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Welcome to HABAIRON.ORG, the website of the Houston Area Blacksmith's Association, the Internet resource of choice for the blacksmith in and around Houston, Texas. We have the technology!

August 15, 2015
A Tour of a Colonial House's Iron Work
Calvin Cobb

Calvin Cobb and his wife will welcome us into their colonial style home and give us a tour of the iron work that has been incorporated into the building. Some of it is preserved from that time period and others custom made by local smiths to match the period. Calvin will also show us his woodworking shop. Afterwards we will have lunch at a local restaurant.


  • 10:00 - Start of tour
  • 12:00 - Lunch at a nearby restaurant


Calvin Cobb
12726 William Dowdell
Cypress, TX 77429


From Hwy 290 go north on N. Eldridge Parkway. At Cypress North Houston Road turn left. Take your next right on William Dowdell Drive. Follow the road to 12726 which will be on your right. Google map link.

See the meeting flyer.

June 27, 2015
Tooling to Mass Produce a Bottle Opener
John Rigoni
Spring Cypress Self-Storage
4305 Spring Cypress Rd.
Spring, TX 77388

John Rigoni will demonstrate the efficient forging of one item with the intent on mass production. He will discuss design issues that may arise and show the tooling needed to forge each step cleanly. He will be using the fly press, swage block, anvil and power hammer along with custom tooling for each. The goal is clean forging with decisive actions for each heat.

Bio: I went to my first HABA meeting in 2004 and began smithing as a hobby, making knives and other small items. I was hooked. Before finishing my BA in History/classical studies I wanted to contact shops in Europe for journeyman work. I was lucky enough to attain a six month work visa and worked and traveled around Europe in 2007. I worked under Andrew Rowe in Wales, Terry Clark in England and finally Uri Hofi in Israel, along with attending conferences and shops in France and Germany. The projects ranged from tooling, to large public sculptures and gates to helping shop owners with farm work and work around the home. After exhausting all of my income it was time to come home. I now have two careers, working as a firefighter and running a small shop with the intent on creating beautiful work.


  • 9:00 - Start of meeting
  • 9:30 - John discusses and demonstrates
  • 12:00 - Lunch at your option
  • 4:00 - Conclude


Spring Cypress Self-Storage
4305 Spring Cypress Rd.
Spring, TX 77388
Gate entry code is 0341*


Look for a series of white metal buildings to the left of Spring Guns and Ammo. The shop is the third building on the left as you drive in. Any questions feel free to call John Rigoni at 281.235.2866<

See the meeting flyer.

May 16, 2015
"Chain, chain, chain..."
Experimenting with
Decorative Chain Links
HABA Depot Shop, Magnolia, TX

The HABA May meeting will be held at Magnolia Depot Forge. Dana Flanders will show, discuss, and demonstrate the creation of various examples of forged / fabricated chain links. These relatively small-scale exercises will serve to get us talking about enhancing our creativity and design skills, as well as providing a platform for demonstrating a wide variety of basic blacksmithing techniques (punching round and slot, drifting, shouldering, drawing out, tapering, twisting, bending, forge welding, etc.) and tools (top and bottom fullers, bending jigs, bottom dies, bolsters, flatter, etc.). After the initial demonstration, members will practice some of the exercises using the equipment available at the shop and their own gear, which they are encouraged to bring.


  • 8:30 - Sign In and set-up
  • 9:00 - Dana discusses and demonstrates
  • 11:00 - Members work
  • 12:00 - Lunch at your option
  • 1:00 - Members work
  • 4:00 - Conclude


HABA Magnolia Depot Forge
426 Melton Street
Magnolia, TX, 77354


The Shop is located in the south corner of the yard for The Depot which is managed by the Magnolia Historical Society, Inc.

From Tomball head NW on TX-249 N/Tomball Pkwy for 5.3 mi. Continue onto Farm to Market Rd 1774 for 4.8 mi. When you arrive to Magnolia, turn right onto Buddy Riley Blvd at the stop light. Cross the RR track and take the 1st right onto Melton St. The Depot is next to the Community Center on this corner.

From Conroe or Spring on I-45 take FM 1488 west to Magnolia for 18 mi, and turn left on to Melton St. Proceed 0.3 mi to The Depot at Butler.

See the meeting flyer.

