Capital District Blacksmiths' Association
Having Fun, Meeting People & Promoting the Art of Blacksmithing

April meet -date change


The April meeting will be on April 19, NOT April 26 as originally scheduled as it conflicts with Ashokan.

Event Date: Mar 29, 2015

On April 19 Paul Crosby will demonstrate the finer points of forging Damascus. Paul has brought in several of his Damascus knives over the past few years and those of us who have seen them can't wait for April 19th! It promises to be another terrific day for us. See you there then. Cheers


Ashoken - NEBlacksmiths


Ashoken Spring meet of the Northeast Blacksmiths.

Event Date: Apr 25, 2015 see website
Mike McCarthy

In the Northeast Blacksmith the Newsletter they note that the Ashoken meeting will now be April ,25 & 26 ,2015. The web page is .The Early Iron Group is joining NEB and will be doing smelts in various types of furnace. Mike McCarthy and Lee Sauder are the leads . Should be an interesting meet overall.


Glass blowing meet


Phil Sunling, owner of Prism Glassworks in Troy,"blew" us away at Yesterday's Meet

Event Date: Feb 23, 2015

Mike Catalado hosted this month's meet at his shop and originally came up with the idea of having his buddy Phil demonstrate the similarities of working iron and glass. Phil created for us a wineglass with an anvil worked into it's stem. It was fantastic watching the process and seeing how he uses techniques not dissimilar from those that we use, such as , drawing out, upsetting, tapering, relaxing , tempering, etc. The possibilities of actually working glass into an iron sculpture are endless.

Phil has invited anyone interested to visit his shop/store/school at 225 4th St. in Troy this Friday night (Feb.27) from 5-11PM +- . This is a regular Open House coordinated with Troy's Night Out, which occurs every last Friday of the month. Phil and his team sell a variety of glass pieces and teach glass blowing and creating on site. Check out his web site at: WWW.PGWGALLERY.COM


2015 Demo Schedule


Continued need for demonstrators for monthly meetings

Event Date: Nov 30, 2014

Posted in the shop is a sign up sheet for you to note when and if you would like to demonstrate some aspect of working with any type of metal. Keep in mind that the demo does not have to be long, it can cover any topic even remotely connected to Blacksmithing.

If you have never demonstrated before, we can help you organize what you want to do before you do it. We are all friends by now and no one needs to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. Few of us are public speakers. If you have an idea, let us know (Jim:439-5439; Jack 439-0232) and we can work with you towards developing a demo.

So far the calendar schedule looks like this:

Jan: Mike Cataldo

Feb: Mike Catalado - (gassblowing by Phil Sunling) at Mike's shop

March: Lee Harvey( miniature anvils, etc.)

April: Paul Crosby: Damascus

May: open

June: open

July: open

August: open

September: open

October: open

The rest of the year is completely open, which means that we have only 4 out of 12 months covered. We can have meetings w/o a demo but it is always more interesting when we do. The list will be posted at each meeting - so sign up, or call us. Cheers.


March Meeting


Lee Harvey demonstrating making a miniature anvil.

Event Date: Mar 29, 2015 Sun. 12-4


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Like the wonderful demo Lee did some time ago where he showed us how to make a terrific round bell, Lee , for March, will show us how he makes a miniature anvil. No doubt Lee will also show us the miniature tongs and hammer he originally made to go along with the anvil. Given time, Lee plans on also demonstrating the making of a Bridgett's Cross, which is fun to do if a bit complicated.

This demo, as usual, will be followed by a " green coal" period where novices to blacksmithing may try their hand at banging iron.


February Meeting


Reminder: Feb. meet will be at Aggressive Metalworks, not Normanside.

Event Date: Feb 22, 2015 12-4
Mike Cataldo


Aggressive Metalworks
11 Patricia Lane, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions

Special meeting at AM this month. There may be a green coal session at the end of this meeting but there will be no actual demonstration using steel or iron! This meeting will be by a professional glass blower friend of Mike's who will "blow" a glass anvil, among other things. Integrating blown glass with iron is a beautiful way to blend two mediums into a creative and beautiful end product. This month's meeting should stimulate our imaginations and broaden our perspectives.


January meeting


Mike's Star Cross and Thor's demo.

Event Date: Jan 25, 2015

Terrific meeting today with one of our largest turnouts ever, which was terrific since all that body heat kept us from freezing! Mike once again gave a top notch demo very clearly showing, in very careful and clear steps, how to make the Cross and the Hammer. There were a number of new faces today and several were able to try their hand at the forge. One individual made a beautiful spoon with a twisted handle while another person made a large tapered double hook with a center twist. I believe a third made a leaf with a hook at the business end. A very good day with folks there to a little past 4PM.


January meeting on Jan 25th


Making a cross and a Thor's hammer

Event Date: Jan 25, 2015 12-4
Mike Cataldo


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

For the January meeting at Normanside, Mike Cataldo will demonstrate making from a single piece of square stock a small cross with a center hole in it. This is accomplished without any drilling of a hole. Pretty unique. Mike will also do a Thor's Hammer, also from a single piece of square stock. Both demos will, as usual with Mike, be clear and explained step by step as Mike completes each project.


What I've learned so far: Rob Gallerani


A summary of what I have learned and created since I joined the CDBA

Posted: Dec 8, 2014 5:30pm

I wanted to post some form of update for the work I've been doing. I sadly had to miss last month's class. Luckily Steve Gurzler helped me make some new tongs the month before (thanks Steve!). Also, the welding is something I'm eager to learn more about, hopefully there will be demos again.

