Fathers Day Projects from the Blacksmith Shop

Fathers Day Projects - Brown County Forge

Making Fathers Day projects in the shop!

Before the family cookout in an 87+ degree shop, I had the pleasure to make some Fathers Day projects with the Salupo family today.

They came down from the Indy area to take the Beginners Class. Mom Stacy set it up for her boys and her husband.

In the Beginners Class we usually do one of three projects:

  • J hooks
  • Fire pokers
  • Bar top bottle openers

The guys all opted to make personalized bar top bottle openers like the one below:

Fathers Day Projects - Brown County Forge 2

How we make the bottle openers

  1. We start off with a piece of 3/8-inch square steel bar that is 6 inches long.
  2. After bringing it up to over 1500-degrees Fahrenheit in the forge, we start to draw it out (lengthen and taper it).
  3. Then we curl the tip.
  4. After that comes quenching the tip and bending the loop around the horn of the anvil.
  5. Next is flattening the business end of the bottle opener and curling it over so it can grab a bottle cap and pry it off.
  6. Finally, we put a twist right in the middle for a decorative touch.
  7. After it cools, we heat it with a torch and melt beeswax on it to seal it against rust and moisture.
Fathers Day Projects - Brown County Forge 3
Bottle Opener Handle
Fathers Day - Brown County Forge
Bottle Opener Business End

The whole process from my forging demonstration through finishing their pieces takes between 2 and 3 hours.

This is the typical length of the Beginners Class even if folks have never seen a blacksmith’s forge in action.

It’s pretty amazing to see what people can do with some clear coaching and the freedom to experiment.

A Big Thank You to the Salupo Family!

Fathers Day Class - Brown County Forge

It was great meeting all of you and getting to spend part of Father’s Day swinging hammers and making ironwork.

Dutch Oven Lid Lifter – Student Work

Darin York - Dutch Oven Lid Lifter - Brown County Forge

Former Student Makes His Own Dutch Oven Lid Lifter

Darin took the Beginners Class at Brown County Forge back in April. After the class was over he built his own forge out of an air tank and got to work.

After a very short period of tinkering, he decided to tackle a dutch oven lid lifter, a gift for his dad for Father’s Day.

We sent a couple emails back and forth to talk about tips and tricks for making the bends. Within a week, Darin had it sorted on his first try.

It’s a great project executed admirably. I’m sure his dad will enjoy it!

Darin York - Dutch Oven Lid Lifter 2 - Brown County Forge

Darin fashioned  a wooden handle using the woodworking talent he already had.

Darin York - Dutch Oven Lid Lifter 3 - Brown County Forge

He also put an excellent reverse twist in the handle.


It’s extremely satisfying to see the work that my students create after they take a class. Darin’s work is no exception. He definitely has a knack for it.