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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!

November 15, 2014

"Art Deco" is a visual arts design style that first appeared in France after World War 1 and flourished internationally in the 1920-30's. Emerging during a period of rapid industrialization, it combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. The movement also marks an important phase in the evolution of blacksmithing, as it was facilitated by advances in equipment (gas torch, hydraulic presses, etc.) and process (mass production).

Dana Flanders will show and discuss various examples of "Deco" design. He will then demonstrate the forging and fabrication of several of the classic motifs in ironwork (bar (wavy, segmented), scrolls (textured, segmented, fullered), flowers (“potato peel”, stamped, roll-up), etc.). Oxy-acetylene welding will also be featured.


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


Ziwa Forge
9510 FM 1489
Simonton, TX


Heading south on FM 1489 from I10 (about 9 miles), the shop is on the right, in the same fenced area as a two-story red metal building, just a few hundred yards south of the center of Simonton, which is at the junction of FM 1489 and FM1093. If you need to get in touch with Dana, call 713-569-8422.

Google map link and Meeting Flyer

HABA Forge Fest 2014
October 3 - 5, 2014

Work Meeting at Pat Bossart's
September 27, 2014

The September meeting will be a work session at Pat Bossart's house. We will need people to pitch in to help get things setup for the Forge Fest the following weekend. The following tasks need to be performed:

  • Transport items from the storage container and the Magnolia forge to Pat's place - 2 pickups and 4 people.
  • Clear the demo area at Pat's - 2-4 people under Pat's direction
  • Setup the showers - 2 people
  • Setup the forges and blowers - 2 people under Pete's direction
  • Place trash cans at strategic spots - 2 people

If we get plenty of people the work will go fast and we can then have time to try out the new forges.


  • 9:00 AM - Start of meeting and Demo
  • Work until done

Click here for a meeting flyer with directions and other details.

HABA Forge Fest

It is time for our annual Forge Fest. This year we have a new location. Pat Bossart has graciously opened his residence to HABA. He has room for all the essentials, parking, camping and the demonstration and classes.

Bob Patrick will be our demonstrator and he will also be giving a class in forge welding. The class will be on Friday, 10/3. Bob will be demonstrating two projects. One will be in mild steel creating an insert for one of the circles in the Grill that is mounted in a window of the HABA Magnolia forge. After that, he will create piece of work using the iron from the smelt performed at last year's forge fest. The demonstration is scheduled for all day Saturday and Sunday morning.

Bob has been a blacksmith professionally since 1967, is nationally famous, and works in hand forged iron and steel as well as other metals. He has demonstrated all across the Unites States of America and in Canada. He does work ranging from traditional restoration work, architectural work that is hand forged in all styles, art work, and accessories for the home. He also makes custom tools for other arts and trades and can undertake any custom job. He is a longtime member of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, has been awarded their top award, and was the founding President of the Blacksmith Association of Missouri. Their top award is named for him. He is a member of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas and is a past president of that organization. He is known for his blacksmith teaching skills

  • Had a job at Hale Farm and Village as a restoration blacksmith in 1967.
  • Received a certificate in horseshoeing from Midwest Farriers School in 1970.
  • Was teaching blacksmithing under Mary Ann Scherr at Kent State University in the Art School Metals department by 1971.
  • Demonstrated at the Frontier Folklife Festival under the arch in St. Louis in the 70's and 80's.
  • Participated in art and craft shows, and exhibitions.
  • Was the founding President for the Blacksmith Association of Missouri and editor of BAM's newsletter.
  • A founding member of Blacksmiths of Arkansas and a past president and editor of their newsletter.
  • Has been the Master Blacksmith for the State of Missouri in their Cultural Heritage program three times.
  • Was the Master in the Master Apprenticeship program for the Arkansas Craft School 2008-9.
  • Demonstrated and taught at national blacksmithing conferences in the United States and Canada, at region conferences all over North America, and at a number of blacksmithing and craft schools.
  • Received the Alex Bealer Award from the Artist-Blacksmith's Association of American in 2002, the association's highest award recognizing an individual's contributions to the art and craft of blacksmithing.
  • Has an award for the Blacksmith Association of Missouri named after him.

