Welcome to the Kellogg & Sons Blacksmith Shop

Our traditional Blacksmith shop located in Northern New York. We do custom Blacksmithing work focused upon traditional 18th and 19th century hardware and tools.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fire in the Sky...

Up, up and away!

                                           Amazing what tissue paper and a candle can do!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blacksmithing & Tinsmithing Workbench

Some workbenches are small.

This one is big.  14 feet 6 inches long.

And heavy.   I am guessing it is around 800-1,000lbs.  Four men can't lift it, but can skid it.

The top is two layers of rock maple 2x2.

The Pexto Plate is a Stake Plate for holding tinsmithing stakes.

A very useful feature along with the absolutely flat and solid tabletop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Work Sleds at the Hanford Mills Ice Harvest.

This is the wooden sled that they use at the Hanford Mills Museum to haul ice for the Ice Harvest.  Those sleds haul 200lbs of ice pretty well.  Might be a good project to make!

These are single bob work sledges.  They are for heavy loads like firewood or ice, but not for long distances.  They pull best on a packed or iced path.  The side and back rails are removable.  These are very nicely made.

Over the course of one day these little sleds moved several tons of ice to the icehouse.  A pretty good days work!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blacksmithing Stake Anvils

These are Stake Anvils, also called T-Stakes, Bicks, or Bickerns.  They are useful for forging hollow forms, welding chain links, and other thinks needing a slimmer horn or more clearance than a traditional anvil offers.

This big Bickern is forged of wrought iron with no steel face.  It is 24 inches tall and 32 inches long.  It weighs around 180lbs.  It is one of the bigger and older stake anvils that I have seen.

It has a fluted column, shield shaped boss on the top, and both square and round horns.  It was probably made between 1700 and 1800 in Europe.  I found it in the Adirondack region of NY.

A smaller Bick Iron is used in the shop.  It is also old, and is make of wrought iron with a laid steel face.  It is much smaller, and was found in the Northern edge of the Catskill Mountains in NY State.  Why did both of my Bicks come from Mountain towns?  Both areas had English immigration and migration from Colonial Massachusetts.  That meant that settlers in both places had belongings that came to North American in the period before 1800, regardless of when they moved to NY.  Mountain folks tend to not throw things out.  It is nice that both of these anvils survived to the present day.

This style of Stake Anvil became less common after 1800-1830 as anvil horns became larger.  This small Bick was also likely made before that time period.  I use them lightly, as now they are recognized and collected as a rare tool.  Perhaps they will both survive another 200-300 years.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More Adirondack Blacksmiths' Pictures!

Here are a few more from the Hammer-in February 2014.

Many thanks to Marty for hosting!

His Armitage Mousehole Forge anvil is a great example of an early 1800's English anvil.

Marty and John Scarlett showed off their Blacksmith's pocketknives.  The upper one is Johns, made in 2005.  The bottom one is Marty's, made in January.

Marty has a nice Little Giant Power Hammer.  It is useful for heavy forging.

And for recycling.

Thanks Marty!  It is always fun getting together with the ADK smiths to try new projects.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hammer-In with the Adirondack Blacksmiths: February workshop on making a forge welded heart hook.

The Adirondack Chapter of the New York State Designer Blacksmiths meets about 10 times a year.  It is a great group dedicated to preserving and teaching traditional blacksmithing skills.  We met Feb. at Marty Snye's shop near Ogdensburg, NY.  Snow, cold, and difficult travel probably limited attendance a little, but we had a lot of fun!

Marty Snye has a beautiful and very nice coal forge in his shop with a side draft hood.  His forging station is well organized with only a step taking you from forge to anvil to vice.

It really takes away the smoke!  The Side Draft hood leaves a lot of space to work, and uses natural draft to create a high velocity draft to carry away the smoke.

This is the template for our project.  It is made of one piece forge welded and shaped.

Figuring things out takes some time and effort!

To quote Dr. Suess, "And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore."  It was a fun day of forging, food, and camaraderie!  Thanks to Marty and Micky for hosting the hammer-in.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fun at the Hanford Mills Ice Harvest!

The boys and I had a great adventure trip on Saturday to the Handord Mills Museum in East Meridith NY.  It is a rare and wonderful kind of Historic site!

A real operating Sawmill, woodworking shop, and Grist Mill powered by a water wheel and turbine.  The little Catskill Mountain town of East Meridith wraps around the Mill complex, as the Hanford family's Mill, General Store, Post Office, and Railroad Siding were hub of business and industry in the little town for over a hundred years!

