Old Dominion Blacksmith Association
Photo of Dale Morse at the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing      
                       Serving South Central and Western Viriginia Blacksmiths     

        Welcome to ODBSA
          "Current News"

                                    June 12, 2018

       Click "HERE" to go to ODBSA  Facebook.          

We no longer have a monthly Newsletter, it has been replaced with "Current News


The Group

The first time at the forges

Go to our Facebook page for more photo's

Brad Lewis getting some coal at Bobby's

We still have coal. Let me know if you need some and I will set up a time.

April 14
Hammer In
Clifton Forge School of Art
Glenn Bryant
Had a nice day for the Hammer In at Glenn's place. Good turn out. Always fun to watch Randy Cox work with copper. He makes it look easy.

 A few ODBSA member showed up to the event. Iron in the Hat had some good treasures, added a few to my collection. 

John & Mickey Elliott from Black Smith Supply was there with truck load of goodies. Added one set of tongs to my collection. 

Only one tail gate'er was there. Sure was hoping there would be more

Here's a couple of pictures. Go to Facebook to a few more.

Also, Glenn has some forges for sale, call him for info.

March, Sat. 10th
Fred Crist Studio
Waynesboro, Va

We had a cool day at Fred's, but everyone enjoyed it. We had 20 members show up.

Fred did a joinery piece first made by Samuel Yellin's. After putting the two sets together (Pic below) they made a very nice piece. This was auctioned off, and the top bid was Kent Flowers.

Next he forged a sculpture out of 1/2 x 3 mild steel. The chisel cuts were done with forge heat and power hammer. After the cuts, the bending was with a rose bud and some very large bending forks (48"). If you like me, you to vision what it will look like when it is finished, but that only in the eye of the artist. (Pic below) This was auction off and the top bid was Randy Cox. 

I want to thank everyone for showing up to the meeting, especially Mickey & John Elliott, Black Smith Supply, for coming out with a truck load of blacksmith tools. Thank You

Kent Flowers with Fred Crist

Randy Cox with Fred Crist

For more pictures of the meeting, GOTO ODBSA Facebook page for 30+ photos by Bobby Ricketts


SunRise Forge, Rustburg

Click "HERE" for pictures of the meeting at Sunrise Forge

ODBSA Meeting group Picture at Sunrise Forge, February 2018

We had 18 members show up, with a couple of new one's. Welcome David Holder from Evington, and Robert Hudson, from Halifax. Here's a few pic's I took of the meeting. Bill Roy did a 3 part Stream at the meeting that you watch on our Facebook.

April 2018
Glen Bryant
Clifton Forge

MAY 2018
Plans for May 12th, at Norman McKenzie's Falling River Forge, will be a hands on, using what you learned at these meeting or anything you would like to have help with. What I need is anyone that has a 
portable Forge, Anvil or Vise, that you are willing to bring to the meeting and let the members use let me know. This meeting, the forges will be used by members only. If we can get enough forge stations, ?, I will have the hands-on. Otherwise, we will fine a demonstrator. I will let you know and discuss it at the January meeting. 

Here's LT's Globe with the glass. Very Nice. Not quite as pretty as the Lady Blacksmith (My Opinion) but it is close, close, close:)

I had to find something prettier then LT's globe, found it. Future Lady Blacksmith, Aynslie Opel McKenzie. 

I recently finished this piece for a customer. They are adding stained glass to the arrowhead, feather, and little rings in center. Outside dia. Is 25 inches. Looking forward to seeing it with the stained glass.

Norman McKenzie: 6 Oyster Knifes for a friend. 

Falling River Forge Make-Over
Here's some Pis's of the new location of the forge. A little more room until I fill it up.

Smoking in the snow

Forge with Fire. Still allot of work to be done.

Grandson (8) forge two hooks for present for his teachers.

Heating it up

Last one he dropped and couldn't stop him before learned not to touch.

Two hooks complete

New more Christmas Pic's

November 11, 2017 
 Cedar Rock Forge 
Robert Minnix's

          First I want the thank everyone for coming out in the cold and participating in the meeting. We lucked out and the wind didn't blow so it wasn't bad. Robert had the wood stoves going, felt great.

          Next, I want to thank Robert & Sue Minnix (And the rest of the family) for hosting the meeting and providing a super lunch with all the trimmings. If anyone left hungry, it was their fault. We had a nice warm place for the meeting and good food, (you can't beat that). What a day. Thank You All so much.

          Next, I want to thank John and his wife from Black Smith Supply, for coming over and enduring the cold and selling tools. I think just about everyone bought something. There was a line most of the time. I think they did well on their sales. They will be back in January at Davids place, so get your list to me and I will send it to John, so he will have it there.  
Again, thanks John

          Next, I can't say enough about Carson Sams. I had more comments on the way he did his presentation and explained what he was doing and why. I think everyone came away with something new to try or a better way of doing things.  With
 me, the time to flux and remove scale for a weld, was an answer to 95% of my failures. (Not that I had any) We will have Carson back. Looks like next November at Cedar Rock Forge, again.