Forge Welding Class
As part of the HABA Forge Fest this year we will have Bob Patrick, our distinguished demonstrator provide hands on classes in the art/skill of forge welding. This will be a hands on teach you to do it class. Forges, coal and materials will be supplied. You are encouraged to bring your own hammers and tongs but the club will have some available as well.

Bob will take you through the following:

  • Fire management
  • Simple weld without flux
  • Simple weld with flux
  • Welding a chain link
  • Scarf welds:
    • Round stock
    • Square stock
    • Rectangular stock
  • T weld
  • Y weld
  • Basket handle weld (if time permits)

There will be 5 forge stations setup to be shared by two people giving us a total class of 10 people. Class will start at 8 AM on Friday 10/3. We will break for lunch at 12 and start again promptly at 1. Class will end at 5 PM. The class fee will include a lunch of cold cuts on bread with condiments and bottled water.

Class Fee:

  • $100.00 per person paid on or before 9/19.
  • $125 after 9/19. Fee is non-refundable.

Payment can be made with cash, check or credit card. Contact Pete Farrell at pmforging@gmail.com or 512-750-3190 to arrange for payment. You can click here to see who is signed up and how many open spaces are left.

If the 10/3 class fills up before 9/19 we will start a second class on Thursday 10/2 with again a limit of 10 people. Be sure to reserve your spot in this class. Bob has been teaching people how to forge weld for many years and can definitely teach you. Click here for a class flyer with all the details.

Besides the class and the demonstrations we will have the following activities:

  • An auction on Saturday. This will be an auction to benefit HABA. Items donated by sponsors and members will be auctioned off.
  • Free forging Friday and Saturday evening. There will be 4 forges and anvils available for anyone to use. You may also bring your own equipment and setup.
  • Ad hoc music by various participants in the evenings. You are encouraged to bring instruments and voices.

We will be providing lunch on Friday for paid participants of the forge welding class. Dinner on Friday and Saturday night will be provided for a $10 donation. All other meals are up to the attendees. There are a number of eating establishments within 15c miles in Navasota, Montgomery, Magnolia and points in between or you can bring your own.

There will be designated areas for parking and camping. We will have an outdoor shower as we had last year as well as porta potties. There will be limited electrical connections supplied by extension cords from the barn. There are several water spigots spread around the camping area. The demonstration area will have bleachers setup. Click here for a meeting flyer with directions and other details.

Broom Tying at Magnolia Forge
August 16, 2014

The HABA August meeting will be a demonstration by Rob Kirby on tying brooms. Why brooms? Because when you are making your fireplace set you will need to supply a broom - this is what led Rob to mastering the process.

Rob will take us through the tools and materials needed and demonstrate how it is done. This will be followed by a Q&A and discussion.

We will hold the meeting at the Magnolia Community Center located next to the HABA Magnolia Depot Forge. This will be an inside event with air conditioning and seating - just what we need during the hot summer months.


  • 10:00 AM - Start of meeting and Demo
  • 1:30 PM - Close of meeting

Directions to HABA Magnolia Depot Shop

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.

A flyer is available to download. Broom tying instructions are available to download.

Annual HABA Picnic at Magnolia Forge
July 19, 2014

The HABA July meeting will be our fourth annual Picnic at the Depot get together. Since July is always very hot instead of lighting fires for forging we light fires for BBQ and have cold drinks and food.

We will be having a potluck picnic lunch. The Magnolia Depot has made their outdoor pavilion available to us. It is covered and has electrical outlets. We will man the grill to cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish to share with the group. Bring whatever you want to drink (soda, water, etc.).

The club will be providing the following food items:

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Buns
  • Condiments: ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions
  • Paper plates, plastic utensils, cups

Please bring additional food items that you would like to share with the group. A web page has been created that shows who is bringing which items. To add your name and item to the list please send an email to picnic@habairon.org and provide your name, dish and phone number (the phone number will not be displayed on the web page). The page will then be updated each evening. We usually plan on there being between 20 and 30 people attending.

We are looking for items in the following categories but we welcome anything you think people would like:

  • Beans
  • Salads
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Fruits
  • Potato Dishes


  • 10:00 AM - Arrive and start the grill(s)
  • 11:00 AM - Start of meeting
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch
  • 3:00 PM - Close of meeting

Directions to HABA Magnolia Depot Shop

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.

