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  #1  
Old 02-11-2017, 06:42 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Default So, your smitten by the fire........

I've wanted to post this for quite a while, but guess never had the time, felt the time was right or maybe I'm just lazy.

As someone that has a forge and can be seen with my portable pushed outside on those afternoons and nights, with the glow and blast of embers, sparks etc or glowing metal to the anvil moved by the hammer and the showers that that alone will produce.

In conversations that come about at work or the odd neighbor that stops by there is always questions that I feel it's my purpose to answer and explain with what limited knowledge I possess.

Most times should I be at a Hammer In, there will be someone or a bunch of someone's that are getting into the fold and seem hell bent on learning.

Unfortunately, what I find even in the older crowd of retirement aged folk looking for a no shit fun way to stay fit and create and possibly make a little money with ornamental works etc., is what I see as being problematic to a fault. They are not in it for the long haul and willing to jump and take the time to read, look and seek advice.

It seems few folk take the time to read, collect informations, dig on-line, not just for how-to vids on specific doings, but no shit old books from the earliest days of Smithing up to the now of things.

Education is education whether you sit in a class, pay by the hour or mentor with a Master. FWIW, a Master can be someone just learned enough to teach you how to safely do something to keep you from burning yourself to a char or blowing your shit up. Take this statement for what it is, it is not to state that no one is infallible.

I guess this all comes down to what I saw last weekend at a local craft show which was held out of doors.

One setup was a local, self professed Smith making knives as folk looked on. His blades were all finished, edged and had tooling makers marks on the blades which I recognized.

This person was buying finished blades on-line and selling his handmade wares as his own product from start to finish. Amazing how many hunters serious about having a quality hunting or skinning knife were willing to fork out over $200 for this shit. His finished blades costing no more than $20 to $30 per blade and his use of cheap local 'fancy' woods for handles.

I doubt this prick can do more than cut, rivet and finish handles on his knives, much less actually heat, beat, form and finish a blade worth carrying for use.

What happened to wanting to learn by reading old collectable books? What happened to learning how things actually took shape over the last several thousand years as far as metal working or those specific items used in the wars in history?

I know for a fact that most of whom I share space with here at SFT take the road less traveled when it comes to learning. No easy shortcuts when your hell bent on learning the right way to do the simplest to the hardest of tasks presented here.

I applaud our talents, hobbies and professional intents at this site.

Most of all, I applaud the fact that the biggest part of our group take self-education for specific talents to task. We dig, we ask, by gawd we learn, the old fashion way.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2017, 07:33 PM
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JWBIRONWORKS JWBIRONWORKS is offline
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I too get weary of those that "want to learn" but don't want to invest time and effort to do so. I have a small library of Blacksmithing related books and I frequently visit blacksmith related sites in search of new knowledge. I go to as many guild meetings and hammer ins as possible. Time well spent, I have much to learn and there is so much information out there especially now a days. good post.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:19 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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That is exactly what it takes.
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God, if you would grant me one request through Prayer, please help me be the Man my Dog thinks I am. Please.

Collector of, shooter of and builder of "TightAir Guns".

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:09 PM
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I agree 100%, but unfortunately a large segment of today's youth and young adults want instant gratification and do not posses the literary skills nor the attention span to read and comprehend even a short forum posting, let alone a real book.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb View Post
I agree 100%, but unfortunately a large segment of today's youth and young adults want instant gratification and do not posses the literary skills nor the attention span to read and comprehend even a short forum posting, let alone a real book.
Exactly. .and this attitude translates into wanting top pay but unwilling to put in the time or work to earn it...
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:14 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Well, Here I go...

Back to master smith..

A master smith is someone who has mastered the fundamentals but also has mastered the ability to use other tools( not ideal tooling for the job) to achieve the same results...

As someone with the correct tools using their own know how coupled with the correct equipment they have on hand..

The master will end up at the same product no matter what variables are thrown at him..

A master is not always someone who can teach someone else.. Not in the way construed today as hit it hear and you get XYZ..

I know a few smiths who some think are good smiths (they really suck) but can teach anybody the hit here and this is what you get.. they are kind and pateint and in some form or another are beginners themselves.. but the haves giving to the have not's even if its the wrong technique is viewed as better than some and certainly better than none..


Ok Now retired hobbiest: (have a decent retirement and get into it for fun... Then they find out they can make coin on the side)... ( Remember they are all ready getting a consistant income whether they work or not)


In this new rebirth of blacksmithing and with the advent of videos and internet is has given the people the ability to get to a certain point and then make coin at what they are doing.. Thus taking the lively hood from a dedicated professional. The retired person has an income all ready, can buy equipment and certainly for the most part owns a home and/or shop and with the income can afford tools...

Here is the rub and it's been this way as long as I can remember and is one of the reasons I stopped smithing as a profession..

If you do really quality work you can be poor and barely getting by..

Someone else who is doing crap work, mass production, importing from a foreign country etc etc can be doing extremely well and have retirement, a new Jag, a full shop of tools he never uses and a forge that hasn't been lit once if ever..

They do have a A/O torch a vise and a welder and all these tools get used daily..

