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Houston, TX 77095-2649


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Board of Directors

  • President
    Les Cook
    11222 Sagewillow
    Houston, TX 77089-4536

  • Vice President
    Richard Boswell

  • Past President
    Dave Koenig

  • Secretary
    Frank Walters

  • Treasurer
    James Porter
    1925 Anchor Way Dickinson TX 77539

  • Board Member
    Larry Hoff


To Preserve and Promote the Art and Craft of Blacksmithing Through Education.

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!

June 21-22, 2003

Rusty Anvil Rendezvous

Our HABA meeting for June will be at Traders Village on Saturday June 21. Bring yourself and your gear, demonstrate the art, and make stuff for the next HABA sale! If Saturday is not enough we can be there on Sunday! Frank Walters ( 713-896-7566, cell 281-731-0337 ) will be leading the event and has demonstrated there many times.

As a group project we are making/bringing stanchions (forged please) for our rope barricades. Rope height : 36", Rope diameter : 1". Show your stuff, bring several, make more !

When & Where :

Saturday & Sunday, June 21 and 22, 2003 :

Traders Village is in north west Houston on Eldridge near Hwy 290: 979 N. Eldridge, Houston, Texas.

South of 290 on Eldridge.

Houston Chronicle 6-12-03

The schedule looks like this:

  • Saturday 8:00 : Sign in and setup.

    Go through north gate (tell gatekeeper you are with the Blacksmiths) .
    Drive to the southwest corner of Red Roof pavilion, go through chainlink fence to unload, park outside chainlink. We will be setting up under cover at Traders Village on concrete, under the BIG Red top.

  • Monthly meeting at 9:00 am.

  • Start demos and sale at 9:30.
  • Go as long as you want.

    Power and water on site, and we are under cover(shade)

    We want as many smiths as we can get, please bring items to sell, and something for the HABA sales Table.

    If you don"t want to demonstrate, come out and answer questions from onlookers.

  • Sunday 9:00 : Continue

    Anyone happy with the way things go Saturday can return Sunday for more.

Directions to Event

Traders Village is in north west Houston on Eldridge near Hwy 290 : 979 N. Eldridge .

What to Bring


Bring safety glasses with side shields. This is a requirement!

Might be very hot or wet so dress appropriately for the day and the work.

If you do not have a forge and tools, please come anyway. There will be plenty of room at some forge during the workshop and someone to lend you a hand if you need it.

You do not have to be a member to attend our meetings! Bring a Guest!

Bring your Membership Dues if you want to work at a forge and are not a current Member !

Please Join and be a part of HABA today to receive the current Newsletter ! Call James Porter at 281-337-5384 for the latest information.


Rusty Anvil Rendezvous is our regular get together with a theme and purpose. First, we love to meet and make stuff. Second, we will be practicing the art of demonstrating blacksmith methods to the public. If you are reading this you already know that hammer and anvil skills are improved with practice, and watching the really good ones goes a long way in our education. HABA represents a collection of experienced and novice blacksmiths. Some do it for the fun of it as a hobby. Others like to make items people will buy. And the professionals will do comission work.

Blacksmithing is a bit of a lost art for what was once an essential technical trade and skill. Yet it has been rebirthing during the past 20 years due to the contributions of great people and organiztions such as ABANA that tells us about those great people and their art and craft. HABA is an Affiliate of ABANA and some of our members such as Dave Koenig are very active in this worldwide organization.

So what is "demonstrating" ?

Demonstrating is showing the public how ironworking is performed. It is an educational opportunity coming and going.

It can be done as a one man show, or a a group event. Team work is effective when you can help by taking turns between the forge and the public interface. Do your homework and educate the public.

It can be done recklessly or professionally with safe practices. Obviously, we must not be reckless because someone can get hurt. The blacksmith must know how to practice and perform his work safely for himself and those around him.

Several links on this website provide useful information about demonstrating. One of these is from ABANA with guidelines for how to demonstrate. A good summary of shop safety can be found at the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association site. Refresh yourself on these good tips. Keep Safety first and last for yourself and the rest of us.