We auction off the items Carson forged before and after lunch. 
First hook - $20.00 Jay Hatfield 
Second Hook - $30.00 Barry Jones
Cross - $110.00 Barry Jones  ( Carson made the forging of the cross look so easy!)
Cable Knife - $85.00 Robert Minnix

           One last thank you to Wendell Wyland for donating $100.00 to the veterans, to purchase tools from Black Smith Supply. Each Vet at the meeting (approx. 12) received one ticket. We had the drawing at lunch, with the winner being Norman McKenzie. Wendell, (I am not thanking you because I won, it was just a honorable thing to do). And a special THANK YOU to all the Veterans.

We had 29 members signed up and 47 items for the Iron in the Hat. List below. We sold over $900.00 in tickets. That's outstanding. 

1 Carson Sams Hatchet Kent Flowers
2 Robert Featherston Hooks Peggy Hudson
3 Bruce James Metal stand & metal Bill Roy
4 Ben Minnix Candle Holder Randy Hicks
5 Norman Mckenzie Misc Steel Peggy Hudson
6 Norman Mckenzie 3/8 Fuller Robert Featherston
7 Norman Mckenzie Hardy Bender David Petty
8 Robert Minnix Fire poker  DJ Pollard
9 Robert Minnix Bucket of Coal Randy Cox
10 Robert Minnix Bucket of Coal David Petty
11 Robert Minnix Bucket of Coal David Petty
12 Charlie Hudson Handles Robert Minnix
13 Charlie Hudson Hammer Bill Roy
14 Buford Hodges Wax & Water Sprinkler Mandie Butler
15 Buford Hodges Hoof Pick Ben Minnix
16 Randy Cox Copper Dish Lori Mckenzie
17 Randy Cox Copper Hair Clip Robert Featherston
18 LT Skinnell Pine Cone Zack Minnix
19 TW Hudson Welding Gloves Robert Minnix
20 Peggy Hudson Pumpkin Bread Ben Minnix
21 Peggy Hudson Blueberry Bread Robert Featherston
22 Kent Flowers Oyster Knife Robert Minnix
23 Chuck Knoll Roller Bearing-Springs Jay Hatfield
24 Chuck Knoll Roller Bearing-Springs Ben Minnix
25 Chuck Knoll Files Robert Featherston
26 Barry Jones New Files Dominick Baum
27 Barry Jones 1070 Steel Robert Featherston
28 Barry Jones Old Files LT Skinnell
29 Bill Roy Square Punches Charlie Hudson
30 Bobby Moose Heart Trivet Kent Flowers
31 Randy Hicks 01 Tool Steel Jay Hatfield
32 Jay Hatfield Finishing Wax Bill Roy
33 Jay Hatfield Blacksmith Book Marty Soyars
34 Black Smith Supply Scotch Brite Pads Norman McKenzie
35 Black Smith Supply H13 Tool Steel Bill Roy
36 Wendell Wyland Tongs Kent Flowers
37 Black Smith Supply Scotch Brite Pads Norman McKenzie
38 Black Smith Supply Alphabet Punches Bill Roy
39 Matthew Hundly Wizard Head Steak Flopper Robert Motley
40 Zach Minnix Tongs Paul Manley
41 Bobby Richetts Chisels / Brush Wendell Wyland
42 Marty Soyars Brass Brush/Steel Brush Matthew Hundley
43 Brad Lewis Files Ben Minnix
44 Brad Lewis Grinder Discs Bufford Hodges
45 Brad Lewis Chisels / Brush Bill Roy
46 Paul Manley Stand Robert Minnix
47 Paul Manley Tool Steel Kent Flowers
Please CLICK HERE for pictures of the Iron in the Hat Items

People that have said they would be there:
1. Chuck Kroll
2. Jay Hatfield
3. Frank Pehrson
4. Bruce James
5. Robert Fetherston
6. Norman McKenzie
7. Sue Minnix
8. Robert Minnix
9. Bobby Moose
10. Bobby Ricketts
11. Barry Jones
12. LT Skinnell
13. Bill Roy
14. Brain Moore
15. Randy Cox
16. Lori McKenzie (Iron in the Hat)
17. Amanda Butler (Iron in the Hat)
18. Bobby Floyd
19. John Elliott
20. Mrs. Elliott (Boss)
21. Thomas Reid
22. David Petty
23. Mike Johnson
24. Bonnie Johnson
25. Randy Hicks
26. Marty Soyars
27. Wendell Wyland
28. Kent Flowers
28. Tom Hudson
29. Peggy Hudson
30. Zach Minnix
31. Kevin Isaacs
32. Dan Lihos
33. Brad Lewis
34. Buddy Mehaffey

Rob, Sue & Ben Minnix
2501 Theta Mill RD
Gladys, VA 24554
1. On 501 turn onto Long Island Road(761) across the street from the Exxon in Gladys; go 3/4 miles and turn right onto Theta Mill RD; then go about a mile and his farm/home is on the left; bare left in his driveway to get to his shop/studio.
2. On 29 just north of Altavista and across the street from Perky's(699) restaurant take Gladys RD for about 9 miles (it dead ends onto Long Island Rd(761); turn left for about a mile and turn left onto Theta Mill Road (698) about a mile and his farm/home is on the left side; bare left in his driveway to get to his shop/studio.

