Monday, October 14, 2019

To all our family and friends, Judy & I take this opportunity to wish each and everyone, a very Happy Thanksgiving and a year ahead to be very generous to you all.
We are thank full to have you as our family and our friends, thankful for our health, and the talent to give. In Judy's case, her knitting, which is distributed free by the West Carleton Knitters to those who are elderly and in care facilities, the less fortunate and/or in need. For me to give those of you who enjoy square dancing with us, some pleasure, challenge, and laughter while dancing in our clubs. 
I am particularly thankful to have brothers Dave and George with me in the Blacksmith Shop on Friday At The Forge, as we celebrate our first year mark of learning this craft. It has been a blast for sure.

To our square dancers at Adams Aces, the schools are closed today so no dancing tonight, next Monday is Election Day, Oct. 21st. and Aces has been moved to the small gym at the rear of the school, come in the same door and walk all the way to the end of that corridor. 
Next Sunday, October 20 is Cookie Club at Roy G. Hobbs Community Centre, 2:00 to 4:00 PM full Advanced dancing.

That's all I have to write about today, enjoy the day, eat well, and I'll see when we are all a little older. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


Fall is now upon us, Square Dancing is in full speed ahead, the Trailer is all closed up and put to sleep for the upcoming winter, and "Friday At The Froge" is hot.
It looks like the Village Squares will have a full square of New Dancers this year, which is a good thing. Our Program at the Village Squares is "7:00 - 7:30 Plus Dancing", "7:30 - 8:45 Basic Teaching and Dancing", "8:45 - 10:00 Mainstream Dancing and review where required".

Adams Aces of course is well underway at Queen Elizabeth School on St. Laurent Blvd. from 8:00 - 10:00 and is in full positional dance mode with assistance where required, and as we build our confidence we will nudge our way into some A2 stuff just for fun. 

The Cookie Club hasn't started for the season yet, but will fire up it's engine on Sunday October 20th. from 2:00 - 4:00 at the Roy G Hobb Centre in Orleans, our program there is full Advanced on the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th, Sunday of each month.

Friday At The Forge is in full operation with many projects to build, if you have something in mind from the Blacksmith Shop  that you might like, we will try to produce it. We can make "Fire Place Pokers", "Coat Hooks", "Candle Holders", and "Knives", and some leather craft as well, but we will try to produce your "made of steel ideas" if possible. 

Well, that about all I have to tell you for now, life is full of fun and excitement, Square Dancing, Blacksmithing, playing Lap Steel guitar, or Drawing and making Leather Craft projects there is never a dull moment. 
Take care of yourself and each other and I will see you on the Dance Floor or when we are both older.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Indeed, where does the time go? It was a wet spring, just the other day, we went on vacation and it got very hot here and wet where we were, we returned from vacation enjoy a few day at the lake with a fire ban, obviously not much rain here while we were gone and now we are already finished our second week of Square Dancing, and I haven't even mentioned Friday At The Forge.
Square Dancing is going very well this fall, the Village Squares have a class of New Dancers, and almost four squares of returning dancers. Adams Aces is also doing well with four Squares posibly five when everyone is out.
Friday At The Forge is great, of course, we have a few knives on the go at this time, one a Hunting Knife, another is a Chef's Knive which looks like a Clever.
I am very happy with this one "ADAMS BROTHER'S #2" aka "THE HUNTER #1" and it's sheath, which was my first experience with tooling and dying leather. Heat treating the steel is still very much a learning thing, with a good bit of trial and error process and reading. We had one knive tang after heat treat was so hard we couldn't get the drill to even mark it.
"ADAMS BROTHERS #1" Pictured on the left, looks very  comfortable in it's new home. It is a big knife, which I am so proud and happy to have made.
Sometimes, when I get to thinking, I wonder what it would be like to be bored, or not to have an adventure to persue.

Oh me, oh my, what will we do next ? Make a Tee Shirt which could look something like this one. 


Okay,  that all I have for today take care of yoursaelf and each other and I'll see you on the Dance Floor or when we are older.

Saturday, June 15, 2019


Good rainy Saturday morning, as you know yesterday was Friday at the forge where again we started forging out another knife. This one is our #3 which we started with a piece of 3x4x3/8 spring steel the same as #2, and follows the same Adams Brothers design. Both blades are ready for brother George to put the Fuller Grooves in on the lathe and then I will do the heat treatment and tempered each blade, hopefully this process will go as well as it did with #1.
This is the starting picture and the next picture is where we had to call it a day

Anyway it was a good day as well as being very productive one. That’s all I have for you today, take care of yourself and each other, and I’ll see you when I’m older.

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Good morning readers, Friday at the Forge was very busy today, with three projects on the go. Project #1 was to rebuild a campfire cooking grill, which I didn’t take a picture of, but it was 30” x 28” with 3 layers of expanded metal welded to the top and bottom which were  completely burned and rusted out. The expanded metal I cut off and cleaned the frame at home, which took a couple of hours. At the shop using 3 pieces of 1” square 100 wall tubing 30” long we welded them to the underside of the grill and using 2 bbq grills welded them to the top of the grill and we had a very good open-fire cooking grill. If anyone is looking for an open fire cooking grill 28” x 30”, we will make you one for $150.00 that will outlast anything you can buy in a store.
My next project was to finish the 2 fire-pokers I didn’t finish last week, so with some time left before lunch I finished them. They available for $20.00 each, if you want one. Now for the last project to do today was to start a new knife. Starting with a piece of Spring Steel 3” x 4” x 3/8, a lot of heat and a good power hammer, we managed to get it roughed out to the basic shape.

