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How many Permaculturists are blacksmiths or metal casters?

 
pollinator
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Hi to all,

I am pleased to announce that I finally have my first instruction in blacksmithing coming up in early October.  Exciting stuff.  To date I have only done home experiments, some better than others.  I would be up for more instruction or even finding some community of like-interested people to learn more and maybe teach later when I have something to share.  I think metalworking is awesome, expressive and practical.  Question: How many Permaculturists are blacksmiths or metal casters?  Also, anyone who is not presently involved,  interested in blacksmithing?  

Thanks

Mike
 
pollinator
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As 9 years old child we were living opposite of an old Blacksmith who loved children.
The horseshoe hanging for decades above my parents garage door for good luck is still in good shape and is now inside my stepbrother's party shed above the bar.


Decades later at the age of Google and some dangerous YouTubers gave me a lot of Ideas:

2007 = My first Viking Sword shattered into pieces like Glass made from leaf spring steel
2014 = My first Kukri Knife, I pretend it was traditionally made from a leaf spring lost a good quarter of the blade edge by knocking down a 5 inch Birch tree
2018 = My first Shredder blade made a hell of a noise in my self-made wood chipper as it broke out of the disc......
Now: I still believe in leaf spring as best steel for making cutting tools....

well, there is some need for good information because I never will give up.
Forging is something really cool, but the stress relieving and its times and temperatures are a thin line between pleasure and pain.
 
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For those of you that are interested in metalwork, blacksmithing, and metal casting we have a PEP forum for just that:

https://permies.com/f/410/pep-metalworking

While doing what you find fun, take some pictures and post them to get some PEP Badges and/or PEP BB (badge bits).  See this thread for more information:

https://permies.com/t/127176/pep-metalworking/Metalworking-Badge-Straw-Wood-Iron

Happy blacksmithing!
 
gardener
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I was blacksmithing and casting prior to becoming infected with permaculture. My casting started out when in college with sculpture and jewelry classes.  Artistic and practical skills that have both saved me money and made me money. You will enjoy learning the process. ABANA is an organization that promotes blacksmithing early copies of their magazine "Anvils Ring" contain some beautiful works. Once people know you have these skills in my case I find I have plenty of side work.
 
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My son and I are setting up a small foundry/smithy. I've been waiting for years to be able to do metal working above and beyond just essential repairs. I'm more into the foundry side and he is more into the smithy side but we share the forge with no problems.
20210728_170922.jpg
Making aluminium muffins from scrap
Making aluminium muffins from scrap
20210729_122636.jpg
Cutting down a lawn mower blade into a knife
Cutting down a lawn mower blade into a knife
 
Michael Littlejohn
pollinator
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Nice!! Looks like you've got some "muffin aluminum ingots" going.  Terrific.  Are you going to cast tools? Parts? Any ideas?  Thanks for sharing great pics.
 
Rex Reeves
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I need to make some green sand and then I'll try some lost foam casting. I'm thinking of making display knives and trivets etc to start and hope to build a side business as I go.
 
gardener
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I am a metalsmith by trade, though I've only done a tiny bit of blacksmithing.  Not too much casting either as I find I prefer working more directly with metal.  My training is more jewelry oriented though I don't do much jewelry either.  I scaled up to hollowware, mostly decorative vessels.  What I'm doing was more commonly termed silversmithing, though I work predominately in copper.  I still do a silver piece from time to time.

Metal is a wonderful material!  I often compare it to really stiff clay in the way it can be moved around.  If you are into in metalsmithing you might find this section of my website interesting.  In it I documented the making of one of my pieces from start to finish.

Here's some of what I do.
Luminosity-1746-1sm.JPG
I love copper for the range of colors I can get with patinas.
I love copper for the range of colors I can get with patinas.
Luminous-Relic-1573-1sm.JPG
Most of my time is spent with a technique called chasing where I'm doing the detail design work.
Most of my time is spent with a technique called chasing where I'm doing the detail design work.
Luminous-Relic-1785-2sm.JPG
Another chased piece.
Another chased piece.
 
Michael Littlejohn
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Thanks for that Ray, I was wondering if I couldnt turn my hobby into side work as I am interested early American culture, I even find nails fascination in their own way.

 
Michael Littlejohn
pollinator
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David that is some amazing work! Mike
 
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Hi Mike,
I have been "back yard" blacksmithing for several years and have taken a few courses to up the skill level.  If you are looking for resources I joined ABANA quite a few years ago.  I receive their emails, publications and have access to their website. The membership came with some discount perks to associated retailers.  The biggest perk is the community, there are smiths all over the country that are tapped in and willing to share knowledge.  I am on the east coast and have made it to several meets and classes held in the New England area.  

I hope you have excellent outcomes in smithing.
T
 
Michael Littlejohn
pollinator
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Thank you Tim, Im aware of that organization and they have great resources.  I will be on the lookout for classes and mentors.
 
Robert Ray
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You can easily get lost in a you tube wormhole, I suggest "myfordboy" as a contributor for metal casting. He has covered just about any tricky casting form. Not a lot of talking but an excellent instructional resource.  Here is my next casting project, I was asked to make something similar to a "Von Dutch hood ornament.
hood-ornament.jpg
[Thumbnail for hood-ornament.jpg]
 
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I apprenticed with Russ Swider at By Hammer and Hand Architectural Ironworks in Rowe NM back in the 80's.  I'll have to dig and see if I can find any pictures (my shop was ripped off years ago -- including my portfolio, so I do not have very many pictures...).

Anyway, I hope to start in on some "garden gates" featuring native plants and pollinators.
 
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