October 14, 2017
 MEETING AT Floyd, Va.
Floyd Center for the Arts

We had 8 members make a HAWK with Gerald
Jay Hatfield
Chuck Knoll
Matt Hudley
Carter Hudley
Buddy Mehaffey
Robert Fetherston
Camelia Elliott
Jim Elliott

Brad Lewis Observed. 
One new member: Ben Newbill from Roanoke.

Click HERE  for more pictures on Photo Bucket

Gerald Boggs will be the demonstrator. We will be forging a tomahawk like the one in the picture.

The cost will be $20.00 for the hands on, for members and $15.00 to observe for the day.

Tools needed if you have them

Tongs to hold 1/4" flat bar
gloves  (flux splatter)
something to hold flux (pie tin) Norman will bring a few.
Go to Gerald's website and make a set of eye tong for the hawk. Good practice.

Make sure you put you name or mark on your tools. We might have to share and I want everyone to get their tools back.


Also if you plan to attend, send me an email. For this meeting, send all emails to Norman. fallingriverforge@gmail.com. 

Forge space will be the order I receive emails. First 10 people will have a forge station (two per forge). There should be time for two groups on the forges. You can still sign up just in case someone can't make it. 

1. Chuck Kroll        
2. Jay Hatfield        
3. Camelia Elliott
4. Robert Fetherston
6. Matthew Hundley
7. Carter Hundley
8. Buddy Mehaffey
9. Brad Lewis
10 Brain Moore

Norman McKenzie Fill-in/Helper

More to come:)

More to come


** 8/19/2017--The annual September meeting/event at my Plantation Forge in Long Island, VA has been cancelled due to major health issues for my wife and recently for me.

If you think Old Dominion Blacksmithing Association monthly meeting/event on Sat. June 10th in Bedford, VA at L.T. Skinnell’s super clean, fully equipped studio (Otter Hill Forge) with world famous Master Blacksmith/Teacher Jerry Darnell as our demonstrator was near perfect, “you would be right on”. It’s a beautiful home located at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountain with a manicured yard and gardens; L.T.’s large display room located a few steps down in back of his studio highlights his now Master Blacksmithing skill level with probably a hundred of his clean looking hand-forged different items that were professionally displayed.; This is where Barbara Skinnell and family provided us all with drinks and great refreshments. The home cooked lunch she provided under the large shade trees with all kinds of tables to sit was “out of this world good”, I personally ate as if there were no tomorrow; the attendance of members & a few guests was exceptional with near fifty total; the 50/50 raffle had great participation that raise a total of $180.00 and Mike Johnson had the winning number and won ½ of the pot; We were extremely lucky to have a hand full of members with deep pockets that kept the bidding going higher (1st item Jerry forged a light (I forgot the name of it) in the morning brought $220.00 from Jay Hatfield and the 2nd item-a salamander forge by Jerry in the afternoon brought $130.00  from Rob Minnix); Wendell Wyland’s ODBSA library stayed busy;  Bruce James our Administrator was in full busy control this morning by signing in people, making sure that had name tags, selling the raffle tickets, selling hat/t-shirts, selling Jerry’s books, selling Jerry’s used hardies (maybe 15) for 10.00 each,  and taking 6 new applications to join ODBSA ( Brad Lewis from Concord, Don Cornell from Frederick, MD, Thomas Reid from Troutville,  George Kutchman from Buchanan, David Petty from Buchanan, & Jeremy Lambert from Floyd) and record and count the money and he always ask Wendell to double count it;  and after lunch Chuck Kroll asked if anyone would like some small differ size new Caterpillar springs and presented me with a box full of them and they went quickly to members.

I for one cannot get enough of Jerry’s demos. THANK YOU!!!


Bobby Floyd


PS: I will post Bobby Ricketts (ODBSA photographer) photos as soon as I get them.


* Last call


The next Event/ Meeting will be on Saturday June 10th at L.T.’s Otter Hill Forge in Bedford, VA with Master Blacksmith/Teacher Jerry Darnell.

Starting time: 10:00 am (everyone come early please)
Admission charge: $15.00 (except for children and spouses)
50/50 raffle: yes
Lunch: L.T. said "We want charge for Lunch. They an take the money and bid more on Jerry's pieces"
Auction of Jerry’s forged item in the morning will be at Noon.
Auction of Jerry’s forged item in the afternoon will be at the end of his demonstration.
Wendell's Library will be there

Starting time: 10:00 am (everyone come early please)
Admission charge: $15.00 (except for children and spouses)
50/50 raffle: yes
Lunch: L.T. said "We want charge for Lunch. They an take the money and bid more on Jerry's pieces"
Auction of Jerry’s forged item in the morning will be at Noon.
Auction of Jerry’s forged item in the afternoon will be at the end of his demonstration.
Wendell's Library will be there

Note: Jerry will be bringing his newest book for you to purchase at sign-in table

Let me know if you are planning on attending!!!!!