The Ice Harvest happens the first Saturday of February every year.  Over a thousand people come out to help cut ice on the pond and haul it to the icehouse.

 Locals, families, and older folks who grew up in the area all converge on the town for the event.  The Ice Harvest doubles the town's population for the day!  It is a rare kind of Museum event, in that it puts everyone to work!  People stand in line to cut ice, haul 50lb blocks on sleds, and help pack the ice in sawdust in the Ice House!

Loading blocks in the Ice House.  More than half full!

There were a beautiful team of draft horses pulling a Bobsled.  They took families for rides around the Millpond all day!  They did a good day's work!

I joined two Blacksmith friends to help demonstrate at the Blacksmith Shop.

We were one of the first places visitors stopped on their way in, and the last they visited on their way out!  It was a lot of fun meeting folks and Blacksmithing.  More about our Blacksmithing projects in the next post.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bickerns, T-Stakes, and Stake Anvils

One of the oldest kind of anvils is the Stake or Bickern.  A T shaped anvil that fits into a hole in the bench or stump is much more economical to make than one with a massive iron base.  Wrought Iron and steel were extremely expense prior to the 19th century's innovations.  Medieval woodcuts of Blacksmith shops often showed a stake anvil along with a hornless main anvil.

Stake anvils are very useful in a traditional shop.  They are used to bend small coils, fit inside a hollow object, or finish small forgings.  They ranged in size from tiny ones used by Jewelers to 20lb. stakes used by smiths to 200lb Bickerns used as an anvil in the shop.

My small stake anvil is forged of wrought iron with a steel face.  It has the classic shape with one round horn and one square horn.  It is an old one, and has some wear from use.  It had been -34F the night before I took this picture.  It was still well below freezing in the shop, and the stake anvil is very frosty!

My large stake anvil is from the pre-modern era.  The fluted column, shield shaped boss, and combination of round and square horns may place this anvil in the 18th century or earlier.  It is wide, long, and tall and weighs around 180lbs.

It is all wrought iron with no steel face.  This style of anvil would have been used in England to supplement the shop anvil.  Pre-1800 English anvils were fairly solid and rectangular with small horns and a short heel.  They were excellent for general forging but sometimes you needs a horn or skinny heel to forge inside a bucket, set rivets, or work on tines of a fork.  The Bickern, T-Stake, or Stake Anvil was needed for those jobs.

Stake anvils are still used in the Blacksmith Shop.  At the SOFA Quad-State 2013 Conference a team of smiths used a steam hammer to make the one pictured below!

They are still a sought out and useful tool for Blacksmithing and sculptural form.  As I heard one old smith say they are, "as useful as pockets in a pair of pants!"

Friday, January 24, 2014

No Blacksmithing due to Extreme Cold!

I haven't done any actual Blacksmithing this week.  We have had 5 days with lows reaching -20 to -34F.  It was -29F this morning at 8am.  Too Cold!  

Here is my shop at -29F, and the fog behind it is ice fog from a power dam on the Black River.

It looked a lot different in August!  The Christmas Ice Storm took down most of the trees.  At least now I have a view!

I decided to check how deep the ice on the river has gotten.  It was around 8 inches on January 1, then we had 5 days of 50 degree weather that reopened the river.  Here is the river in warmer weather.

 The ice near shore never melted all the way, and then it grew a lot in the last week.  
I drilled my hole about 15 feet from shore.  I was expecting about 8-10 inches.  I measured 14 inches before even hitting water!  I think there is around 18 inches near shore.  

 I thought it would be in about 2 feet of water where I drilled.  Turns out there is just 18 inches of ice!

Turns out it was ice all the way to the bottom!  The ice has heaved up and the water in the hole doesn't even reach the top of the hole, because the ice is sitting on the bottom of the river!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rainbows and Puppies!

I have done several Blacksmithing related projects in the last week.  I visited a fellow Blacksmith that is moving out of state and came home with more raw materials for projects!  Then another fellow Blacksmith and I used some of that steel to weld up a Gas forge body!  But I forgot to get any pictures of that!

So here is a picture from my trip to Troy Ohio in 2012.  Bad weather in the Grain Belt, but a great sunset!

And here is a picture of our new Puppy!  She is very energetic and likes to romp in the snow!

Rainbows and Puppies!  Perhaps a nice change from my normal pictures of old tools and iron!