Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Brown County Forge!

The blacksmith shop will be closing up for the next couple of weeks to celebrate the holiday season. If you leave a message, we’ll get back to you after the holidays.

Terran and everyone at the forge hope to see you in the new year!

Demonstrations at Artisan Alley Tomorrow!

Artisan Alley Bloomington Indiana

Come out and see Terran demonstrate blacksmithing techniques at the Artisan Alley Art Market. He’ll be hand-forging hooks, doing some beeswax finishing, and providing some excellent Christmas gifts.

There are still some January class times available. Check out the Calendar and give an experience this Christmas!

To get to Artisan Alley: Point Google Maps to 1607 S. Rogers St in Bloomington and Brown County Forge will be at the end of it. We’ll see you there!

Finishing Metal with Beeswax One Piece at a Time

Beeswax Finished Hooks

At Brown County Forge we finish each of our pieces by hand with hot beeswax. Once a hook has been forged, we set it aside to cool completely. After it cools we take the following steps to finish it:

  1. Reheat the piece so it’s hot enough to melt wax. This takes some trial and error at first to get the heat just right. Too hot and it will catch fire. While this is more surprising than dangerous when it happens, it also doesn’t allow the beeswax to penetrate the metal. If it’s too cold, the beeswax won’t melt.
  2. Rub a piece of beeswax onto the metal until it’s coated completely. It’s okay if it’s dripping at this point. We usually put down a large piece of cardboard to keep the floor clean.
  3. Wipe off the excess beeswax to reveal a well-sealed, slightly darker piece that’s now ready to be used!

The following video details the process from start to finish. Enjoy!

Want to learn more? Check out our Class Offerings or Follow Us on Facebook.

Forging Unbreakable Bottle Openers (video)

 

Brown County bottle openers

This is the first video in a series of videos about how we make things at Brown County Forge. We’re very partial to the written word, but sometimes seeing the process in action trumps everything else.

The following video is an unedited 7 minutes. In it you’ll see Terran forge three bottle openers simultaneously using basic techniques like flattening, bending, scrolling, and forge management. While one soon-to-be bottle opener is going in the forge, another is coming out to get worked on. We hope you enjoy it!

And the finished product doing its job:

Brown County Forge Bottle Opener

Creating a Little Metallurgical Magic

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Today was the second full day in the winter shop and the first day of forging. It felt great to heat up the forge and start experimenting with some metal.

It had been a while since I made one of my Unbreakable Bottle Openers so I spent a good part of the day getting my chops back. There were a few corrections (undoing bends, redoing bends), but that’s part of what’s great about metal. If it comes out weird, just reheat it and make it better!

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By the end of the day, I had a nice collection of decorative wall hooks and bottle openers ready to be drilled out for wall mounting and keyrings. I also recorded some video of each process from start to finish. Look for the videos within the next week or so.

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