I first started blacksmithing seriously in 1984 and started a part time blacksmithing business in 1990. At that time I worked full time as a Firefighter for the City of Aurora. In 2014 I retired from that carrier and picked up may hammer full time. Today Black Bear Forge specializes in tools and hardware for traditional wood workers. I am also starting a journey into making educational videos for other blacksmiths on YouTube.
No more Wait List
Several years ago I was accepting orders for a number of standard items which were then made and shipped. This quickly became an overwhelming amount of work often time leading to many months of lead time to get the order out and little time for me to explore my own interests as a blacksmith. A wait list seemed like a good idea. Working at a comfortable and only dealing with a few customer requests at a time. Unfortunately, that proved difficult as well. It would often times takes weeks of back and forth communications to finally be able to quote a job which the customer then chose not to follow through on. The wait list grew quickly with even more people hoping to place an order all the while my time available to work on orders was becoming less and less. So the wait list was put on hold and eventually it went away, but there are still people contacting me in hopes that they are still on that list. The simple answer is no, the list no longer exists and I am no longer taking orders. Anything I have for sale will be listed in the Etsy shop. So this is a what I feel like making when I feel like making it system. If you need it right away, you will need to look elsewhere. But if you’re willing to wait and check back often, there will be an ever changing variety of goods in very limited quantities. http://www.blackbearforge.etsy.com
Keep in mind that this is my retirement activity that helps pay the bills. Not something I want to be obligated to a 40 – 60 hour work week.
For now my main shop activity is producing YouTube videos about blacksmith for anyone interested in learning about the art and craft of blacksmithing. Videos may be seen at https://www.youtube.com/c/BlackBearForge