99% of the people out there can't tell the difference between a quality hand forged piece and a crap piece as to them the hammer marks give it character and give it that authentic look.. (hammer marks are hideous as this shows no hammer control) (yes, I'm from that kind of old school where something should look machine made and finished to the 9's with the hammer).. Though today hammer marks are in as are textured finishes which I still think are hideous but they sell..


On my part I have no right to complain as I stopped professional smithing just at the time of the rebirth and now as always have been so far out of the loop, on what is vogue or trendy or in..

I am still hell bent on being a purist (someone could argue what does that mean)????????

It means so much to so many in such different terms..

Blacksmithing, modern blacksmithing in the last 150 years has been all about modernization and after WWI blacksmithing started to see major decline as modern methods,, Drop forgings, auto industry, electric arc welding, gas welding, gas deposit welding, Malleable iron, etc, etc started taking over..

I recently was asked or I should say given a heads up that I would be offered to judge a blacksmithing event and I would need to come up with the projects as well as judge the finished products..

I had to decline.. Until I am back up to forging speed and can forge fluidly and correctly I have no place judging though my work is still clean... Not only that but I don't know what level ='s to what proficient level.

Am I a master... I certainly can teach and have in the last year to good merit.. Was my teaching up to par? Certainly for the given audience..

WAS IT UP TO MY STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE WITH WHICH i JUDGE MY OWN WORK..

HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So with all that being said..

Someone who can make a dollar and can promote a product successfully will always win ( someone in retirment who is getting a month paycheck whether they do smithing or not can charge pennies on the dollar)

Vs

Someone who makes a great product but can't seem to catch a break or get into the right market..

Quantity vs Quality..

How many of us choose Quality even though we can only afford quantity?


I for one have always been poor because I stick by what I believe vs where the dollars are at..

Is that integrity or stupidity?


The hoof knife i recently made is a great example.. It was literally all hand made and filed and finished with just hand tools.. Took me maybe 30 minutes longer than someone using electric machines but it's because I have the skill set to do it successfully.. That say's a lot..

Anyhow, In todays world.. Networking is the king of all forms of advertisijng and even the smiths that have ton's of video's and huge following are asking for patreon donations because they are finding the same thing..

it's one thing to promote a way of doing and it's another to be able to do it and make a living.. What does it take to live successfully today???

100,000 a year??? 50K a year

30K a year before deductions for equipment??

Only a fool will stick to ideals and I am a huge fool....


Okay sorry if this seems like a negative post.. It really isn't meant that way... Each and every person comes to what they do, know and say from experiences and every bodies way to get somewhere is totally different.. Therefore.. Learning is always good and the ability to share gives a person a huge advantage in the learning process..
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If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

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Last edited by allessence; 02-13-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2017, 05:25 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Now that is out of my system..


Be it a retired hobbyist, a hack knife maker, etc, etc... it's really only effecting the professional who is constantly trying to make ends meet until he/she has found the golden ticket..

Back in the day I was amazed at how many spoiled rotten kids there were with rich indulging parents who bought them all the equipment, (wanting a shop) they would buy the kid a house with a few acres for the shop, then get them all setup with a trust fund..

It was so infuriating..

Anyhow, water under the bridge...

As a Martial arts instructor I came to realize I learned as much from my students as I did from my teachers.. I have not found this to be the case in blacksmithing... There are supposedly new concepts but a lot of the old ways have been forgotten and this has spawned other ways.. Of which in a trade this old.. There is nothing new other than re discovery..

And with that.. Education is not enough as couch knowledge doesn't translate into proficiently with a hammer and even after all these years of knowledge unless it can be used to good merit all the tidbits of info mean nothing except in a hypothetical nature..
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.

Last edited by allessence; 02-12-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:47 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Thanks Jen, as far as my feelings toward making a living doing Smithy work, well, it's just a small part of a big picture with what I can do and the tools to do it with.

I've spent a lifetime and a small fortune on tools, machines and hand. That said, I've got a few dozen items that are specific to my needs and were created in my shop as well.

I'm fortunate to have a background in a few different areas of the trades, all of which come in handy around my farm and shop. The immediate neighbors benefit from my being there as well as my overhead is nothing compared to what the Dealership or typical welding or machine shop has to bear.

Most times it's better to know due to past experiences over what can be learned in a class/tutorial setting. Meaning, lots of the mistakes learned make more of a teaching than being told what can happen. lol

Had a neighbor add a cab to his tractor to have AC and a dust free time of plowing.

His first complaint after getting it on and working was that the unit in the ceiling was pouring water on top of his head. He assured me that the drain line was in place and that it's pan had no leaks.

Knowing, I asked him if he ran the drain line over and down the cabs frame hollow leg on the left side. He said sure, did that.

I asked him if he tied that drain line in a loose square knot just before it protruded out that leg over the tractors axle? He did not.

Pulled it down a little, tied the knot, no more water dripping on his head.

It's the simple things that come with experience. One of my brand new tractors came from the factory like that. I noticed that the other identical tractor had that knot and this tractor did not. Saved me a field visit from the Dealer.
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God, if you would grant me one request through Prayer, please help me be the Man my Dog thinks I am. Please.

Collector of, shooter of and builder of "TightAir Guns".

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!
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