Sunday, 29 April 2012

Bringsty Forge in 2012

It was that time of year agian, Bringsty forge in. I went to last year's forge in and really enjoyed myself, the atmosphere, the people and the enthusiasm for blacksmithing was great to see and it was no exception this year. With seven forges burning away and 12 anvils being used the sound of metal being hit rang all over the workshop as was Adrian's voice, you always knew where he was. It was great to see some familiar faces and plus so many BA's turned up from all the year gruops as at last year's forge in we dominated it with our presence. I hitched a lift there with Stuart and Lee getting there early to get a fire stright away, so I managed to get my hand on a hammer and make a little something as did everyone else. All in all it was a great day and thanks to Adrian, Henry and Tony for making it all happen and putting up with all us BA's in one place. 

Heres just a some photos that were taken of the Forge in of some familiar faces...



Friday, 27 April 2012

in the first week back

Its been an interesting first week back with a lot to catch up on Business plan, Final piece, Website design and everything else has all built up to the final six weeks. I've done some thinking on what needs to be done and the business plan was first on my list as that was due in thursdsay which I finished and handed in on time.

In the forge I made a sample of how the final piece would connect to the wall although it looks small in the picture here it is a fundamental factor of the wall mount. and after having a positive tutorial with kate, it has been decided that now is the time for making, to get into the forge and knock out a marquette of what it should look like and then to create the final thing. I now have to make a timetable of the next six weeks to plan out what i'm going to do as I need to leave myself a week to apply the finish the the wall mount as well.

Monday, 23 April 2012

A post before my return

Well its been nearly four weeks and I like to think I've done a lot in that time. I've spent "a lot" of money on tools and equipment, travelled over 400 miles to the north and back again, worked in a forge for a day and have completed most of the finish coat on the microphone stand. I admit that applying this finish has been a real under taking for just me alone and I've persevered through most of it.

Using whatever I could in whatever space I had its been a real challenge but its really looking the part at the moment.

I even managed to fit time in for close friends and one of them Charlotte Pain is a up and coming artist who is also just finishing her BA course as well. Charlotte had her first solo exhibition which I was invited to the preview night and her work is just stunning, she has a very unique style where she paints very old architectural building in black and white in an abstract way. It was great even the mayor of Weston came to the exhibition.

The Mayor of weston on the left and Charlotte Pain in the middle standing in front of some of her work.

And when the going get tough with the work, you have to let off a little steam and nothing lets of steam better then going to a Korn gig and having your head blown clean off "Hell Yeah" !..!,  

All in all its been a jam packed 4 weeks and I'm travelling back up to Hereford this morning where I will try to regain some normality and routine in college and get back to work, so the next post will be in thick of it and until then farewell Bristol...... 

Friday, 20 April 2012

A tool box filling up.

As you can guess by now I've been buying a lot of tools over the past three weeks and because of that i've also had to buy another metal tool box to keep these all in. I'm awaiting a few more tools in the post and also have to pick up a leg vice form Bromyard when I come back to Hereford, which will go into storage with the other blacksmithing equipment. With all the tools I've bought my new tool box is already filling up, which is all investing in my future. Money well spent I think. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Too big for the letter box.

More tools have finally arrived in the post today as I've also been buying a lot of tools on Ebay another great place to find cheap tools as long as can post them as it a bit of a pain if you have to pick them up (I've learnt my lesson last time). Today my 4Lb hammer and cold set came through the post and I'm still awaiting for five other things to arrive, so I may even be bringing another toolbox up with lots of new tools to show off.


Monday, 16 April 2012

Reclamation Tools.

Other great place to find tools are reclamation yards where many old tools end up going for cheap. I went to a couple around Bristol and I managed to pick a few things. First off near the town centre is "Au Temps Perdu Reclamation" it maybe slowly turning in to a bike repair shed but it still has a few treasures left to spare I found an old Arch welder hidden and still working which only cost me £15, which is another thing ticked off the list.

Another yard with walking distance of my house is "Rose Green Tiles & Reclamation Yard" mainly specializing in garden stuff but you can find the occasional piece of gold and today I found a hardy hole tool used for shaping on top of if the anvil horn is to thick. Its quite big but its tool non the less and something else to add to my growing collection. This goes to to show that you can pick up tools anywhere you just need to know where to look.  


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mic-Stand development.

