Monday, January 16, 2012

A whole day

I've done several posts previously, covering a day's work in the shop. I've not done one covering a whole day, start to finish. The following blog post covers a whole day, and this is a pretty typicall day here.  

So, my day starts around 6:00 A.M. during this time of the year. (During the summer months I like to get up around 5:00 A.M. as that is when it gets light out.) Anyway, I usually sleep in a bit longer on Mondays because Sunday nights usually run a bit later. So this morning, I got up at 6:20 A.M. The first thing we do in the morning is read our bibles, and drink coffee. I read 10-12 pages a day and that usually takes me about an hour. I read the bible through cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation. This morning I finished the book of Jeremiah the prophet and read through the book of Lamentations, also written by Jeremiah.
So here I am, this morning reading and drinking coffee. I drink my coffee without cream and with a shallow teaspoon of sugar per cup. Sometimes I use hot chocolate mix instead of sugar.

We read from the Authorized King James Bible. Despite what everyone says, the King James Bible of 1611 is written in fifth-grade english, is easy to read, and to understand. IT IS the perfect, inspired, WORD OF GOD!

After I finish reading in the morning, I usually get dressed, pour me another cup of coffee and do a little internet work. I am a member of the largest blacksmithing site in the world ( and I check what is being written on there. It has been a great source of education for me. I also check emails. This morning I had a grand total of ZERO emails. Then again, I only have two friends so there is only so much one can write. I wrote a family email as well as a couple of blacksmithing related emails.

After I had wrapped up various affairs on the computer, I poured me a bowl of cereal, grabbed a note book and pen, said a blessing, and started eating. No I didn't eat the note book and pen. I used those items to make a list of things that I needed to make today and some other things that needed to be done.

After breakfast, I brushed me pearly whites, managed to scrounge up a third cup of coffee in an insulated cup, and headed to work. By this time it was 9:00 A.M. Since I don't have a car, I have to walk to work......that's not too awful bad because work is just down the driveway. Yes, here I am on the porch and there is the bottom of the hill.

Oh wait.....put everything down Dave! I forgot to feed my dog. Yeah, she usually shows up when I come outside. She is a treeing walker coon dog and I named her Cookie. She's a good dog; comes when I tell her to. I still haven't broken the habit of carrying off shoes or eating eggs though.....she does that at night and I haven't caught her at it.

She decided she wasn't hungry though, and so she came on down to the shop. I had to get something from upstairs, so I tried calling her up ther stairs. She thought about it.

Then thought better of it.

After turning the compressor on, I headed into the studio and started getting things put away and prepared for the day's work. The first thing on the list was to texture the rivet heads on the hat rack pictured in my previous post. I wanted this done first thing, so I could go ahead and get the clear coat on the hat rack.

The jext job was even more taxing.

I did eventually get the fire started and began work on the day's projects. The "to do" list consisted of six medium S-hooks, six leaf hooks, two change dishes, and another hat rack.

The s-hooks won first place on the "to do" list. I use 1/4-inch square stock. The taper, finial scroll, and hook are all formed in one heat.
This first set of pictures is tapering.

These are of bending the hook.

Once the S-hooks were completed I moved onto the leaf hooks. They go a bit slower, but I use the mechanical hammer some on them, so that helps out. Here I am punch the mounting holes into the hook, using the mechanical hammer.

Just as I finished up the last leaf hook, I got the lunch call. I had a BBQ sandwhich and some left over chips.

After lunch I started by working on the two change dishes. They are made from 1/8-inch plate steel,  6-inches square. I begin by texturing the edges.

Then I cup the flat plate metal to make a bowl shape.

After the change dishes cooled they were hand-sanded and coated in a wax mixture. While they were cooling, I began work on the hat/coat rack. I got quite a bit of work done towards that, and then I went to the house for afternoon coffee and a much needed break. After a couple of cups of coffee, I headed back to the shop, and finished up the hat rack. Once the forging is done on the hat rack, I use a technique called chasing to put the decorative lines in it. Chasing is done cold, with well pollished tools.

I forged the hooks, drilled the holes, and riveted the hooks on....after the rack was handsanded and cleaned up. Once it was all assembled, it got a heavy clear coat for finish and protection.

Between coats, I raked the fire apart, cleaned things up, and took enventory of my products.

I've got quite a few pieces as it turns out. That's good because I have a business meeting in Berea Kentucky, this Wednesday. There is an art store there interested in carrying my products.
Once all of the clean up, put away, enventory taking, and clear coating were done, I headed up to the house. Supper time was near at hand. Kayla (my sister) made "Bang-Bang Shrimp" and fried shrimp and Mom made Salmon and creamed potatoes. It was all so very good. I asked Kayla to take the supper picture for this post. She said I was moving too much so I tried uhhhhh

.....didn't turn out as hoped.

So we'll have to live with a tad blurry.

After supper I cleaned up as much as is possible for a blacksmith.

Which leaves me, on the computer, posting this.

And now after eight and a half hours of swinging a hammer and 15 hours of being awake it's time to go to bed.
So I'll hit the post button and bid thee goodnight.


The Adventurous Fellow said...

I agree with you on the KJV 1611!!We "Ruckmanites" won't settle for anything else!
Good post. "A Day in the Life of Dave Custer" =)

Cowboy Nick A said...

Definitely agreed about the KJV being the Word of God. One thing I have learned from your blog is that to be a blacksmith, you must have plenty of coffee. :) Thanks for sharing about a day in your life.