HABA events are special and a lot of effort goes into them. Here are some suggestions from experienced members:

Frank Walters likes to have a sign next to his anvil warning the public not to be too helpful in picking up his tools and metal off the ground because they may still be hot enough to injure. A shade canopy is very important outside to help you see the fire color properly.

Dave Koenig reminds us that coke fuel can pop and explode, sending hot fuels in all directions. So use coal, not coke in public! Also, don't forge weld in public for same reasons. Wear appropriate cotton clothing and leather boots.The more you share, the more you learn!

James Porter reminds us that hammers and anvils can chip, also sending out projectiles. Inspect your tools for damage! Wear eye protection when hammering and grinding.

Reynolds Cushman points out that good hammer technique is important to protect your elbows and hands from overstrains. Keep your work area clean and free from litter.

Larry Hoff reminds us to use good practice in lifting our heavy anvils. Get help with those heavy loads and protect your back, feet, and hands. Wear a hat when working outside in the direct sun.

Charlie Heathcock plans ahead and uses the proper tool for the job. Be helpful and friendly to your coworkers and public. Be sure to compliment your wife since she may sell more than you do!

Jim Wheeler says we should keep it simple.

David Bailey takes great notes and sketches when he attends demos, then learns from them in his shop.

Steve Green learns a lot by voluteering to assist the demonstrator whenever possible.

Lee Oates is always entertaining and engages the audience with stories and conversation. Make your demo fun!

Richard Boswell reminds us that you need to drink plenty of non alcoholic fluids and don't overheat yourself. Have a first-aid kit handy and know how to use it, especially burn treatments. Also, be polite and thank your hosts, and practice good work ethics.

Les Cook recommends a good barricade to keep the public at a safe distance. Think ahead and bring the tools and equipment you will need. And because of insurance requirements, you need a current HABA Membership to work at the forge and anvil in public as a HABA Demonstrator.

Have you got a favorite tip to share, or perhaps a photo of a good demonstrator (including yourself) ? Please send a note to your webmaster Richard Boswell.

Here are some photos of HABA members demonstrating for the love of their art:

Dave Koenig at work Sat. 4/26/03 demonstrating on Railroad Street in Navasota during Flag Festival
Reynolds Cushman demonstrating at "Tombstone, Texas" near College Station, Texas on Sat 4/26/03
John Crouchet with Fly Press at IronFrest-2003Jun02_62.jpg

Some relevent on-line links for your viewing....

ABANA Demonstrator Listing Blacksmith Chic iForge
History of a Gate Tannehill Historical State Park Blacksmithing Stories, Fact, Fiction, Myths and Legends
Horsefeathers & Hammermen the Forging Pits at Cloghermore
Wilderness Forge Bronze Age Craft Bladesmithing in Iron Age Europe
Blacksmith Tools Colonial Williamsburg Blacksmith Tools History
IronFest Blacksmith History- ABA First Aid
Burn First Aids First Aid- Burns First Aid - Eye Injuries

IronFest is an exceptional bi-annual event in Texas recently completed. Many HABA members were present. Reynolds Cushman sent in an excellent report titled

An Interview with a British classically trained Blacksmith

that is now located at HABA Interviews.

Our HABA meeting for June was on the longest day of the year in the full Summer heat at Traders Village on Saturday June 21. Members brought their gear, demonstrated the art, and made stuff for the next HABA sale! Frank Walters did a great job of organizing us and getting us in. Dave Koenig was presented a special edition, engraved hammer made by Bill Bastas to replace one he lost at a demo last Fall.

As a group project we are making/bringing stanchions (forged please) for our rope barricades. Rope height : 36", Rope diameter : 1". James Porter made a great pair that worked well, using a disk for the base (see photo).

Here are some photos from the event! Click on the thumbnail to view the original.














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.

Please send all feedback/correction/omission/suggestions to webmaster .

Last updates were on June 23, 2003

© Copyright 2003 by HABA. All rights reserved.
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