Friday, February 15, 2019


Well now, let me tell you, this was quite a day to be at the forge, as we had another friend, Tony, come along for a day at the forge with the Brothers 3. So of course we put him to work drawing out a piece of square bar from 1 1/8 inches to 7/8 of an inch, allowing it to fit into the hardy hole on the anvil. There were a few times I noticed that his forehead was pretty wet with beads of sweat from working between the forge and the power hammer, as well as swinging the hand held hammer. His best comment at the end of the day was "Forging and swinging a hammer, looks like a lot of fun, but the novelty wears off rather quickly". He did say he had a good time hanging out with us, and he did mistakenly pick up a piece of hot steel, but not for long.

I had seen a blacksmith using a Guillotine tool, which is very useful, and can be used for many applications from cutting off a hunk of hot steel or making a groove around the end of a bar before you "upset it" make it fatter by hitting on the end you want to increase the diameter of, or making a groove in a blade, etc. I got the steel yesterday and we made it first thing this morning. We only made one set of dies today, but we will make more as we need them and we will need them. Then I made 2 more coat hook like I did last week, after lunch. Looking back a couple of week when I spent 2 hours on a 20 minute job, today I turned out 2 in about 35 minutes. So speed-wise I think I'm improving. Here are a couple of pictures of my Guillotine Tool.
Guillotine Closed no steel
Open Steel round bar inserted

Side view steel round bar inserted
 All in all, just a great day, and lots of fun. I must say a huge "Thank You" to My Brother Dave, for letting me have more fun than than the law should allow.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Good -17C Cookie Club Sunday Morning to you, the wind has died off to about 9 km/h out of the West, which is a good thing and better still is that it will be sunny most of the day and the temperature might get to -8 or -9 C by mid-afternoon. The weather man has finally given the Cookie Club Dancers a travel break.
The Program for the Cookie Club is as many Advanced Calls we can get covered, plus work on "Split Circulates & All 8 Circulate a little", "Chain Reaction from a Left Hand Quarter Tag", "Reverse Recycle", "Waves of Three", and "Wheel & Deal". This should fill the afternoon with some interesting dancing, I hope!
Tomorrow evening is Adams Aces, and again it looks like the weatherman is going to give us a break with some good driving weather for a change. Remember we start at 8:00 PM. Also remember Circulate means to take the position of the dancer in front of you, along the Circulating Path.
That is all I have for today folks, I think I'll go make me-self a batch of Tea Biscuits, run my half-brain over the A2 Call List, whilst you are getting up having breakfast and getting ready for church. Take care of yourself and each other and I'll see you on the Dance Floor.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


Good morning to you on this -12 C with 35/45 km/h wind out of the West. I know I'm late getting this posted but I slept in. 

This was another great day at the forge, things went better this week and not too many errors, although, I didn't get forge-welding anything. We did manage to turn out 2 coat hooks, one out of flat-stock and one out of round stock. We forged a ball on each end and a couple of bends and a couple of holes punched, which only took a couple of hours when we subtract the talk time or listening to Willie time which is also very important. Now you might think there's not much skill in making these, and you are correct, so my advice is, go get yourself a Forge, an Anvil, and a couple of Hammers, and get to it. You will find "it's drop dead easy" (a PAism).

 For us it's a great day to be at the Forge and having fun, like 3 young Brothers hanging out together, and doing whatever we want, whenever we want, which I think is an invaluable slice of life we are so lucky to have, and knowing that very few people ever get the opportunity to enjoy.

Cookie Club tomorrow. Take care of yourself and each other and I'll see you either on the Dance Floor or at the Forge.

Saturday, February 2, 2019


If I were a Groundhog I would not be coming out of my hole today, because it is -20 C outside. 
I can now say the power hammer that my brother Dave has built completely, starting with an idea and turning that idea into what is now a fully functional working piece of machinery that will transform a piece of hot steel into any shape you desire, and sure saves the arm. Thank you Dave! If you need one for your shop just give me a shout and we'll see what we can do for you.
I'm still working on my forge welding, but so far we only have had minimal to no success, however, we will keep trying and we will definitely get success eventually.

Square Dancers this afternoon Frosty Fling 2:00 - 4:30 PM at St. Pats High School, on Alta Vista, Geoff Clarke and Bob Summers, Calling and Gerry Sawtell cueing Rounds. Tomorrow is our Callers Meeting, and Monday is Adams Aces, so lots going on. Winterlude started yesterday in the City with lot of things to do there as well.
Take care of yourself and each other and I'll see you on the Dance Floor.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


Good morning to you and to what looks like kind of nasty weather again. The temperature is - 12 C with a 18 km/h wind from the East making it feel like -18 C. The only good thing is that the snow  and blowing snow is going to stop around 11:00 AM and it will mild up to about -5 C or so and based on that the Cookie Club will dance this afternoon, which is a good thing because, if I have to cancel again I'll likely forget how to Call.
A couple of things I have on the Program besides all the Calls on the A2 List  are  "All 8 Circulates & Split Circulates", "Scoot Chain Thru from Quarter Tag", "1/2 Out Roll Circulate" & "Wheel & Deal". This should pretty well round out the Program.
That's all I have for now, take care of yourself and each other and hopefully the roads will be okay for driving, and we will see you on the Dance Floor this afternoon.  

Saturday, January 26, 2019


Learning is fun, learning can be frustrating, learning takes time, all in all, if we can learn something in a short period of time and remember that which we have learned things will get easier. 
      So I watched video on how to forge a coat hook or coat hanger, made out of a 12 inch by 1 inch by 1/4 inch chunk of mild steel, which could be done in about 20 minutes. 
    However, that is not the case when you are learning, first we did the layout, then get the steel red hot and start beating on it trying to form a rounded ball on each end, then bend this steel to make a hook to hang your coat on. So, trying to form a ball on each end and keep everything in line and true as you go, after a while the hammer arm starts to tire and the grip on the hammer gets weaker, and the sweat on your forehead is running into your eyes, what do you do? 
   Give it all over to your brother, who gets right at it ,heat & hammer, heat & hammer, very soon the sweat beads are forming on his forehead, but looking on the bright side we are almost to the shape we want.    
 Guess what happens next, our mentor Steve walks in and asks what we are doing? So I told him we were 2 hours into a 20 minute job, which we were and he laughed, at what I didn't think was all that funny. Then he says" Why didn't you make it out of a round bar, make the ball in the vise, flatten out the middle section make the bends and your done. "DUH"! Gee sometimes I can be pretty dumb, like why would a person in their right mind try to flog a chunk of flat bar into a round ball, when the round bar is right there in the steel rack.
  You may laugh if you like, but some day, I will learn how to do this stuff (I hope). 
Take care of yourself and each other and I'll see you on the Dance Floor.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Good morning, this is terrible weather, cold, snowing, and windy therefore we will CANCEL the Cookie Club for this afternoon.
Take care if you are out in this very bad weather and I'll see you on the Dance Floor another day.