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Vern Wimmer

The first warm evening

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16 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

You never know what will happen when you join your local guild, ABANA affiliate or not.  My own guild, Bristol Forge at Rocky Mount (confusingly located in Johnson City, Tennessee) has monthly meetings.  Sometimes we stand around and talk (no beer, it's a state park), but usually someone will demo something.  You might see me making a tomahawk or axe, or showing a new kid how to forge bevels.  Once I forged a Tennessee-style buttplate for a longrifle.  I don't demo often, though. You might see a professional smith making reproduction colonial hardware for Historic Housefitters.com.  Three months ago ABS mastersmith Jason Knight dropped in and forged an integral out of 3/4" round 1084 from Hitachi, while at that same meeting a guy who works at a bearing plant brought a bucket of 3.5" ball bearings, 1x2" roller bearings, and several feet of raw 52100 round bar, which he was giving away.  For free. 

Anyone who has been to a class somewhere will demo what they learned when they get back.  If ornamental is your thing, we occasionally have Paul Lundquist, who apprenticed with Francis Whitaker and also with some guy in Germany who had a water-powered trip hammer.

And I may note this guild is in a primitive shop with no power hammers.  Imagine what we'd do with gas forges, power hammers, and presses.  

And you (Zeb) are not all that far away.

Cool! I really like Tennessee. It's like Virginia, but more laid back. I'll be going back to Gatlinburg in December. It's a beautiful place. I missed the tastings at all the distilleries last year (under age).

I need to get my truck fixed before she's road worthy to make it that far, but after that I wouldn't mind rinding that way. What are your membership fees like? How can I learn more? A website? Call? 

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Until January 1, 2019 if you join the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths (AACB, http://aacblacksmiths.org/ ) you don't owe us a thing.  After that you'll still need to be an AACB member for insurance purposes($25/year) and add $10 for us.  We tried to keep a website up and running on several occasions, but all of our webmasters have wandered off, distracted by shiny objects.  PM me and I'll get you on the emailing list.  The next meeting is Sunday July 8 at 1 PM.  

And yeah, you need roadworthy.  We're about 3.5 hours southwest of you and there's not a whole lot between Roanoke and Bristol. :)

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Geez, you start a thread with a little philosophical musing and before you know it, it actually turns in to something useful. If only the rest of life was that easy. Maybe if I started a philosophical thread about my step son.......nah, he'd still bring a fork to "free soup day".

 

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One must bring a cup, an empty one at that.

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2 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

Sorry if I offended you Gerald. That's totally not what I meant by that. 

 I tried reading your guy's website, but it didn't give me much info. I guess I should have messaged you directly and I apologize.

I am a hands on learner and was just unsure of what goes on. The activities I described were meant to be taken in a light hearted joking manner. Whenever I try to type more formal messages such as this one I feel like the tone is too seriouse to fit my personality. But that is the trouble with text; the tone is interpreted by the reader. As I said, you guys have a great aura or reputation as one of the best guilds (if not the best).

Should we ever meet I hope I could change your impression of me as I can sense a lot of negativity. 

It won't happen again :) 

I'm 50+ and I took no offense. I knew exactly what you meant and how it was intended. I just let it bounce off me and put it down to either a bad experience or too little experience.

2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

And I may note this guild is in a primitive shop with no power hammers.  Imagine what we'd do with gas forges, power hammers, and presses.  

And you (Zeb) are not all that far away.

The gauntlet (invite) is down. Are you, (Zeb) going to pick it up?

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53 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

 

The gauntlet (invite) is down. Are you, (Zeb) going to pick it up?

Well, I guess if Alan Longmire invites you to something; you'd best go. He's one of the greats. 

3.5 hours is a long drive though. I have neglected my truck for a long time :unsure: It does this thing when it sits at a stoplight for a few minutes; the transmission slips when you try to take off, and you have to put it in park, shut the engine off, turn it back on, drop it in D and it goes. I don't know why it does that.... Also, the brakes and a ball joint on the passenger side are bad.

I planned on replacing the brakes this weekend, but I can't make it in time for Sunday. I might be able to convince my best friend to come with and take his car. I'll see what he says. 

Thanks!

 

 

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I have not yet been able to join up with the Pittsburgh artist blacksmith association, I've been frequenting my local forge which is under another association.   The forum is really useful as I've been building my experience in just the same way as my local forge.  I can throw a question out there, and somehow I get an answer.  To anything! One thing I've found here that I don't bump into to often is an actual full time smith that can give you advice on the bigger questions that I seem to be over thinking.  Business, career choices. 

So far, as I have experienced, the idea of secret knowledge is the real part of the blacksmithing craft that has died. Evey crafts person I have met, either young or old, beginner or expert, is so willing to talk to anyone about their experiences and processes.  I see the older masters reaching their 50s-60s and some near 70 as people who basically taught themselves the craft.  Those people are all to ready to pass that knowledge on to someone.  I can say the younger generation is really picking it up and they seem to be carrying on the sharing of knowledge.  Not only that, but we all want the beginner to work safely and efficiently. 

I do highly recommend getting involved with a blacksmith organization and to support your local craft school. Sometimes I go off to my local forge to practice a little, and wind up chatting with an older guru. I pick up a newsletter from the Pittsburgh guild and they look for help in collaborative projects at times. So you also get access to work on bigger things if you choose to.  People are sometimes looking to part with some tools you may need, just bumped into a guy that wanted to sell off a Trenton.

