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Show me the tools you really use


Gerald Boggs

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I'm about to read a book by a blacksmith on, you guessed it, blacksmithing.  I know nothing about this smith, when I visited his web site, this is what 
he says about how he works: “Only traditional techniques are used at the forge. All work is forged by hand”  However, when I look at the photos of his hand 
tools, all the tools are covered in rust, some of the rust indicates years of non-use.  Now I don't know how he works, and don't care, but if you're going to show
 me tools, at least show me the tools you actual use :-) 
Edited by Gerald Boggs
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Message understood...

 

But, I do sign work every day.

I can be in a bucket truck in the rain one day, or crawling in a roof the next doing electrical repairs.

 

My tool bag gets wet all the time. Keeping them clean and serviceable is a constant chore. Hand flangers/seamers that I use all the time... are rusty on the outside.

 

I clean them weekly...

 

Which just enforced/proved your point. Hmmmm...

:D:D

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Promotional photos are sometimes weird.  I just saw a smith online promoting his book on forging blades.  The cover photo and at least one of the interior "sample pages" show extremely pronounced "fish lips" being forged into the tip of his stock (not a fish mouth join of a pattern welded billet either).  Needless to say I didn't feel a I had to jump on that one...

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"He wrote a book on the subject" just doesn't mean what it used to mean.

As little as 15 years ago, you couldn't buy more than one or two books on knife making, and if you wanted one on traditional blacksmithing, it probably meant a trip to the library. Now the market is flooded with them, and  people you have never heard of, became "experts" in 3 years and wrote a book. The ease of self-publishing these days is light years ahead of where it was a decade or two ago. 

 

I get the rusty tools thing. Maybe he lives on Florida and just can't stop the rust. Maybe he used to work a lot and stopped for a while to write the book, only gettig around to taking the photos after everything sat idle for two years. Who knows? Maybe he's just another poser.........

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

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On 12/15/2021 at 3:53 PM, Dan Hertzson said:

extremely pronounced "fish lips" being forged into the tip of his stock

 

I saw a YouTube once where the guy clearly forged in fish lips, stuck it back in the fire, then drew it out with a perfect point. I've been trying that for years and can't get it to work. I'm beginning to think that was some kinda editing trick.

 

When you look at a lot of shop pictures from the turn of the 20th century, that tool-filled forge kinda defines "the look" we all fell in love with. I'd say most of those collections were generations in the making and a lot of the tools were extremely limited in their frequency of use or very specialized. I think it is a tendency in the present to overpopulate with tools for the sake of appearance... like a bladesmith with farrier's nippers in his tong rack. I guess all of us are guilty to a degree. I've got an idle vise and a very old anvil in my shop that are cool to look at but aren't really doing anything. But they don't have to be fed, so I let 'em stay.

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5 hours ago, Don Abbott said:

I think it is a tendency in the present to overpopulate with tools for the sake of appearance

So true, this weekend I was looking at the web site of a smith not far from me.  He has a photo of his tool rack which has at least twenty sledge hammers. 

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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My anvil developed a 'patina' on its working face, and I look at it with an extreme cringe. I sigh knowing that one day things will straighten out and I can get back to working with it regularly again. Every spring I tend to go over all my tooling, the hammers get a little soak if their heads are loose.  A touch up with a scotch bright pad.  Check for cracks in anything that I welded together.  Regrind or reforge struck ends, dress worked ends of tools. I may not be at my anvil as much as I would like, but during these times where I can't set up shop, I look to improve or keep up what I got. 

 

Sometimes an opportunity comes up to buy out an entire shop, and there is a tendency to go after it.  To have the tool on hand is a benefit if you have the space for it.  

 

Of the literature stand point, I've had the opportunity to work along side a lot of really talented people both young and .... up there.  Of some of those people that have all those years of experience I wish they did publish a book. 

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2 hours ago, Daniel W said:

My anvil developed a 'patina' on its working face, and I look at it with an extreme cringe.

I'm tired of the rust and have almost reached the point where I'll take the time to build covers for my anvils and boxes that I can flip open for my tools.  I'm trying to tell myself I'll really do it this winter :-)

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