A flyer is available to download.

Railroad Spike Knife Making by Cowboy Szymanski at Newman's Castle
June 28, 2014

The HABA June meeting will be held at Newman's Castle in Bellville, TX. Our demonstrator will be Cowboy Szymanski (http://www.phenixknives.com) who will take us through creating a knife from a railroad spike. "The old world arts have always held a special appeal to me, with knives being the forerunner of my passion. I choose to utilize this time proven old world tradition to design and craft my knives, incorporating skills from the Orient as well as European and American techniques. - Cowboy Szymanski"

We will have a good supply of railroad spikes available but if you have any bring them along. There will be space to setup forges and anvils. If you don't have a forge bring your hammer and tools (a pair of tongs that can handle a railroad spike is highly suggested and a twisting wrench) and someone should be able to share their forge with you.

The location is a unique Texas attraction. Experience the old world charm of Newman's Castle, a one-of-a-kind custom creation hidden just outside of town in the Bellville countryside. The castle features its own moat (watch out for gators!), a massive working 3000 lb. drawbridge with an accompanying portcullis, a chapel, five round corner turrets, a courtyard, and a central keep with a dramatic view of the surrounding lands. A perimeter wall encompasses the castle, ensuring you are safe from oncoming marauders during your visit. Test text.

The demonstration on knife making will be followed by lunch and free forging. Mike Newman will supply sandwich fixings. Please make a donation to HABA to help cover the cost of the food.

Schedule Saturday June 28:

  • 8:00 : Sign In and set-up
  • 9:00 : Start of meeting
  • 9:30 : Demonstration
  • 12:00 : Lunch
  • 1:00 : Free forging
  • 5:00 : Conclude

1041 Old Hwy 36, Bellville, TX. is the address. It doesn't come up on map quest correctly. Go west from Houston on I-10 to Sealy. Go north on 36 to Bellville. From the courthouse in Bellville, go north on Hwy 36 for 2.8 miles. Turn left on the county road Old Hwy 36. Go one mile and my driveway is on the left. It winds back into the woods. Look for signs.

A flyer with more directions is available to download.

HABA "You Can Handle It!" Experiments in Twisting

Dana Flanders will show and discuss various examples of twisted handles. Classic and creative approaches using square bar, flat bar, multiple strands, groups of strands, square tube, angle iron, cable, and pipe will be featured.

He will then demonstrate the twisting of a few new set-ups and making one into a rake / poker by drawing out and forging the ends. After the demos, members will work together to create forge rakes and pokers.

Schedule Saturday May 17:

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

Where :

Ziwa Forge
9510 FM 1489
Simonton, TX

A flyer with more directions is available to download at Handle It.

Demo Fest at EJ McCann's Shop, 22890 TV Tower Road, Kinder, LA 70648

The HABA April meeting will be held at EJ McCann's shop 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).


  • Chris and Daniel Riffe will demo on making a hammer
  • Dana Flanders will demo making of flowers
  • Other demos to be announced
  • Friday:

  • Arrive any time on Friday - free forging
  • 6:30 PM - Dinner
  • Saturday:
  • 9:00 AM - Start of meeting
  • 9:30 - Demonstrations
  • 11:30 -12:00 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - Demonstrations continue
  • 5:00 - Close of meeting
  • 6:30 - Dinner followed by a bon fire
  • Sunday free forging and tear down
Detailed directions are available in this flyer for download Demo Fest.

HABA Controlled Hand Forging at ABNC begins January 11, 2014

For 2014 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. Plese see our HABA Update #37 for details and handouts for the January 11 meeting.

To take participate in the meetings one must be a member of HABA which only costs $20.00 per year. This is to cover liability issues. 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 there 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.

Schedule Saturday January 11:

  • 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 2014 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 2014 meeting schedule and topics are announced on our HABA 2014 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 2013 is still available at HABA 2013. 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 Ed Malmgren (832-381-8155) for the latest information. To receive your Family Membership Card or to update your records please send Ed 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 Ed about these for this year!

Thanks for your continued support!

HABA Events Calendar for 2014
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, Richard Boswell .

Last updates were on April 16, 2014

© Copyright 2013, 2014 by HABA. All rights reserved.
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