I know this is usually for event updates, but I figured it might be nice to see some of the fruits of the group's efforts.

I have always had an interest in the blacksmith craft. Now older, with a home and kids, I figured I had no excuse to not get into it. In high school and college I made a few bucks on the side making chain mail, and I even did a few short lessons with some armor smiths making plate armor. However, it was cold steel and I really wanted the anvil and forge. I have also recently gotten into straight razors, and had seen people forging them online and the amount of forging seemed quite minimal so it might be a good way to start.

When I started looking, I started at schools, but nothing casual, and more importantly, local. I did however find an online news article from All Over Albany

I figured I would look up the group, and sure enough, you guys were still having sessions. I found this site, and signed right up. My first session was in August 2014 and I went with no equipment, no training, and no idea what to expect. I knew at some point I would need an anvil and fire.

My first meeting was a demonstration by Travis Edgington on how to make axes. I was pretty blown away at the quality of the work, with minimal tools. He basically made an axe with fire, anvil, hammer, borax, a spoon, and a file. I was also very impressed with the spread of attendees. Within the first 5 minutes of the meeting, I had already met Mike Catalado who hooked me up with a sweet anvil. Free of charge, so long as I made something good within a year. I just had to pay for the stand.

 photo 20140901_130511_zpsfe1e0c4c.jpgMike also asked me what kind of forge I had, and my answer was "nothing yet!" I could see the worry he had over giving an anvil to some newcomer with not even a forge to his name. He was kind enough to let me know about something called a brake-drum forge. So the next weekend I made a few calls around and found a scrap yard who would sell me an old Ford super-duty brake drum, they seemed confused that I only wanted 1, so if anyone needs a brake-drum, there's a scrap yard way up Hoosick that has just 1. So, with my brake drum I hit up Home Depot for some plumbing supplies, and a trunk full of cinder blocks. I also bought a cheap hair dryer for my bellows. It was about $60 total, plus a few bags of lump charcoal.

The first thing I realized I needed now was some tongs.  photo 20140901_114659_zpsc25c01f1.jpg

This was probably the worst thing I have ever made, but they did work. During all this I also managed to make it into Albany steel, which is less than a mile from my office, so I now find myself running out during lunch to look at their scrap room.

 photo 20140907_163657_zpsd4dd7e23.jpg This is the first razor I made before I melted it. When I went to harden the steel, I had gotten it too thin, and I melted it. Turns out a hair dryer and some fire can get reallllly hot. However, the second came out OK. photo 20140919_194522_zps63545cca.jpg

The scales of this one are made from some oak I had around the house from a mantle I had made over the fireplace. However, when I took it to the next CDBA meeting, I learned a lot about finishing. I realized how bad of a job I had done with the sanding and filing step. So the next razor was going to be much better. It was for my brother. It had Buffalo horn scales and a bone wedge. I was really pleased with this one, and was worried because I wanted to do something a bit crazier for my father.

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I was very pleased that his came out even better. His had a high carbon blade, but I copper plated it, and made the scales with purple heart. It came out really cool. I got the idea during Mike McCarthy's finishing lesson. Maybe I'll do a class on electroplating. It was the first time I had ever tried it. After all these razors, I really wanted to get back to more forging, and less grinding. So I made an attempt at the wine glass holder. The first one I made was so bad I didn't even take pictures, but the second one came out pretty good. I gave it to my stepmother, and had to have her take a picture of it, as I had forgotten. Clearly her camera is a bit older. photo mms_picture_2_zps87936459.jpgThe glasses hang a little far out, but it works. Great lesson Pete!

The only thing I actually made for myself was a wreath holder. However, I still have tons of techniques I want to learn, and I have lots of practice ahead of me. I hope to try and build a small shed in the back yard and make a real forge. Maybe even start using coal. photo 20141202_080519_zps376de152.jpg

Thanks for taking the time to read this if you did, I just wanted to post some pictures because I have given all of these things away for the holidays, but I couldn't have done any of it without this group. Hope to see you all in January.

-Rob Gallerani


NO December meeting


No December meeting.

Event Date: Nov 24, 2014

Due to the holidays, we will not have a December meeting


November meeting


Jim and Steve both demonstrated "How to..." again

Event Date: Nov 24, 2014

Jim, as promised, talked and demonstrated about how to forge-weld iron. As usual, Jim did a terrific job. Steve demonstrated how to make tongs out of 1/2" square stock. Another successful demo by Steve. Steve incidentally, will be giving Blacksmithing classes at the Adirondack Folk School. If you have the time, I would recommend signing up for Steve's classes as, we have all seen many times, Steve is a Master Smith.

Please note, there will be NO December meeting. The January meeting will be on the 25th of January. The Demo topic is still open and if you would like a topic demonstrated let Jim (439-5439) know - or if you would like to demonstrate for that month, also let Jim know. The February meeting , I believe Mike Cataldo is handling.


Blacksmithing competition


Fort Klock Hammer In Blacksmithing Competition

Posted: Oct 30, 2014

We are considering hosting a blacksmithing competition at the Fort Klock Hammer In next June. Right now, I am reaching out to see how much interest there is in taking part.

There would be 2 or 3 divisions based on experience, projects would be announced in advance. Smiths would bring their own forge, anvil and tools, materials would be supplied.

Prizes would be given.

There will be a small entry fee. Professional smiths will judge the competition.

