newsletter of the blacksmith guild of central maryland

Volume 30 Number 2
Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Days Raffle Items
The above items to be raffled off at Blacksmith Days are a Phil Heath trunk from last BSD
and a Japanese laminated blade chef knife by Sam Salvati he made at the Principio
Furnace Hammer In 2013.
16th Annual BGCM Chili Cook-Off
IN THIS ISSUE ......... Page
At the March Guild meeting, Sunday, 15 March, we will be
celebrating the 16th Annual BGCM Chili Cook-Off. Bring your
best blacksmith chili and compete for "Best Chili".
President’s message ...... 3
2015 Dues
Membership dues for the Blacksmith Guild of Central
Maryland are for the period of January 1 through December
31. If you are unsure of your dues status, check the mailing
label on the envelope containing this edition of the newsletter.
You can use the tear-off form at the back of this newsletter or
pay at any guild meeting. Thanks!
Upcoming Classes............... 5
Beginner’s Corner................ 6
Shop Tips……………………8
String of Pearls………..……9
Traditional Arts Schedule…10
Internet Blacksmithing…….12
CCFM Historic Forge ......... 13
Calendar of Events ............ 20
The Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland, Inc.*
BGCM is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art
and craft of hand forging iron. The Guild meets monthly
to share blacksmithing information and techniques at the
Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster, Maryland.
BGCM Officers
President ..................................................... Ted McNett
(717) 646-9839............. [email protected]
Vice President ....................................... Bryan Zorbach
(410) 876-1316…………………………[email protected]
Secretary ..................................... ...…….. .. Bill Koogle
(443) 974-7928………..…………[email protected]
Treasurer ............................................................ Vacant
Board Member ............................................. Dan Mincin
(410) 442-1833………………[email protected]
Board Member ............................................ David Tyner
(979) 229-7098............................. [email protected]
Board Member .......................................... Robert Nagle
(717) 646-8306
BGCM Committee Members
Awards Committee ....................... …..… Ken Strosnider
410.984.0988………… [email protected]
Blacksmith Days Chairman 2015………..…Ted McNett
Blacksmith School Administrator ......... Bob Hungerman
(410)549-3851........... [email protected]
Forge Masters………………………..Walter VanAlstine
(301) 725-4826
[email protected]
Assistant Forge Master……………….….Jacob Selmer
(410) 775-2057……………[email protected]
Historic Forge Volunteer Coordinator ... David Gursky
(410) 695-2582…………………….. [email protected]
Librarian .............................................. Judy Heinekamp
(443) 253-6433..…………………. [email protected]
Assistant Librarian………..........................David Tyner
Guild Historian……………….…………George Hughes
(443) 373-7539………………….. [email protected]
Guild Quartermaster…………….. Bob & Ann Baugher
(717) 646-1088………………… [email protected]
Newsletter Editor........................................ Jim Maness
(570) 977-1300………………… [email protected]
Webmaster/Facebook .............David Tyner /Joe Staup
Newsletter Editors Emeritus ......Albin Drzewianowski
(410) 848-0731…………………………[email protected]
Judy Heinekamp
Bill Clemens
Membership Committee…………………David Felmlee
(717) 530-1192……………………[email protected]
Scholarship Committee ..................... Judy Heinekamp
BGCM Yahoo Group
Administrator...............................Albin Drzewianowski
To join:
[email protected]
To participate: [email protected]
To leave group: [email protected]
Guild Mailing Address:
Guild Facebook Page: Blacksmith Guild of Central
Guild Hotline........................................... (410) 386-9150
* BGCM is a non-profit 501c3 educational corporation founded
in 1986 and incorporated in 1995 and is an affiliate of the
Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America, Inc.
BGCM’s newsletter is published bimonthly. We welcome
and encourage you to contribute articles, book reviews,
trip reports, or just your thoughts on blacksmithing. One
of the main purposes of the Guild is to promote the
exchange of information and ideas associated with
blacksmithing. We are glad to publish classified ads to
assist members in the sale of blacksmith related items, or
to help locate wanted tools, anvils, steels, etc. Ads must
be renewed for each issue.
Submissions may be sent to the editor:
Jim Maness; [email protected]
All original articles printed in this issue are placed in the
public domain unless the author states otherwise.
Anyone using items from this newsletter is requested to
give credit to the author and The HAMMER & TONG. For
reprinted or quoted material the copyright restrictions of the
originator apply.
BGCM, its officers and its members assume no
responsibility or liability for the accuracy, fitness, proper
design, safety or safe use of any information contained in
this newsletter and disclaim any responsibility or liability
for damage or injuries as a result of its use.
Blacksmithing, involves Fire, Hot
Steel, Hammers, etc.
It is not an activity to be taken lightly.
Safety and caution must always be in the
forefront of any blacksmith’s mind before they
pick up a hammer and begin hitting Hot Metal.
Safety Rules
Wear eye protection at all times in the shop area.
Know location of first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
Turn on exhaust blower before lighting the forge.
Do not knock hot coals/embers on the floor.
Advise when preparing a forge weld by LOUDLY
yelling: “WELDING”.
6. Dress ends of steel.
7. Obtain permission from Forge Master before using
power tools.