Craft schools are an artist gem, I learned more at my local craft school than 3 years of college for art and more guidance too.  The nice thing is that you don't have to be accepted like art school - you just go!  Yes they are expensive, but in my opinion they are worth it.  Like stated up above, you have to think of it as an investment in yourself. That should be carved on a stone wall/tablet somewhere.

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5 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I'm 50+ and I took no offense. I knew exactly what you meant and how it was intended. I just let it bounce off me and put it down to either a bad experience or too little experience.

BTW, I'm real sorry for the age crack guys :unsure:

I'm glad you took it ok. I feel like I need to explain...

But, instead I will humbly remind you that I'm a member of the generation that eats tide pods, burns themselves on stove eyes, and snort rubbers. Careful not to trigger me! I might protest! :P

 

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8 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

Geez, you start a thread with a little philosophical musing and before you know it, it actually turns in to something useful.

What did you think would happen? Did you  really expect us to discuss the weather? :lol:

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

What did you think would happen? Did you  really expect us to discuss the weather? :lol:

Nah I sort of expected it to take a life but it got a little more focused than I thought it would. It's actually a great example of what I was pondering in the first place. Three semesters of philosophy and I never saw as much useful come out of it as in this thread.

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That 3.5 hour drive is a big deal, especially for a meeting that may only last three hours.  No worries.  

The first time I saw a smelt take place a visitor had the perfect comment.  This was at a hammer-in for bladesmiths, and the smelt had been running for six hours or so.  Said visitor had arrived after it started and couldn't figure out what the excitement was with this chimney thingy we were all watching.  Then they opened the furnace, pulled out a big bloom of tamahagane, and turned part of it into a tanto sunobe in a matter of a few minutes.  The somewhat awestruck visitor turned to the host and said "So it ain't just a bunch of fat old men watching a fire!"  We wanted to put that on a T-shirt.

 

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41 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

That 3.5 hour drive is a big deal, especially for a meeting that may only last three hours.  No worries.  

The first time I saw a smelt take place a visitor had the perfect comment.  This was at a hammer-in for bladesmiths, and the smelt had been running for six hours or so.  Said visitor had arrived after it started and couldn't figure out what the excitement was with this chimney thingy we were all watching.  Then they opened the furnace, pulled out a big bloom of tamahagane, and turned part of it into a tanto sunobe in a matter of a few minutes.  The somewhat awestruck visitor turned to the host and said "So it ain't just a bunch of fat old men watching a fire!"  We wanted to put that on a T-shirt.

 

That's awesome! You guys are a bunch of ol' badasses is what it is :lol:

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9 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

Nah I sort of expected it to take a life but it got a little more focused than I thought it would. It's actually a great example of what I was pondering in the first place. Three semesters of philosophy and I never saw as much useful come out of it as in this thread.

You made it through 3 semesters? Wow. I couldn't hack it after 2. I think Dr. Thomas Patrick Michael Mullally pushed me over the edge...….

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2018 at 3:03 PM, Zeb Camper said:

Sorry if I offended you Gerald. That's totally not what I meant by that. 

 I tried reading your guy's website, but it didn't give me much info. I guess I should have messaged you directly and I apologize.

I am a hands on learner and was just unsure of what goes on. The activities I described were meant to be taken in a light hearted joking manner. Whenever I try to type more formal messages such as this one I feel like the tone is too seriouse to fit my personality. But that is the trouble with text; the tone is interpreted by the reader. As I said, you guys have a great aura or reputation as one of the best guilds (if not the best).

Should we ever meet I hope I could change your impression of me as I can sense a lot of negativity. 

It won't happen again :) 

That's fine, I understand you didn't intent to offend, but it looks as if you also didn't spare a moment to think about how your post would read to members of groups.  
So for that reason, you don't get use theBut that is the trouble with text; the tone is interpreted by the reader"
 
But moving past that.  If you would like the chance to watch the likes of Fred Crist, Jerry Darnell, and Peter Ross demonstrate.  If having the chance to attend workshops 
that over the last few years have ranged from wizard bottle openers, blacksmith knives, tomahawks, and basic joinery, then you might consider giving us a go and become active.  
But remember, we, like all groups, are a volunteer organization.  Some members spend many hours working to make it successful.  
So the question you should be asking isn't what will I get out of it, but what you have to offer, because we are only as strong as our members.  


Edited by Gerald Boggs
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Again, my apologies I know you put a lot of hard work into your guild and for some ignorant guy (like myself) to insult it by suggesting that you are all 50+ and all you do is drink and watch one guy work; I might have been upset too. And there's nothing wrong with that age. I just can't articulate on the same scale as you guys. For someone like me (young, alone, and self taught) showing up blind to meet a bunch of seasoned metal workers (such as yourself) is intimidating. Again, that may not be the case in real life. This is hypothetical talk (as in "what if"). I'm sure you guys are very friendly. Don't take that the wrong way, or I'll never dig my way out of this and will be starting every response with "sorry".

But I really had no clue what you guys did at these meets. I gave an outlandish comment just off of the top of my head. But, please realize that's all it was; a made up unfounded statement followed up by "I hear they're great" My bad; I'm truly sorry. I got nothing but respect for you guys.  It would be an honor to watch and learn from a bunch of pros. 

If I say "I'll look into it", please don't crucify me. I know it's worth it. I would love to help, but I really need to learn more before I yell "sighn me up!"  I can't be taken so seriously in the future though. I'm not on a campaign trail. I realize these meets should be hard work, but I like to have fun while I work, and can't filter everything I say to be perfectly harmless and generic. I will try my best, but take me with a grain of salt. 

Thanks for the opportunity Gerald! I will look onto this :)

 

 

 

 

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