Our normal routine is to go to Embrun for lunch, the same guys are there almost every Friday and we all chat about the weather and the crops and the gossip from the forging shop. Yesterday we were talking about large equipment and a picture of Chris’s John Deere tractor out in Stony Plains, one guy asked why I go to Stony Plain, so I told him the short version of the reason but did use Gavin’s name, which turned out that the guy I was chatting with actually knew Gavin and had skydived with him in Embrun. Wow, it sure is a small world.
That’s all I have for today, take care & I’ll see you when I’m older.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Monday, what on earth am I doing at the Forge on a Monday? Well let me say we were trying to finish up the knife project because I plan to go camping on the weekend, provided it doesn't snow. Also this should give a review of what happens from start to finish, when you take on a project, such as a knife.

To start with I made a drawing of what I wanted to make, as a somewhat of a beginner Blacksmith and that would allow me to gain the  required skills  and development, in learning how to hammer, strike correctly, and how the steel reacts to the hammer blows, as well as learning about Quenching and Heat Treating the steel to obtain the best results.

Brother Dave with his excellent skill with the zip-cutter, cut out a mild steel 1/8 inch template which we could follow while forging the blade. 

Then choose the steel which was 1/2 inch thick by 3 inches wide and about 10 inches long, which was the rear Leaf Spring from a big old dump truck.

We cleaned most of the rust off it, welded a chunk of round bar on one end to use as a handle and put it in the forge. Using mostly the power hammer we drew (drawing something out means you do not loose any steel you just make it longer or wider and more dense by hammering it) it out to about 19 inches long and about 2 1/4 inches wide, tapering it down on one side which would become the blade edge. Also somewhat of the shape of the template, Dave went at it with the Disk-Grinder and it started to take the shape we wanted.

The next step in this process was to see what it would really look like when completed. So I got some Brass and again Dave with the zip-cut made it the shape I wanted, while I cut out a couple of Oak Scales to mount for the  temporarily handle.

Now comes the scary part, the Quench and the heat treating of the blade. If we quench too cool it will not take, if we overheat it it becomes too hard, it must be just the right temperature which is between 1450 & 1500 degrees Fahrenheit (also known as critical temperature). This nonmagnetic, and must be quenched in warm oil at about 130 to 140 degrees. We are so lucky because we got it right, on the first try. Next comes the tempering, which makes the blade neither too hard or too soft, but is durable and will take an edge. This is done by placing the blade in a 500 to 550 degree oven for an hour, then shut the oven off and allow everything to cool. When it comes out of the oven it will look like this. 
The colouring now has to be cleaned off and the blade returned to normal colour. Again luck was on our side, and the blade turned out perfect, with the help of a little elbow grease and some emery paper. At this point all we have to do is install the Cocobolo Wood handle scales and Brass pins, sand everything smooth and make sure it feels good in the hand and we are done.

Well, almost done, every knife needs a leather sheath to carry it in, and no you can't buy one at any store to fit this knife, so the only thing to do is make one. Something new to learn. 
Which is exactly what I did, and there you have it. One completed project. Hand made right from scratch. This story is my way of of saying to anyone, that if you want to do something, anything, then figure out what you want to do, then just go do it and don't stop till you have it completed. 
Should you ever wonder what this old Square Dance Caller would do when I retire from calling, I'll tell you I don't know off the top of my head, but I'm sure there is  something out there somewhere I might want to turn my hands or mind to.
That's all I have for today, hopefully you will enjoy reading this and have a wonderful summer. Take care of yourself and each other and I'll see you when I see you.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


Well now, what a very interesting and almost scary day of heat treating steel. After watching some You Tube videos and one in particular from The National Research Council on tempering and heat treating steel, I felt ready to take the adventure, knowing all that could go wrong, and writing out a step by step procedure, and rehearsing the procedure, then making sure I was following every step, we began. 

Step 1. The Quench: Clean the steel so that it is free of slag, dirt & oil. Prepare the forge, and the quenching container to be in close proximity of each other and heat the Quenching Oil to 130/140 Degrees Fahrenheit, because hot oil has less viscosity and therefore cools quicker than cold oil.

Step 2. Heat the steel to be quenched to between 1450 & 1500 Degrees Fahrenheit (Critical Temperature or the state of nonmagnetic) evenly, so that the entire piece reaches Critical Temperature at the same time. Then quench it in the hot oil being very careful not to cause a flash flare up of the oil, move the steel slowly up and down in the oil to reduce air bubbles until it reaches between 400 /600 Degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step 3. At this point we removed the steel from the quench and placed it between two pieces of angle iron positioned in the vise, and clamped the steel between the angle iron and tighten the vise, this procedure eliminates warping and twisting of the steel and allows it to cool to the touch.

Step 4. When the steel was cooled we removed it from the vise and closely checked it for straightness, hardness, cracks, & cold shuts, etc. Then clean off all the slag created by from the forge, from it and shine it, install the brass guards, and it is ready to temper. 

Step 5. Tempering, this took place when we placed the steel in a preheated oven at 500 Degrees Fahrenheit for a period of one hour and the cooled while remaining in the oven. This results in a beautiful purple colour  with a narrow strip of blue on the edge. This is exactly what we want and where this part of the story ends.  

From here we must clean it, shine it, sharpen it and install the handle, which will take place next week.