Member/guests that have already said that they are planning on attending:

  1. Bobby Floyd
  2. L.T. Skinnell
  3. Jerry Darnell
  4. Al Cody
  5. Matt King
  6. T.W. Hudson
  7. Robert Fetherson
  8. David Luftus
  9. Randy Cox
  10. Barry Lockhart
  11. Barry Jones
  12. Ross Patterson
  13. Bobby Ricketts
  14. Frank Pehrsen
  15. Rocky Rakes
  16. Bobby Moose
  17. Gale Moose
  18.  David Wine
  19. Rob Minnix
  20. Ben Minnix
  21. Zack Minnix
  22. Bruce James
  23. Thomas Reid
  24. Tom Wenrich
  25. George Kukhman
  26. Bill Fox
  27. Patty Fox
  28. Charlie Hanks
  29. Chris Rupe
  30. Chuck Kroll
  31. Wendell Wyland
  32. Peggy Hudson
  33. T. W. Hudson
  34. Charlie Hudson---------Will tailgate===
  35. Robin
  36. Brian Loftus
  37. Tom Loftus
  38. Don Cornell
  39. Joan Cornell
  40. Brad Creasy
  41. Brycen Creasy
  42. Matt Hundley
  43. Carter Hundley
  44. Bonnie Johnson
  45. Mike Johnson
  46. Bill Mauser
  47. Bryan Fritts
  48. David Tucciarone
  49. Josh  Post
  50. Jay Hatfield
  51. Thomas Ried's friend
  52. Brad Lewis
  1. Otter Hill Forge
    Barbara and L.T. Skinnell
    2732 Otter Hill Road                                  
    Bedford, Virginia 24523 
    1-540- 297-5817

    From Bedford: Take route 714 which becomes ( Falling Creek Road) 0ut past Bedford County Nursing Home and go 5.5 miles across a cement bridge. At top of hill, turn right on route 715 (Otter Hill Rd) and go 1.8 miles. 2732 on mailbox. House on left.
    From Roanoke: Take third exit off 460 by-pass. Turn right on to 714 and follow directions from Bedford. If using route 24 from Roanoke use directions from Moneta.
    From Lynchburg: Take first exit off 460 (just past McDonalds)Turn left on to 714 and follow directions from Bedford.
    From Moneta: Follow route 122 to intersection with route 24.Turn right on to route 24 and go 5.5 miles to "T" intersection with route 43.Turn left on route 43north and go 1.2 miles just past Pecks Baptist Church. Turn right on to route 715 (Otter Hill Rd) and go 1.6 miles. House on right. 2732 on mailbox.
    From Altavista: (at by-pass route 43 exit) Take route 43 north for 1.8 miles. Turn right on to route 628 and go 8.3 miles to intersection with route 43 at Mentow Baptist Church. Go right on 43 North for 1.5 miles to intersection with route 24. Turn left on route 43 North and go 3.9 miles just past Pecks Baptist Church to route 715 (Otter Hill Rd) and go 1.6 miles.2732 on mailbox. House on right.
    From Yellow Branch (routes 29 & 24 intersection) Take route 24 through Evington and over Big Otter Bridge for 16.5 miles. At intersection route 24 and 43 merge. Keep straight on 24 for 2.7 miles. At this intersection, 24 & 43 separate. Keep straight on 43 north for 1.2 miles just past Pecks Baptist Church. Turn right on 715 (Otter Hill Rd) and go 1.6 miles. 2732 on mailbox. House on right

    Thanks for your help and support,


***Norm’s Event
It’s another first for ODBSA members. Assist in making your own coal forge!! What a deal ($150.00) and pay when you sign in this day.  Minimum participation will be five and maximum will be ten. Where and when? Norm’s Falling River Forge in Rustburg, VA on Sat. May 13th. Starting time will be 9:00 am. Finishing time is unknown but plan on a long day. Lunch/refreshments cost is $7.00 each and will be only 30 minutes at noon.

Observers: $15.00 each

NO Library, hat/t-shirt sales, or 50/50 raffle.

The members who have made a firm commitment to make their own forge this day are:
We now have the MAX*********of 10 members

  1. Jim or Camelia Elliott with 120 volt blower
  2. Kent Flowers he wants one of each: one 12 volt and one 120 volt.
  3. Jay Hatfield
  4. Randy Cox                                   (Will help Norm welding)
  5. TW Hudson with the 12 volt blower (Will help Norm welding))
  6. Bobby Ricketts will add blower later
  7. Ross Patterson with 12 volt blower
  8. Frank Pehrson has his own blower
  9. Brent Riley with 12 volt blower
  10. Robert Featherson  

******    L.T. Skinnell----------------------------------Will help Norm
******    Mike Mckenzie-----------------------------Will help Norm
1. Bobby Floyd

Because lunch/refreshments will be provided we need to know if you are planning on attending this event to just observe.


  1. We are not taking orders for the forge. Norm said if he makes more that they will be sold at a much higher price.
  2. For the ones that are making their own forge this day and are planning on using your own blower either bring it this day or give Norm the pipe dimensions so that he can make the adapter.
  3. If you are planning on participating in making your own forge and want one of the two Blowers :  110 Volt AC fan (In pic.), adapter and gate: $100.00 or 12 Volt DC fan, adapter  and gate: $120.00,  you will need to tell me so that Norm can order them and have them ready to install  this day. 


