Posts Tagged ‘willoughby country fair’

Maker of smoke and noise

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Well, this miserable winter and late start to spring are finally behind us; and our family is slowly emerging from the long hibernation that parents of preemies call the ‘lock down’.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to clean up my workshop a bit and start on the backlog of blacksmithing projects on my to do list.

To kick things off I did my first public demonstration of the season today at the Willoughby Country Fair (Willoughby Historical Museum, Niagara Falls).  it was quite a fun event – and you couldn’t ask for better weather.

Unfortunately, my blacksmithing demo was not quite as successful as my previous ones…

All started well.  I’d loaded the truck up the night before, to give myself an easy morning. Grabbed a coffee, and arrived at the event nice and early. Off loaded the truck quickly, and was set-up in less than 20 minutes.  I lit the forge about an hour before the event was scheduled to start (letting the green coal smoke away before too many people were around). Again, all was going well.

Then about an hour into the event, my arch nemesis showed up – antique blacksmithing equipment.  Why do I keep falling for these quaint looking antiques?

Following in the footsteps of my old portable forge, and the fire pot on my large coal forge – the blower on my current small forge decided today was the day to pack it in.  It started with a horrible rattling/grinding noise whenever I would let go of the crank handle.  Previously, it would go another 2 turns on its own and coast to a stop, but today it started grinding to a halt a half-turn after letting go. Not good.  I managed to do some field surgery and keep it working (well, sort of) for another hour. But that was all it had in it.  It got just too bad and I thought that I had better stop before I do some permanent damage to it.

So apart from chatting with a lot of friendly folks who stopped by, I didn’t accomplish much useful blacksmithing today.  I think in the three hours I was able to keep the forge going, I only made it through a dozen or so hooks and a few leaf keychains (I had no intention of even starting a more ambitious project with the forge acting up).

I spent more time nursing the equipment than forging.  At least I was able to make a bunch of smoke and noise. That’s got to count for something…