8. Maintain and leave an orderly work area.
9. Turn on WARNING LIGHT when ARC Welding
10 Announce any ARC WELDING same as #5
Please observe these safety rules when
working in the Guild’s forge areas
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
P. O. Box 593, Randallstown, MD 21133
Guild Website .............................
2 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Very Important
Membership Committee
It is very important that should you change any of your contact information: address, phone, email,
etc. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, pass that information on to us. Also, if you add or drop a Family
Member, please pass that along also. It is taking a great deal of time and effort to keep the
membership database up to date. If we do not have current address information, we cannot insure
that you get your newsletter.
President’s Message
If you have not renewed your BGCM membership this is your last chance. After March you will be
removed from the membership list. You may now use PayPal on our website to pay your dues.
I hope that everyone has survived the extreme cold and icy snow. Hopefully you have been able
to venture out to the Hammer-ins; Gichner’s and Dan Boone’s. Check www.bgcmonline for more
events and classes in the near future. May 16th and 17th is our 27th Blacksmith Days. This year
the theme is the “Future of Forging” featuring Matt Harris, Aislin Lewis, and Sam Salvati. Visit the
webpage to register online and see more details. To ensure another successful event we need your
help. Please volunteer some of your time during this weekend. Contact Ken Strosnider, BSD
Volunteer Coordinator, 410-984-0988. The raffle items are a Phil Heath trunk from last BSD and a
Japanese laminated blade chef knife by Sam Salvati he made at the Principio Furnace Hammer In
The cold weather has slowed the progress on the compressor shed and other projects. I hope
March will provide a warmer opportunity for this. We are looking for more opportunities to improve
the facility and tooling in the school. If there is a tool or item that BGCM should purchase to benefit
the guild, please talk to a Board member.
Demonstration season is fast approaching. If you would like to demonstrate in the historic forge
please contact Dave Guersky. His contact information is in the front of the newsletter. In
conjunction with the Farm Museum we have updated the demonstrator guidelines.
Traditional Arts classes have returned to the Farm Museum. Classes in open hearth cooking,
tinsmithing, broom making, and fraktur painting were held in February. Check our website for a
link and more information for future traditional arts classes.
Happy forging,
Keep the forge lit,
President BGCM
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Mar/ Apr 2015 HAMMER & TONG 3
Open Forge Policy
We are asking any Guild members who plan
to attend an Open Forge to call the BGCM
Hotline at 410-386-9150 before departing for
the Farm Museum. If we run into a case
where we do not have a Forge Master
available or if there are weather related
conditions we may have to cancel for that
night. If we do have to cancel, it will be posted
to the Hotline no later than 4pm of that
Help Wanted
By the BGCM Executive Board
The following are positions in the Guild that
need to be filled. The ongoing success of
the Guild depends on having members
volunteer for these positions. We are
asking members to consider taking on
these tasks for 1 year. If you decide that
you wouldn't mind serving for a longer
period that is great. By the same token, if
after a short period, you decide that the
position is not what you expected and
would like to step down - no problem, no
hard feelings.
Assistant to the Membership
Committee: Needs to be a Guild member
that attends most meetings. As new
members join the Guild and existing
members renew their membership, filter
this information and pass it on to the
Chairman of the Membership Committee.
Make the badges for renewing Guild
members (equipment will be provided).
Pass out badges to renewing Guild
members at monthly Guild meetings.
Takeover “ownership” of the Official Guild
Membership data base as necessary,
when the Membership Committee
Chairman is out of town. Interface with
Guild Treasurer on “dues issues”. Needs
to have a computer and be comfortable
with EXCEL type spread sheets (or Open
Office equivalents). If you have any
4 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
questions about this function, please talk to
Albin Drzewianowski.
Guild Treasurer: Serve on the
Executive Board: attend Exec Board
Meetings; take part in discussions of
issues before the Board; and vote on those
issues which call for a vote. Keep track of
income and expenses of the Guild against
the Guild budget. Maintain the Guild Check
Book. Deposit Guild funds into the
checking account. Write checks as
necessary to reimburse members for
approved expenses, and to pay bills on
behalf of the Guild. Work with the Guild's
tax accountant to prepare and submit the
Guild's tax forms to the state and to the
Perform other duties as from time to
time may be assigned to him/her by the
President or by the Board of Directors.
Event Coordinators: The Executive
Board would like to have a Guild member
who will be responsible for each of the
events put on by the Guild. We already
have a Blacksmith Days Chairman. We
are asking members to sign up to
coordinate a particular event one time (if
they want to do it for more than one time
that is wonderful but not required or
The important thing here is that the
Event Coordinator is not expected to do all
the work in preparation for the event, rather
he/she is expected to make sure that
someone is taking care of each of the
details needed for a successful event.
Emphasis here is on “coordination”.
“Coordination” would cover things like:
advertising: Newsletter, Yahoo Group,
Facebook, etc.; has the needed space
been reserved; do we have the necessary
paper-products and plastic ware; has a
BBQ grill been lined up (for the crab feast);
do we have adequate soft drinks; has
someone agreed to bring and retrieve the
“anvil signs”; etc. Each event has its own
particular requirements.
