Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Working with OLD iron...

My friend Hansi found this piece of old iron up in the forest by where he lives in Duluth. It's an old logging spike, and it is sweet old wrought iron. Because of the way it was forged, not cast, it has a grain structure not unlike wood, and when heated and twisted it takes on quite an amazing texture.

Hansi just built a new sauna and didn't have a door handle for it. So this is his new door handle. It is not done yet, but the basic shape is emerging. There's quite a bit more work to do, and keeping a 1" square piece of steel hot enough to work and bend requires a lot of BTUs. I'm using my largest rosebud (50K BTUs, as much as a decent sized furnace, concentrated into a flame about the size of your pinky) and it still cools fast.


Ketan Mody said...

I have been trying to get into blacksmithing and knifemaking for a while but the problem is that i live in NYC. Do you know anybody that needs help around their shop or any classes in the area? Thanks!

btw- i love the knife you are working on in an earlier post, great shape!

About canoelover... said...

Well...NYC is a tough place to find blacksmiths, but I'd check the Artisan Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA). They have a good network, and you might be able to find someone in the area willing to teach you. I'd suggest joining's a great organization, and if you can attend the biannual conference, so much the better. The Joseph Campbell Folk School has classes periodically, it's a good day drive but I'd start off-site first. Loads of fun too, good luck! Darren