Da forge. Propane, not coal. Faster, more controllable, and it reduces Black Booger Syndrome.
As the summer winds down into cooler fall (I know someday it will), it's time to switch over to blacksmith mode. I have two 40 pounders of propane and a full set of hammers (including a new Peddinghaus I custom shaped), but the steel rack is somewhat sparse. Time to hit the steelyard.
A steelyard, for those who are uninformed, is like a lumber yard, except:
- There is no lumber.
- There is, instead, steel.
- You can get two or three times as many shapes of steel than you can of lumber.
- The people there (apologies to lumber yard employees) are a lot smarter.
- That's probably because they've been there a long time and are paid more than minimum wage.
Beautiful 5/8" rounds, 20 feet long. Some 1"x1/4" angle on the right.
There's something wonderful about Wiedenbeck. Probably because it's a third generation family business, there is a pride about the place, and it is, despite the challenges, spotless. You can eat off the floor of that place. And despite the signs, you can walk around all you want if they recognize you as a regular customer. I guess I am semi-regular, I get there 4 or so times a year. Not many blacksmiths around I suppose.
One of the best things about blacksmithing is the quality time I get to spend with Son 1.0. He's developing into quite the artist, and is actually a pretty decent welder. Maybe better than me. He'll be making more crustaceans I am sure this fall.