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
The following events need a Coordinator:
 Annual BGCM Chili Cook-Off,
March Guild meeting.
Annual BGCM Ice-Cream FreezeOff, August Guild meeting
Annual BGCM Crab Feast,
September Guild meeting
Annual Principio Hammer-In,
October. Ted McNett has
volunteered to coordinate this event in
Annual BGCM Holiday Party,
November Guild meeting.
The Executive Board will work with the
Coordinator. The Executive Board is
putting together workbooks/check lists for
each of these events. If you are
interested, or if you just have questions,
please speak to a Guild Board Member.
Class: Torch fired copper enameling
Instructor: Ted McNett
Assisting: Sarah Heller
Dates: Mar 21 - 22, 2015 (Sat-Sun)
Fee: $175
Learn the basics of enameling using an
acetylene torch. Enameling is the process of
using heat to fuse powdered glass to metal.
Basic equipment, materials and techniques
will be discussed. The student will learn how
to apply patterns, shapes, stencils, and wire
inlays to create unique designs for pendants,
earrings, or added adornment. Students may
experiment with steel if interested. All needed
materials and supplies will be provided. Limit
of 8 students. Safety glasses are required.
Class time 9AM-4PM each day.
Call 410-386-3882 or Email
[email protected] to register
Class: Knife Making
It may be the beginning of the year, but it
doesn't hurt to start thinking about the Guild
elections coming up next fall. This year we
will elect/re-elect the 3 at-large Directors. If
you are at all interested in running, speak
with any current or past member of the
Executive Board.
Instructor: Walter Van Alstine
Assisting: TBD
Dates: Feb 28 – Mar 1, 2015 (Sat/Sun)
Fee: $175
Learn the basics of knife making and finish a
forged blade with handle. Class time 9AM4PM each day.
Class: BS-101 (Beginner’s Blacksmithing)
Wednesday Evenings Beginner
Upcoming Blacksmith Classes
Bob Hungerman
The following are Classes to be offered
starting in January 2015 and later:
IF you are interested in becoming an
instructor for one of the many 101 or 202
classes given each year OR if you would like
to teach a class on a subject we have not
had yet, please contact Bob Hungerman
[email protected]
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Instructor: Albin Drzewainowski
Assisting: Bill Koogle
Dates: March 4, 11, 18, 25 & April 1, 2015
Fee: $175
Learn the basics of blacksmithing from forge
and fire control to hammer control. You will
learn to forge a fish tail scroll, pig tail scroll,
tab hook, drive hook, forge poker, water can
handle, and other student selected projects
as time permits. Class time 6-9:30PM each
Mar/ Apr 2015 HAMMER & TONG 5
Class: Super BS-101 (4 Day Beginner’s
Instructor: Jim Maness
Assisting: Bob Nagle
Dates: April 13-16, 2015
Fee: $300
In this extended 4 day version of BS-101,
students will learn blacksmithing safety,
setting up of their own shop, evaluating
equipment, an overview of forge welding, an
overview of working with high carbon and tool
steels, finishes and blacksmithing resources.
Students will learn to make: Forge poker, drip
cans, various types of hooks, forge & heat
treat a scribe. Wed & Thurs will be open forge
for students to try making items which fall
within their skill level & time limits. Class time
9AM-4PM each day.
If you are interested in attending a BGCM class please contact Sue Molare at 410-386-3882 or email
her at [email protected] at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
Beginner's Corner
Albin Drzewianowski
((Originally published in July, 2003))
You can’t get much more basic in blacksmithing than a discussion about hammers. After your anvil,
the hammer is probably your most important tool. There seem to be a number of different theories
about hammers. One theory says to do everything with one hammer, preferably a 3 pound hammer.
The other end of the spectrum espouses the theory that you should have dozens of hammers, each
specific for one purpose. You will probably want to find a middle ground somewhere between these
two extremes.
Here in America the traditional blacksmithing hammer seems to be the cross peen hammer. Based
on books I have read, British and Canadian trained blacksmiths seem to favor the ball peen hammer.
Those blacksmiths who originally were trained as farriers often use a rounding hammer (more on this
type of hammer later).
I think some of the best advice for beginners is to try as many different types and weights of hammers
as possible. Try to pay attention to things like balance, weight, length and shape of handle. I had
found, even early in my blacksmithing experiences that certain hammers just seem to fit my hand. I
could not explain why, but they felt like an extension of my arm. Other hammers seemed to just not
belong there; no matter how I tried, they did not seem to work right. Pay attention to your instincts.
Each blacksmith is different and what is a great hammer for one can be a poor choice for another
blacksmith. So go to hammer-in’s tail-gate areas and flea-markets, and watch for hammers,
especially hammer heads. I often find good hammer heads for $.50 to $1.00. Learn to re-handle
hammers; learn to re-grind hammer faces and peens using a belt sander; both are valuable skills.
When you come across a handle that seems to fits your hand and seems to work well, study it
carefully. Try to determine what characteristics make it good for YOU.
When you go to blacksmith events, pay close attention to the type and size hammer the demonstrator
is using. How is the handle shaped? How long is the handle? How many different hammers does
he/she use in the demonstration?
An important word of warning: many blacksmiths are very possessive about their favorite hammers.
