put them against the wall with steel separators to keep it all organized.

Of course the band saw is down in this room...

My chop saw has long been sitting but now that there is electric in the steel room, I built a stand and put a spark shield against the wall for the saw.

Just need the lights now! However, we will need to put the second story floor in before I can run the lights.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project in mind

Here is a traditional joinery project I'm hoping to get to in the near future. There will actually be two of these used for ends on a firewood holder.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I got to use the light table to transfer a daffodil drawing to a large scale drawing. I LIKE the light table!

Friday, September 16, 2011

some updates

The last few weeks since my last John C Campbell class have been pretty busy. Dad and I have spent the time working on the shop project. It is really coming together. We have been building interior walls and wiring the last few days. We have run 250 more feet of regular electrical wiring, installed new lighting systems in part of the barn, installed 15 more recepticles and installed four more lights a separate section of the barn. My steel room is wired now so we moved the bandsaw out of the work area and into the steel room. I also built a new and more trim looking coal bin just outside of my steel room and unloaded the 2000 pounds of coal that was on the trailer. THAT was fun!

Here is the bandsaw set up in the new steel room.

Here is the coal bin just outside of the steel room.

In my last class it was recommended that I obtain a light table to transfer designs and drawings with. I looked on ebay and found some large used tables for $300+. That wasn't going to do! I looked on you-tube and found out how to make a light table and being the tight-wad, DIY guy that I am, that was the route I chose. I estimated materials at about $50+ and about a day's work to build a good table.
At the festival that I did last week, I made a connection with one of the writers for the Adair Progress, our local news paper. (They did an article on me, by the way.) I was told to check with local newspaper and printing companies as they sometimes had light tables that they no longer used. The Adair Progress folks supplied me with newspaper for starting forge fires but did not have an available light table. They did recommend trying another company though. I went to this other printing company and the guy had a light table which he happily parted with for $25.00. :) That made me happy.
Here is the light table in my shop.

There are lights behind the white top which, when turned on, allow you to see through the paper. You place your original drawing down first with a blank sheet on top of it and you can redraw the design and make alterations while still being able to reference you original. VERY HANDY! This table is in the shop for now, however, once I save a bit of extra money up, I am planning on installing an air-conditioned office upstairs above my steel room.
Business paper work is piling up as well as drawings and designs. An office would be handy for desinging and for filing my paperwork.

I have to hit the shop as I have several orders that need to be filled!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I did a demo for a small local show yesterday. Here is a quick photo run.

There was a praying mantis hanging around our booth.

Little bit of Animal Planet here.........Praying Mantis verses snake and birds.

And we finally restored him to his natural habitat.......

Well I don't know how natural a forge welded steel branch is..........

And since it is a "Praying" Mantis I thought this was proper.

Kayla had a hard time getting pictures where I am looking at or towards the camera. So I posed. Notice there is no in my hand or in the vise. 

And this one is the most real looking one, but I wasn't actually talking to anyone.

Monday, September 5, 2011

John C Campbell

Mom and I just got back from the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown North Carolina. I took a class covering two techniques called "chasing" and "repousse." It would be rather difficult to explain so I'll just post picures.

Here is the cabin we rented for the week!

This is the blacksmith shop as viewed from the hill behind it.

The local wildlife was on display in the mornings.

Me trying to talk to mom while she was snapping picture after picture.

We made tools on the first day of class. Tools for the techniques we would be covering for the rest of the week.


Refacing a hammer.


The teacher Mr. Mark on the right and a student on the left.

We made a leaf and feather during the first couple of days of the week. Then we moved to a more complex project. Here I am working on my final project.

Now don't tell me how hard you work until your hands look like this!!! haha!

The blacksmith display table at the end of the week! Sorry Miss direct pictures of yours! (That's an inside joke....)

The "Cambelline" class performing!

Our teachers saying a few words at the end of the week!

The blacksmith class in it's intirety.

Me at the Folk School concert Friday night. 

Leaving on Saturday morning.

Driving Saturday afternoon.

Chickamauga lake as viewed from the dam. (on the way back home)

These are my pieces that I did in the class.



The end!