HABA Web Site Editor
Forging Wrought Iron
The Tall Ship Elissa
Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston, TX
The Elissa was built in Aberdeen, Scotland and launched on October 27, 1877. Her iron hull was built with sheet iron produced by the Low Moor Ironworks located in Low Moor about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Bradford in Yorkshire, England. For more information go to this Wikipedia page on the Low Moor Ironworks. After several owners and multiple modifications, The Elissa eventually ended up as a restored sailing ship moored at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston, TX. For more information go to this Wikipedia page on Elissa.
In July 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard declared Elissa to be "not seaworthy" due to corrosion of the iron hull. This was shortly after hurricane Ike and it has been theorized that stray electrical line in the water may have caused a rapid decay of part of the hull due to electrolysis. The Galveston Historical Foundation and the museum raised $3 million to replace the hull and 22,000 board feet of Douglas fir decking. In the restoration process, the original iron hull material was retained and is currently in storage.
Much of this hull material is from the original Low Moor wrought iron when the ship was built. To the modern blacksmith, the words "wrought iron" are magic.
Today, blacksmiths work with mild steel which has carbon added to it to provide durability and strength. While this is a good thing, it causes changes in how blacksmithing is done as compared to traditional techniques that were used for centuries before the introduction of steel.
Wrought iron has very small amounts of carbon which makes working with it different in several ways. It is much easier to forge weld, allowing in many cases dispensing with the use of flux. You also need to work it at a higher heat that you would use with steel. This is due to it fibrous make up which will crack easily when worked at a lower heat. This higher heat is where steel would normally start sparkling as the carbon in it started to burn up. More information on the manufacture and makeup of the hull material can be found in a slide show put together by American Bureau of Shipping - Ellisa 1877-Low Moor Iron.
For the June 2017 meeting, HABA is partnering with the Texas Seaport Museum to present a demonstration of working with some of the wrought iron from the replaced Elissa hull material. HABA members will also be allowed an opportunity to work with it hands on during the meeting.
The meeting will start with a brief discussion of the wrought iron and its history and then move into a demonstration of working with it. After a question and answer session, members will be allowed to work with small pieces of the iron.
If you intend to work with the metal, bring your favorite hammer and tongs. Where long pants and closed toed shoes. Safety glasses are required for all participants and observers. Since there will be forge welding occurring, spectators will need to be prepared for sparks flying or for moving a further distance away.
The Texas Seaport Museum has supplied HABA with 20 wrist bands that will provide free access to the pier and to tour the museum and ship. We will provide these to the first 20 members upon arrival. Anyone after that will need to pay the regular access fees:
Parking is available in lots at the pier and there will be fees to be paid for that. However, parking fees can be compensated by Fisherman’s Wharf if you eat lunch there. They are right next door. You can also find other areas within walking distance that have free parking or lower fees.
What to bring
Texas Seaport Museum, 2100 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550
7th Annual Combo Demo
Alan and Jeff Lee
Steephollow Forgeworks in Bryan,TX
The HABA February meeting will be held in conjunction with the 7th 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. This is a celebration of Blacksmithing, a combined meeting of all the clubs in Texas and Louisiana, will feature "up and comers" and old reliable smiths. This year will feature The Austin Metal Authority with Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman.
This one-day event FREE-OF-CHARGE will also include an iron smelt, tailgating, vendors, live music, food, art displays, live and silent auctions. Come early or stay late. Artists are welcome to display, sell, or promote their work. The public is invited to come see what Blacksmithing is all about. Blacksmithing is not dead it's ALIVE at Steephollow Forgeworks.
This year’s competition item is a "belt buckle". Start now and create your masterpiece! Enter it before noon February 18th at Steephollow Forgeworks. This friendly competition is always incredible for its varied entries. The winner will be crowned “The Best of the Best (for one year)."
An iron smelt led by Richard DelaHoussaye from Louisiana will begin on Friday with the construction of the furnace. The smelt will be scheduled to be finished by 4pm Saturday. If you would like to be involved, just let us know.
Day-long classes with Lyle Wynn and Stan Bryant of Mississippi Forge council. Monday 2/13 -- Friday 2/17 will be hammer making classes. Make a hammer or the tools to make the hammer. All classes are $150/day plus tax. The hammer classes are going fast. Reserve your spot here or call us at 979-776-2864.
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.
A number of demonstrators have been booked including:
Action will be constant following the side by side Demo format.
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:
Please consider donating your latest creation and don't forget your checkbook.
SteepHollow Forgeworks, 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.
See the Steephollow Forge site for more information.
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 email@example.com.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2017 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 2017 meeting schedule and topics are announced on our HABA 2017 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 2015 is still available at HABA 2015. 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 Pete Farrell (512-750-3190) for the latest information. To receive your Family Membership Card or to update your records please send Pete an email with a Membership Application.
Family Membership is still only $20. Special offers are available for the 3 and 5 year Memberships. See the HABA Membership page and ask Pete about these for this year!
Thanks for your continued support!
HABA Events Calendar for 2017
Notes about this Website This website is Under Development and will continue to evolve for HABA Members.
This website is Under Development and will continue to evolve for HABA Members.
which may be visited at
ABANA Hammer's Blow
ABANA Anvil's Ring
ABANA Demonstrator Guideline
ABANA Controlled Hand Forging
Gulf Coast Blacksmith
Four States Iron Munchers
River Bluff Forge Council
Mississippi Forge Council
Alabama Forge Council
Florida Artist Blacksmith Association
North Carolina ABANA
Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild
New England Blacksmiths
Appalachian Area Chapter of ABANA
Forge & Anvil
Illinois Valley Blacksmith
Upper Midwest Blacksmiths
Rocky Mountain Smiths
National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association
American Bladesmith Society
The Guild of Metalsmiths
National Ornamental Metal Museum
Anvil Museum Collection
Magnolia Historical Society
Historic Magnolia Depot FB
Magnolia Depot Day
Magnolia Depot HABA Blacksmith Shop
Rockdale Depot Blacksmith Shop
Zilker Blacksmith Shop
Styles Of Forges
Brick And Steel Forges
A tale of two shops
Blacksmith's Coal Forge
Blacksmith's Coal Forge 2
Blacksmith's Coal Forge 3
Steel Sidedraft Forge
The Steel Sidedraft Forge Hood
Furrer Wootz Making
I Forge Iron
Anvilfire iForge Projects
Anvilfire Anvil Weight Calculator
Metal Artist Forum
Metal Smithing How-To
Forge and Anvil
U.S. Time of Day
Vulcan Restoration Project
Vulcan Park Birmingham
Armand Bayou Nature Center
Katy's Outdoor Learning Center
The Pearl Fincher Museum
Copper Metal Prices
Prevent Copper Theft
Cultural Arts Council
of Houston/Harris County
for Contemporary Craft
Bayou City Art Festival
Texas Accountants and
Lawyers for the Arts
The American Blacksmith
The Village Blacksmith
Excavations at a Blacksmith Shop
Museum Of Our Industrial Heritage
Carriage Museum of America
Blacksmithing in the 21st Century
Tempil Color Guide
ABA Coal Info
History of Bolts
Tool & Shop Tips
LAMA Electric Welding
The Blacksmith Anvil
Romancing the Hammer
Men and Women of Iron
Rural Craft Pulications-UK
Heat Treating Data E-Book
Practical Blacksmithing 1888
Last of the Blacksmiths
John Lienhard and
Modern Blacksmithing In 1902
Crafticulation & Education Conference
..these Blacksmithing sites!