Always ask if you may try it or even touch it, and don’t be put off if they say no. Many smiths have
6 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
hunted long and hard to find the “perfect” hammer and don’t want someone else abusing it, especially
a beginner.
There are a number of different styles of blacksmith hammers. If you study the catalogs, you will see
that there are French pattern, Swedish pattern, German pattern hammers, Czech and others. Often
you will see a smith who has settled on a particular pattern and he will have a small, medium and
large, all in that particular pattern. The traditional American style of cross peen, like the ones sold at
SEARS, are sometimes called English pattern hammers.
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the balance of the hammer is a critical factor. You
want to have the same amount of steel on each end of the hammer: face and peen. If the hammer
has a lot more steel at the hammer-face end compared to the peen end, you will constantly be
fighting to keep the hammer correctly oriented to your target on the anvil. This is extra work for your
arm and wrist. That is why, fairly early in my blacksmithing, I went from using a cross peen hammer
to using a rounding hammer. (A rounding hammer, used by farriers to make and adjust horseshoes.
It has the same amount of steel at each end. One end is basically flat and the other end has a slight
dome to it.) Using a well-balanced hammer really made a difference to me. I will use a cross peen
hammer when I need the peen, but 90% of the time, I am using a rounding hammer. And if the
rounding hammer has a square face instead of a round one, you can use the top and bottom edges of
the hammer face as cross peens and the two side edges as straight peens – the best of all worlds.
Hammer handles are another issue that keep a beginner from realizing the joy of using a “perfect”
hammer. Each blacksmith’s hands are different, the odds of a hammer coming with the perfect
handle for your particular hand are pretty slim. At one time I noticed that SEARS sold a fairly nice
cross peen hammer, but the handle was way too thick for anyone who did not have monster size
hands. Since the handles are made of wood and most of the time we need to make them smaller, it
is a simple matter of taking a wood rasp and thinning them down. Based on a number of
demonstrators and personal experience, I have come to prefer a roughly rectangular shaped handle.
If the handle is too round, it tends to rotate in your grip and again, you have to fight that tendency to
rotate. If the handle is rectangular and properly oriented to the head you always know exactly what
angle the hammer head is to your work. Also with a rectangular handle, it takes just the slightest
finger pressure to adjust the angle of attack. (I once had the disturbing experience of using what
seemed to be a perfectly good cross peen hammer, only to leave a lot of hammer marks all over my
steel. Drove me crazy. I finally realized that the handle was installed at a slight angle to the head
and when I thought I was holding the hammer straight, I was actually holding it at a slight angle,
hence all the stray hammer marks.)
Once you find a handle that really seems to fit your hand (I call that the “ooh-ahh” experience - your
hand seems to whisper “ooh-ahh” when you pick up the hammer.) carefully copy down the
dimensions: length and girth every couple of inches along the handle. Better yet: cut that handle off
the hammer head and save it as a pattern so that you can copy it every time you need a new handle.
There is a relationship between size of steel and size of hammer. The bigger/thicker the steel, the
bigger the hammer you will need. You can always use a big hammer on small steel (but it will take
greater skill and hammer control) but if you try to use a small hammer on big metal, you will probably
end up wasting your time. You need that extra mass to apply enough force to move the steel. This
is just basic physics – mass and force.
VERY IMPORTANT: Over the past few years, I have started to see a growing number of beginners
using very heavy hammers (I attribute this to YouTube. I have seen any number of highly unqualified
people demonstrating blacksmithing, speaking as if they were experts, showing extremely poor
technique. Any number of them swinging a sledge hammer head on short handle.) For the beginner,
this is only going to lead to serious elbow and shoulder injury. I have seen full time blacksmiths
working with 4+ pound hammers. But they smith every day. They have worked up to those heavy
hammers over a long period of time. They are used to swinging that size of hammer and have
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Mar/ Apr 2015 HAMMER & TONG 7
tremendous hammer control. For the beginner: accuracy of the hammer blow MUST come first.
Then over time, as you develop strength you can SLOWLY work up to heavier hammers.
Most blacksmiths have that 6-8 pound hammer head on a short handle in their shop. But it is there
for very specific situations. The smith uses it for a few hammer blows where he needs that extra
weight. It is a specialty tool, not an everyday/all the time hammer.
Finally, I want to close with a brief discussion about the habit of tapping the anvil with the hammer
between hammer blows. As you watch different smiths work you will see some smiths who never tap
the anvil and other smiths who seem to constantly do it. There are various theories here. One is that
tapping the anvil is a waste of energy, i.e. you shouldn’t do it. Others say that tapping the anvil keeps
up the rhythm of your work as you turn the piece of metal or to give you a moment to stop and think
about what you are doing. My own theory is that a smith tends to emulate his/her teachers. If you
took basic blacksmithing classes from a blacksmith who has a tendency to tap the anvil as he/she
works, you will do it also. If your teacher did not do that, you probably won’t either. Myself, I find that
as I get more tired, I tend to tap the anvil more than I did at the beginning of the forging session.
Lightly hitting the anvil between forging strokes, seems to rest my arm slightly. In any case it is
something to watch for as you observer other blacksmiths work. HAPPY HAMMERING!!
