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.
A few weeks ago a friend was commenting on a TV show he had seen where someone took what he thought was an old style soldering iron, and used it to warm his cup of coffee. While I have never actually seen this done, I have heard of a “flip iron” being used to make a hot toddy or hot buttered rum. I felt pretty smug knowing what he was refering to.
Imagine my surprise when I recieved the following message a few days latter. “I’ve been searching for an iron tool that is used in the upper-midwest during spring bock beer festivals. The solid iron “head” of the tool is heated in a fire and then dipped red hot into a glass of beer. The result is a hot foamy head of beer.”
Now I really should learn from the way the old timers did things. It would save me lots of grief. But not me, I have a 100 pound power hammer. So why not just make these from a single piece of 1″ round bar? Even under the hammer drawing 10″ of 1″ bar into 40″ of 1/2″ bar is a lot of work. I suspect that this took about 3 times longer than the alternate and probably more traditional approach. I am pretty sure the old timers would have used a shorter section of the 1″ bar with a short stub drawn out and the 1/2″ handle forge welded on. But, live and learn. My customer gets a great value and I got a great education.
I suppose I need to make a shorter one and try the hot toddy or hot buttered rum, but I’ll leave the warm beer for more adventurous types.