April 17, 18, 19, 2015
Canceled due to Rain
EJ McCann's
3 Nail Forge
Kinder, LA

The HABA April meeting will be held at EJ McCann's 3 Nail Forge in Kinder, LA. EJ will host us at his shop that boasts 20 x 40 shop floor with 10 anvils, a 25 lb Little Giant hammer, a 65 lb treadle hammer and coal and gas forges. He will be able to provide a camping & RV area with water, shower and electricity. He is also going to treat us to some good Cajun cooking on Friday and Saturday nights (gumbo, red beans and rice, etc.).

Last year's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo - Yum!!


Instead of having any set demos we are inviting attendees to come ready to demo something that they have been working on. EJ has some forges and anvils and you can bring your own equipment. And it does not need to necessarily be straight blacksmithing. Any metal work such as copper smithing or other materials and/or specific techniques. No pressure if you don't have anything you want to demo but the door is open. At the very least we will all share what knowledge we have.

Daniel and Chris demonstrate making a hammer last year.


  • Friday:
    • Arrive any time on Friday - free forging
    • 6:30 PM - Dinner
  • Saturday:
    • 9:00 - Start of meeting
    • 9:30 - Demonstrations
    • 12:00 - Lunch
    • 1:00 - Demonstrations continue
    • 5:00 - Close of meeting
    • 6:30 - Dinner
  • Sunday - free forging and tear down


EJ McCann - 3 Nail Forge
22890 TV Tower Road
Kinder, LA 70648


From Houston take I10 east past Lake Charles, LA. Turn north on Highway 383, exit 43. After 10 miles turn right on TV Tower Road. EJ will be 1.25 miles down the road, the second driveway on your left after passing Tate Road. EJ will have HABA signs at exit 43, one on TV Tower Road and 383 and one on the entrance to his driveway.

See the meeting flyer.

March 21, 2015
Gary Jameson
Trammel Double Candle Stand
Magnolia Depot Forge, Magnolia, TX

The HABA March meeting will have Gary Jameson demonstrating the creation of a Trammel Double Candle Stand. Here is his biographical description:

I was able to jump head first into all things blacksmithing in the mid 1970's after completing a sculpture/drawing degree, two years in the Peace Corps in Turkey and a few more years recruiting for the Peace Corps. Once back in Illinois, I was mentored by a small town farm blacksmith who shared the fundamentals as well as a great love for ironwork. I soon began doing demonstrations at fairs, festivals and centennials and was eventually asked to teach a summer blacksmith class at the junior college.

From this class a group was formed that is now one of the oldest ABANA affiliates, The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association (illinoisblacksmith.org). My work has been accepted into the Illinois Artisan Program, a state agency that promotes fine craft in the state. I have continually maintained a one person shop doing one of a kind commission work. I have taught workshops on an ongoing basis with some time out to teach art and in one instance blacksmithing at the university level.

I attended my first ABANA conference in 1976 at the Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University. In my early years of learning, I sought out illustrations and photos of early colonial ironwork and then attempted to reproduce them by trying to figure out how they were forged. These items included fireplace devices and tools, kitchen utensils, handles and hinges and many types of lighting devices. This process helped immensely to become familiar with all fundamental forging processes and led me to devising my own colonial variations such as the trammel double candle stand that I will demonstrate at the Magnolia event. My work interest ranges from the very traditional to the very contemporary.


  • 9:00 AM - Start of meeting
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch
  • 5:00 PM - Close of meeting


Magnolia Depot Forge
426 Melton Street
Magnolia, TX 77353


The Shop is located in the south corner of the yard for The Depot which is managed by the Magnolia Historical Society, Inc.

From Tomball head NW on TX-249 N/Tomball Pkwy for 5.3 mi. Continue onto Farm to Market Rd 1774 for 4.8 mi. When you arrive to Magnolia, turn right onto Buddy Riley Blvd at the stop light. Cross the RR track and take the 1st right onto Melton St. The Depot is next to the Community Center on this corner.

From Conroe or Spring on I-45 take FM 1488 west to Magnolia for 18 mi, and turn left on to Melton St. Proceed 0.3 mi to The Depot at Butler.

See the meeting flyer.

February 21, 2015
Combo Demo
Steephollow Forgeworks, Bryan, TX

The HABA February meeting will be held in conjunction with the 5th annual Combo-Demo at Steephollow Forgeworks in Bryan,TX. Alan and Jeff Lee host this "Forge Fest" each year. This is a one day mini blacksmithing conference, free of charge, and open to the public. It is a once a year rendezvous of all the blacksmithing groups in Texas and Louisiana with demonstrations, vendors, art displays, auction, iron smelt, tailgating, food, and music. The Combo-Demo is only possible because of the generous support of the blacksmithing community at large. Volunteers are always needed. Auction and donations help pay for the whole thing.


