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

May 19 Fort Klock Hammer In


Fort Klock - Season opening and Blacksmith Hammer-in May 19-20, 2018

Event Date: May 19, 2018 10 Am -5 PM
Steve Gurzler

Fort Klock Restoration

7214 NY 5, St. Johnsville, NY 13452

Blacksmith Gathering and Hammer –In

May 19th & 20th, 2018

Blacksmithing Competitions. plus Fort Klock season opening with a wide variety of events in addition to the BLACKSMITHING, i.e., Encampment and reenactments, plus a number of Colonial era craft demos, ETC.

This year we plan 3 contests:

The contests are intended to display proficiency in controlled hand forging. All contests will use a coal or charcoal forge, with a hand – actuated blower or bellows. This is a solo completion, no helpers or fire tenders allowed. Power tools will not be permitted in the contest. The Fort may have a couple of forge set-ups available. Contestants should bring their own portable forge set up if possible. Contestants should provide their own tooling, hammer, and tongs. Stock will be provided. Some coal is available.

Saturday Afternoon 130 PM

1.One heat drawing out contest. Smiths will be provided a marked 18 inch long bar of ½ inch square mild steel. The mark will be 8-inches from one end. The mark must remain untouched on the finished bar. The smith will take one heat, without burning the bar, and draw the end out in a square cross section to the longest possible length. Maximum forging time 3 minutes. No limit on heating time. Greatest length drawn out square wins.

2.S-hook production. Contestants will forge s-hooks from ¼-inch square mild steel. The standard hook s 6 inches long, outside dimensions, with 1-inch inside diameter hooks on each end. The hooks terminate in rat-tail ends, and the hook will have a 1&1/2 turn centered twist. A completed hook includes an attempt at all required elements. Contestants will forge as man hooks as possible in 30 minutes. Scoring will be as follows:

a.Completed hook - +5 Points

b.More than ½ inch over or under sized -1 Point

c.Hooks ½ inch over or under sized -1 Point

d.Bad twist -1 Point

e.Missing rat-tail end -1 Point

f.Symmetrical hook +1 Point

g.Smooth finish +1 Point

Sunday Afternoon 130 PM

3.Smiths will have 1½ hours to forge a ladle with a drawn out handle. Stock will be provided, 1X1/4 inch by 8 inch long mild steel. Ladles shall be constructed using only the stock provided. Scoring will be as follows:

a.Completed ladle that holds water 3 Points

b.Handle minimum 8 inches long 2 Points

c.Each additional 2 inches of handle 1 Point

d.Highest capacity ladle 1 Point

e.Smooth, quality forging 1 point

There will be Prizes, categories to be determined depending on number of entrants.

Contact Steve Gurzler at to sign up or get information


There will be smithing demonstrations and open forge time

Lunch (burgers, etc.) will be available for purchase

Tent camping space is available in the open fields at Fort Klock

Tours of the Historic Fortified Homestead and Opening Day Activities

See the full announcement on Facebook or at for details and updates.


Today's meeting w/Lee Harvey


Lee making a bell from beginning to end.

Event Date: Mar 25, 2018

Once again Lee clearly demonstrated the process, materials and jigs needed to make a bell that actually sounds like a jingle bell. See the Facebook postings for a few pictures of today's event. Another good job by Lee on this smaller bell. Last year he did the larger of the two sizes.

Jim worked on making a little anvil and showed this progression as well.

Next month (April 29) Noah will be the demonstrator.


ABANA call for help


ABANA 2020 call for help

Event Date: Mar 24, 2018

Folks: This is a request for help in 2020 for the ABANA National Conference. Jim will discuss at the next meeting.


Thanks I will post this on our web site and ask members to sign up. I hope we get a young capable volunteer coordinator to sign up. Jim

On Mar 19, 2018, at 8:52 AM, Robert Menard <> wrote:
Hi Jim,

We have most of our leadership positions filled but we will be looking for help during the conference in the form of demonstrator assistants, runners, and youth teaching area monitors. I want to have a broad enough group of volunteers to draw from so no one individual misses much of the conference as they're helping out. The set up will most likely be managed by the ABANA set up crew so I expect we will be good there. As it gets closer there may be other assignable tasks.

If you have one motivated go getter that wants to be part of the leadership team I am in the market for a volunteer coordinator. This position requires computer skills and an organized mind. They must be able to play well with others. The work load for this person would probably not get started until 2019 but they would be in the leadership communication loop and up to speed on the conference goings on.

Anybody come to mind?

I will also be seeking some folks to sit an information table in Richmond selling tee shirts and some swag related to 2020, handing out packets and answering questions. I want to have enough people for this so no one is there more than 2 hours per shift. Again I don't want people to miss blocks of the conference.

Let me know your thoughts.

Bob Menard


Mike's Compound! Sunday's meeting


Wonderful time at Mike and Ashley Catalado's new shop.

Event Date: Feb 27, 2018

What a fantastic time. Mike can throw a party, and what a party it was. Ashley and her daughter kept bringing out the food - from cold cuts to hot dogs and hamburgers and so much more! What gracious and generous hosts Members, this was the exception, do not expect such treatment at Pat's forge!!

Mike's new 60"+ x 30'+ shop is a dream come true for Mike and Ashley. What a wonderful space. The overall property, shop, house, 5+ acres etc. will be a great place for the Cataldo family to grow (as we were told it is about to - congratulations!) and to produce many other neat and creative things.

The Skull bottle opener demo was interesting and beautifully done. Dave is a master and precise blacksmith - not a wasted hammer blow. Good teacher as well.

The anchor forging was incredible. Didn't expect it to be so large - believe the shaft was around 2 1/2" . Incredibly labor intensive and Steve and Co. worked on this for hours and did a beautiful job. See the cdblacksmith's Facebook page - Paul posted there a number of pictures and videos.


ABANA web site

Posted: Feb 9, 2018

I just found that we all can share the Anvils Ring and The Hammers Blow. Just go to the web site: ( then for the Ring enter) /back-issues-anvils-ring ( or) /hammers-blow

The CDBA is a member of ABANA