Blog — Blacksmithing RSS

Dog-powered Blacksmithing

Yesterday I got an email from Ken Schwarz, master blacksmith at Colonial Williamsburg, in which he shared a delightful video of nailmaking in Liège, Belgium in the 1930s. Besides the speed with which these smiths work and the fascinating dedicated nailmaking setup, I thought the dog-powered bellows were too cool not to share. As Ken described the video to me, “Note that the tooling and process are the same as those described in Diderot and by Thomas Jefferson more than a century earlier – right down to the dogs operating the bellows. This is how most commercial nailmaking was carried out.” Here’s the video:   Below is a 1763 ink, wash, and chalk illustration from Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune called “The...

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M&T Podcast 23 – Blacksmithing for Woodworkers

  Mortise & Tenon Magazine · 23 – Blacksmithing for Woodworkers   In the latest episode of the podcast, hosts Joshua Klein and Mike Updegraff explore their early explorations into blacksmithing. They talk about their small forge setup, their struggles in the learning process, and the benefits of exploring new crafts all the same. Joshua also talks about his upcoming article in Issue 10. Mentioned in this Episode: Custom Tools for Woodworkers by: Joe Petrovich  

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You Should’ve Seen Their Eyes

My boys love hitting stuff. Especially when something breaks thereafter. Even though I can’t say that I’ve cultivated this particular obsession of theirs, anytime an excavator is within site or a chainsaw within earshot, my three men come bounding out of the woodwork to gawk at the excitement. This has actually made my early attempts at blacksmithing a little difficult, because the first few blows on the anvil seem to bring them running. But around Christmas time, I had to forbid their prying eyes from the forge because I was busy making them froes – a gift I knew would be right up their alley. They have an insatiable urge to impose culture on nature, but they’re much too young...

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