Norman Mckenzie
147 Abe's Way
Rustburg, VA 24588
434-332- 4113
Directions: Norm promises that no one will get lost if they use Map Quest or their GPS
Just in case My Cell is 434-665-4225
1. From the south: Take Hwy 24 east to Rustburg. Go past Hardies to Red House Rd (Next Light) and turn right. Just behind the high school, turn left on 663, Bethany Rd. Go 4.5 miles, crossing the Falling River, go to the top of the hill and turn right on Abe's Way. Second house on the right. White Cape Cod.
2. From the north, come down the 29 By-pass (New) and go east on 460 towards Appomattox. Go to the Light on 460 at Concord and turn right on Hwy 24. Just past the school, turn left on Spring Mill. Go 4 miles to New Chapel Rd and turn right. Go 1.8 miles to Bethany Rd. and turn right. Go .7 miles to Abe's Way and turn left. Second house on the right. White Cape Cod..

Thank you for your help and support,

Bobby Floyd

***Thank you Fred Crist for another wonderful demonstration, sorry that I was unable to attend. Many thanks to Norman Mckenzie (VP) for taking charge and other officers who helped: Bobby Ricketts (photographer), Bruce James & Daniel Matherly (Administrators), and Jay Hatfield (Safety officer). Also, special thanks to John Elliott of Blacksmith Supply for coming with his truck full of wares for our members and the donation of the mig welder. Bobby Floyd
From Norman:
Great day

***Thank you Fred Crist
for another wonderful demonstration, sorry that I was unable to attend. Many thanks to Norman Mckenzie (VP) for taking charge and other officers who helped: Bobby Ricketts (photographer), Bruce James & Daniel Matherly (Administrators), and Jay Hatfield (Safety officer). Also, special thanks to John Elliott of Blacksmith Supply for coming with his truck full of wares for our members and the donation of the mig welder. Bobby Floyd
From Norman:
Great day

Total                  $551.00 (admission ?plus raffle?)
Fred                   - 400.00
Auction              + 170.00
To the good      + 321.00

Mike Johnson won the welder
Matt Hundley Auct. 1 105.00
Barry Jones Auct. 2  65.00

April 8th. Every year we(ODBSA) are invited to member Glen Bryant's Hammer-in at Clifton Forge, VA .held at the Clifton Forge School of the Arts. This Hammer-in is open to the public therefore you do not need to tell me if you are coming. Cost is $5.00 plus bring something for the iron-in-the-hat raffle.

* Old Dominion Blacksmith Association has a MUCH, MUCH, higher percent of members who are Veterans than the general population, and most groups anywhere. Why, I do not know. But I proud to say they do! They did not look for a way to avoid but stepped forward to serve their country. Congratulations and THANK YOU

Bruce doing his job as Administrator.

Wendell at his Library

**Click "HERE" to see 25 photos that I took at Rob's ODBSA Nov. Event

                                                         One good looking group!!!!!!!

** Click "HERE" to see 49 photos that Bobby Ricketts took at Rob's ODBSA Nov. Event.

                                                                             Rob and Elmer

**2nd Event of 2017

Photo by Bobby Ricketts      32 in attendance
Admission fee= $435.00
50/50 raffle     =     52.00
Auction           =     50.00       
Total income      =                        $537.00
Demonstrator   = $300.00
Lunch                 =    30.00
Total expense  =                         - 330.00
 ***** To be deposited                                 = $207.00

*Welcome our seven newest members :

1. Bill Fox-------Grottoes,VA----Apprentice
2. Reginald Scruggs---Forest, VA---Novice
3. Brad Creasy----Bedford, VA-----Novice
4. Lorenzo Hughes---Danville, VA---Apprentice
5. Steve Surber---Martinville, VA---Apprentice
6. Kenny Hermsen---South Hill, VA--Novice
7. Josh Post---Bedford, VA---Novice

* Good day for ODBSA member David Leckrone from Appomattox, VA as he learned some basics of the historic crafts with hands-on Training from me at my shop. Another member Barry Jones just finished making him a forge. He has the training and equipment needed, now let's what he can do on his own.

* Mr. Nol  Putnam (Master Blacksmith, Teacher, Artist and Author) we thank you very much for spending some time with us to share some of your knowledge. Great day and a lot of fun with one of best and well known Artist Blacksmiths in the USA. Mck

To see VP Norman Mckenzie photos of the day click HERE
1. 38 members/guests in attendance at our 1st Event of 2017 on Sat. Jan. 14th.
2. The most expensive monthly Event in 11 years at $650.00 (demonstrator, rental of David's shop, and lunch for 4 but thanks to all in attendance we just barely covered it all with admission fee, 50/50 raffle and the few small items we auctioned off.

** From our friend Master Blacksmith/teacher Jerry Darnell:
****** My latest Book, Forging Colonial Ironwork III is now out!!!
It is in the same format as Book I and Book II, with some very challenging and unique projects. Costs are the same $20, email or call
     My new book "Forging Colonial Ironwork" is finally here. It is a compilation of over 22 years of teaching notes at the folk school and various conferences thru out the US. It has about 120 pages both sides, divided into 4 chapters Colonial Lighting, 18th Century Hearth Equipment, Early American Hardware and Hooks and Hangers. There is a mix of projects from simple to advance. If it is well received I'll have the next two volumes of notes printed. The cost is $20.00 plus 6.75% tax and $10.00 for shipping and handling. Send a check to me or visa/master by phone.
Contact Information:
Jerry Darnell
Mill Creek Forge
4512 Busbee Road Seagrove, NC 27341


(910) 464-3888 (Shop)
(910) 464-2636 (House)

Note: For Old Dominion Blacksmith Association members, Jerry is sending at least 20 books to us for our meeting on Sat. Jan.14th at Sun Rise Forge in Rustburg,VA with Master Blacksmith Nol Putnam as our demonstrator/teacher. $20.00 each for the book.


