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And then there’s this guy

Portable blacksmith. From the same country show as the billhooks guy. He’s got his forge and his anvil and his bench and he’s making stuff on the spot. Says he got the idea for a portable smitherie 17 years ago, and it’s been a success from the beginning. He doesn’t exactly roam from town to town doing ever’body’s smithin’; he mostly does shows like this.

Hard to see how he makes a living. He sold us a huge pair of oversized iron fireplace tongs with the bendy bit in the middle and the twisty bits on either end for, like, £18.

Andy Williams will not be down for breakfast, which means little, little takes the dick. You know what that means! Yeah, it means I really, really need to get some dick in the mail. But it also means — see you here Friday for the next round!


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 26, 2012, 9:20 pm

What was deeply impressive was watching someone who knows his trade so very well. At one stage he was heating the metal bar he was working on to a ferocious glow, but was still able to handle the other end of it with his bare hands.

I understand he knew what he was doing, but it still made me wince.

It will be a sad day when we lose people with skills like this.

It’s a great pair of tongs by the way!

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 26, 2012, 9:52 pm

Show us your——tongs! I love all that stuff. The plant hooks, and pot hooks, camping/cooking gear, et cetera. I have a set of small gardening tools that were hand-forged by my blacksmith grandfather: a pick and a rake. Don’t know if there was a hoe—probably. They are about 18 inches long and indestructible.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: September 26, 2012, 10:31 pm

Interesting stuff, yes indeed – back more years than I really care to describe precisely, I used to teach a bit of that (along with other somewhat-more-recent-technological metal skills) to Jr. High/High School folks. I still occasionally correspond with one of my former students, who does custom blacksmithing as a sort of sideline to his regular line of work (which is being a retired country preacher, actually); says it’s quite relaxing for him, mostly.

Actually, the raw material costs are pretty low for that work, if you live/work anywhere near a decent-sized metal supply outfit. Bar and sheet iron in mild grades only get rather spendy if you must pay transit costs – if you can pick up what you need from the supply place yourself, it’s not too high, especially when you consider how many different items can be made from relatively few different sizes and shapes. If you use a charcoal hearth (as opposed to a gas-fired one), which is really the better way to go, even the fuel costs are not very much.

He’s therefore selling mostly his labor – and if you’re good at it, and enjoy the work, you can do a lot very quickly and efficiently.

Comment from Mike James
Time: September 26, 2012, 10:36 pm

I didn’t know you could get dick in the mail … I mean, I’ve never inquired … I mean, not being up on these things … no, it’s just that I’ve never been in the market …

Forget it.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 26, 2012, 10:48 pm

Funny you should mention the pot hooks, Deborah. He had some fine camp fire accessories. Not much I could see us doing with them but we both lit-up with ‘want’ eyes.

Comment from Redd
Time: September 26, 2012, 11:36 pm

Can he make swords? Plenty you could do with your own his and her custom made swords.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 26, 2012, 11:59 pm

That sort of thing is actually pretty common where you have ranches spread out all over hell and gone. Mike Rowe actually did a Dirty Jobs episode with a traveling blacksmith/horse shoer.

Comment from Nina
Time: September 27, 2012, 12:58 am

We saw a blacksmith making chain when we visited the Black Country museum in July. Very interesting!

Comment from Pablo
Time: September 27, 2012, 3:47 am

It will be a sad day when we lose people with skills like this.

Yeah. His should-have-been-apprentice was rioting for free shit last year.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 27, 2012, 12:14 pm

Pablo wins the internet!

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: September 27, 2012, 12:32 pm

I saw a smith at one of the gatherings of the SACA awhile back. He did lots of pretty bits and things and made lots of chain mail. His booth was a hand made iron gazebo – must have weighed a ton!!

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: September 27, 2012, 12:53 pm

& here, Pablo, is your internet: http://internet

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: September 27, 2012, 5:18 pm


Pablo will need this before he unplugs it, and takes it home with him.

turn off the internet

Safety First!

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: September 27, 2012, 6:09 pm

When we were in Hainan Dao, all the peasants had knives that were very much like those billhooks. Those things could shave!

I wish I’d bought one, the local yuppie garden store sells a similar item for $150.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: September 27, 2012, 8:31 pm

He sold us a huge pair of oversized iron fireplace tongs with the bendy bit in the middle and the twisty bits on either end for, like, £18.

Steel is surprisingly cheap (and coal is nearly free!), and it’s not actually that much labor to make a set of tongs.

(I do medieval-era historical re-creation, so it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest to see a blacksmith come and set up for a weekend… I see it all the time.)

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 27, 2012, 11:28 pm

So coal is nearly free, eh?

Sigivald wins the opportunity to fire the musteldis’ stove this winter!

Yay! 🙂

Comment from Nina
Time: September 28, 2012, 4:46 am

I do the same, Sigivald…the reenactor part, not the black smithing. 🙂

Comment from Sigivald
Time: September 28, 2012, 8:35 pm

Nearly free in blacksmith quantities, not in house-heating quantities…

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