Blog

  • 44 Ft of Branch Railing.........Done Done Done!!!

    Friday, November 11, 2016

    This project was several months in the making, sadly 16 ft into the project and 80% of the prep and texturing completed.........Someone decided they needed my cargo trailer.......which had several locking anti theft devices......and sadly it had all my spec work pieces, 3 completed projects, and..... the railing and all the iron..... So we had to start all over again.

    There is over 800 ft of solid 1" round bar, 260 ft of 1/2" round bar, and 54 ft of 3/4" bar that was cut into 3/4"-2" pieces to make the "noblets"

    It takes 6-8 hours a foot to produce a finished railing.

    The sections had to fit into an existing railing the post and top wood hand grab stayed.

    Here are some before shots

    Here is the railing installed, also some detail pics of the textures, nobs, and bugs.

     

     

    The other highlight of this job was that my daughter Madelynn worked this summer in the smithy....... for 13 years old she is able to run the powerhammer, grinders, so so on the mig and tig welder, and pretty much all the other equipment in the shop. She decided to reinvest her money in a "girly" welding helmet, and some other tools..... proud moment for a father.

     

     

  • MJI Demonstrating at Art on the Green at North Idaho College

    Thursday, August 4, 2016

    Morgan Jade Ironworks will be demonstrating at Art on the Green at North Idaho College this Friday thru Sunday Aug 5,6 and 7. Come and check us out.

    I will also be at the Bonners county fair in Sandpoint, Id Aug 9 thru the 13.

    Will be demonstrating several projects hand forged using traditional forging and joinery.

    Come and check us out.

  • Finished the welcome sign

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Well the welcom sign is all done for all the news about the build check it out here.

    http://www.morganjadeironworks.com/project/54/copper-and-hammered-iron-welcome-sign

  • Started a little welcome sign

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    So this project is for my father-inlaw Silver. He has always been a typical Italian....... in that he has always been the most hospitable man I know. Just like his father, all are welcome to sit and visit around a table covered in food and drink. So he wants a big "welcome sign" so that way everyone else will know also.

    Here is how the project is coming along

    Still need to copper plate the base, fit and weld her up.

  • DIY Blacksmith Shop Tricks

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    So I have a gas saver for my cutting torch, and I use it often. I don't like having a cart with my tanks on them so I have enough hose to reach anywhere in the shop. I did not want to have a cart ot stand for the gas saver either. So I needed a solution to allow me to used that tool were I need to. So here is my solution.

     

    I built a pad with a stinger welded to it just like one you would slide into your pick up to tow a trailer.

    Then I made several receivers.

    I welded them on both ends of my welding table as well as my vises.

    So here is the gas save in the receiver on one end of my welding table.

     

  • DIY Forging Tooling to make mortise and tendon joints

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    I start out forging 2" truck axle to a square and let air cool.

    I cut 1 chunck at 2.5"  then I cut that chunck diagonally giving me 2 triangle pieces, and 2 more chuncks at 1.25". I weld the "triangles" to a 2.25" piece of 1" square bar. This gives me a shoulder swedge to start the tendon on a piece of desired bar stock.

    I clamp the 2- 1.25 pieces 2 ways and drill the size hole I want my tendon to be. These are 3/8"

    I then make my "spring handle" from 3/8" round rod. Cut a 30" piece then draw out 2" in the middle flat untill the total length is now 31"...... This will give you a 3" flat area in the middle of the rod. I bend that over a 1.5" piece of pipe thus folding the 31" rod in half. I drill a 1" x 3/8" hole in each of the 2- 1.25 pieces to insert the spring handle ends in to them.

    I vise up the 2 pieces with a piece of the 3/8" in between the 2 pieces this make sure they are prpoerly aligned to each other before I weld the spring handle in place. 

    I heat treat the spring tool ends and the actual spring end as well as the hardy shoulder swedge. You need to take a 3" piece of heavy square or round stock and drill a 2.5" hole in the center of it to make a monkey tool. this is used to set a crisp shoulder at the start of your tendon so the joint will be tight.

    Tools from left to right

    Hammer, monkey tool, shoulder swedge hardy, tendon I just made, 3/8" spring swedge, tongs. 

  • Blacksmith Trick #1

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    I dont have a vertical band saw, nor do I have an attachment plate to convert my horizontal band saw. So I used some scrap pieces of Iron to "extend" the jaws and hols a small piece of truck axle. this allowed me to cut it vertically. These 2 pieces will be used as hardy tools for making tendons. Making due with what you have is what blacksmith have done for thousands of years, you just have to think outside the box.

