Sunday, August 19, 2012

Impulsive inspiration



Practice Run through 1st prototype of Creed 3 belt axe...Because I can.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Trade Axes~Post to Park 2012

This last winter I was asked by NPR Mike Twist to produce 4 Fur Trade Axes, these were to be for future ceremonial events, gifts to present to dignitaries. Of course it was a privilege to accept this task. I have been concentrating on reproducing artifacts of this style and others for a few years now.


I rely heavily on Mike Twist for direction in accuracy, periods and interpretations of axes in our history. They remind me of time capsules in and of themselves.


I made these out of wrought iron, all are square polled. (That is an extra piece of wrought iron forge welded opposite of the bit) File steel is inserted and forge welded in the business end of the axe then hardened and tempered.



I touch marked them with my makers mark W.S., and then I used locally acquired Ash wood for the handles. I also added an axe necklace to each axe for an added embellishment. These pieces are as accurate as I could achieve, even the axe on the necklace was a reproduction of a recovered artifact at the Fort.







Memorial Day

This was a historical event for Fort Vancouver National Park.
The presentation of the Flag to the NPS from Brigadier General Alton Berry U.S.Army Reserve


First Flag raised by NPS 2012






21 Gun Salute by NPS
A changing of the guard after 160 years and a grand ceremony with tradition exercised from the past and brought forth into the present of the Fort.


The dignitaries speaking were:

Brigadier General Alton Berry, Commanding General 88th Regional Support Command, United States Army Reserve.

Brigadier General Kurt Hardin, Commander 104th Training Division (Leader Training) United States Army Reserve.


Christine H. Lehnertz, Regional Director of Pacific West Region, National Park Service.

Tracy Fortmann Superintendent, Fort Vancouver National Historical Site Nation Park Service.

Larry J. Smith Mayor Pro Tem, City of Vancouver, WA

The Honorable Jaime Herrera Beutler, Congresswoman 3rd. District of Washington.


Two of the four axes were presented by Tracy Fortmann Superintendent to Brigadier General Alton Berry and Colonel Peter J. Norseth Commander, 2nd BDE/95th Division.



It was an honor for me to be chosen from the Trades Guild, (current President Craig Webster) to produce these Axes that symbolize the labors of Park employees, Park Rangers and Volunteers work that makes it possible to reproduce and interpret the historical splendors that Fort Vancouver National Historic site has to offer.


Other random pictures from the days events are located
at the link from this blog link below.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer Shoes

 I just smacked out a pair of American Saddlebred country pleasure shoes-These shoes are compared here to a #1 keg shoe, twixt the pair. The shoes are made from 3/8" x 2" bar stock. The dimensions are specific to an individual horse that requires the severe toe weights pictured above.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Blacksmiths Shop All the horses were stirring, and just wouldn’t stop.
The shoes were hung around the forge’s dim glow,
In hopes that the Blacksmith would soon make a show.


The horses soon settled, all quiet and fed.
While visions of candy mints danced in their heads.
I’m in my apron and Ma with her night cap.
Had just settled had just settled down to watch Netflix ASAP!


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Horses and carriage drawing ever so near.


With a little old driver, so lively and quik,
An unscheduled appointment, ...I’m gonna be sick.
More rapid than eagles my curses they came,
he whistled, I shouted and called him a name!


"Oh Blacksmith! Oh Blacksmith! Don’t dash away!
Come out on the porch, I have something to say!


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
They met with an obstacle, I threw in the sky.
Behind the shop to avoid obstacle that flew,
The carriage with horses and the old man too.


And then, in a twinkling, I ran in the shop.
The prancing and pawing, it’s just got to stop.
As I drew out my head, he was turning around,
I unhook the bellows with not even a sound.


He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
I squeezed the coal dust from the bellows and covered him in soot.
Now he’s a bundle of black and he started to hack.
He looked like a black bear, I said just “stay back”!


His eyes how they glared, with his body impaired.
Made me worry a little, maybe even got scared.


I thought I seen smoke, when he gritted his teeth.
Encircled his head just like a wreath.
He had a black face, soot down to his belly,
That shook as he coughed, and was just kind of smelly!


He was chubby and plump, like a  jolly old elf,
He laughed when he saw me in spite of himself!
A wink of his eye and a shake of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
He nailed on the horse shoes, I felt like a jerk.
Laying my hand over my eyes & nose,
He gave me a nod, up the carriage he rose!


He grabbed the reins, to the team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Poem Parody by ©WadeSeiders2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Come join our "Like" us list on Facebook

Mini Damascus Trade Axe necklace Drawing on Facebook

**You will be required to respond to a message from us if you win within 3 days for a shipping address or we will redraw another random number, No exceptions! So go to the link and click "Like" us on our page and get in on the drawing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Northwest Farrier Icon



This was a behind the scenes event at the 2010 NWSA Fall Classic Horse Show. There is a display board at the Salem, Oregon Fairgrounds for Farriers to put their shoes on display to show their craftsmanship and Blacksmithing techniques. The boards purpose is to honor and pay tribute to the late Bob Gwartney, a Saddlebred Farrier who learned his craft from the Ernst Brothers in Kentucky.
 
My first encounter with Bob was memorable, in the early to mid 80's, I was apprenticing for a Saddlebred/Jumper Farrier named Delver Gianella, who has shod for the majority of large Saddlebred barns in the NW.
We pulled up to Chuck Courts barn in Snohomish, WA to find this old beater truck that had scrap and misc. items tossed in the open bed of the old pick up, it looked like it was itself headed for the scrap yard.

Gianella and I walk up to it and Gianella comments "look at this heap of Gwartneys" then he reaches in the back of the bed and pulls out a very well crafted 1/2 round Saddlebred toe weight shoe. Gianella then said: Can you believe that something this well forged comes from a heap like this? ...Looks are deceiving.
  This was my first impression of Bob and I have learned that it is a good way to get to know someone by observing (admiring) their skills and craftsmanship.

  Some of the traditional Saddlebred barns still call their Farriers "Blacksmiths", The extensive forge work for some of these horses shoes require precision Blacksmithing for their shoes.




This photo courtesy of Rhea Turner
 So, Delver Gianella and I made some shoes for the Gwartney Memorial Board.  Gianella made his  interpretation of the 1/2 round toe weight shoe "Gwartney style" and I might add that it was spot on.
 I made the Roadster and the Lateral toe extension shoes. Delver and I teamed up after 25 years to forge a Saddlebred country pleasure shoe out of 1" round bar, wedged at 4 degrees.


The Roadster


Saddlebred Country Pleasure

Lateral Toe Extension

1" Half Round Toe Weight

  Some of the shoes on this Memorial board are made by Jamie Pruitt, Zack Morris, Bobby Bewley and others to name a few. Larry Bewley was my first instructor in  1983.
  I just thought this story behind the scenes should be told.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Throwing Tomahawk


Throwing Axe
Just out of the forge, a throwing Tomahawk ready to be hardened and tempered. This one will weigh 1 lb after I'm finished with sanding. Then heat blued is the plan. HBC Fort Vancouver style with a rounded poll. Made out of 1060 steel. Authentic in looks, but not in construction with it being hand forged out of a medium-high carbon steel.