Category: practice

They see me scrollin’ they hatin’…

They see me scrollin’ they hatin’…

Today Jacob and I busted out a forged square c…

Today Jacob and I busted out a forged square corner in 1 x 1 1/2” steel… the hard way. Now to forge down some wrought iron boat chain to size, make three more, and turn them into historically-matchy hinges for that monster gate!

#practice #getitrightthefirsttime #blacksmith #blacksmithing #crafts#history #metalwork #maker #make #likeagirl #badass

One does not simply forge a Balrog. One makes …

One does not simply forge a Balrog. One makes it five times in clay with the actual tools, calipers, and a digital scale, photographing progress along the way.

#onedoesnotsimply#onedoesnotsimplywalkintomordor#blacksmith #bladesmith #maker #make#getitrightthefirsttime # Tolkien #lordoftherings #lotr #metalwork #art#artistsoninstagram #challengeyourself#badass

Now i have reached a stage where i am pretty sure, out of all the products i make which ones will…

Now i have reached a stage where i am pretty sure, out of all the products i make which ones will sell for Christmas but it has not always been that way. Obviously working exclusively in mild steel i was limited at the start on what to make, let alone sell. I found solace in the arms of a horseshoe.

I decided however, that i would make these products my own, rather than just making the same things id seen round the place or on the interweb! There is one glaring example where i did do what everyone else does though because i was asked to and that was make a horse shoe wine rack! Life conspired against me by offering me money to make a wine rack for a customer, that triggered me making more wine racks than anything else my first year and i am grateful for the push!

Yet again like yesterday, my plan was altered away from what it started out as. This is going to happen in all things and remember to be flexible to a because money buys you freedom to some extent. Freedom to make and sell what you want but still having some stock of the things you know sell well.

6 bottle wine rack
This is one of two i made for the same person and it looks amazing with silver paint and full of wine!
3 bottle wine rack
I never wanted to make these but people love them so sometimes go where the money takes you so you can have the freedom to make what you want to!

So i wanted to make a small! Something everyone could afford and would be useful! Still with the horseshoes but new ones this time! I thought what is it everyone has these days and most people are glued to? IPads, Tablets and Mobile Phones. I decided to design and make an iPad stand that would also be good for Kitchen use with big recipe books so therefore open to a lot of prospective customers of all ages. It had to be cheap but still be bespoke and hand made! This is what i came up with:

I thought long and hard about what this needed to achieve IE: a tablet or a book resting on it so needed to be wide enough but also stable so the book would not fall over. I have sold a good amount of these as they are not expensive and serve a purpose that most people can relate to and therefore may need!

Always look at what people may need and like my wheel stoves, you may not know if they will sell. Once you have the design and how to make it sorted out make them to order so if you do not get any orders it doesn’t cost you anything.

There are a lot of little makers in the world so marketing is important too. Go see an earlier blog where i explain that! (Marketing Tips With A Twist!) 

Let me know what you are making it does not have to be metal work and if you are unsure how to sell what you make or want any pointers email me Here

All  your Christmas Products needs can be found on the Etsy Shop Right here you never know you may find the answer you to your gift worries there!

Christmas Products!

Now i have reached a stage where i am pretty sure, out of all the products i make which ones will sell for Christmas but it has not always been that way.

Illness is just plain boring. I was sat in bed thinking I can take this opportunity to think out all…

Illness is just plain boring. I was sat in bed thinking I can take this opportunity to think out all my blogs and make plans! Do you know what i actually did? Nothing i was just ill my brain was on fire and it was all bad! Now i am just left with the most annoying cough in the land! You cough all you want but nothing ever happens! Anyway before i get into the dos and do nots of illness let move back on to the topic of metalwork and providing you with insights and tips as well as seeing if i can make it relevant to life in general to!

I wanted to look at the topic of evolution. No not the animal kingdom but the way things you make often evolve from the design you had in mind, be it because what you thought of does not work or simply that you find a better, bolder, stronger and maybe easier way of doing things.

