Author Archive

I haven’t abandoned this blog…

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

No, really. I haven’t!

The past few months have been insanely busy for me. I’m so tired, and sleep deprived, that I’m barely functioning. However, things should be calming down a lot once October is over and done with.

Long story, short: I’ve been renovating our house, started back at school full time, and still trying to find some time to spend with family (kids grow up so fast).

To fit it all in, I’m up at 6:00 am and get to bed at 12:30~1:00 … which you can do for a while, but eventually catches up with you.

By mid- November, I should have more free time to update the blog. There was quite a lot that happened this summer that I meant to write about….

It’s far too hot!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

I’ve not posted in a while. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about (far from it) – I’m actually busier than the proverbial one-armed-paper-hanger right now. The problem is that we’ve been suffering through a major heat wave recently, and I simply don’t have the energy to mess about on the computer at the end of the day.

We have had week after week of hot, humid weather that’s far above ‘seasonal’ for this area. It’s regularly been 35 C, with a Humidex of 40 or more. The few times I’ve tried firing up the forge, I’ve instantly regretted it.

I have a long list of projects I need to do, so hopefully we get a few days of cooler weather soon. It doesn’t help that my smithing area is outside, in an area with no shade …. I’ve really got to get that new shop built sooner rather than later.

A possible ‘fix’ for the coal forge

Monday, July 16th, 2012

My Dad did some scrounging at work, and managed to find a couple of old slip-on pipe flanges in the scrap bin.

I’m hoping one can be modified (without too much effort) to work as a new ash-dump mounting bracket for my large coal forge.

Fingers crossed!

Gas Forge

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

I’ve just completed building a new gas forge!

This past weekend I went back, yet again, to see David Robertson at the Hammer & Tongs in Cargill, Ontario for his one-day forge building workshop (he’s probably getting sick of me by now…).  It was another terrific course.  A lot of valuable knowledge, including a mini crash-course in welding.

The best part, of course, is that I came home with a new, fully functioning, gas forge!


Don’t get me wrong, I like using solid-fuel forges too.  But there is a real convenience factor from the quick start-up and mess-free shut down at the end of the day when using gas.  Suddenly, it’s realistic for me to do an hour of forging in the evening after school / work.

New toys

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I’ve been shopping for some new toys for the shop…

I just picked up a new (small) cone mandrel, stake plate and swage block from Newman Forge & Pattern in Hamilton, Ontario.  These all high-quality tools, and were very reasonably priced.

I’m thrilled to have add these to my collection!

Workshop plans

Friday, June 1st, 2012

For some time now, I’ve been thinking that I really have to build a dedicated blacksmith’s shop.

Dragging my stuff out of the garage to work in the driveway is less than ideal, to say the least. It takes a lot of time to set-up and tear down, and is seasonal and weather dependent. I’d briefly considered converting a part of the garage, but still need a general workshop – and really don’t want to mix smithing and woodworking in the same space; so dismissed that idea pretty quickly.

Behind the garage is a virtually abandoned bit of the property, where my late in-laws had stored ‘stuff’ out of sight behind a fence (a utility trailer, a couple of old BBQs, composters, stacks of firewood, etc.). The whole area was in pretty rough shape, overgrown with weeds and such. But when I stood back and looked at it, I realized it’s actually a fair bit of space.

So, I have pretty much decided to build a small (10′ x 12′) shed in this area to use as a shop. The size is based on a) what will fit comfortably in the available space, and b) 120 sq.ft. is the maximum size I can build without the added headaches of a building permit.

I’ve been trying to decide on a type / style of building for this, and think I’ve found it.

An "Irish Shed" - Timber frame with 'cordwood masonry' walls

I recently bought an excellent book entitled Sheds – The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders” by David Stiles. The shed shown on the cover of that book uses ‘cordwood masonry’ for the walls, which I like the look of a lot.

The other source is a blog that I only just found, called “Peeling Logs“. There is a post on that blog by contributor Jon Anderson about the building of a 10′ x 12′ post and beam / timber frame shed, which is exactly what I had in mind. And they have even gone so far as providing the Google SketchUp plans for it too – Awesome!!!

Just as soon as I can find the time, I think I’d like to build a shop based on those timber frame plans, but with a look somewhat along the lines of the ‘Irish Shed’ from David Stiles book.

Any thoughts?

Spammers take note…

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Dear Comment Spammers,

Please bugger off.

Kind Regards,
The Forgery



To clarify, I welcome legitimate comments from real people who may have something to say.  However spammers should be aware that:

  • I moderate all comments, so your spam will never be seen by a member of the public; and
  • I have nofollow tags active for comments, so your spam links will not do anything to increase your Google page rankings.

Incidentally, your generic, cookie-cutter comments make absolutely no sense. “I like your site, but it is difficult to find“, etc.

Hmm … well, when I do a Google search for relevant key words (topics that I’m writing about), I’ve typically been somewhere in the first few pages of results, and I’m happy with that.

Oh, and did I already ask you to please bugger off? If not, I meant to.