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

August Meeting


Lots of issues discussed at today's meeting

Event Date: Aug 26, 2018

Today's meeting got started on time with Jim discussing the need for members to step up and help out with a variety of tasks as he has been doing most of them for years. Foremost was the monthly need for someone to open up and lock up the shop for every meeting and to prepare the coffee and clean up after. Secondly, we need someone to arrange for monthly demonstrators and to make sure that we have the needed supplies for the demonstrators by keeping track of the current coal and steel in stock. Lastly, we need someone to arrange (get commitments) for the June volunteers to demonstrate/discuss blacksmithing to the Albany School kids which is how we "pay the rent", making CDBA possible. This person will handle this extremely critical task of handling the details and coordination of lining up each volunteer with a time slot and class. Without someone stepping up for this task , our future at Normanside would be in jeopardy

We also had Rand Condell from the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne discussed in great detail the 2020 National ABANA Blacksmith Conference which will be held in the Saratoga area at the Washington County Fair Grounds. This is a VERY BIG event of national scope and will have some of the foremost national and Canadian smiths demonstrating all levels of smithing - from traditional colonial smiths to high end fabricators to master farriers who work on million dollar horses. There will be many merchandisers, tail-gaters, on-grounds lodging, food courts and several opportunities to actually make something yourself as well as working and volunteering along side some of the best in the blacksmithing field. See the ABANAor the Adirondack Folk School website and the soon to be up and running 2020 specific website. This is a complex event to put on and Rand spoke about how many hands and minds go into pulling something this grand off successfully. Consequently, many volunteers at all levels are needed. If interested, call Rand at the Folk School @ 518-696-2400

This meeting concluded with Jim demonstrating how to make tongs the quick and dirty way he just learned from a fellow smith.

Jim would also like to personally thank Gil Bullock, Paul Crosby and Doug Shepard for their terrific job of cleaning and picking up the forge after the meeting.

There were no takers on the two "auction" vises and are still available at the set price noted earlier. See pictures of them on the cdblacksmith Facebook page. Or, call Jim @ 518-439-5439.



Donated vices up for auction


Both vices have a reserve which need to be met before we sell to highest bidder

Event Date: Aug 22, 2018

We are selling both of these vices so that we are able to buy coal and steel as needed. I couldn't get pictures downloaded to this site, so they are posted on the CDBA Facebook site.

The free standing vice has a reserve of $75.00 and has 4" jaws.

The other vice has jaws nearly 5" wide and the heavy base is an old barber's chair base. Jim will replace the missing spring. This one has a reserve of $100.00

"Auction" will be held Sunday, Aug. 26 during regular meeting

If anyone knows how to download a picture to this site, let me know!


6-24-18 meeting


Steve Waynes incredible meeting: Forging a horseshoe from bar stock using the coal forge

Event Date: Jun 24, 2018

Steve's Demo today was stellar ! As a professional farrier for over 30 years, Steve has made and put shoes on some of the most expensive show and race horses in the country. His first demo for CDBA was over 5 years ago and today's demo was just as captivating, informative and impressive. He made a special right rear corrective shoe for a particular client horse and explained why that foot needed special elements not usually found on a typical horseshoe. Steve explained how certain shoes correct or improve action, gates, physical problems,etc. He also talked about national shoeing competitions he has been in and won, and how he used to make TWO complete shoes, ready to be put on the horse, in 20 mins. or less! Steve shared a number of other tips and fascinating tales about his long career. Steve and his wife, Heather, have recently moved to Stephentown in Rensselaer County. Here he still produces custom shoes for long time clients as well as leading a blacksmith school, called Heather's Heart Forge and School ( www. , 518-888-6462) where he teachers general blacksmithing and more advanced classes in making knives, axes and other interesting things, such as woodturnings! Nice guy and another terrific class.


Also, hats off to Brian Filson, Doug Shepard and Paul Crosby who came up with the idea and bought and donated to the club a belt sander for the back room. Safety rules, etc. will be formulated by Brian and Jim Moran and a donation pool will be set up so that additional sanding belts may be purchased. Neat idea. The back room expands!!


Student Classes -


Jim has managed to get all classes covered for the classes of Albany School students at our forge. Thanks to all the volunteers

Event Date: Feb 27, 2018



2018 Normanskill Farm School Program

Date Grade School # Kids Arrive/Depart Teacher /CDBA Member
Friday, June 1 1 to 5 Doane Stuart 40 9:30/1:30 Darlene Gallagher/J.Moran
Monday, June 4 2nd Pine Hills 65 9:15/1:30 Angela Jones -/- Mike Cataldo: 269-7110
Tuesday, June 5 3rd Eagle Point 44 9:00/1:30 Ann Paulson/ N/A
Tuesday, June 5 3rd North Albany 40 9:00/1:30 Shannon Pinkowski/ N/A
Wednesday, June 6 3rd TOAST 60 9:00/1:30 Sandy/J.Moran will work with Middle Sch.
Thursday, June 7 2nd Philip Schuyler 60 9:45/1:00 Latanya/ Paul Crosby:763-7296
Friday, June 8 2nd TOAST 60 9:00/1:30 Marie Sokoris/Dave Peterson:573-4956
Monday, June 11 4th Giffen 70 10:00/1:30 Britt Foley/Mike Cataldo
Tuesday, June 12 4th Eagle Point 40 9:00/1:00 Marni Meno-/- Peter Schmidt: 439-2330
Wednesday, June 13 2nd Sheridan Prep 75 9:15/1:00 Lakisha Chalmers/ Jerry Smith: 966-7487
Thursday, June 14 2nd North Albany 50 9:30/1:30 Fran LoGiudice/Jim
Friday, June 15

Monday,June 18


Sheridan Prep

New Scotland


9:15/ 1:30
Shelly Flood/N/A
Tina Moor N/A
???/Gill Bullock: 877-7897


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.