Please email me at if you are interested


November Meeting on 11/23/14


Forge welding and tong making

Event Date: Nov 23, 2014 12-4
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Jim Moran will start off the meeting demonstrating how to forge weld. As we all know by now, this is not an easy thing for most of us to do. Thus, Jim has volunteered to demonstrate this process once again. The pressure is on Jim to successfully do a clean weld! Following Jim, will be Steve Gurzler who will demonstrate how he makes a set of tongs. Both demonstrators, as we regulars know, are top notch blacksmiths who can do just about anything related to smithing - so, this will be another terrific meet not to be missed.


Next Year's Calander


Sign up sheet for next years demos will be at the Nov. meeting

Event Date: Oct 26, 2014

Irene Purificato will post at the November meeting a sign up sheet for the next 13 months (Dec. 2014 - Dec 2015) for those who are interested in doing a demo for members and visitors. As you know, all of our meetings start off with a demo by a member, followed by the opportunity for a new blacksmith to try out his or her hand pounding steel. We need your help, so start thinking about what you can contribute and sign up next month. The list will stay up until all months are full. Thanks.


Today's meeting


Pete Schmidt's demo

Event Date: Oct 26, 2014

Pete did a terrific job today discussing several projects which would make terrific Christmas presents. Primarily, he discussed how to make a wine glass holder and a Christmas wreath door hanger. Both of these are great projects and relatively easy to do. Pete also mentioned a couple of other projects, such as a RR spike bottle opener and the bell Lee Harvey demonstrated a few months ago. Pete, in addition, and this is the best part, helped a green Blacksmith make a wine bottle holder - which turned out terrific. Well done, Pete. Pete is also a talented teacher and we hope he will demonstrate at another meeting in the future.


October 26 Meeting


Making a wine bottle holder

Event Date: Oct 26, 2014 12-4
Pete Schmidt


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Peter Schmidt will demonstrate how to make a wine bottle holder out of 1/4"+- stock. This is his own creative design and something quite functional as well as artistic. Pete is a long term CDBA member and an enthusiastic blacksmith who enjoys the whole process from design to execution. Please join us on the 26th. See you at CDBA's home forge, "Pat's Forge".


September Meet @ Mike's


Mike Catalado's Aggressive Metalwork shop hosting of the Sept. meeting

Event Date: Oct 6, 2014

Once again, Mike put on a terrific meeting in his shop. The featured demonstrator was, as previously mentioned, Mike McCarthy. Mike demonstrated a variety of finishing techniques, which often separate the decent blacksmith from the excellent artistic blacksmith. Mike Catalado ended the meeting showing slides from that last Abana Conference. Good turn out and a couple of potential new members attended.


September meeting at Aggressive metalworks/Mike Cataldo's shop


September meeting @ Mike Cataldo's: Aggressive Metal Works Forge, near Crossgates.

Event Date: Sep 28, 2014 12-4PM
Mike McCarthy


Aggressive Metalworks
11 Patricia Lane, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions

Mike McCarthy has a special treat for us this month: "Finishing Techniques", or how to to do those simple but critical last steps to give your work that more professional look. Mike is at the pinnacle of the skilled artisan blacksmith elite, so this should be a great demo.


Today's meeting w/Travis Edgington


Forging an axe head

Event Date: Aug 24, 2014

Today's demo with Travis was no disappointment. He is one of the few highly skilled artisan blacksmiths in our area, having studied under Bob Cerney and Mike McCarthy, among a few other highly skilled Cooperstown area smiths. Using a bar of wrought iron (recycled from an old bridge or farm implement) Travis skillfully brought us through each carefully explained step of the process of shaping and finishing a colonial style head with a forged welded steel insert/cutting edge. Travis demonstrated a number of techniques which he routinely uses in his work which produce a better and more efficiently created end product, one such technique which was new to many of us, was covering the hot steel totally with flux as a near final step before the final wire brushing. This produces a cleaner piece by essentially melting off any scale which then is cleanly brushed off. A very professional looking piece is the end result. Travis is an excellent teacher and it was a pleasure to watch and learn from him. We hope he will demonstrate again for CDBA in the future.


August meeting on 8/24/14


Forging an ax/tomahawk head

Event Date: Aug 24, 2014 12-4+- Sun.
Travis Edgington


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Travis will demonstrate the forging and shaping of an ax head using mild steel with a tool steel insert for the cutting edge which in turn will be forge welded in place. Travis will also demonstrate how the eye is drifted so that a sturdy handle can be applied. This should be an interesting demo and one that several members have requested.


July 27 Special Event


This month's meeting surpassed our already high expectations!

Event Date: Jul 27, 2014

James Arlen Gillaspie ( demonstrated today the shaping of an early helm (helmet) using two strikers (Noah and Abe) while he gave direction for each of their hammer blows, as historical master armourers did. James also gave us a wealth of historical information on how and why certain techniques were used during various historical periods. James, essentially, conducted a class in the history of armour production. It was fascinating and incredibly informative. Although he did not bring any original period historical pieces, as he did during the last two monthly CDBA meetings, he did bring a couple of incredibly beautiful pieces that he made which are part of a full suite of armour he made a few years ago. One of the fascinating aspects of his talk was how the old masters (and James!) understood human anatomy and how the fit, articulation and comfort of every piece of armour was masterfully designed and created.

Thom and Deb Breitenback, generously hosted this month's meeting at Castle Breitenback ( The grounds of which are extraordinary beautiful and the castle itself is a wonder to behold. Thom and Deb at the end of the meeting generously opened their home to the members for them to also enjoy. Check out Thom's website to see the Castle and to view the many talents of this Renaissance man and CDBA member..


