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Matthew Freyer

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About Matthew Freyer

  • Birthday 08/24/1980

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Flagstaff Arizona USA
  • Interests
    my wife and son, blacksmithing, knives, traditional woodworking tools, axes, wood working, wood turning, clay pipes, living history
  1. Hey Everyone, I have spent most of my learning in blacksmithing and am only recently moving over more to bladesmithing. I have had a fair bit of successful forge welding but am very new to welding billets together. Flux is often recommended for forge welding in blacksmithing circles (though I have met several British Smiths such as Richard Bent and Adrian Legg) who do not use any flux when welding, even when they are using a coal fire. I have been reading the threads under hot work on "flux less" welding. However, for those folks who are much less cool and are still figuring out how to m
  2. Hi Miles, I don't have any pics of my own handy (but I can take some later if you like). But here are a couple of pics of different hold-fasts used for wood working benches. The first pic is of one with a simple curve at the back, while the second is the same type of small English bent foot hold-fast but the corner has been upset and forged to a 90 degree (I think this does in fact make a difference if you are being really picky) and was the traditional approach to making hold-fasts for woodworking. The last pic is of a group of holdfasts that Peter Ross forged and you can see the giant
  3. Jerrod, is the name you are thinking of: Hold-fast? That is the name used for them when they are used in woodworking. The bent foot and mushroom hold downs are designed to go in the Pritchell hole, right? I haven't seen any hold downs (yet) that are designed to go into the hardy hole itself. I would think that the square hole might produce too much drag on the leg of the hold down (if it had a square leg), resulting in it being very difficult to get it out when you wanted to. If it had a round leg in the square hole, I would think it would take too much work to get it to stick in pl
  4. Wow! Now that I can actually type after laughing so hard... "Canukistan"? Perhaps I am a bit sheltered, I have never head that before and it almost killed me (some of my close friends are Canadians)! Thanks Randal! Several former Canadians are about to be treated to that (if they haven't heard it yet). I have to agree with Mike about SG's XX. Alan, you are truly a "man among men" if you regularly partake of that particular pipe weed. The last time I tried it I couldn't handle it, and the wifey wouldn't come near me for a couple of days. Considering that I am blessed with a wonderful mar
  5. Hi Tyler, Whoa, it is very obvious that you know a WHOLE lot more about ceramics than I do. I hope you weren't bothered by my feeble attempt to express the benefits of bisqued clay for pipes! I laugh when I think about your comment on how most sane people who do real ceramics (ok, my paraphrase) don't do it with wood firing unless they know what they are doing very well. It reminds me of a story of one of my close friends going to an archery store requesting to purchase a 150 lb long bow . His reasoning was simple: "That is what Robin-Hood used and so that is what I want to get". Nee
  6. Miles, Wow, tragic loss. I would love to see a picture of the type of mold you are describing some time if you ever happen to come across one of yours or something similar. Interesting that it came with ivory stems to use with the pipes you produced. Thanks J. Arthur for the kind words on the clays. Will be interested to hear an update on the fermentor at some point. Hi Tyler, I use a few different clays, this one in the photos is an off the shelf Laguna earthenware (EM210 I think). In addition to some commercial clays I also play around with some of the local clays to try to
  7. I pressed a few clay pipes tonight. These photos show one of the designs. It is not an exact copy of any original artifacts, but the dimension and style is not inconsistent with reed stem pipes made in this country in the 18th through early 20th centuries. It is very humbling to make these, as It takes me about 4 minutes to press each pipe and do the initial finishing of the surface. A professional pipemaker in a factory in his or her (yes even in the victorian era this was an occupation that women did too, sometimes more than men) heyday could have pressed upwards of 600 pipes a day! Ithe
  8. Nice Post Matt, I had not seen this video before but really enjoyed it. Boy would that be sweet indeed to go there in person. I think I feel a family vacation to Arkansas coming on... Now I just need to find a scrapbooking convention for the wifey to go to near the museum and we are all set!
  9. Awesome. Looking forward to seeing those photos from local Tennessee potters! Safe travels back from the UK.
  10. Hi Don, It is indeed a pain that many clays have a very small smoke channel. I tend to try to make the channel on mine around 1/8-5/32" both for a good draw as well as to pass a pipe cleaner through. I now focus on making reed stem clay pipes where I can easily pull the reed out and run a cleaner through both the read stem and the hole in the bottom of the bowl. Would you like me to send a couple your way? -Matt
  11. Hi Scott, The main challenge with making a good pressed pipe is making a mold that can handle the pressure required to press the pipe. Traditionally original molds were made out of wood (very early on) and later metal (brass and bronze followed by cast iron and steel). Typically the making of the molds involved a blend of carving a master to cast the mold around and then engraving fine details in the final mold (like those seen in some of the excellent figurals like those from France such as Gambier and Fiolet pipes. For making my pressed pipes I have been learning how to cast metal t
  12. Fascinating! I have wondered about growing my own tobacco for a while but have never given it a chance. I live in the high desert, so I don't expect too much from my garden. How did you learn about the process of growing tobacco? Are there any resources you recommend, or have you learned from experiment? I agree about Pipes and Cigars .com. They have a killer selection and good prices. Russ comes up with some really neat blends too!
  13. I have to agree with you guys! It's a fun show (my favorite episodes are when they blow the cement truck up and crush the car with the rocket propelled rail car) but they tend to be really light on the science. Positive/negative controls? Representative samples? Sample size larger than 1? Not so much. And no, I'm not just jealous (ok, well in the interest of full disclosure maybe just a little bit .
  14. Hey Everyone, As I have been reading through various messages on the forum I have noticed several references to pipe smoking. How many of the folks on here smoke pipes? How many make their own pipes? In addition to beginning to learn the fine art of blacksmithing (and more recently moving towards bladesmithing) I have been working on making my own pressed clay pipes. I have found clay to be my favorite material for smoking and have them strewn all about my backyard smithy. I find most clay pipes available nowadays are slip cast and really don't smoke (or hold up) as well as a good press
  15. Awesome everyone. Thanks for the input! I appreciate the sage advice on the advantages of propane giving more time to focus on bladesmithing itself. I am judging based on the responses that most people do not believe that there is any advantage to charcoal forging blades, which if I am correct they would put this in the same category of "hype" as forging blades only during a full moon, quenching while facing north and chanting ancient norse nursery rhymes during tempering. On another note I am very interested in Jesus' comment on the ability to carburize in an open forge environment. It s
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