John Riddle died of a heart attack at his home yesterday around 7:30pm (Friday 16th). He was a friend and longtime (over 10 years) active member of Old Dominion Blacksmith Association who tailgated at over 50 percent of our monthly Events and was an important part of this organization. A true craftsman he was, not only in blacksmithing but woodworking and especially yard-art using his welder. Many of our members are still using his coal forges that he fabricated. His enjoyment of this historic craft of blacksmithing is attested to by the large number of demonstrations to the public he did over the years; teaching weekend classes at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, VA and maintaining their blacksmithing studio for them and us.

John will be missed by all and condolences to his family.

* A cold but comfortable day in my Plantation Forge in Long Island, VA yesterday with Chuck Kroll from Roanoke, VA taking the Free Beginners class that I offer to any Old Dominion Blacksmith Association member that is prepared to practice what they learn A cold but comfortable day in my Plantation Forge in Long Island, VA yesterday with Chuck Knoll from Roanoke, VA taking the Free Beginners class that I offer to any Old Dominion Blacksmith Association member that is prepared to practice what they learn this day using either their own equipment or have access to a forge station. This class is NOT for anyone wanting to TRY this craft but for those members that that are serious by showing me that that they have already spent some money by purchasing some blacksmithing equipment. The entrance (9’ x 12’) to my shop is still open but working at the forge was comfortable but I spent most of my time about 15’ away next to the burning wood stove to keep warm.    Chuck arrived about 8:15am and we finished around 6:00pm.  Because Chuck had been practicing/experimenting on his rivet forge outside he had more knowledge that most that I have worked with. He learned very fast during the day and did very well. He is going to be a very good blacksmith if he has the time to practice.    A good day for both of us!!

**Who’s next to become a member of ODBSA Wizard Head Club?

Welcome 3 new ones: Ben, Zack and Rob Minnix !! And this brings the total of about 20 members who have hand-forged the Wizard Head bottle opener.

This a fun, not so easy project that requires more delicate/finesse/precise hand-forging than most of us are accustomed to.

I offered this class to the Minnix men at their place since they were not able to attend the one we had in Floyd VA in Oct. with Professional Blacksmith Gerald Boggs as our Instructor because they were trying to complete their new shop/studio for ODBSA Nov. Event with Master Blacksmith Elmer Roush..

Instead of using the blackboard that I brought there, we used Master Blacksmith Mark Aspery’s “The Skills of a Blacksmith Volume 1” book to see the step by step photos. This worked extremely well as you can tell by the photos of their “first” hand-forged Wizard Head bottle opener. It was a good day for ALL.

**Hey Bobby,

I regret that Bonnie and I could not attend the event at Rob's shop, but I am glad for all the one's we can get to.

Bonnie has been working on a hose-holder and it has been slow going. She designed and built, using the MIG welder for assembly, the frame out of 3/4" square tubing, and wanted to add some scroll work as decoration, but couldn't quite decide how to proceed. BUT after watching Kim Thomas at the September event, it started coming together. After she completed assembling the project, she put a red primer and then black, exterior enamel paint as a finish.

I have attached a couple of photos of the finished project: one showing the entire hose-holder, and another with a close-up of some of the scroll work. I think she did a really good job on it. We learn so much at these events, and I always hate when I can't make all of them... I think of all the good technique and camaraderie we miss.

Feel free to share these with others in ODBSA.

Have a great Thanksgiving,
Mike and Bonnie

Really nice work Mike and Bonnie!!! and thanks for sharing.

* Many, many thanks go out to Rob Minnix for:
1. For building his wonderful blacksmithing shop/studio way ahead of his schedule time so that we could have an ODBSA Event there last Sat. It took him about 3 months to build it in his spare time from his regular job and all the siding was from wood on his property that he just sawed up with his saw mill there. How many of you noticed that his forge blower was on the outside of shop/studio so that we could hear much better? New gravel on his road and parking lot and I loved the outhouse. Just cleaning up and picking up for one of these Events at one’s home place is a lot of work but especially true the first time.
2. For hosting this Event and providing the home made stew, hot dogs, refreshments and drinks for us to pig out on.
3. For having the highest bid at the auction of $165.00 for Elmer’s 10th Century Viking locks that he hand-forged this day!

Great way to end the year!! Thanks Rob!

Have a great Veterans day!!!!!!

Bobby Floyd Pres. ODBSA and a Nam vet.

Old Dominion Blacksmith Association has a MUCH, MUCH, higher percent of members who are Veterans than the general population, and most groups anywhere. Why, I do not know. But I proud to say they do! They did not look for a way to avoid but stepped forward to serve their country. Congratulations and THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great Veterans day!!!!!!