Shop Tips
Albin Drzewianowski
Here are some SHOP TIPS that I picked up at the ABANA Conference last August.
From Kevin Clancy, Guild member and member of POMM (Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths).
When doing file work. Get the fire scale off before you start to use your good files. Kevin likes
to use cheap diamond files from Harbor Freight to take off the scale. Scale is much harder than the
steel and will ruin your good files if you do not first remove the scale first. .
If you have trouble finding “safe-edge files” take regular files and carefully grind off the teeth
along one or both sides of the file.
To clean your best files, use a brass BBQ brush. To remove embedded chips from small files
use the tip of an X-Acto knife.
According to Jeff Funk, stainless steel expands twice as much when heated as compared to steel.
As part of the POMM (Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths) demonstrations, Peter Renzetti took
apart the Gothic Doorknocker, which was the first POMM project created at an ABANA conference
many years ago. This was the first time it had been disassembled. After cleaning off the fine rust
film he used KEL-101 PURE SILICON SPRAY on the parts. He used a natural bristle brush to buff up
the silicon on the metal and get the silicon into all the nooks and crannies.
Third Hand
Ted McNett
I saw this simple third hand in a Mark Aspery You Tube video and decided to make one. I was
working on fireplace tool sets that were 28 inches long. This really made it simple to split the tab to
attach the shovel pan as well as slit and drift the tool stand upright for the cross bar. I used 5/8”
round because it fit my pritchel hole well but ½” would have worked as well. It should pivot easily in
the pritchel hole. Since it pivots in the pritchel hole you can adjust the distance needed to support
your work piece. The bar in the pritchel hole is about 4 inches long, the first leg is about 8 inches
away from the anvil, and 12 inches along the anvil with a large scroll end to prevent anything from
sliding off. The support bar is even with the face of the anvil.
8 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
String of Pearls as demonstrated by Allan Kress
By Bob Hungerman
The following is a description on how to forge a “String of Pearls” as demonstrated by Allan Kress at
the 2015 Gichner Hammer-in. The string is a set of decreasing spheres with a drawn out and curled
end. Allan uses Schedule 40 pipe to reduce the overall weight of the finished piece. He has found
that forging this piece from solid bar stock results in the end having too much weight/mass which
leads to cracking in the necked down sections between the larger “Pearls” Start by necking down the
pipe with a Smithin’ magician or appropriate tool. (Fig 1). Draw out the end to represent a vine or
finial; (Fig 2). The final step will be to place a curl or corkscrew twist in the end. Be careful not to
draw out the end too much. Allan does not weld the end shut and therefore thinning too much will
result in a crack or split at the end.
Next begin separating each “pearl” using a set of “V” dies in a Smithin’ magician. The “V” dies are
fairly acute but not sharp, the working end has a slight radius. Rotate the piece while you neck down
each section to achieve a round indentation (Fig 3). Progress back from the tapered end through the
pipe allowing slightly more space between each pearl so each becomes bigger than the last (Fig 4).
Allan had originally tried to forge each pearl as a complete round ball using different sized fullers, but
has opted for this method as being faster and requiring one tool instead of many.
When all the sections have been made you will notice they are not complete Spheres; the flat taper
from step one is still present. Finish each with a file, or on the slack section of a belt sander (Fig 5).
There is enough wall thickness from the initial tapering of the pipe that you will not file a hole into the
pearl. Finally heat the entire piece and put a curve or corkscrew throughout its length (Fig 6).
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Mar/ Apr 2015 HAMMER & TONG 9
The Carroll County Farm Museum is pleased to announce the return of the Museum’s popular
Traditional Arts Classes. These classes offer students the opportunity to learn an historic craft from
artisans skilled in traditional arts.
The Museum’s February 2015 schedule includes Tinsmithing, Pennsylvania German Fraktur painting,
Open Hearth Cooking, Broom Making and Basket Making. Classes will be held Feb. 21 and Feb. 22
at the Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, MD.
Class details are listed below. To register, please call the Carroll County Farm Museum at 410-3863880 or 1- 800-654-4645. For more information, visit
The Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland also continues to offer its popular roster of blacksmithing
classes at the Farm Museum. These classes are offered year-round and fill quickly. For more
information and a schedule, please visit
February 2015 Traditional Arts Classes
Tinsmithing 101 Beginner/Novice
Sat. 2/21/2015 & Sun. 2/22/2015 (two day class) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $150
10 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Using tools and techniques of tinsmiths from the 1800’s, each student will create a biscuit cutter, wall
sconce, candle holder and lantern. This class is open to students 16 and older. Only basic physical
strength is required. Cost includes project materials.
Students should bring: a pair of cotton gloves, scratch awl, ruler with 16th of an inch graduations, a
pair of tin snips with non-serrated edges and a bag lunch.
Hearth Broom Making
Sat. 2/21/2015 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $35
Each student will use broom corn to make a hearth broom about three feet long with a natural handle.
The broom can be used for sweeping or as decoration. The class will include a brief history on
brooms along with a step-by-step handout. No previous broom making experience necessary.
