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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Journeyman

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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  • When you subscribe, you are very much joining the team. Support from folks like you is what makes this whole adventure possible.

Recent posts

Three Rivers Forge
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Books for Blacksmiths

The Cosira books are, in my estimation, a very solid purchase no matter the subject.  In this case, their Decorative Ironwork is one of those blacksmithing books I'm happy to recommend.

I'm a sucker for the older style of writing and while the photographs might not be as amazing as what we could do today.... they are still fantastic!

Best of all, this book gives you actual measurements.  It's rare to find recipes because so many people today are stuck on this notion of just going with the flow and doing what you want.  This, of course, makes it impossible to judge works because there isn't a standard to measure by.

This is an intermediate level book, I think.  The projects require a level of familiarity with the processes of the smithy.  Anyone who completes these projects will certainly have bragging rights and it's been a longtime desire of mine to start at page one and simply forge every project between the covers.  Maybe that'd make for some good content?  Interested in seeing something like that?

It would certainly be a very good learning experience.  The projects might not be something you need for your home or a customer, but they would look fantastic simply as wall decorations.  If you do good work, let your work speak for you.

Decorative Ironwork is a valuable asset to have in your personal library.  Usually found online for less than twenty dollars delivered to your door, it's one of those purchases that it is hard to argue against.  It provides very simple, clear instructions, with photographs and measurements so you can check your work.  While the projects might seem daunting, being able to successfully forge even a small element from each project will pay dividends in your smithing career.

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Three Rivers Forge

Ropes and Pulleys - Moving Heavy Stuff

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Three Rivers Forge
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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
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

Forging an Auger! 

Our ancestors certainly earned their honor. Every once in awhile, I'm reminded of what those who came before us had to go through just to end up with something we take for granted today.

Videos like this are also a great way to show people why blacksmiths charge as much as they do. We tend to think in terms of mass production, big factories with amazing machines that can churn out thousands of parts in just a few minutes. It's really easy to forget that doing the same thing by hand takes hours and hours of hard work!

Many thanks to Eugenio Monesma for taking the time to record the many trades in his region of Spain.  It's truly great to watch the old skills being kept alive, and that scenery is just amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukpuEjCW5EU
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Three Rivers Forge
Public post

Drill Guides -- The Forgotten Tool. 

Even though I own a set, I will still often forget to use one.... and always to my detriment.

Big Gator Tools makes what I consider the preeminent drill guides. No affiliation, sadly, but I have no problem recommending their product because it's solid quality, made in America, and more useful than you might imagine.
As a blacksmith, I often have to use a hand drill to make a hole because the workpiece is too large for the drill press. The Big Gator drill guide makes that job a lot easier and helps to guarantee that the hole will be oriented properly! 
They even offer "tap guides", a wonderful tool that helps make sure your tap is perpendicular to the work when you're trying to cut threads into a hole.  If you've ever had to hand-tap a few holes, you know how aggravating it can be -- especially when you get done and find out one hole is catty-wompus!
I can't say enough good about Big Gator Tools and their wonderful creation. If you don't have a set, get a set. You might only use them once a year, but when you need them.... you'll be glad you have them!

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53 posts

Goals

$197
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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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