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

ABANA 2020 Conference: need volunteers


2020 Abana Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY

Posted: Jan 14, 2017

Rand Condell said we have been chosen to hold the ABANA 2020 meeting in Saratoga Springs, NY. That is great news, but we now need a lot of people to volunteer to assist at that Conference. It's seems a long way off, but we will be there before we know it. So, we need an honest commitment from a lot of people to help both plan the conference and work during the conference. Blacksmith skills are nice but not that important, a willingness to help is the main skill. Please let me know that you can help.

Thanks Jim Moran 439-5439


Oct. 2016 Power Hammer Demo@Mike's


Todays Power Hammer Demo with Mike Cataldo

Posted: Oct 30, 2016

Today's meeting was held at Aggressive Metalworks in Guilderland, hosted by Mike Cataldo. As expected, Mike gave a spectacular power hammer demonstration. He explained the different types of power hammers, and went into great depth on tooling and dies used with them. Especially useful was his demonstration on the use of a "saddle" which is a simple but clever quick release devise used for holding various type of fullers. He also demonstrated making a ball on the end of a half inch square bar, and demonstrated an angled fullering tool that is used for beveling hatchets and axe heads. We were also entertained with forge welding a 1080 carbon steel plate onto a forged mini anvil Mike made out of a 2"x2" square rod. Mike's generously equipped shop allowed for a lot of open forge opportunities using his many anvils and several folks took advantage. As always, this was a great event at Aggressive Metalworks, and we all thank Mike for his hospitality and sharing his skills at teaching, which are impressive.

Novembers meeting will be on simple and quick forged items that can make a good Christmas gift. If anyone has anything they would like to demonstrate, let Jim or Jack know. See the schedule for what Jim has in mind for November.

Good hammering!

Paul Crosby


Gil's Demo on Forge brazing copper


Forge brazing with copper

Event Date: Aug 28, 2016

Gil introduced us to a simple way to weld different material together where heavy duty strength is not required. The process is actually very simple, whether you are doing lap joints, finger joints or more complicated joints. Using copper electrical wire (14/2, 12/2, etc.) and borax flux, you secure the joints together using regular wire to keep the pieces stable while you wrap a piece of the copper wire around the work piece -the tighter the pieces can be secured first, the better. Then add flux, get the iron orange hot and when the copper seems to disappear, the weld has taken place - in most cases! Very slick and something several of us never saw demonstrated before. Good presentation, and Gil's mechanical drawing class style sketches were very accurate and damn good!



Rob's excellent adventure: Bottle openers!


Rob Gallerani's Demo on Sunday

Event Date: Aug 1, 2016

What a surprise! Who would ever have expected that a demo on making, of all things, bottle openers, would have us riveted for an hour and a half! Rob is an excellent teacher and clearly explained the physics of how a bottle opener works and why. During the demo, Rob also made several varieties of openers using everything from a railroad spike to various gauges of round stock. The one- handed opener which works by squeezing causing a downward motion to the opener was unique and my favorite, which I just might have to try! Good job Rob - we need you to sign up to share with us more adventures into creative blacksmithing! October, November and January are still open!

Reminder, Gil Bullock will demo "Forge Brazing on August 28. Should be very good demo!


April meet: Paul Crosbey/forging a knife


Paul and Jim did a terrific job discussing and demonstrating making a knife.

Event Date: Apr 25, 2016

If you missed this meeting you really missed a good one! Jim did the hammering and Paul directed and explained what they were doing - and why - every step of the way. Paul also brought and posted a number of knife and metal related info sheets and discussed the same and which types of steel make the best knives and why. Paul also brought a number of scrap iron pieces, such as flat and round vehicle springs, stainless steel bearings,old files, power hammer bits, etc. and discussed the merits of each and steel types, etc. and which should be used depending on the goal you have in mind. Overall, a terrific meeting. Paul is a natural teacher. Well done, Paul (your helper was ok too!)!!