No, no, it’s OK – don’t all groan at once.

I bet you all thought that I was getting back into my bad old habits didn’t you? Nothing new on here for over three weeks, but there are good reasons for that – we’ve been a tad busy round these parts. There have been artsy-craftsy events (the Winter Kist in Wigtown) to prepare for and attend, various computer-related bits and pieces to sort out, friends visiting, people and places to go and see and, of course, some more forge-related things to do. For instance…

I mentioned in my last entry on this blog that I just needed to get the anvil anchored down and the job is now done. The observant ones amongst you might also notice that I’ve added a further layer to the supporting plywood-and-worktop sandwich on which the anvil sits. I ended up doing this as, after wandering around it and measuring it against my height, I decided that it was still slightly too low. Now though, it’s just about perfect. Woohoo!

Previously, I also mentioned that I was soon going to be in a position to fire up the forge. I’d love to say this is because we’ve already managed to restore the big old original forge here, but we’re nowhere near that stage yet. However, in order to allow me to get on and actually do things and continue learning, I am now the proud owner of a very neat, portable bottom-blast forge, as built and supplied by my occasional teacher/mentor in all things blacksmithery, the talented Mr Andy McKenzie of Feather Forge in Glasgow. It looks a little dirty and rusty, since it has already been used during Andy’s week-long blacksmithing workshop that I attended up in Argyll and Bute earlier this year, but that’s fine. It’s going to be getting a lot more hammer (if you’ll pardon the pun) soon enough and it might even be the actual forge that I used back then (although it’s hard to be sure, since there was a few of us there and we had one each).

So with the main tools of the trade in place, plus a half tonne of good Welsh steam coal in stock and about a quarter tonne of assorted mild steel in various forms to hand, Fineview Forge will finally be ringing to the sound of the hammer. And possibly the occasional muffled swear if I get things wrong.

Wish me luck!