Bobby Floyd Pres. ODBSA and a Nam vet

* Want to learn or try the art of blacksmithing in our area of VA? Three places near by that offer beginner classes: Jacksonville Center for the Art in Floyd, VA (about $100.00 for two days on certain weekends); Clifton Forge School of the Arts with professional blacksmith Glen Bryant (week nights) in Clifton Forge,VA; and the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing in Waynesboro, VA with Master Blacksmith Dale Morse (week and week-end classes).
If you are "serious" about learning this craft, then become a member of Old Dominion Blacksmith Association (free to join) and we offer a FREE one-on-one "all day" beginner class to learn some basics, IF you already have a forge station or access to one to practice on.
The Free class works!!The below photos are of member Robert Featherson at my shop learning some basic blacksmithing skills with me on Sat. 10/13. (8:00 am-5:30pm).

More photos of this day click "HERE"

* Thanks to the following two members
for agreeing to be additional officers for ODBSA!!!!
1. Assistant Administrator--- Daniel Matherly
2. Assistant Safety Officer--Jay Hatfield

*Master Artist Blacksmith Fred Crist said on his Facebook page: "
Just finished a Sanctuary Candle Stand and Paschal Candle stand for the Monastery where I installed the railings in the spring. Delivery this week."
****Fred just agreed (10/17) to do a smaller version of the Paschal Candle Stand (the one with the twist in it) for ODBSA March 11th, 2017 Event at his studio in Waynesboro,VA. I love this artistic work of Fred's, I call it eye-candy.
Fred Crist: "Both shafts started out as 1.5" square, then drawn down, then at the center they were rounded and forge welded to the center pc, which was the forge welded to 3/4" round and then upset to have a nice termination for the dishes. The glass shade is 4"x 10" and the candles are 3" round. 48" and 52" respectively."

* Reflections:

After almost 11 years ODBSA just had one of its best hands-on Events ever!!!  Every one of our twelve participating members had ample time to complete the project of the wizard head bottle opener and the entire hand-forged items looked extraordinary with different personalities presented. Some with high hats, short hats, eyes crossed, eyes not even, nose smashed, beards of different lengths, one side of beard missing and some burnt parts but all looked great!
Why so successful?
1.    The real desire of hobbyist blacksmiths to learn more.
2.    Working in pairs, helping each other.
3.    Enough time to help relieve the pressure to work fast.
4.    The main ingredient for success was having a great teacher!
Professional Blacksmith Gerald Boggs was our demonstrator/teacher and was exceptional this day for many reasons:
1.    Totally prepared: by having taken the time before to hand-forge all the tools necessary (chisels, eye socket punch, and eye punch) for each of the six forge stations along with bringing the material, brass brush and additional tongs.
2.    There are a whole lot of different parts to forge in this project and Gerald presented his demonstration in doing each in a precise, slow and easy to understand for all. Because there could possibly have been an overload of information he divided it half, the wizard head first and an hour or so later the bottle opener.
3.    Toward the end of the day and help to reinforce what one learned this day, he forged the complete project in 19 minutes for us while talking some.
Thanks Gerald, all that attended and a special thanks to the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd,
VA for letting us utilize your studio, tools, coal, etc.
To see 30 photos in Photobucket taken by me this day please click on the following:

ODBSA members/guests who did attend:
1. Gerald Boggs--------------------Instructor

2. Bobby Floyd----------------------Observer
3. Norman Mckenzie--------------P===morning start
4. Chris Rupe------------------------P===morning start
5. John Riddle-----------------------P===morning start
6. Matthew Hundley---------------P===morning start
7. Kenneth Scruggs---------------P===morning start
8. Joshua Horst---------------------P===morning start
9. Ross Patterson-----------------P===morning start
10 cancelled before
11. cancelled before
12. NO SHOW*********
13. Gary Hatmaker----------------Observer
14. James Gordon----------------  Observer
15. Jay Hatfield----------------------P===morning start
16. Daniel Matherly----------------P===morning start
17. Robert Fetherston------------P===morning start
18. Ralph Sites---------------------P===morning start

19. Robert Campbell--------------Observer from SC
20. Sam Knapp----------------------P====new member-James Gordon assisted him

All money receive was given to Gerlad $270.00. I will send the JAX a $100.00 from our checking account for the uses of their studio.

FYI: The wizard head bottle opener is one of Gerald's best selling hand-forge items at $39.00 each (Etsy). Over the years he had forged over 1,000 of them and he told me that he could hand-forge one in less than 20 minutes, if not talking.

* Just paid 9/28/2016:
1. ODBSA Liability Insurance $1,000,000 with the "Hartford" for one year=$506.00
2. ODBSA Web site and Domain Names with "Go Daddy" for two years=$281.46

* My three attempted facsimile
of Mark Aspery.and Gerald Boggs. Wizard Head Bottle opener last week.

* Bobby Ricketts photos (Photobucket) Sat. 9/10 with Kim Thomas click "HERE".

* "Playing with fire"
for most people is a negative statement but not so to a blacksmith.
     Ross Patterson a newer ODBSA member from Patrick Springs, VA who had already taken a weekend beginners class at the JAX spent a day with me on 9/24 banging on hot steel in the beginners class that I offer free to new members
     He did well on the normal first timers projects but in the afternoon, we decided to try something different because of a hands-on class in three weeks on making a wizard head bottle opener.
    This is not an easy project because all kinds of things can go wrong as you can tell by the burned up end of the opener when almost finished after over an hour on it. So, we forged another one. 