  • Post vise/leg vise/box vise stand and upgrades

    Monday, April 11, 2016

    So as a blacksmith post vise are a treasured piece of equipment in the smithy. I am fortunate enought to have a 5" and 6". I do a lot of demos at events all over the northwest so my vises are on stands I can move around. I finally got some time to make some changes to my stands. I am always moving them so having a table nearby was not always possible. Any blacksmith will tell you that you are always in need of a spot to set tools or materials on while working at the vise and there are tools you pretty much only use at the vise. So having them stored there is best. One issue to a nice flat spot is the mounting plate because they stick up and leave you with out a flat area so I took some 1/4" plate and counter sunk fasteners thru it and the vise mounting plate into the stand, then I added a rack under that to hang tongs, turning wrench, grinder, bending forks......... anyway just some diffrent ideas of how to make your smithy more efficient.

     

  • Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    And Turner finally "nails it" on his 4th?????????? attempt

     

  • storage and a work bench

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    Needed a work bench, storage, and an iron rack in the new shop. Built 9 metal frames with 2 shelves, iron rack, and a work benach.

  • Tooled Leather Knife sheaths

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    I had a few Knifes that I had laying around because thet didnt sell. More them likly it is because nobody wants a knife with our a sheath. Well here is the process to fix that.

     

    FIrst you draw and cut out a template.

    s

     

    Trace it on to the leather you plan to use and cut the pattern out.

    Tool it up dye it and stitch it.

     

     

  • Why I Forge????

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    So I go to fairs and festivals and I demo for the public, it is great I love the kids and 90% of the adults. But it is disheartening to be told your work is overpriced, Target/walmart has it cheaper, that your work is bad, they could do it better, they know a blacksmith who is a million times better then you......anyway you get the point. It bums me out because they just seem to take life for granted, don't appreciate the fact that I showed up with 2 tons of equipment to demo, nor are they able to see value of time, product, community, and history. I think if a welding firm can charge $80-$100 an hour to cut and zap stock pieces of iron together, then the original metal fabricator, and skilled craftsman who physically manipulates the iron in to one of a kind pieces of functional tools, wares and art, should at the least get close to that. To compare my works and wares to Target/Walmart/Kmart......ouch!!! I have feelings you know! I demo to share the beauty of Blacksmithing and in doing so an extention of myself, so yah it hurts a little. I was asked if I don't get rich doing this why do I do it.

    Here is my responce. To better understand this responce you may want to read the "about" page on the site first.

     

    I forge my iron from my pain, my suffering, my tears. From the deepest, darkest, hidden places in my soul, my heart. I add the joys of my life- Gina, Mady, Morgan-Jade, the love of my friends. I cry, I sweat, bleed, smile, and ponder as I beat the iron. All the while my very being, my me, screams with every blow of that hammer. Rainbows of emotion, as black as the forging coke is to as bright the iron from my forge is, poor forth or claw their way out. My intellectual self knows to stand aside, the emotion has to get out, it can't stay in, it would destroy all I cherish, love, and hold of value, in which I also would cease to exist. I know who I am, what's inside of me. It's not all roses and cotton candy, and beautiful pleasantries. It's big, dark, mean, ugly, nasty and loud. I hate it. So I forge, I forge to take ugly, black feelings and ugly black iron and create both a release and beautiful things. That is the beautiful thing about my creator, his strength, his love, his sight, fuels me to find away to turn all the bad into something better. So I am sorry you may not care for myself, my work, but my sorrow only extends to you because you are not able to see real beauty when it's standing right in front of you. So I forge on, and pray your sight returns.

  • O thats nothing!!!! Why didnt I forge it sooner??? I dont want to talk about it!!!

