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

How to sharpen Knives


Brian Filson did a great job ,as I was told,

Posted: Jun 25, 2017

Jim Moran did not make the meeting till 4 : 30 PM ,in time to clean up the shop. Sorry but I'm still on my Irish time. I was sorry I left the shop in a mess after our open house on Thursday night . As was said , I would have been ps off if I found the shop in that shape for a meeting. Hay guys I am getting a little older. When Jack comes back , I will do better. Thanks for all the help with the Albany School classes , you all did a great job and we paid out dues. JIM


Damascus Demo 4/30 by Paul Crosby


Paul Crosby's terrific demonstration on coal forging multiple layers of steel, to achieve a damascus/pattern welded blank

Event Date: Apr 30, 2017

Paul filled in at the last minute for the original demonstrator who had a sudden date conflict. Typically for Paul, he never hesitated and stepped up to the plate, er, forge and gave a wonderfully informative demo. What made this especially neat was that Paul had never previously made a damascus blank on a coal forge as he does all his damascus, or pattern welding, using propane gas. Paul started with 7 layers of two types of steel, welded them then folded the piece in half for a now 14 layers of steel and forge welded them as well. By folding the 14 again you would then have 28 layers and so on with repeated folds the layers growing exponentially by doubling with each fold. Very clear, organized and understandable steps for the whole process were given each step of the way.

Paul also talked a bit about the history of damascus, where it originated and why, etc. He also brought several samples of damascus which he either made knives from or has finished blanks ready to use.

Wonderful demo. Good job, Paul!


Changes within the Club: 3/26/17


New division of Club responsibilities effective today: 3/26/17

Event Date: Mar 26, 2017

Jim Moran has, since CDBA founding, generally been the primary and often sole organizer and front man for the Club. Today Jim discussed the need for other Club members (particularly younger members!) to step forward and shoulder some of the duties that Jim heretofore carried on his own shoulders. Jim correctly feels that the long term Club survival is dependent upon participating members at all levels., the planning level. We had a healthy response to Jim's concerns, as follows:

Although several other members offered to help out (and will regularly), officially the following members will take on the noted duties for the foreseeable future while Jim, Jack, Paul and Mike will continue to help or fill in out as needed.

1). Preparing and providing coffee, etc. for each meeting: Brian Filson and Joe Cianfaranu.

2). Picking up the shop before or after each meeting: Rich Diguilio and Matt Clynes

3). Arranging for demonstrators: Rob Gallerani and Elijah Hammond-Wood

Any questions, call Jack at 439-0232 or e-mail at:


3/26/17:Sand Casting by Rob


Rob's Aluminum Sand Casting

Event Date: Mar 26, 2017

Once again, Rob Gallerani demonstrated his inquisitive and creative mind by demonstrating how to make a sand mold and subsequent casting. He simultaneously cast an aluminum handle to a small throwing knife and in the same mold a finely detailed wood engraving in which he added some real garnet from the Adirondacks. Rob clearly explained all of the steps involved, the costs, the retail material resources and the most common issues which often unexpectedly come up. Terrific demonstration which took over an hour plus but well worth every minute. The finished items were very cool. Nice Job, Rob.


Jan. 2017 Forging a hammer by Mike/Ashley


Aggressive Metalworks does it again!

Event Date: Jan 29, 2017

Mike in his usual and delightful way demonstrated and explained step by step how to forge a blacksmith hammer. As in every demo Mike has done, and there have been many over the years, Mike's knowledge and common sense approach to making any object, made this demo understandable and a treat to watch. He is, as has been said before, a born teacher. His apprentice and able helper, aka, fiance Ashley, did a terrific job as striker and tongs handler.. Mike's mother also made a critical appearance as once again delivered a couple of large bowls of absolutely delicious cookies, of which I had at least three!This meeting had another large turnout, to wit, 37 people with some new prospective members.

Additionally, Jim Moran confirmed that our area has been selected for the 2020 ABANA conference, which will be in the Saratoga area. Help in needed at all venues. Contact Jim (439-5439) for details or to sign up. Jim also discussed setting up actual hands on workshops for members the weekend before the usual meeting at Pat's Forge to help the honing or learning of new skills. Contact Jim for details.

The next meeting will be at Pat's forge on February 26 when I will have a short demo (due to the depth of my skills/knowledge!) on making woodworking tools i.e., gouges and chisels out of garage door spring steel.