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Remember Bowie's hammer-in? We may resurrect it...


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Not in its original location, though.  My local guild meeting was today, and as it was too hot to do any forging we were just talking.  Someone started lamenting that Ron Claiborne's annual knifemaking hammer-in is no more, as is Ron, for that matter.  Someone suggested that we, the State of Franklin Blacksmith's Guild, host a similar event.  

 

Question:  If we do this, it will be at Rocky Mount State Historic Site in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Would you attend?  Assuming we can get the usual suspects rounded up (Burt Foster, Bill Wiggins, Fuad Accawi, Stephen Fowler, Lynn Landrum, Mark Zelasky, Wes Byrd, Richard Williams, etc., plus some new faces), get some vendors, maybe a hammer and press and grinders, and do a long weekend, primitive camping available on-site, and I might be talked into doing a smelt.  

 

We're thinking sometime next spring or next fall.  Lots of family-friendly activities close by, lots of outdoorsy stuff, good restaurants (lots better than near Bowie's!) 

 

Any interest?  It will be either free or very low admission.  Lots of good stuff in Iron in the Hat.   Let me know here, please.  

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I would be interested Alan. It’s certainly drivable for me.

Gary LT

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As a participant in the above mentioned discussion: I hope this happens. I miss Bowie's!

So here is a little info about this area in case something helps you decide.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway is 9 miles on the same road (Hwy 11E) as Rocky Mount Museum. I'm not a Nascar fan but I've heard it's the worlds fastest half mile because the track is banked so steep it's like going around in a bowl. Richard Petty driving experience? We won't be picking a race weekend because lodging prices soar and traffic can be an issue.

 

We are close to two true TVA head water lakes, clean enough there are no worries about eating the fish. The tail waters below these dams are special as well. Watauga River has a trophy section and below South Holston Dam is considered in the top 10 trout fisheries in the Eastern US, some say #1. Both wade fishing and drift boat guide service is available depending on generation schedule.

 

We are less than 2 hours from DollyWood if your family wants to drop you off and spend the day there or in The Great Smoky Mountains Park. If hiking is your thing The Appalachian Trail runs right through here.

 

The international Storytelling center is real close https://www.storytellingcenter.net

 

Two really nice walking path lighted caves are close as well as one wet, muddy and crawly one. https://discoverbristol.org/attractions/worleys-cave/  Bristol Caverns is super nice, my first public job at age 13 as a guide there. A 1 hour trip paid the guide $1.00!

 

If you use FB this is about our guild https://www.facebook.com/pg/StateOfFranklinBlacksmithsGuild/posts/?ref=page_internal

 

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Wow.  My wife and I would definitely be interested.  We would love to fly or drive down from Minnesota!

 

Dan

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Looks like it is right at 500 miles from me.  I'd be up for throwing the tent in the Cayman and making a road trip out of it.

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I'm in. Assuming dates work out.  

It'd be nice to see alot of those guys again.  I missed the last several before they stopped. 

 

Stephen Stumbo

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Still waiting to see if we can use the facility, but we are optimistic! 

Camping is not required at all, there are hotels ranging from iffy to incredible much closer than the decent ones were from Bowies.  Look up the Carnegie in Johnson City or the Bristol in, well, Bristol, for the five-star experience.  If you prefer meth dives we have those as well, and everything in between. 

I am delighted at the response!  We'll keep you posted.

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Definitely interested.

 

 

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I would definitely be interested. Maybe I could load up the hammer on the trailer and bring it down for the weekend I have a neighbor that owes me a favor for doing a welding job and I'm sure I can get him to load it for me with his skidsteer. If you do a smelt I have hundreds of pounds of iron sand.

20210713_191343.jpg

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Very generous!  If we do smelt, we'll use the stuff we're used to, though.  The two times we tried it with iron sand ended in failure, and if I'm gonna tie myself to one spot for six hours in public I'd like to have a bloom to show for it rather than a stuck furnace.  It would be great for a Catalan-type forge, though.  Those are just much more labor intensive than a short shaft bloomery furnace, and I have not run one, so probably not gonna do that in public for the first time...;)

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On 7/14/2021 at 5:54 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Very generous!  If we do smelt, we'll use the stuff we're used to, though.  

What's the stuff you are used to Alan? Man, I haven't been to a Hammer-In in six years or so (Ashokan I believe) so this would be tempting and not too crazy a drive from Tallahassee.

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Mark Greene's North Carolina Easy Ore, a brown goethite. This will of course involve Mark if it happens...:lol:

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I'll have to think about it.  I hate those bridges over the Ohio between Illinois or Indiana and Kentucky.  I could take the ferry at Hole in the Rock.

 

Doug    

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Alan I may be able to get my smelting team in on this if it's a go. We could bring everything needed to run the smelt. Please feel free to contact me regarding planning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Alan Longmire would it be worth it for me to bring the hammer down there? Would there be somewhere we can set it up? I have it on a vfd with about 50+ feet of wire already on it ready to go we just need 220 power.

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27 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

@Alan Longmire would it be worth it for me to bring the hammer down there? Would there be somewhere we can set it up? I have it on a vfd with about 50+ feet of wire already on it ready to go we just need 220 power.

 

Still working on that.  If all else fails we can use a 220 generator setup, one of the guys here has one.  We're working with a couple of possible locations to see what we can do.  But, I'm certainly not going to turn down a volunteered hammer!  We'll keep y'all informed as we learn more.

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Awesome. I will talk with my neighbor and have it set up to load when the time arrives!

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Also....this winter if our local Lowes has the bags of charcoal I was buying last winter for $7 a bag I will stockpile it and bring a bunch with us for the smelt!!!

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You are a good person!  Do wait until we've confirmed it is indeed happening, though.  We've established the interest, now we need to confirm the venue and dates before we get into the nitty gritty of planning.

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