Mark Feldman's demo


Metal casting

Event Date: Jun 29, 2014

Mark Feldman 's demo today was a terrific success. Over 25 members attended and were captivated by Mark's easy style of presenting an area most of us have little experience with - metal casting. Mark started off discussing the materials he uses and then quickly got into casting his first piece. This was a small anvil with a hammer, using a soapstone mold made from an old sink. Mark surprised us when he took out the casting and there with raised letters was, "CDBA". Mark then encouraged anyone who was interested to try their own hand in pouring a casting and most everyone ended up with their own CDBA anvil. Mark latter demonstrated sand casting and turned out a highly detailed belt buckle with a dragon on it. A very successful meeting and demo.

A special treat towards the end of the day, planned no doubt so as not to interrupt with today's demonstration, our next month's demonstrator, James Arlen Gillaspie, walked in! Of course, like last month when he also surprised us at the end of the day, he brought along a piece of ancient body armor he was repairing for a client collector. Very special!!

WARNING! DO NOT MISS the July 27th meeting at Breitenback Castle in Altamont. Not only will James be demonstrating his refined and top of the art skill in making and repairing armor but the Castle itself is not to be missed nor is Thom's Blacksmith shop!


June Meeting: June 29th


CDBA's first metal casting demo. will be given by Mark Feldman

Event Date: Jun 29, 2014 12-4+- Sun.


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

This should be an interesting and fun change of pace for our group as Mark will the first member to demonstrate how to cast metal. For this demo, Mark will use lead free pewter and the participles here would be the same whether casting brass, silver or iron, etc. The use of lead free pewter will be a plus as we won't involuntarily breath in any toxins, other than someone's cologne, etc.! Mark plans on using a soapstone hand-carved mold for one demo and a sand mold for another. He has used wood as well as other creative material for some of his previous mold work. You might have noticed that he usually has a couple of small objects around his neck -he cast those as well. So, be prepared to learn something and to hear, no doubt, some interesting stories.


May 18th Meeting


Terrific Event and Demo : Noah and Abe are two young and talented craftsmen.

Event Date: May 21, 2014

If you missed this meeting, you missed a very very good one and shame on you! Noah clearly demonstrated step by step and measure by measure how he has been making Dutch strap hinges and pintels for a very exacting client who is restoring an early 17th century Dutch farm house. Noah is a clear speaker and a very good teacher so all of the steps and the reasons why he does something a certain way were no mystery. Noah's forge welding of the pintel alone was reason enough for attending as was his simple tip regarding getting the body(strap) and the shaft (pintel) to the same forging heat/color and keeping the shaft facing up so not to burn it away. Paul Crosbey, once again, taped this meeting and might have DVDs again available next meeting as he did of Gil's demo on heat treating from last month.

Noah also brought as a special treat, his long time buddy, Abe Pardee. Abe lives in Connecticut and has been blacksmithing for a number of years. He, like Noah, is an enthusiastic and high energy creative individual. both like trying new things and Abe demonstrated for us how to make a forged and sturdy garden trowel which will last a lifetime from 5/8" stock . The end result was a beautiful spade shaped trowel which, at its' widest, must have been drawn out to around 4". It was a beauty and it was only the 3rd one Abe ever made!

Both of these smiths were a treat to watch and learn from and their collective and individual energy and personalities were like blood transfusions for us older types! Well done guys!

Now, those of you who left right after Noah's demo, missed Abe. Too bad! But those of you who left right after Abe's demo, missed a special and unexpected treat. James Arlen Gillaspie, our July demonstrator at Breitenbach Castle, wandered in carrying with him two 500 year old artifacts he has been repairing for two of his client collectors. He also had with him one of his own creations, a gorgeous fully articulated armor plated gauntlet glove. If you missed James, that was really too bad! What a day, what a meeting!


July 27 Special Event


This special event will cover forging and making body and possibly horse armour.

Event Date: Jul 27, 2014 12PM-4PM
James Arlen Gillaspie


Breitenbach Castle
809 Township Rd., Altamont, NY 12009
click here for directions

Master Armourer, James Arlen Gillaspie excels in the making, repairing, restoring and demonstrating every aspect of ancient and modern armour. His articulated gauntlets and other special sections of armour are fantastic and simply just beautiful as well as functional. His finish work is almost without parallel - just exquisite! This will be a monthly meeting not to be missed. CDBA member Thom Breitenbach has once again generously opened his shop to members and was instrumental in arranging for this demonstrator.


April 27th Meeting


Lee harvey's Bell making demo on April 27th

Event Date: May 13, 2014

Lee's demo on constructing a jingle bell based on a design by Steve Alling and Bill Clemons was, as usual with Lee, very successful and informative. Lee passed out a number of copies of the article with schematics that came from Clemons' article, which I believe originally was in Hammer's Blow. Lee demonstrated and discussed all of the jigs and tools he made to produce these terrific bells and stressed that the material needed to be thick (3/16" or 7 gauge) enough to properly take the pressure required to achieve the proper shape. Doug Deleury brought a number of CNC cut blanks for sale which several members took advantage of as hand cutting or torch cutting these out is a bit tough. We also had a terrific tail gating event where a couple of us were able to cheaply pass on no longer needed blacksmith items to someone who could use them. Keep this in mind for future meetings as you might have something blacksmith related that you would like to sell at a reasonable cost. A side note, on May 4th Lee and his jingle bell won the best of show at the most recent Ashoken weekend seminar in the New Paltz area.

* * Please note that the kitty for coffee, etc. as well as for coal and steel is getting low. We have relied on coffee donations as well as general donations to cover these costs and we do not want to resort to charging dues, etc. Let's continue to keep things simple. So, with that in mind, we are asking that each member and guest, beginning with the May meeting, put in a single dollar bill in the donation can by the coffee pot. This hopefully will be sufficient to cover all costs. Also, anyone who has any shorts of a foot long or so of any kind of steel who would like to donate them to the club, please do. This will also greatly help keeping coasts down as this is around the lengrth we seem to use most.


