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