Demonstrations will be from 9:30-11:30am and 1-4pm. a number of demonstrators have been booked including:

  • John Perilloux---Richard Louisiana, www.johnperilloux.com
  • Larry House---Picayune, Mississippi, Dragons Watch Forge & Foundry
  • Dana Flanders---Simonton, TX, Ziwa Forge
  • John McGee---Bryan, TX, Shamrock Forge
  • Jeff Schockley---San Marcos, TX
  • Jeff and Alan Lee---Bryan,Tx., www.steepforge.com

Action will be constant following the side by side Demo format.

The following will be showing and selling their latest creations:

  • A special attraction will be Bit and Spur makers Wilson Capron, Christoval, TX, www.wilsoncapron.com and Cotton Elliott, Sheriff of King County, Guthrie, TX. They are members of the" Traditional Cowboy Artist Association". They both do world class work. Wilson Capron is a master engraver.
  • Knife makers:

James Johnson with Anyang Powers Hammers will demo one of his hammers.

The smelt will be led by Richard DelaHousaye from Carencro, La. The bloom will be tapped near 4pm.


The auction of donated iron artwork at 11:30am is what covers the expenses and is only possible because of the generous donation from the group members of:

Balcones Forge
Goliad Blacksmiths
Please consider donating your latest creation and don't forget your checkbook.


The Combo- Demo forging competition is a “Doorknocker” this year. The winner gets bragging rights for one year. Show your skills and creativity and bring it! Also bring your latest forged creation for display or sale. Sell your old tools or buy some new ones.


  • 8:00 - 9:00 AM - Sign In
  • 9:00 - 11:30 AM - Greetings and demonstrations
  • 11:30 - 12:00 PM - Auction
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch – Lunch tickets can be purchased at the door.
  • 1:00 - 4:00 PM - Demonstrations
  • 4:00 PM - Iron bloom pulled from the furnace
  • 4:00 PM - Close of meeting

Directions to Steephollow Forgeworks:

Steephollow Forgeworks is located at 7286 Mesco Dr., Bryan, TX 77808. From Houston take 290 west. Turn right (North) on State Highway 6. Exit to FM 1179 and go right. Mesco Drive will be about 2.5 miles down the road. Google Maps link

Check out the meeting flyer here.

January 17, 2015
The Efficient Farriers Forging Techniques
and Bladesmithing Forging Demonstration
Daniel Riffe's Forge, Needville, TX

Daniel will start the demonstration by describing the progression of his forging career from selling ornamental items at farmers markets to forging hammer, tools, and knives through to deciding to expand his capabilities to include a career as a farrier. There will also be a discussion of how his shop's capabilities have progressed as well as the reasoning behind what equipment and tools were deemed important during each evolution of his journey as well as the how and why of the location, construction, and mounting requirements.

In order to make a living, farriers must be adept at quickly assessing a horses shoeing requirements, determining the stock dimensions required to make the shoes, and then working quickly, efficiently and precisely when forging the shoes. Over many hundreds of years, farriers have continually worked at improving upon their forging techniques and analytical skills. At first blush, and because of the speed with which they accomplish their task, the farriers' ability to forge and shape a shoe may appear to be a singular effort with a very defined goal. And it is; the ultimate goal being to improve the horses life and the farriers ability to make a living through pleasing their clients. However, upon closer examination of the farriers efforts you find that their work may be dissected into many discrete forging elements that all smiths may benefit from understanding and applying. Daniel will be demonstrating and discussing many of the efficient methods applied by the horseshoer.

Daniel will also be demonstrating the various forging techniques he applies when forging knives. He will forge a blade from the most often utilized flat stock (in this particular case; a farriers rasp). However, Daniel will also demonstrate the much lessor utilized but very efficient methods of forging knives from round stock and bar stock. In addition, Daniel will discuss his successes and experience in making Damascus from bandsaw blades and steel strapping material as well as the idiosyncrasies of forging brass.


  • 8:00 AM - Sign In and set-up
  • 8:30 AM - HABA meeting and announcements
  • 9:00 AM - Daniel discusses and demonstrates
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch at your option
  • 1:00 PM - Demonstrations continue
  • 4:00 PM - Close of meeting


Daniel Riffe's Forge
13521 Oakwood Drive
Needville, TX 77461


Hwy 288: Go south on Hwy 288 to 1462 and go west towards Rosharon. Pass through Rosharon and turn right on 762. Go past Brazos Bend State Park. The road will sharply turn left and then right again. At the next sharp left go straight onto Peters Road. Take Peters Road to Rawlings Road and turn right. Turn left onto Oakwood Drive.

