Three Rivers Forge profile
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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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

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Crusader's Shield flint striker. . . . .

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The Cornucopia Flint Striker. . . .

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It starts with an idea. After that, it's all down to how much grit and determination you can must...

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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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Three Rivers Forge
Public post

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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Three Rivers Forge
Public post

Made me proud!


Not but a few days ago, a gent popped up on one of the forums to ask about shaping some steel into the bowl of a ladle.  I've had this happen dozens of times, but I was happy for the chance to again share what I could.

Imagine my surprise when not even a day after I shared with him the special knowledge of what I call the Steel Puck of Awesomeness.... he'd made his very own and done a fantastic job of it!  

Too often, folks will say they're going to do something and you never hear back about it.

Well, that got us talking about hammers for dishing steel and he remarked how he didn't like the standard ball-peen hammer because it was too short.  He did a few minutes researched, determined that the cost of buying a brand new dishing hammer was a bit more than he wanted to spend, and asked if he could just make a hammer out of some old half-shaft he had laying around.

After receiving the appropriate positive reinforcement, wouldn't you know it be he shows up the very next day with the hammer all done, and wonderfully so.  He thought outside the box, worked with what he had, and executed a very solid prototype that will serve him for decades ahead!

Gotta say, he sure made me proud.  I was surprised, sure, but only because so many people are procrastinators like myself.  Within half a week, JW had made his steel puck, hammer and finished a dish that he can use as a Christmas gift.  

This is what the community is all about.  We can give advice all day long, but seeing a return on the investment like this is a very rare thing.  I'm glad I could play a small part in JW's growing collection of tools and knowledge.
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Goals

$193
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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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