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    So we all have seen things that we want to try or learn. Many times we look back and never did. This is sad and sometimes it’s because we just figured it was not the right time, we needed to know more, or we just figured we would never be good enough to do it.
     I told a friend of mine that the hardest thing to do in blacksmithing is to work on your first piece of iron!!! I find that is even harder when you have spent a long time reading about it or watching YouTube videos. Amazingly it seems the more you know about blacksmithing the harder it is to go and try and do it………. Why?????? You may have your opinion and I have mine, however one reason I see is that because of all that knowledge, you become unable to accept anything but perfection!!!! Yah that’s right you’re just too scared to mess it up, or------ brace yourself------ FAIL!!!!! Oh yah good one there Skippy!!! My friend said he has read everything there is on blacksmithing, but never done it, so I brought my smithy to him, sadly he found every excuse to not drive 3 blocks and forge his first piece of iron. He is a very talented designer and home builder and craftsman, yet still not a forger of iron. I see others that have to have all the best tools and gear and will not forge until they acquire them. This is insanity!!!! I want to smack them upside their head and scream, “what’s a matter with you!!!!” my first forge was a hole in the ground with a pipe and my wife’s blow dryer in the other end, my anvil was a piece of RR track, a HF hammer and a pair of channel locks..
    So it turns out………. I may,,,,,,,,,, possibly kind of sort of in a way roundabout way, be that way also, not really, but yah, ok, just like that in my own way. I saw a candle holder that had wedge joinery used to make some fantastic candle stands and oil lamps. I said, “Man I am totally going to do this!!!!” Well that was 18 months ago. Well I am done being afraid, scared, or whatever and I embraced the reality of possibly being on the You Tube 2014 epic fail highlight video, and jumped into the forge halfcocked with both feet and ready to get-r-done!!!! Hopefully before I thought myself out of the idea.


     First I had to build the tools. A fuller, swage, slitter, and drift.


    Make a simple and executable design.
    And start to forge



    It was all pretty easy and I felt I achieved a great result on my first wedge joinery piece. But I felt like it looked like an alien head with antennas.

    So I redesigned the wedge and made it part of the piece, because a scorpion candle stand is way more manly then a alien head stand.
           

    Well now my mind is a fury of what I can do to now that I have mastered wedge joinery!!!! lol so sleepless nights and I am sure several pounds of scrap iron fails, here I come.

    Forge on my friends.

  • Forging my way to a frosty cold one.

    Friday, May 2, 2014

    made some bottle openers. Several local smith have formed a club and so there is a need to develop some beginner projects for our hammer ins.

    opener #1

    opener #2

  • "The Duck-Mantan" and "Soup Can Dan" in the Smithy and feeling the heat!!!!

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    So after a while my buddy Mike "The Duck" man-ton. Finally came in to the Smithy to beat on some iron. He helped me weld up the demo, bleachers for Columbia Fire and Iron and then we fired up the forge.  He picked a great night to do it as Steve McGrew from Incandescent ironwork was in the Smithy. Mike has some deck spikes from an old steamboat that was sunk in Priest Lake and he wanted to repurpose them and forge some coat hooks for his house. A few days before my buddy from Montana was in the Smithy and he also made a coat hook.

    Here Mike working his first shepards hook on his deck spikes.

    Mike welding on the bleachers for Columbia Fire and Iron.

    Dan'O forging a head and whaaaalaaaa!!! Coat hook

    Dan's first lap weld with Tig welder.

     

    Good times had by all!!!!!!

  • Leg vise repair and stand

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Buddy gave me a pinkish leg 5" leg vice, not working, missing the spring that aids the jaws in opening up as the screw is released.

    So I forged a new spring from a truck leaf spring, took the screw apart, cleaned and greased it. Went to my neighborhood scrap yard and found some 1" plate,a 3/8" wall 4"x4" square tube, and a chunk of 6" channel.

    Some forge work, cutting, welding, and heavy lifting and bam!!!! another handy leg vice for the Smithy!!!!!  Paint will be coming soon!!!!

     

  • Back at the forge!!!!!!

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Well I am in the smithy again, but it is painfully slow, I went to Steve McGrews (http://www.incandescent-iron.com/) smithy last Saturday and enjoyed watching some of his students craft there skills with fire and iron. As I watch I realize that I am not a patient enough person to teach some, but Steve ever so patient instructs them and prods them along with a smile.

    I had some little wine bottle holders to hammer out for a man who attaches them to oak staves from a wine barrel- full description will be on the projects page soon. Simple enough, but after not swinging a hammer for 3 months a very slow process and at times very painful as the shoulder was pressed back into service.

    Round rod with a heavy hammered texture

    A few bends and there you have it all my skills put to the test!!!! Terrible how this would have been an hours work for me 6 mopnth ago but here I was 4 hours later and sore as all get out. But the shoulder felt ok and I will slowly work it back in to smithing shape.

  • New Work Bench and Iron rack for the Smithy.

