Dave enjoys collecting old tools and reusing found materials for his projects. If you are in the area, let us know if you have some high carbon steel, wrought iron, hardwood, lumber, or interesting blacksmithing, farm, or wood working tools that need a caring home.
A Drift in Thoughts
Discarding used or unwanted items and materials has become so habitual for those of us in the western world that it is hard for me to conceive of life without endless supply and endless space for waste.
Oldtime ‘smiths would save every scrap and piece of iron and steel, reusing it in smaller and smaller projects down to the nails hand forged by assistants. Hard-to-obtain carbon steel was not often used for a whole tool, but only for the cutting edges, carefully fire-welded into place. A farm implement may become a tool, later a part or component, and then later a nail or bolt which might eventually be rewelded into a mass of scrap and refined back into a large bloom of iron.
In much of the world, people are creatively using few resources to create many useful items. This Zambian blacksmith is using hand-tanned antelope skins over baked clay pots, tied on with bicycle tube rubber for an air supply. His forge is natural clay, and the charcoal is homemade, some of it on-the-fly around the edges of his forge. The large sledgehammer in the lower left is the anvil and the steel hammerhead just behind and left is the hammer. Though he owns but a few tools, his skills are true and his patient work is able to keep the town functioning.
Here in North America, we have been given much space to work with. Let us use it not for piling up waste in landfills, but for storing and reusing useful materials that we can use to create lasting objects. Vancouver Island has a long-standing farming community and I am sure we can find some rusty treasures to put back into use in new forms.
Thank you to those who have contributed small and large additions to the previous venture and the new workshop. My grandfather for the repurposed farm implements and tools for iron and steel, my parents for a wood stove, hauling and storing tools, and fan-like word-of-mouth connections, Roy for the stories, industry advice, and tool steel, Lester of Dragonfly Iron for coal, books, and tools, Ryland for the anvil stump, and the art studio that is willing to share creative space.