Wood and Steel – A Collaboration with ThriftyWoodShop

Thrifty Woodshop Barn Style Doors

Before Christmas, Michael from ThriftyWoodShop contacted me about possibly incorporating some of the hooks we make at Brown County Forge in a project. He runs a small woodworking business in New Jersey making custom cabinetry, barn-style sliding doors, and kitchen islands.

I’m a big fan of combining metal and wood to create useful things. Metal is great on its own. So is wood. When you put them together the results are even better.

Here’s the handmade wine crate shelf he created:

ThriftyWoodShop New Jersey Wine Crate Shelf

The hooks he used are a hand-hammered version of our large wall hooks. They have a dimpled texture that gives them a more rustic look.

Hammered Wall Hooks - Brown County Forge

It’s a lot of fun working together to create beautiful things. Bringing different craft traditions and talents together is always¬†a great experience.

See you in the New Year! Stay safe!

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