Fort Klock Hammer In


Fort Klock Annual Hammer In Gathering June 7 & 8, 2014

Event Date: Jun 7, 2014 & June 8 - 10am-4pm

Blacksmiths' Gathering and Hammer-In

June 7 & 8

This Weekend Event will be held in the historic stone 1811 Blacksmith Shop on the grounds of Fort Klock on Saturday the 7th. and Sunday the 8th. of June.

Smiths and spectators welcome, and admission to Hammer-In is FREE

Hammer-In activities planned include smithing demonstrations, hands on instruction for beginners, a pot lunch each day, camping, oh and let's not forget smithing!

For more information, visit


Heat Treating Demo DVD


Heat Treating Demo DVDs

Event Date: Apr 28, 2014

I have DVDs available of Gil Bullock's Heat Treating demonstration from the March 2014 CDBA Meet. I currently have 5 made already, I can make more if there are enough interested. To get your copy, drop me an Email,



Meetup Write-up


Write Up of the ​March 29, 2014 CDBA Meeting by Jack Connell

Event Date: Apr 21, 2014

This meeting had another good turnout which included members, guests, and greenhorns.

Gil’s demo on the various aspects and steps towards hardening and tempering high carbon or tool steel (having at least 0.2% of carbon) was clear and informative. Gil initially demonstrated how steel taken up to the point of being non-magnetic (1500 degrees +-, or dark yellow) when quenched too quickly is as brittle as a candy cane and when lightly tapped will snap in two. To move from this brittle state to a useful one, the steel needs to be "Tempered".

Tempering relaxes the steel and changes the interior crystal size from large, brittle crystals to smaller more relaxed and stable ones. As Gil demonstrated, this tempering is done by taking the above heated steel and quenching the first inch or so (pre-taper the edge, assuming that you are making a chisel) into the water quench (or could be oil, depending on the ultimate use and/or steel type), swirl it around a bit and make sure you have sufficiently cooled this tip. Then withdraw the steel from the quench and quickly, while there is still most of the heat remaining in the shaft, with a file or angle grinder, polish one side of the cooled tip. This polished section is where you will see the various colors slowly moving towards the cooled tip edge, the first color to show and move down to the edge is light straw followed by the other colors. Each color will represent a degree of hardening. Once the wanted color/hardness is at or very close to the cutting edge, immediately quench the whole piece of steel again to stop/arrest the color. Gil used a propane torch to get these colors. This is a simpler, cleaner, easier and more predictable way to control the heat transfer and helps insure that you can see and can stop the color where and when you want it. The color chart and scale (the oxidation color spectrum) that Gil showed is a real good tool to use to compare the color of your work piece edge and thus the needed hardness. Generally, the rule of thumb is that “straw” color will cut stone; “Bronze” will cut steel; “peacock” will cut wood; and the color “purple” will give the high carbon steel a “springiness” and finally, “blue” will keep the steel relatively soft. Keep in mind that there are other methods of tempering, but all have the essential ingredients noted by Gil. We again thank Gil for sharing his knowledge and look forward to him demonstrating again at another monthly meeting in the near future.

Speaking of which, here is an updated monthly meeting schedule. However, as you can see, we still have many gaps and need someone to step forward to demonstrate (can be on anything related to steel – this can mean even steel design / architecture demonstrated on paper) for the months noted. Any volunteers please speak up!

April 27: lee Harvey on bells

May 18; Noah Khoury on Dutch hinges

June 29: ??

July 27: Travis Edginton: Forging an axe head.

August 24: Mark Feldman on casting

September 28: Mike McCarthy at Mike Cataldo's forge: Finishing techniques

October 26: Peter Schmidt on forging a very unique wine glass holder which goes on a wine bottle. This is Pete's own design.

November 23 (or 30th): ??

December 28: ??


Meetup Write-up


Write Up of the ​February 23, 2014 CDBA Meeting by Jack Connell

Event Date: Feb 28, 2014

Once again Mike Cataldo stepped up to the plate and held this month’s meeting at his home shop . We had a good turnout of over 20 people, including one relative neophyte all the way from Oneonta!

Mike started off the meeting with a short informational talk about the August ABANA conference he will be attending. There will be lots of tail-gating and retail sales of blacksmithing goodies and Mike offered to take orders for whatever you need. He will text pictures of what he would buy for you so that you have a chance to approve or not. This discussion was proceeded by a few words from Rand Condell, the Board President at the Adirondack Folk School in Lucerne. Rand shared with us information and printed material on the variety of really fantastic courses offered at the school besides all of the Blacksmithing courses taught by the likes of John Acker, Jonathan Nedbor, Mark Aspery and Joseph Szilaski , etc.

The theme of today’s demo was making animal heads. Mike, as is his usual fashion, explained what he was about to do, why he was doing it that way and what the goal was. He is a terrific teacher. He started off with 2 pieces of ½” stock about 30” long. His plan was to simultaneously make two figures, one of which would have a long tongue, not an easy thing to do if the whole head is one piece! The first character Mike was hammering out had horns – also not easy. Turns out that the tongue belonged to a very a very interesting dragon head which Mike demonstrated and explained his steps from the first blow to the last stroke. The horned figure was a devil figure. Both figures were done well and all of the steps were clearly and patiently explained and shown by Mike.