Hwy 59: Take Hwy 59 south to Hwy 36 and go south. Turn left onto FM 1994. Turn right onto 762. At the sharp right turn, turn left onto Peters Road. Take Peters Road to Rawlings Road and turn right. Turn left onto Oakwood Drive.

Google map link and Meeting Flyer

If you need help with directions, call (281) 974-0296.

HABA Controlled Hand Forging at ABNC

HABA will be holding a Blacksmithing meeting at Armand Bayou on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The focus of the meetings will be to have a group of interested members work their way through the controlled hand forging progression as a means of learning the basics of forging iron. The progression starts with the basic techniques for moving metal and shaping it. It eventually leads into advanced techniques. Along the way, participants will create various artifacts that are of use both in pioneer societies as well as the modern world. Please see our Armand Bayou Monthly Meeting Flyer for details.

To participate in the meetings one must be a member of HABA which only costs $20.00 per year. The public is welcome to observe without charge and we will have displays of items made by members.

The meetings will take place in front of the hay barn next to the wood working shop. We usually have some good shade and there is plenty of room for working. We will have at least 3 anvils, a leg vice or two and two forges. So if you don't have all the equipment we can share these.

Armand Bayou requests that we limit vehicle traffic between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM. So if you are bringing something that needs to be transported be sure to arrive before 9 AM. Another reason to arrive before 9 AM is to be able to enter the area without paying the Armand Bayou entry fee of $4.00 per person.

Details of each upcoming meeting will be announced in the HABA Update email. If you want to be put on the list send an email to pmforging@gmail.com.


  • 8 - 9 AM - setup
  • 9:00 AM - Work through the lesson for the day.
  • 12:00 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - Continue the lesson of the day or work on individual projects
  • 4 - 5 PM - tear down

On Bay Area Boulevard 7 miles east of I-45, approximately 25 miles southeast of downtown Houston, 30 miles northwest of Galveston, and on the southeast boundary of Pasadena.ABNC is the neighbor of NASA/Johnson Space Center, University of Houston Clear Lake and the Lunar Planetary Institute, the Bayport Industrial complex and is surrounded by significant residential development.

General Meeting Information:

  • Safety glasses are a requirement! Hearing protection and gloves are recommended.
  • Bring a chair to sit in.
  • You do not have to be a member to attend our meetings! Bring a Guest!
  • Minors are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Bring your Membership Dues if you want to swing a hammer and are not a current Member!
For more information email Pete Farrell at pmforging@gmail.com

HABA Update is a great email service to our members and friends

Board Member Pete Farrell is our Communications & Event Coordinator, and has been publishing a routine update by email to our members and interested friends called The HABA Update. This includes rpeorts of current and future activities of HABA and our regional friends.

Contact Pete at pmforging@gmail.comto be added to this distribution if you are not already receiving this.

A link to this Update and our Facebook page hosted by Dana Flanders is included in the link list on top left of our main page.

HABA Calendar for 2015 is Online

It's the annual clean-up and revise season here in the web shop. If something seems put away too good please let your web feller know. The 2015 meeting schedule and topics are announced on our HABA 2015 Calendar page which will be updated as often as possible. We hope you can attend and contribute to each meeting demonstration.

This front page of meetings announcement was trimmed back in December, and the complete listing for all of 2014 is still available at HABA 2014. Each of these sites contain links to each summary, photos, and announcement page we published for your convenience.

Please Join and be a part of HABA today to receive the current Newsletter ! Contact Pat Bossart (832-656-4836) for the latest information. To receive your Family Membership Card or to update your records please send Pat an email with a Membership Application.

Family Membership for are still only $20. Special offers are available for the 3 and 5 year Memberships. See the HABA Membership page and ask Pat about these for this year!

Thanks for your continued support!

HABA Events Calendar for 2015
Please visit our Calendar for details.

Notes about this Website

This website is Under Development and will continue to evolve for HABA Members.

The use any of the material from this site is at your own risk. All persons associated with this material disclaim any responsibility or liability for damages or injuries resulting from the use or application of this information. They assume no responsibility or liability for the accuracy, fitness, proper design, safety or safe use of any information presented here.

The webmaker's speller-checker does not always work and your tolerance for those items not caught and fixed has been and will continue to be appreciated!

Please send all feedback/correction/omission/suggestions to your webfeller, Pete Farrell.


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