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Three Rivers Forge
Three Rivers Forge
Blacksmith - forging iron in order to bring a little bit of the wonderful trade to folks everywhere!
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Apprentice

Thank you! Your support means the world to me and I cannot thank you enough. It's because of great folks like you that I can experiment with new ideas, create new content, and keep the iron moving here at Three Rivers Forge!

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Firstly, you get my undying appreciation for your faith in me. Your support will help keep the iron moving here at Three Rivers Forge, making it possible to try new things and create new content.

Secondly, you can look forward to priority access to everything that happens here. Any posts I make are scheduled so that the higher tiers get them first. Discounts on merchandise, new videos and articles... everything is opened up to the highest tier members first.

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Like the previous tiers, you'll receive my undying appreciation for your support and priority access to all new content before it is opened up to the lower tiers.

To add to the bounty, you'll also receive a Three Rivers Forge t-shirt for your one-year anniversary as a token of my appreciation.

As the team grows, more benefits will be added.

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Recent posts

Three Rivers Forge

Carving Letters in Steel

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Three Rivers Forge

Okay, so back to blacksmithing. . . .

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One of the best things you can do for your shop or garage is install hard anchors.


Seriously, folks.  How many times have you needed to move something heavy but didn't have anywhere you could fix even a ratchet strap?

One good anchor in the ceiling, for example, makes it very easy to load and unload things from the bed of your truck.  While a fancy gantry crane might be nice, most of us don't have the room and really don't need such a thing very often.  With an anchor in the ceiling, though, you can drive your truck under it, lift the load until it clears the bed, and then drive out from under it.

With anchors fastened to the walls in strategic locations, you can use a rope and pulley to shift heavy tools and materials all over the place.  

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard guys complaining about how hard it is to move their heavy welding tables out of the way when they need the extra room.  All it takes, though, is a couple of places where you can fasten a block and tackle.... and you can shift that half-ton table with ease.

Okay, maybe it's not "easy", but it's a sure sight easier than trying to manhandle it with pry-bars and choice words!

Just remember that you have to be smart.  If you build your anchor points flimsy, they will rip out under load... and that makes for a very bad day.  Be smart.  Think it through.  Overkill the design and never try to lift or shift anything that is outside of your ability and experience.
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Three Rivers Forge

It's The Little Things That Count!

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Books for Blacksmiths 


If there was one book that I would say had a big impact on my thinking, both in the smithy and out, it would be the Ashley Book of Knots.

In short, people have forgotten just how useful rope is, and how little time has passed since rope was the only option even for something as simple as tying a parcel shut so you could mail it.  Today, we take things like glue and ratchet straps for granted, but they are rather new.

For the blacksmith and general hobbyist, the Ashley Book of Knots opens up new pathways in your thinking, helping you understand the world around you in a way that's hard to explain.  As the author shows, a few ropes and pulleys are enough to turn over entire ships for their regular maintenance.  Imagine how you can use that knowledge around your own homestead?

Need to carry a loaded bucket up the stairs?  Why not just pull it up from the balcony above?  Want to lash your canoe securely onto the roof of your car so you can enjoy a day on the river?  Or maybe you want to add some decoration to a tool handle so it doesn't "grow legs" when you do a demonstration?  All of that, and more, is in the Ashley Book of Knots.

The Ashley Book of Knots is considered the Grand Tome of rope work, and for good reason.  While it's a how-to book, it was written in the days following what is known as the Golden Age of Sail when wind-power was the only power for crossing the Seven Seas.  Clifford Ashley, the author, filled with his book with lots of stories and wonderful illustrations that help bring that world to life.  It's a work of art, to be honest.

Every week I have to lash steel down in the bed of my truck, and I use rope to do it because it's faster and easier than ratchet straps.  When I have to lift something heavy, it's easy because I have block-and-tackle to help.  When I have to move heavy equipment, instead of waiting on friends to volunteer, I can simply break out the rope and get the job done quickly and safely.  Plus, as a blacksmith, my ironwork looks great when paired with natural-fiber rope!

I highly recommend everyone own a copy of the Ashley Book of Knots.
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A project I’ve been wanting to make for a very long time.  


The cylinder has actually been cut for over a year, but got moved to the corner of the shop where it started collecting dust.
Remembering my brother’s offhand remark about how he’d enjoyed listening to bells like this when he was at a fair somewhere, I thought of this bell-in-the-waiting that was sitting in the corner looking so forlorn.

Suffice to say he loved it when he got it over the holidays.  Seventy pounds of American iron, first made in 1950, this cylinder was a bear to move as I was welding the loop in place, but I think it was worth all the effort.
Not a lot of blacksmithing, sure, but still a lot of valuable knowledge and experience gained.  Forging the loop from 5/8″ round bar was about as fun as you could imagine, but I got it done before it got me done, so that’s a win.  Overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out.  It was a good learning experience for the next bell that’s already cut and standing in the corner waiting for me.
If you’d like to help support the ironwork here at Three Rivers Forge, please consider grabbing yourself a shirt or hoodie - https://www.storefrontier.com/three-rivers-forge

Every bit helps, and is greatly appreciated.  You are the inspiration for what I do, don’t ever forget that.

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50 posts

Goals

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the Goal
The drill press is probably one of the most useful tools to have in the shop, and one that I use more than I would ever have imagined! To make it an even more versatile tool for the shop, when we reach this goal, we will add the excellent table made by Fireball Tools, or by shop for a vintage drill press that has better features, including a larger table. The addition of a larger table would allow for fixturing, the placement of jigs and fences, as well as supporting larger pieces. The drill press extension table sold by Fireball Tools is designed with the small shop in mind. Of course, if you're following along here at Three Rivers Forge, I'm sure you have the same passion for old tools that I do. Adding something like a Walker Turner radial arm drill press to the shop would be an amazing step forward. I can't say if one will be available at the time, or if it'll be available at a price I can afford, but I will certainly consider it an option. Small bricks build big walls, and little additions to the shop can make a tremendous difference in speed, efficiency, and design capabilities, as well as the overall ambience. Thank you for seeing the potential. Thank you for joining the team!

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