Of Course, during, before and after, all 20 participants got a chance to catch up on each other’s gossip and consequently with all that was going on one and all had a wonderful experience thanks to the hospitality of Mike and, not to be left out, Rachel who brought the coffee and Mike’s mother, who came out with some great cookies and brownies, unfortunately after most of us had already left! However, some of the remaining few got to eat the share of those departed.

Mark your calendars for our next meeting is at Pat’s Forge at Normanskill Farm in Albany on Sunday, March 30 from 12-4+-. Gil Bullock will be demonstrating how to temper and harden steel – something Gil knows quite a bit about. This will be followed up with the usual green coal opportunity for new members and neophytes to try their hands at forging iron. Keep in mind; these folks get first dibs on the green coal session! See you on the 30th.


February 2014 Meetup


Monster Heads from 1" Square Stock

Event Date: Feb 23, 2014 12pm-4pm
Mike Cataldo


Aggressive Metalworks
11 Patricia Lane, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions

This month Mike Cataldo will be demonstrating how to make Monster Heads from 1" square stock at his shop, Aggressive Metalworks in Albany. Click the link above for driving directions.

We hope to see you there!


forge burner


looking for people interested in a propane forge burner

Event Date: Feb 5, 2014

I have recently acquired plans for building a very nice and simple naturally aspirated propane forge burner. I will be making at least one for myself. if there is anyone interested, I can make more. I'm not looking for any commitments, I just need to know if anyone might be interested. Please let me know, my email is I can come up with cost and configuration etc. let me know…

Paul Crosby


January 2013 Meetup


Bottle Openers

Event Date: Jan 26, 2014 12pm-4pm
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions
Happy New Year!

For this meetup we will be making bottle openers. If you've made one already, please bring your design and show us how you made it. Jim Moran will start off with a few easy ones, just to get the show started. If you want to bring a few (non-alcoholic) bottles to open, that would aid the demonstration!

We hope for good weather, but it could be a little cold in the shop so as always, dress appropriately and remember, no synthetic fabrics - only cotton or other natural fabrics near the forge!

We would like to set up a demonstration schedule for the rest of the year. PLEASE give us any ideas you have or items/techniques you would like demonstrated to help us create some great meetups for this year!

December 2013 Meetup


Open Forge Christmas Presents!

Event Date: Dec 29, 2013 12pm-4pm
Irene Purificato


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Irene Purificato will be helping you create some one-of-a-kind Christmas presents for your friends and family. It'll be an open forge event where you bring your idea for a Christmas present which you can forge within 15 min. Irene will talk to you about your idea and help you bring it to life!

Remember, the forge is a bit drafty so make sure you dress appropriately.

We hope to see you there!


Coil Spring


Materials- tool steel

Event Date: Nov 28, 2013

I left a large coil spring at Pat's Forge & anyone that would like a piece should help themselves. The coil spring is about four feet long and about 3/8's thick and is great material for fire strikers & all sorts of punches, chisels or tooling. Happy Thanksg


November 2013 Meetup


Folding and Shaping Copper by Lee Harvey

Event Date: Nov 24, 2013 12pm-4pm
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Lee Harvey will demonstrate how to Fold and Shape Copper at this Holiday event. I don't know what he's going to make for us but you are going to want to be there!


October 2013 Meetup


Forging Candle Holders with Jim Moran

Event Date: Oct 27, 2013 12pm-4pm
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

This month Jim Moran will be demonstrating how to forge a candle holder. Jim has many designs available but he encourages you to come up with one of your own and there will be a friendly competition!


Canal Street Station Fall Festival


Canal Street Station Village Eighth Annual Fall Festival

Event Date: Sep 28, 2013 10:30-5:00
Steve Gurzler


Canal Street Station Market Co. & Railroad Village
2100 Western Turnpike, Duanesburg, NY 12056
click here for directions

Our annual Fall Festival, on Saturday Sept. 28 10:30 - 5:00 and Sunday Sept. 29 10:30 - 4:00 will include blacksmithing, tinsmithing, early gas engine show, cider pressing, farmers' market, antique car and hot rod show. There will be a chicken BBQ by Barbeque Delights. Old time music on Sunday afternoon by the Loosely Wound String Band. Free admission. Canal Street Station is located at 2100 Western Turnpike, 3 miles east of Duanesburg, next to Joseph J. Merli Mfg. Co. "Just look for the New York Central locomotive". For information call 355-6536


September 2013 Meetup


Forging Gates and Hinges

Event Date: Sep 22, 2013 12pm-4pm
Mike Cataldo


Aggressive Metalworks
11 Patricia Lane, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions

NOTE: The date for this has been moved up a weekend.

Mike Cataldo is going to show us how to forge gates and hinges.

August Demo Recap


Making Norfolk latches with Michael McCarthy by Paul Crosby

Event Date: Aug 30, 2013 12:30-4pm

This months demo was done by Michael McCarthy from Mohawk Valley Forge. Michael showed how to make door pulls and latches, touched a bit on hammer control, and hammering styles. His teaching style was easy to understand, and he took the time to thoroughly explain each step, and demonstrated the process. I certainly learned a lot, and enjoied spending time with a seasoned blacksmith like Michael McCarthy.

I'm not much of a videographer, but here is some of the video footage from today. If you would like to see more, or have your own copy. please feel free to drop me an email PHC2112@YAHOO.COM.

Paul Crosby


August 2013 Meetup


Forging Norfolk and Suffolk Latches

Event Date: Aug 25, 2013 12pm-4pm
Michael McCarthy


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Michael McCarthy will demonstrate how to forge Norfolk and Suffolk latches.

