These two brooms are for hanging in a cabin. The handles are white tail deer antlers. They are a bit longer and thinner so they can reach up and clean the cobwebs from the upper reaches of a cabin. They should definitely not be laid down in a corner as they will take on a permanent bent.
I probably only have a couple more brooms and then I'll be ready to move on to forging. Ran into a few issues with the scar tissue, so it took a bit longer than expected.
Spent most of the Fall and early winter gimping around. Finally got so bad that I had it checked and found that the hip was trashed pretty bad. Finally able to get back to doing some odds and ends. Trading some elk and deer antlers for some some brooms.
Most of the antlers were pretty bleached from the sun so the antlers were stained using KMnO4 (Potassium permanganate) and then buffed with paste wax.
So many things on the to-do list but I know I want to forge a fireplace set for someone building a new home. I also know that I don't want to make a traditional fireplace broom. The one's I've seen look sorta just 'stuck on there'. So I've decided to make my own hearth brooms ... at least for this project... and have begun learning how to make broom and work my way up to a broom with a forged handle.
The first of these is the Turkey Tail broom; the blue broom is the first try and easy probably the most straightforward. The Turkey Tail style is named for the brooms made from a bundle of turkey feathers. I messed up, but it still came out okay.
The second broom (green) is a Hawks Tail and is the style I'll likely use in the future. It is a bit like two Turkey Tail brooms side by side. There is a bit more that will be added to the top of the Hawks Tail broom.
Some recent things off the anvil. The pigtail steak turners are all right handed and forged from high carbon railroad spikes. They are roughly 16" in length.
The grill cleaner is forged from mild steel (3/8" square stock x 20" with about a size 3" cup). To use it, an onion is placed on the spike in the cup, and using the handle to hold the cup, the onion is rubbed over the BBQ grate. This is much safer than using brass bristles.
Getting back into the forging a bit and also learning about the new induction forge. Key point: don't have the diameter of the coil too large or it will take forever (if ever) for the eddy currents to find the heat. In turn, this means that it will require considerably more work to draw out the metal.
Starting with simple steak turners based on some railroad spikes.
Some simple door knobs for the new cabinets at home. Finally putting some of our things at the top of the list.
Got the new induction forge hooked up. Finished the curtain rods, finials, and brackets for the 4UR ranch
I think I've gotten a reasonable handle on the coffee / tea spoons. There's a lot more I'd like to do but time to let it rest for a bit. Here's a sample of the tools and most recent results
... with apologies to Emily Dickinson. Just over a year ago a fist sized part of my brain died. A bit of plaque traveled up through my arteries and cut off circulation to my brain. No warning, no previous history; just sitting here reading a book. In the middle of snowstorm my wife drove me over Wolf Creek Pass thinking I may have had a heart attack. Nope. Pretty serious shit. The initial scan indicated that I had lost portions of three major areas of the left side of my brain. After the MRI scan pretty sure my wife expected a vegetable, maybe broccoli or corn since they are general favorites.
But most things came back. Things were off a bit but started some minimal forging a few months later, e.g. a few hooks and squirrel cookers.
And then my right should fell off. Well, almost. I had one tendon keeping it all together. All my muscles that were sorta keeping my shoulder together had atrophied from the stroke. In May 2021 I had a left shoulder reverse replacement.
So now, about a year later, I'm back to very simple forging. It happened that an acquaintance/teacher was passing through Creede and she offered me an introductory class in Higo Zogan. I had tried learning on my own a few years ago and it didn't go well. Nunome Zogan is Japanese overlay using various non-ferrous metals overlaid on Brass. Higo Zogan is non-ferrous metals overlaid on Steel. In higo zogan, silver or copper overlay is about 3mil (0.008") thick. An average human hair is about 0.004" thick.
The combination of minor forging and the delicate nature of the overlay is a pretty good combination and things are coming along.
For now, here are some simple bits of my current work. (There is a mix of both copper and silver overlay in the pictures.) Lots of folks are forging copper spoons, but the overlay is very unique.
the Mad tinker
Just an archive of projects as they progress. Nothing really to see here. Move along ...