The bench I am making for my friends Kerry and Spencer. It started off as an industrial bench with two legs made from 40 x 40 x 3mm box section. This would have given a clean look in the industrial fashion but in reality when you are looking at something that is going to get a lot of use you have to be aware of the fact that it needs to be solid enough to take on two maybe three people! It also needs to be strong enough to have kids jumping all over it and not collapse after 10 minutes which sadly is what would have happened if i had left the design untouched!

As you can see from the pictures the bench looks great but it simply would not last! Obviously I am frustrated because I have this idea in my head which I cant move past right away! So i did what I always do in times of uncertainty. I send a whats app message to the guys I share the yard with and got their opinion. Usually there is some piss taking that goes on but they usually come up with a plan if i cant or support or shoot down a theory i have depending on how stupid i am being! Alex suggested side supports welded to the legs and then screwed to the wood. I wanted to stay with the clean lines but knew this would be the best way to move on. As i now had confirmation from someone i trust that the idea would work that is what i did!

There is a lesson here somewhere and it goes like this. Do not be afraid to deviate from your plan as if it’s not going to work there is no point in holding on to it. Also, if you have people around you that you can trust to give you good advice, make sure you run your new plans by them. You do not have to be alone in these things, seek advice where you can or even just confirmation of what you know as that way you will not have to keep making mistakes through lack of knowledge.

All the bench parts

With all the parts made and smoothed and ready for paint it wont be long now till its done!

Its all ready to go to paint and by that I mean I have to rattle can paint it which I hate as I am not good at it but i am learning. Ill do another bench blog to show you the end result, that way you can see what has taken me so long to create.

This also may give you an idea for something you might want built or want to build your self and if i can be of any help let me know.

Tomorrows blog is all about looking at products for Christmas as that is a time when everybody has half an eye on what would make a great present for great aunt Joyce. Lets see if i can get you thinking on what to get her. Have a look at my Etsy shop and you can see what i sell at this time of year! Click me!

I Left You For A Time But I Am Back Now Building Benches!

Illness is just plain boring. I was sat in bed thinking I can take this opportunity to think out all my blogs and make plans!

You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To!

2 years ago i could hardly make my bed and to be honest im still not too good at it. I do however seem to have found something i can make. Furniture! In the past two years ive learned enough about metalwork, welding and construction  to make furniture for my own house as well as making tables etc for selling. I can not describe to you the feeling that gives me. Im not telling you this to brag or…

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Guest Blogger Vicky Fraser Has More to Say on Pricing!

I emailed Vicky to let her know i was singing her praises for being a teacher of marketing and helping me to move forward and she kindly said she would give me a guest blog post to post out to you guys! This is great as its my first guest and someone i know, knows what she is talking about! This is Vicky’s book which i bought and it continues to help me now!There is a link to her site and the…

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How Much!!!!?

It cant be about money when you start up! The ugly subject of money has to enter into this metalwork bliss at some point I suppose. When you first start you have to learn enough to make sure what you make stays together and is worthy of selling. Took me a while to get there i can tell you. Everyone tells you there is an equation for working out what your products ‘owe’ you. I’ve taken it from…

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I Delivered Yesterday!

Not only did i make something for a client but i was as there when it was put in place and saw the reaction of he people it was made for! This  as great! Sometimes you have to see the end-user and what they are going to do with what you made then and also see if they are happy with your work! Very often if you make something and sell it over the internet you never hear from the people again. Some…

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I Am Struggling To Find The Right Way To Do This!

I Am Struggling To Find The Right Way To Do This!

Often I am looking for a way to make something. The trouble with me is that I am always looking for the RIGHT way to do things. There are always a few ways of reaching the same goal in different manners. Which way is the right way? They all are! If what you are trying to do has several ways that work for you but Mr Know It All tells you its the wrong way to do it, ask yourself two questions: 1:…

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