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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

Gerald Boggs

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Gerald Boggs last won the day on February 29 2016

Gerald Boggs had the most liked content!

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About Gerald Boggs

  • Birthday 09/18/1959

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  • Website URL
    http://www.geraldboggs.com

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Village of Afton Virginia
  1. Here's my plug for the ABANA conference next year in Richmond, Virginia. My involvement will be in the Teaching Tent. Taken from ABANA's page: “ Teaching Tent Mark Aspery, Gerald Franklin, Darryl Nelson, John McLellan and Gerald Boggs will be leading the Teaching Tent with an expanded format that will give more attendees the opportunity to participate in this well-received program. The teaching tent will be dedicated to teaching the basics of blacksmithing, from Forge Welding, Tool Making (and heat treatment) to Punching and Drifting. There are a number of “Take Home” projects that will also appeal to the novice/intermediate smith, with Darryl Nelson leading a Bear’s Head workshop and Gerald Boggs leading a an Axe workshop. The workshops are arranged in 3 or 4 hour blocks with staggered starts, beginning at 8am and ending at 5pm. Competitions will be organized, for all levels, in the evenings 7-9pm – with a demonstration of the project before each start. Each lesson starts with a one hour demo in the demo area. These demos will run for the first two hours of the morning and afternoon. Opening night will feature a short, fast paced, demo of 30 to 45 minutes from each instructor.” Things are still being worked out, but the last two conferences, we've had 20 forging stations in the tent and a separate demo tent. Photo of a style of Tomahawk I'll might be starting with, still working out the details. Along with Tomahawks, I'll be forging a Trade axe and maybe (time permitted) a belt axe. My approach will be that of a blacksmith/tool maker.
  2. What did you do in your shop today?

    Pretty
  3. Coal forge info

    Yes, I really like this setup. Everything is close and it's easy to keep tidy. Not shown, there's a large table just outside the photo on the left. All my layout and assembly is done there. No, I don't find it limiting, mostly because I seldom do large work. I have a portable forge and can always set up outside for the odd big job (not that I do them much) I would do it again, this is my old forge in the garage. When I built my shop, I again put the forge in the corner. I did bring it out a bit, makes it easier to clean up all the coal that drops on the floor. CBA has an article on making the tuyre and bosh tank https://www.calsmith.org/Resources/Documents/technical_documents/techdocs_sideblastforge.pdf
  4. Pros and cons of production work.

    Don't think just in terms of hooks as doing production. You can do production work is almost any field. Look around and find that spot that best meets that balance of “What you want to do, What you need to do and what you're willing to do and still be happy.” If we stay in the area of bladesmithing: Look at a style or time period and see if that's a fit for you. As an example: The fur trading era gives you a huge range of knives, axes, and spears styles to work with. You can stay as simple or as fancy as you want. You can do simple trade axes and tomahawks as bread and butter items while you build up your trade and name. Production is merely making things in lots. Instead of making one tomahawk at a time, you do each step 10-20 times. Doing things in lots, makes for efficiency and higher return for your time/effort, and that's really all production work is.
  5. Coal forge info

  6. Coal forge info

    Let me look. Here's a photo of a forge, but not the tuyere. Box is 24 by 24
  7. Pros and cons of production work.

    Interesting idea. Not sure how I would do it back in the early days, but if I was at the same point in experience as I currently am, I would incorporate or at least become an LLC. Hire smiths to do the work, especially the grunt work. Require a five year non-com for on-line sales and a fifty mile no work/shop zone once they leave. I've got friends that tell me I should do that now, but I like the freedom of being a sole worker. I would prefer to premake, but for the last few years, my workload has made that difficult.
  8. Coal forge info

    I use a box of dirt.
  9. Pros and cons of production work.

    Thanks, but I'm done with the railing sector, and wasn't all that good at it to tell the truth. I like doing the small stuff.
  10. Pros and cons of production work.

    No, you said nothing wrong, alan's just poking fun at me :-) And there is nothing wrong with King's, not everyone can afford to have a smith make their gate.
  11. Pros and cons of production work.

    No, I got no problem with guys using King's. It's the guys that demo on the anvil, get the money from the client and then order everything from King's, while telling the client that they forged everything, now that pisses me off. :-)
  12. Pros and cons of production work.

    Actually my biggest mistake by far: Thinking I knew what I was doing and going off on my own after only four years of working in someone else's shop. It's a very common flaw among beginners. We learn a little and think we know so much more.
  13. Pros and cons of production work.

    Buying tools that I thought I would need, only to not. I spent money I should have held in reserve and as a result, used my credit card to get by. Over the years, I've sold off most of the tools I first bought. Lesson learned: Buy what you actually need, not what you think you'll need. And think about renting instead of buying for the single need jobs. You get a big job and use the advance to buy a cool tool you need, but find out, you only needed it that once. Taking on too many jobs at once and failing to complete them on time. Big bridges burned, because with a contractor, you only get one chance. Be honest with yourself about how long it's going to take to do a job. Good rule is to double the time you think. I've gotten better at this, especially since I know it's going to take a lot more time then just going out to the forge and knocking out a few bottle openers. There's a mind shift necessary when going from production work to custom and that alone is going to add quite of bit of time to the job. Also, if you're a blacksmith and the contractor has never used a blacksmith, the possibility of misunderstanding between what he wants and what you can do can be an issue.
  14. What did you do in your shop today?

    That looks nice.
  15. Pros and cons of production work.

    There's really nothing different from when I worked in a shop doing architectural work. How many irons comes down to size of the stock and what I'm doing to them. Doing the railroad spike bottle openers, I use a two burner Mankel forge. I do five at a time, four and they don't have time to get to full heat in cycle, six and they build up too much scale. I can do 10 an hour, but only 25-35 a day if I'm doing them every day. The Mankel puts out a lot of good heat, but is a big gas hog, so when it's on, I'm turned on. Moving at a high pace, the wear and tear on the body gets to be too much if I try to work more then an hour at a time. Luckly for every hour in the forge, I've an hour elsewhere, so I switch back and forth between forge work and paperwork. I've got a smaller shop-build forge I use for the hooks and jewelry. There it's just a matter of how many I have time and am willing to do. These days. I've got a back log so I don't spend much time on stock building. What I do instead, is go through my orders and group the small stuff together. I spent today forging four styles of hooks. Some folks had to wait the full four weeks, others got their order filled in a few days.
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