This should be a great meetup and the weather couldn't be more perfect!

We hope to see you there!


July Meeting


Weather Vane

Event Date: Jul 28, 2013 12 to 4 PM
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

I will demo a simple method for mounting a weather vane. It would be great if people would come in with a design or two. We can discuss the mechanics from looking a the design. A sheet metal or cardboard is fine.

This will be a short demo ,therefore it would help if someone would request something. Jim


June 2013 Meetup


How to Forge a Knife

Event Date: Jun 30, 2013 12pm-4pm
Charles Flanagan


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

The June meetup is just around the corner (this Sunday, June 30th) and it's going to be a great one! The weather is supposed to be about 75º and lightly raining, a perfect time to be in the forge!

Charles Flanagan is going to be demoing how to forge a knife at Pat's Forge.
Sunday, June 30th, 12-4pm
Pat’s Forge - Normanskill Farm, Mill Road, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions

Looking Back...

Saturday June 8th 2013
Hammer making with Nathan Robertson
(submitted by Paul Crosby)

The day started with 10 or so selecting our hammer blanks, and firing up the gas forges. After a brief lesson we were drilling and hot punching our stock. Everyone was helping each other, striking, or holding a flatter, or simply watching the forge for stock ready to be pulled. Doug Delury and Mike Emig were very helpful. Their heavy hitting skills as tandem strikers made shaping our hammers a bit easier. Nathan was fun to work with and full of great ideas, and helpful hints. I especially enjoyed the hardening and heat tempering process. After hardening, and before the final heat treat, we did some clean up and final shaping on Nathan’s Bader belt sanders (very impressive machines). After the tempering and cooling, we picked out our handles. It was a long day, but everyone left with a hammer, and a good experience. I definitely look forward to future opportunities to work with Nathan the next time he’s in town.

PLEASE NOTE: Someone who attended this class left a sledge hammer and a pair of tongs. Both had orange paint on them and the tongs had ISH stamped into the side of them. Please pick them up or email us (when our website is back up).


Anvil for Sale

Event Date: Jun 28, 2013
The seller is not affiliated with the CDBA - please do not contact us in regard to this posting.

I stumbled upon this Craigslist ad for an Anvil up in Bangor, Maine. I know it's a bit of a distance but good quality anvils don't come available very often, I figured I would post it anyway.

$375 - 156 lb Peter Wright Anvil

Future Meetups Schedule

Event Date: Jun 28, 2013

Several club members have suggested that we put out a schedule of meeting dates and topics highlighted for each meeting. Eileen came up with this schedule, which is a great start. We can change or expand on the topics depending on interest, etc. Any suggestions, let Jim know (518-439-5439). The tentative schedule, subject to modification, will be:

  • June 30 - Knife making by Charles Flanagan
  • July 28 - Forging a weathervane: We need a volunteer to do it! Or, Jim will try.
  • August 25 - Forging Norfolk and Suffolk latches by Mike McCarthy (Mohawk Valley Forge)
  • September 29 - Forging gates and hinges by Mike Cataldo (Aggressive Metalworks)
  • October 27 - Forging candle holders by Jim Moran. Everyone should bring an example of their own candle holder fabrication for a friendly competition.
  • November 24 - Open forge: bring your idea for a Christmas present which you can forge within 15 min.
  • December 29 - Folding and shaping copper by Lee Harvey

Any suggestions for next year , let Jim know.


May 2013 Meetup


Hammer Control

Event Date: May 19, 2013 12pm-4pm
Steve Wayne


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions

Normanskill Farm School Program 2013

To sign up, call Jim Moran at (518) 439-5439. Training aids and help can be provided.
School Program Schedule

Fort Klock Hammer-In

Fifth Annual Fort Klock Hammer-in
“A Blacksmiths’ Gathering”
June 8th and 9th, 2013 - Smithing 9 to 5PM

Come one and all to the fifth annual Fort Klock Open Hammer-in! This blacksmithing event will be held in the 1811 smithy on the grounds of Historic Fort Klock in St. Johnsville, NY on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of June. Come for the day or the weekend!

We’ll have two forges fired up for demonstrations and instruction. If you have a portable forge there is PLENTY of space for you to bring yours and you’re encouraged and welcome to do so! Those wishing to demonstrate or teach please let Steve know ASAP. We are currently seeking skilled demonstrators.

We plan a Pot-Luck Lunch, and we’ll be grilling some sausages.

If you've never tried your hand at blacksmithing but always wanted to do so now is your chance! Make a tool and bring it home with you.

The Fort's colonial buildings will be open for public tours this weekend.

There are open fields for camping with plenty of space for tentage. Folks wishing to camp, or set up on the evening of Friday the 7th are more than welcome to do so, please inform the event co-coordinator Steve Gurzler if you intend to do so.

There is no fee however any and all donations to the Fort would be GREATLY appreciated; there is much to be done here at the Fort including restoration of an 1896 bellows.

Reenactors and musicians welcome.

Event Coordinator
Steve Gurzler
518 877 7148

Fort Klock Historic Restoration
7214 New York Route 5, Saint Johnsville, NY 13452
(518) 568-7779


Each bag varies in quantity, is individually priced and runs anywhere from $10 to $30 per bag - cash only!

April 2013 Meetup


How to Make Tongs

Event Date: Apr 28, 2013 12pm-4pm
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions


Jim Moran will be demonstrating how to make a pair of tongs.

As always, safety glasses required, cotton only clothing and closed-toed shoes.


Each bag varies in quantity, is individually priced and runs anywhere from $10 to $30 per bag - cash only!