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Here are some pick of the new work bench and iron rack I built in the shop.
    The rack is made of fire ladders for buildings that I bought from the scrap yard and repurposed- fancy word for making cool stuff from junk!!!!! lol


     

  • Injured!!! But back soon!!!

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Well I suffered a dislocation in my shoulder that has keep me from doing much forge work for a while. But i will slowly work my way back in to shape over the next few weeks. So stay tuned as i update current projects and will have some new work posted soon. All i have been doing is drafting new creations that hopefully I will forge soon.

  • The Patrick Larson Project IT Tech Turned Man-Beast Blacksmith

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    So here is a friend of mine from Seattle, so this will blow you away, he is an IT guy, lol.


    He grabbed up the hammer and banged like a Viking, even though he has the arms of ah, well IT guy(didn't want to say girl scout and insult them.) He forged a candle stick holder, from raw iron with his own blood, sweat, and heart.
    Well done man who types for a living!!!! Remember you can always put it in the forge and bend it to your will, I am sure you will carry these skills on to your job Amazon.

    And just a side note, yes ladies he is single.
     

  • what is up with the handlebar mustache fad????

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    So the handle bar mustache is all the crazy with the kids and so here is to you Madelynn. (My 10 year old daughter)
  • Happy to have a hairy lip!!!!

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    Madelynn with her shiny new mustache.

    Now taking orders!!!!!!!!!

  • Day Seven At the Spokane County Fair

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Well I am still feeling the effects from yesterday’s heat stroke and today reached 96 degrees around 3pm, I called it a day and went home to rest early because I am not 100% and want to be ready for the big weekend. I did manage to forge a ceiling mounted shower rod hook for a lady who has been working the fair as a member of the Spokane police force.

  • Day 5 of demonstrating at the fair

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Well today was a hot one I got a bit of heat stroke but enjoyed the day until that point. I have been forging a lot of simple things while people watch so I have a surplus key chains and bottle openers. Today Steve McGrew forged a octopus it looks great, I will post a pic of it tomorrow. I am working on a wall piece but stopped do to dehydration. We will be at it all week so stop in and see us.
  • Horses at the fair but they can't be shod, however they open beers!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Here is a bottle opener i forged to day while I was Smithing with Steve of http://www.incandescent-iron.com/info.html at the Spokane county fair in Spokane, Wa.

    We have forged for 4 of the ten days sofar it has been a lot of fun!

    Come check us out we are just south of the grand stands and west of the train station.

  • Kitchen Tool, Pot and Pan Holder

    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    The kitchen staff that runs the heritage kitchen at the Spokane County Fair, asked us to make that a rack for holding tools, pots and pans, and here is what i made for them.

  • Blacksmith gifts

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    Every smith should buy himself a gift from time to time

    These are my new Big Blu Hammers!!!!!

     

  • New toy for the shop

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    So we got a new toy today!!!! it was going to cost half of the price of a new brake to sub out the brake work on a new job so we bought one. MJI is now able to brake sheet metal up to 4' wide and 11 gauge thick.

  • Upgraded to deer antler handles

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    tired of the wood handles cracking and falling apart. Had a file with antler and it is still good so now they should all be good!!!! on the bonus side I look all western old school smith!!!!
  • drafting away in style!!!

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Well life is good, I just picked up a great vintage Mutoh model L drafting machine on a 3'x6' drawing board. It beats the 24"x16" table top drafting board I had.
  • design has been approved!!!!

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    I am very happy, we got final approval on the 2nd design for some oversized 6 sided lantern lights that a customer wants. Here is the rendering of design, this is just the view of one of the six sides. I am sorry it is side ways, no matter how I have it in the file it loads up sideways!!!!! i wonder if i can use my hammer to adjust it?!?!?!
  • Ol' Wild West Fest

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Well For those of you that missed it MJI showed up at the Ol' Wild West Fest, it has been going on for 10 years now but moved to Missoula, Mt this year! The venue was epic, held at the old fort in Missoula Montana. Make sure you make plans to show up for it next year, August 1-2, 2014.

    Jess and I had a great time and we want to thank Traci & Monica with

    http://www.westernlivinghistory.org/

    You guys did a great job!!! Thanks again for having us out! We are always happy to show the public that blacksmithing is still alive and can add beauty to their lives!!!!

    MJI will be back next year for sure.

     Only you can make sure the old west never dies!!!!!!!