I thought that I should update on the status of the Microphone stand and it is undergoing a transformation that has so far taken four days. It involves a couple of files, lots of wet and dry sand paper and alot of patience, which is killing my hands but it going to be worth it once it has the black applied and its finished.

looking good so far.

Car boot tools.

an early start to the day this morning as the family and I went to a car boot sale at Easter Compton just outside Bristol. I've always enjoyed car boot sales there great places to pick up bargins on everything CDs, Vinyls and most importantly Tools and today has been no acceptation, just look at what I picked up for only £9, i'm good at haggling.

some punchs and chisels, a small hammer, some little vice gips and tool used for tapping metal but it can also be used as an ajustable twisting wrench. I'm very happy with these purchases, even better that i got them so cheap too.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Working at Brodnax Forge.

In the Christmas holidays I went around a few of the Bristol blacksmiths and introduced myself as a student of the craft. One blacksmith stood out among the rest in attitude and knowledge towards blacksmithing “Fred Brodnax”.

When bringing my microphone stand back to Bristol it took a large knock where two of its connections became slightly loose and needed some attention. As I have no equipment to be able to fix it I went to Fred for help and on the Wednesday I took the stand to his forge where we set about fixing it.    

We both agreed that the bottom half would need another rivet to give it extra support to hold the weight of the head. So we clamped it, made a mark where the new rivet should be and it took two of us to hold it in place while we drilled a new hole.

Before I came to the forge Fred had kindly pre-made a rivet for the stand so once we drilled the hole we knocked the rivet in straight away. We then set about knocking in all the other rivets so that it was tight and secure. In the end all the rivets were tight and shaped up nicely. I’m very happy with the result and very grateful to Fred for helping me. now and I can finally put on the finish coat.  

Friday, 13 April 2012

the journey to Uttoxeter and Rochdale.

I know this is a late post as this all happened Tuesday but better late than never, and this was truly an experience and a half.

With a 6.30 in the morning start to day I knew it was going to a long day. After a cup of tea and some breakfast we set off to pick up the hired van from Gulliver’s. We were told by the company that the we hired was brand new and had only 44 miles in its life time from leaving the factory, well after this trip we would have really but it to the test.

We set off from Bristol about 8.00, where I only thought there would be three of us head up north there turned out to be four. The added extra who tagged along sat and slept on my lap most of the way there and most of the way back too and now I think I have a friend for life. A ten week old pup called Gem was brought with us and she was as good as gold the whole trip, it certainly helped pass the time.

We got to Rochdale about 11.00 so we were making good time so far. This is where we picked up the pillar drill and fly press which needed a forklift truck to get on to the van. Once they were safely on the van we pressed on further north to Rochdale, which took much longer than we had anticipated due to making a few minor wrong turnings but that wasn’t the hard part. The hardest part of the journey to Rochdale was finding the house we needed to go to. We reached the area called the summit and started asking locals were this place was which no one seemed to know. When we eventually found this place right at the top of a huge hill along some very thin winding road to be able to pick up the portable forge.

With all the equipment picked up it was time to head home, we stopped off to have some lunch then began the long trip back south. Unlucky for us the M6 was packed to a stand still for a couple of hours, and so getting home took us a lot long than it should have. We got back to Bristol about 10.00 in the evening and were all very tired after a 14 hour day of travelling. We had to fill the van back up with fuel which I paid for, costing me £80, we only used ¾ of the tank which I think is amazing for a trip like that. After getting home one thing I couldn't wait to see was my bed, I really needed to sleep.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The long drive ahead.

Tomorrow is a very early start as I have hired a van so that I can travel up to Uttoxeter and Rochdale to pick up my Bench Pillar drill, Fly press and Small forge. All round this is a 400 miles trip there and back. I've been waiting a whole week for this and i'm quite excited. I'm hoping that the weather holds out, it dosen't look good at the moment, but it is set we have a long drive ahead, three things to pick, two locations and then a drive to my hired storage where the equipment will live until I can find a place to set up shop. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

More Tools to the collection.

I now have more workshop tools to add to my collection, a Fly press and a small forge nothing fancy but when it cost £45 for the forge and £50 for the fly press you can’t really go wrong I will have to travel to pick up all the tools but where’s the fun in having them delivered (plus it would cost the earth to have them delivered!!!) Hired a van for a day trip to pick them up next Tuesday and I’m looking forward to it.

I think I've picked up a good bargain here and will continue to look out for more good bargains. I've even hired a storage to put these all in while I'm on the look out for a workshop and still in Hereford.