* Heads Up! T
o make live a little easier when you participate in the hands-on training at our next monthly event at the Jacksonville Center of the Arts in Floyd, VA on Sat. Oct .8th  where they have 6 forge station and professional blacksmith Gerald Boggs will show you all how to forge the wizard head bottle opener watch Mark Aspery's U-Tube video forging it and/or read Mark's book "The Skills of a Blacksmith Volume 1" on how to forge it and how to forge the tools needed. 

Photos of the Iron-in-the-Hat
taken by Norman Mckenzie on Sat. Sept. 10th:
----------------------Click "HERE" to see them all.-------------------

* To really improve your skill set
in this historic craft of blacksmithing, one needs to challenge yourself. Photo of ODBSA member Mike Johnson from around Blacksburg,VA and his new hand-forged historic goose wing trammel that he learned how to forge while attending June's Event with Master Blacksmith Jerry Darnell as our demonstrator. Extremely well done Mike. Congratulations!!

*  39 photos that I took on Sept. 10th---Click "HERE" to see!!

* Good looking group of blacksmiths!! Great photo Bobby Ricketts!!!

* Kim Thomas demonstrated
at Bobby Floyd's Plantation Forge on September 10, 2016. I'll be adding more of my photographs soon.
Bobby Ricketts

* Lunch-Time on  10th Sept.
at the Buttercup Plantation where 62 Old Dominion Blacksmith Association members/guests were enjoying the delicious home-cooked smoked southern BBQ made by member Rob Minnix and his wife Sue. This was some sort of good!!!

* One first class blacksmith association (ODBSA) thanks to Norman Mckenzie (VP)
who provided a portable air conditioner that had a 6 to 8" vent hose placed in a window of my shop that blew cold air on our demonstrator (Master blacksmith Kim Thomas from Ohio and his helper Joe from Maryland). It was "nasty" hot out side (94 degrees) this day.
This is the balance of the photos that I took yesterday:"WHAT A DAY!! "

* $$$results from Sept 10th Event:
Because ticket sales and lunch money were combined this two are estimates:
1. Iron-in-the-Hat raffle tickets: $747.00
2. Lunch- $300.00
3. Auction of two items that Kim forged brought $75.00 (the winners were Matt Hundley & Kent Flowers)

1. Demonstrator-$500.00

* Attendance results on the Sept 10th Event at my place:
Of the 75 that said they were planning.on attending, 62 showed up.
Of the 62 in attendance, 47 were blacksmiths and others were their family members, guests, and friends to help Jocelyne.

* 7/11/2016--4.52 tons of WV washed Sewell pea coal
was delivered to my place by Lloyd Burns. This coal is a little bit smaller that the nugget coal that he delivered a couple of months ago. It's from the same mine and very good blacksmithing coal. Cost was $1,294.98 or $.14325 lb. The last time we sold a 5 gal bucket full of coal for $4.00 to our members and lost about dollar a bucket from our cost. This time the cost will be $5.00 for a 5 gal. bucket full (35 lbs) to our members and only at a loss of about 2 cents per bucket. Lloyd did tell me the mine might be closing down because of loss orders. They are now operating only 2 days a week and it does not look good.

* Welcome our newest members:
1. Ross Patterson---Novice-- Patrick Springs, VA
2. Dustin Schmidt---Novice---Cullen, VA
3. Ralph Sites----Apprentice---Rustburg, VA

* Norman Mckenzie, Old Domionion Blacksmith Association VP, at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest Plantation — in Lynchburg, Virginia on the 4th of July.
Looking Good Norm!!!!

"Rainy day Blacksmithing on the 4th."


June 9
Otter Hill Forge
Jerry Darnell Demonstrating
We had a great turn out Saturday, had 33 people sign in.  WE hadn't had a free meeting this year so with the free lunch provided by Mrs LT, I made the meeting free.

The weather turned out nice for most of the day. Jerry mad a 1800's door latch in the morning and two door hinges that after noon. We want to thank Jerry for coming up  to demonstrate and his driver for bring him. 

Want to thank LT, Mrs LT and family for lunch and have the meeting there. It take a lot or work putting on a meeting and lunch. Although LT doesn't have to clean up as much as some:) Thanks.

50/50 was good. We sold 130 tickets. Tom Wenrich won $65.00

We auction off the latch at noon and Jay Hatfield won that at $140.00
That evening, we auction off the hinges, Peggy Hudson won that at $80.00

 The Latch, Jay Hatfield and Jerry

The Hinges, TW Hudson and Jerry

More PIC's on FaceBook
                          May 12
Falling River Forge
We had a hot day at the forges, but made some cool stuff. 17 members showed up for the day. I want to thank Randy Cox, Jay Hatfield and Bobby Ricketts for bring their forges. LT Skinnell and all the guys for helping with both the beginners and other projects in the back
We had 6 beginners make hooks, do some twist and a coal rake. Had a little trouble lighting  the forges, but we made it.  
We want to thank the cook and helpers, Lori, Mandy Nicole, Aynslie and Levi for lunch. Everyone must have enjoyed it, because it got quiet for a little bit. Thanks again.