Open Hearth Cooking Hearty Winter’s Brunch: Chicken & Dumplins’
Sat. 2/21/05 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $35
Come join us and learn to cook over the open hearth as in ages past. This is a “hands on” class -students will prepare and enjoy a tasty meal along with good conversation by the fire. Students will
also learn the procedure of caring for and seasoning cast iron pots. T.T. 410/848-9747
Basket Making: Sat. 2/21/2015 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $35
Each student will make a melon or egg basket; eight inches in diameter with a handle. It is made with
¼” reed and two hoops. Class will include a brief history on baskets along with a step by step
handout. No previous basket making experience necessary.
Pennsylvania German Fraktur
Sun. 2/22/2015 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $63
Students will learn the history of Fraktur painting and paint a Pennsylvania Dutch design. The student
will add a verse to the project of their own choosing. A faux finished frame will be painted to match
the fraktur. Please bring a bag lunch.
Open Hearth Cooking Hearty Winter’s Brunch: Ham, Potatoes, Green Beans & Cabbage
Sun. 2/22/2015 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $35
Come join us and learn to cook over the open hearth as in ages past. This is a “hands on” class -students will prepare and enjoy a tasty meal along with good conversation by the fire. Students will
also learn the procedure of caring for and seasoning cast iron pots.
March Traditional Classes:
CHAIR CANING: March 20, 21, & 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $90
HAND ETCHING ON STONE: March 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $70
MARKET or WINE BASKET: March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost: $50
TINSMITHING 101 Beginner/Novice: March 21, & 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $150
Cost: $175
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Mar/ Apr 2015 HAMMER & TONG 11
Put on Your “Thinking Caps” BGCM 30th Anniversary Coming UP
2016 will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland. Be
thinking about how you would like to observe this incredible accomplishment. The Guild has come a
long way over the years. We need to celebrate our success.
Blacksmithing on the INTERNET
By Albin Drzewianowski
Baltimore Knife and Sword has a series of videos on YouTube. “Man-at-Arm, REFORGED”. There
are about a dozen or so videos showing Kerry Stagmar and his crew making reproductions of various
weapons used in movies and video games. These videos run about 8-12 minutes long. A new one
comes out every other week.
The really impressive part is that they are using real knives and sword steels. So the production of
these fantasy items includes a heat treat resulting in incredibly sharp weapons. You get to see the
tools and processes need to make these kinds of edged items.
Search “man at arms reforged” on YouTube to find these videos.
Other You Tube Channels:
Ontario Blacksmiths – Hammer-in demos and workshops
Jim Johnston – Featuring Clifton Ralph power hammer videos
Ponderosa Forge & Ironworks – projects
Swallow Forge – tooling and projects
Thomas Ironworks – projects
Foleys Forge – In business since 1845 in England
Susan Xu – Anyang power hammers and industrial forging
Search for:
Video Tour of the Disneyland Resort Ironwork (Wrought Iron Fences & Gates)
Blists Hill Ironworks Rolling Iron July 2011.avi
Repoussé Exhibit in Baltimore
By Albin Drzewianowski
From December 2014 through 19 July, 2015 there is an exhibition of American repoussé work
at the Evergreen Museum & Library on the Johns Hopkins University campus, 4545 N. Charles
St, Baltimore, MD 410.516.0341: Repousse Style, Then and Now: A Celebration of the Art of
Michael Izrael Galmer. The exhibition is in the North Gallery; 11am to 4pm on Tues-Fri; noon4pm on Sat/Sun.
This ornament style had fallen out of fashion in the last quarter of the 20 th century but thanks to
the work of contemporary artists such as Michael Izrael Galmer, a Russian-émigré silversmith,
this style of work is coming back. The exhibition has 30 pieces by Galmer along with historic
pieces from the Museum collection.
12 HAMMER & TONG Mar/Apr 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Carroll County Farm Museum Historic Forge
The Guild and the Farm Museum have formalized the requirements for those who wish to
demonstrate in the Historic Forge. All new demonstrators need to meet the following requirements.
Become a BGCM member in good standing;
Attend a BGCM Historic Forge Demonstrator Orientation;
Demonstrate at 3 CCFM events with a qualified demonstrator;
Request that your name be added to the BGCM Historic Forge Demonstrator list.
Demonstrators who already have experience demonstrating in the Historic Forge do not have to go
through the process as described above. This is intended for new demonstrators.
An orientation session will be scheduled in April. The first CCFM event of the season will be the
Civil War reenactment weekend on 2/3 May, 2015
School tours to the Farm Museum will start up in April and will run until the end of the school year.
They will start up again in September. Anyone who is available on weekdays between 9am and 2pm,
Tue-Fri. Should contact David Gursky, Historic Forge Coordinator. 410.695.2582
[email protected]
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Jan/Feb 2015 HAMMER & TONG
Join us May 16 - 17, 2015 for the
Future of Forging
Matt Harris - Harris Metalsmith Studio, Perryville, MD
A leader in architectural metalwork, Matt began his career in
Blacksmithing and
apprenticeship with master blacksmith and industrial designer,
Alphonsus Moolenschot. After completing his apprenticeship, he
went on to work for the Michael Coldren Co. specializing in
historic and reproduction hardware and as an industrial
blacksmith for Guytano Mazzola at Mazzola & Sons, as well as a
few other large scale architectural shops.