March 2013 Meetup


Chain Making

Event Date: Mar 24, 2013 12pm-4pm
Mike Cataldo


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions


Mike Cataldo will be demonstrating how to forge a chain.

As always, safety glasses required, cotton only clothing and closed-toed shoes.


We have some heat but have not been able to come up with a heating system that can warm the forge to a normal interior temperature so please dress appropriate to the weather.

For Sale

We have a few items for sale - I will try to get more information and post it on the website:
  • A 400 lb anvil - there is a flyer at the Pat's Forge, with more details
  • A rivet forge - is currently at Pat's Forge
  • A 171 lb partially damaged anvil - good starter anvil


We ran out of coal but should have more before the meeting.
Each bag varies in quantity, is individually priced and runs anywhere from $10 to $30 per bag - cash only!

February 2013 Meetup


Math for Blacksmiths - Forging a Rose

Event Date: Feb 24, 2013 12pm-4pm
Jim Moran


Pat's Forge
Mill Road, Albany, NY 12209
click here for directions


Jim Moran will give a short lecture on using math in blacksmithing and then demo how to make a rose. If you want to give it a try, he has a few blanks available for $10 each. This is first come first serve during the meetup. There is no pre-registration and supplies are very limited.

If you wish, you can use the pattern provided below to cut out your own petals ahead of time from sheet metal. During the meetup, you will need a propane torch and needle nose pliers to form the rose shape (only if you are bringing your own petals).
Rose Pattern


We have heat in the forge that is being generously donated by Tom Domery.

As always, safety glasses required, cotton only clothing and closed-toed shoes.

January 2013 Meetup


Introduction to MIG welding - Making a fullering tool

Event Date: Jan 8, 2013 12pm-4pm
Mike Cataldo


Aggressive Metalworks
11 Patricia Lane, Albany, NY 12203
click here for directions


There is no charge for this event.
This month we're meeting at Mike Cataldo's shop, Aggressive Metalworks. Mike is going to give an introduction to MIG welding, show how the machine works and demonstrate welding technique. He will guide and assist you in welding together your own fullering tool based off the one that Jim Moran demonstrated during our October meetup (see photo). Mike will provide the pieces and show you how to weld them together. If you have a welding helmet (or extras), please bring them as we only have a few. After the event we can fire up the forges for some open forge time.

To ensure we have enough supplies for everyone, if you wish to participate and take home a fullering tool (free!):
  • You must RSVP by January 20th to
  • Please let us know whether you want a vise tool or a Hardy tool
  • If you want a Hardy tool, let us know the size of your Hardy hole (1", 3/4", etc)
As always, safety glasses required, cotton only clothing and closed-toed shoes.

November 2012 Meetup

Event Date: Nov 18, 2012 12pm-4pm

November 18th, 2012
In order to work around your holiday festivities, we are having the November meetup a bit earlier than usual. We will update this listing with the location and further details as they become available.

Irene Purificato, following up on member suggestions, will demonstrate and discuss forging chains, chain-mail and related items.


October 2012 Meetup

Event Date: Oct 28, 2012 12pm-4pm

Sunday, October 28th, 12pm-4pm
Pat's Forge - Normanskill Farm
Mill Road
Albany, NY 12203


Jim Moran will demonstrate and discuss how to figure out the size, length and dimensions of stock for a project. He will use a variety of methods to measure out the amount of stock using things like clay, string or other flexible materials and, of all things, math!

Wear warm clothes as the smithy may be a bit chilly. Remember, cotton only! No Polyester or synthetic materials. BYO Safety Glasses if you can, we do have a few pairs available.

Remember, we are looking for ideas for demos and help in planning and coordinating meetings, etc.


Meetup Write-up


Write Up of the ​April 27th, 2014 CDBA Meeting by Jack Connell

Posted: Nov 30, -0001

Lee Harvey’s April 27th’s demonstration on constructing a Jingle bell based on a design by Steve Alling and Bill Clemons was, as usual with Lee, very successful and informative. Lee passed out a number of copies of the article with schematics that came from Clemons’ article. Lee demonstrated and discussed all of the jigs and tools he made to produce these terrific bells and stressed that the material needed to be thick (3/16” or 7 Gage) enough to properly take the required shape. Dough Deleury brought a number of laser cut bell blanks for sale which several members took advantage of as hand cutting these out is a bit tough. We also had a terrific tail gating where a couple of us were able to pass on no longer need blacksmith items. Keep this in mind for our next and subsequent meets.

* Our next meeting will be a week early, on May 18, NOT May 25th. This meeting we will have Noah demonstrating forging Dutch hinges. As many of you know, Noah and his dad are full time blacksmiths and are exceptionally talented ones at that.

** I believe that Jim has sent around a reminder that we need instructors to demonstrate to the Albany school kids this June . The schedule and signup sheet will be at the May meeting. This has been a lot of fun for all of us in the past and is THE reason why we are able to use this site as apermant home. Demonstrating for the few weeks that we do each year is the dues we pay to stay here at this terrific site. So, please do your share and sign up.

*** Lastly, please note that the kitty for coffee, etc. as well as for coal and steel is getting low. We have relied on coffee donations as well as general donations to cover these costs and do not want to have to resort to charging dues. We (all of us!) like to keep things loose and informal. So, in lieu of resorting to this drastic measure, we are proposing that beginning with the May meeting, everyone attending (coffee drinkers or not) put a single dollar in the donation can by the coffee. This hopefully will be sufficient. Also, anyone who has short (foot or so) pieces of steel to donate would also be much appreciate as this will also cut down on our material needs, and thus cash flow.

See you May 18th at noon.