In 2007, Matthew
opened Harris Metalsmith Studio forging a steady stream of
architectural projects, sculptures, vessels, and a line of furniture.
Aislinn Lewis - Anderson Blacksmith Shop, Colonial Williamsburg, VA
A passionate smith currently honing her skills as an Apprentice in the Anderson
Blacksmith Shop in Colonial Williamsburg. Like many, Aislinn’s craft began as
a hobby, forging at a small historical site, then as a member of the Heathsville
Forge Blacksmith Guild.
Soon her passion for historical work led her to the
American College of the Building Arts, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in
Ornamental Ironwork and trained under notable blacksmiths Jay Close and
Richard Guthrie.
Now under the guidance Master Blacksmith Ken Schwarz,
she brings life to artifacts and a little education along the way.
Sam Salvati - Baltimore Knife & Sword Co., Marriottsville, MD
A gifted bladesmith and blacksmith, Sam has always been
fascinated by swords of knights and samurai, and the traditional
utility blades of all different cultures. He is engaged by almost all
aspects of steel working, from welding and machining to heavy
industrial forging to fine artistic forging, but bladesmithing holds a
special place for him. The pursuit of knowledge and methodology
in bladesmithing led him to blacksmithing.
14 HAMMER & TONG Jan/Feb 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Blacksmith Days Schedule
Friday, May 15th
8:00 AM - ?? Set-up
6:00 PM - ?? Informal Social and Pot Luck Dinner
Saturday, May 16th
7:00 AM Tailgaters set up only
8:00 AM Gates Open; Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM - ?? Tailgating (Sales of Tools, Books, and Blacksmith’s Equipment)
9:00 AM - NOON Demonstrations
9:00 AM - NOON On-Site Forging Contest (Judging at Noon)
NOON - 1:00 PM Lunch - Iron-in-the-Hat Drawing @ 12:30 (Tickets on sale until 12:15)
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Demonstrations
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Judging for Home Forged Contest Items
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Live Auction of Forged Items
6:30 PM - ?? Dinner in the Museum Barn (Pre-Registration Required)
Demonstrators may speak briefly about their ventures into
Blacksmithing, followed by informal discussion. Presentations open to all registered attendees.
Presentation schedule to be announced.
Sunday, May 17th
8:00 AM Gates Open; Continental Breakfast (Tailgaters may enter at 7:00AM)
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Tailgating
9:00 AM - NOON Demonstrations
NOON Silent Auction Ends
NOON - 1:00 PM Lunch - Iron-in-the-Hat Drawing @ 12:30 (Tickets on sale until 12:15)
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Demonstrations
4:00 PM Raffle Drawings
Blacksmith Days 2015 Forging Contests
This year BGCM will have three contests. You may bring the completed forged items with you or you
will have the opportunity to forge it or finish it on Saturday in the BGCM School, first come forge
availability. A BGCM Forge Master must be present for the BGCM School forges to be used. The
BGCM Forge Master may provide technical assistance or advice with your contest item. The three
contest items are:
1. Forged Keychain – multi-tool in one: how many things can you make one forged keychain do?
2. Colonial or Sheffield style knife
3. Mini anvil – as small or large as you want to forge it
Contest Rules:
 Items must have been forged by the contestant since BSD 2014.
 Registered BSD 2015 attendees may use the forging stations in the BGCM School, Saturday, to
forge or finish the contest items.
 The forging contests will be judged by the demonstrators on the design, technical details, and
overall execution. The prizes will be awarded at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, May 16, 2015 before the live
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Jan/Feb 2015 HAMMER & TONG
The judges’ decisions are final.
First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded for each forging contest.
Please contact Ted McNett, BSD 2015 Chair, if you have any questions about the contests,
[email protected]
Blacksmith Coal
C & O Distributors Inc.
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
50 Lb. Bag – Members $10/Non-Members
514 Lucabaugh Mill Rd
Westminster MD 21157
410-876 1711
Available at:
Monthly Guild meetings and Open Forge Nights
Prices in effect once the new coal is bagged
Carries a wide variety of welding, grinding and farrier supplies
Blue Moon Press
Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc.
100Daniel Ridge Road, Candler, NC 28715
Tel: (828) 667-8868 Or (828) 665-1988
Fax: (828) 665-8303
Supporting the Art of Metal Work Around the World
Toll Free 866.627.6922
Iron Kiss Hammers
Modern Tools for the Modern Blacksmith
Phone: 804-530-0290
Blacksmith Supply P.O. Box 3766 Chester, Va.
Also check out for our line
of European Anvils
TEL:(410) 840-0440
FAX: (410) 840-1912
CELL: (443) 506-0924
Email [email protected]
Show BGCM Membership Badge foe 15% Discount
16 HAMMER & TONG Jan/Feb 2015
John Larson
[email protected]
100# Utility Hammer
Manufacturer of air hammers for
discerning smiths and metal
workers since 1996
Charles R. Dover
Blacksmith Tools and Punches
[email protected]
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Riley Welding and Fabricating, Inc.
(717) 637-6014
Fax: (717) 637-1106
EMAIL: [email protected]
234 POPLAR St.
HANOVER, Pa. 17331
Centaur Forge LLC - Wisconsin
117 North Spring Street
Burlington, WI 53105
Phone: 1-800-666-9175
Fax: (262) 763-8350
Chisels – Horseshoe Nails – Nail Headers –
Punches – Swage Blocks – Tongs – Wire
Calendar of Events 2015
Sunday, 15 March, 2015 Trade Item: A trivet
Sunday 26 April, 2015 Trade Item: A flower
Saturday/Sunday 16/17 May 2015 Blacksmith Days
Sunday, 14, Jun, 2015 Trade Item: Grill tool
Sunday, 19 July, 2015 Trade Item: Non-ferrous metal
Sunday, 16 Aug. 2015 Trade Item: A knife or edged tool
Sunday 27 Sept, 2015 Annual Crab feast/picnic need the outside pavilions
Item: Crab related item
Saturday, 24 Oct, 2015Principio Furnace Hammer-In
Sunday 25 Oct, 2015
Saturday, 21 Nov, 2015 Holiday party Trade Item: Christmas Tree Ornament
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Chili Cook-Off
Ice Cream Freeze-Off
Trade Item: Belt Buckle
Jan/Feb 2015 HAMMER & TONG
Upcoming Events
Apr 17 - 19, 2015 BGOP Spring Fling Featuring Mark Aspery and Williamsburg gunsmith Richard
The Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac is holding their annual Spring Fling on 17-19 April, 2015 on
the grounds of the Clarke County ruritan Fairgrounds, 890 W. Main St., Berryville, VA. This year’s
featured demonstrators will be Mark Aspery and Colonial Williamsburg gunsmith, Richard Sullivan.
Registration is $60 and goes up to $75 after 23 March and at the gate that weekend. This
includes meals starting with Friday supper through Sunday Lunch. There is camping on site along
with all the usual hoopla that goes with a hammer-in: tail-gating, iron-in-the-hat; auction, etc. The
registration form and further details are available on the BGOP webpage:
May 16 - 17, 2015 Blacksmith Days 2015 Featuring Matt Harris, Sam Salvati, and Aislinn Lewis
(See Flyer)
Oct 24, 2015 8th Annual BGCM Principio Hammer-In
Pictures from recent Forging an Iron Rose class.
18 HAMMER & TONG Jan/Feb 2015
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
BGCM Guild Meetings
The Guild meets monthly in the Blacksmith School on the grounds of the Carroll County Farm
Museum, 500 South Center Street, Westminster, Maryland. The school is open at 9:00 a.m.
LUNCH: Potluck. Please bring a hot dish, salad or dessert to share. Drinks and paper products
will be provided. The Iron in the Hat drawing is held after Lunch; bring items of use to blacksmiths
to donate and some money for tickets. There is a business meeting at 1:00 p.m.
*** Since the February Monthly meeting was cancelled for weather, members should bring
their February Trade Items, a blacksmith tool, to be exchanged at the March Meeting. ***
Sunday, Mar 15, 2015
Sunday Apr 26, 2015
Chili Cook-Off
Monthly Meeting
Trade Item: A Trivet
Trade Item: A Flower
BGCM Open Forge Evenings
There is a monthly Open Forge, on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6-9 pm.
Check the guild phone (410-386-9150) message to confirm the Forge will be open
Thursday Mar 12, 2015
Thursday Apr 9, 2015
BGCM Inclement Weather Policy
If Carroll County, Maryland, Schools have been closed for Thursday or are already closed
for the next day, Friday; then OPEN FORGE is cancelled for that Thursday night
If the winter weather seems bad or threatening on the day of a meeting or open forge, or if it
snowed on the weekend, we may have to cancel since the Farm Museum is closed to the public
during the winter and often the County does not plow out the Farm Museum until Monday.
Call the BGCM phone number, 410-386-9150, to check if the event has been cancelled.
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland
Jan/Feb 2015 HAMMER & TONG
Name ______________________________
Address ______________________________
City ______________________________
State ________ Zip ______________
Phone (_____) _____-________ Email: __________________________
 New Member
 Individual
 Renewal
 Family
(List ages of dependent children (_________________________________) Are you a member
Read and Sign liability release statement on reverse side of this form
Dues: $25 - Individual / $30 - Family
2015 Dues are Now Due
Membership dues are for the period:
January 1 through December 31
Includes a subscription to the Guild’s bimonthly newsletter,
Make checks payable to Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland and mail with completed and
signed application form to:
P. O. BOX 593
Randallstown, MD 21133
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------LIABILITY RELEASE
I understand that blacksmithing and other metal work are inherently dangerous activities and agree
to attend and participate in any and all BLACKSMITH GUILD OF CENTRAL MARYLAND events
at my own risk. Further, I agree to wear all required safety equipment including, but not limited to,
safety glasses. I understand if I am not wearing said safety equipment, I may be asked to leave
and agree to do so.
I release THE BLACKSMITH GUILD OF CENTRAL MARYLAND, INC., its members and officers
from liability should there occur an injury or accident while I am participating in any Guild sponsored
Signed: _______________________________________
20 HAMMER & TONG Jan/Feb 2015
Date: __________________
Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland