Our Prez Sez.....
from HABA President Les Cook
The board met on November 20 and elected new executives and board members. Richard Boswell was elected President. James Porter was elected VP. Kathy Porter was elected to the board and elected as Treasurer. Kathy brings to us valuable book keeping know how. Larry Hoff agreed to remain secretary. December will be a transition month with all officers in place for the January meeting at Lee Oates “Bear Claw Forge” in LaPorte.
We also elected two other new board members along with Kathy. Please make Tim Bailey feel welcome. Tim brings a wide range of experience in art, welding and metal working to HABA. Lee Oates was also elected to the board. Most of us know Lee from HABA’s annual knife making workshop in January. Lee has stepped forward to work with getting the training program rolling. Lee is a full time blade smith that forges his blades.
November saw us at Dave Koenig’s “Tudor Forge” for the first of HABA’s getting back to basics meetings. Many, many thanks to Dave for hosting and demonstrating. We are all amazed at his energy. Dave has a very demanding commitment with ABANA and still finds time to host a meeting! At the meeting we had a show and tell table and an IRON in the HAT table. The IRON in the HAT proved to be interesting. An earlier comment from Dave was “it will take on a life of its own.” It did. Thanks to all who had items on the show and tell and donated to IRON in the HAT. We did not get to the tell part of the show and tell but I saw folks looking. Mark how did you do it?
This past year has been a good and very busy year for HABA and myself. January was the first time we met at Lee’s shop in LaPorte. It was good to see the familiar faces and a lot of new ones. It was an aggressive program to complete the Damascus blade and put on a handle. Thanks to Lee. Also thanks to Marvin and Cowboy.
In February, HABA wandered off to Tudor Forge. Dave was in midst of a hinge project and he had a lot of experience to share.
Thanks to Ed Malmgren, our current librarian, HABA was treated to an electric welding workshop hosted by Lincoln Electric at Lincoln Electric in March. Thanks to Tom Angelino and his crew for their patience and efforts. I also want to thank Harry Harris of Texas Welders Supply Co., Inc(TWSCO) for his help at this event. Harry usually can be found at our meetings with his grandson. If you have a welding question, ask Harry or Tom.
James Porter chaired the spring edition of HammerFest in Oldenburg. We were again looking for a direction to take this event in. More headway was made in a better presentation. We saw this in the number of folks that passed through. This twice a year event takes a lot of effort from a lot of people. Kenny Hall owns the property and makes it available to HABA to use as needed. Kenny spends a lot of time getting it ready, mowing, arranging for the port-a-potty’s, and putting on a fantastic feast on Saturday night. There are others who put up flyers, see to news releases, set up and take down at the site. Larry Hoff, Dave Koenig, James Porter, Jim Wheeler, Tee Hines are a few who have answered the call for help. Many thanks to all and apologies to those whose name I have missed.
Robert Killbuck hosted us for HABA’s May Treadle Hammer/Flypress Tool Work Shop. Within HABA’s membership, we have a number of folks that have acquired fly(screw) presses along with a number of treadle hammer owners. After watching John Crouchet demonstrate on the fly press, we wondered if tooling that would work in either machine could be made. John was interested and said, “let me think about it.” Out of this came the tool workshop where the intent was to make tools that could be used on the treadle hammer or flypress. We again had some of our old friends from Balcones Forge there as we did for the treadle hammer workshop. It was a busy 2 days. I think John got TIGed to his chair. It is amazing to see all these folks, who may or may not know each other come together, work together and turn out so much production. To all that contributed and participated many thanks. To those that just showed up to help and had no stake in the workshop, a special thanks.
June was a busy month for us. As an off shoot from the April Hammerfest, Dave Koenig and I were invited by Jarrell Lambert to demonstrate at Gary Job Corps in San Marcos. This came under HABA’s reaching out to a need and fell within our mission “To Preserve and Promote the Art and Craft of Blacksmithing”. We were met with a lot of enthusiasm, saw some fires kindled and maybe Jarrell got some money to get a blacksmithing program rolling. He went out on a limb in having us there. Word got around and the administrators ended up in the shop checking it out!
As an off shoot of the January meeting, HABA was asked to host the ASM presidents meeting by Richard Wilson. Richard was so taken with how the Damascus steel knife workshop went; he wanted to share that with his fellow metallurgists. Again Robert Killbuck stepped up and offered his shop as the meeting place. We had a good turn out and many thanks to all the “MENTORS”!
HABA’s June meeting, “Rusty Anvil Rendezvous”, was held at Traders Village. This was a new activity for us. We had a great covered space with power and water. Our thanks to Frank Walters for making this event possible. Ask Frank about his vision. You know, his vision, he can see fine. The opportunity is there for future meetings.
This being an off-conference year, IronFest was held in Grapevine, TX. HABA did not have an involvement there this year but many members attended. Dave was ABANAering, I was peddling tool workshop extras and others were taking in the demos.
In July I scooted off to The New England School of Metal Work in Auburn, ME to a seminar led by Brian Gilbert of “Hammers Blow” fame. Dave took the reins and pulled the meeting together at the Gathering of the Guild held at Houston Center of Contemporary Craft. Lee and Dave set up and demonstrated. Dave was on TV! Another debt of gratitude to Dave for ALL his effort in making this event work and lots of thankyous to all that supported him and HABA.
We held our annual brain storming meeting in August at the nicely air conditioned Bear Creek Library. Thanks again to Dave for making the reservation and contact. The turn out was light but we saw some new faces and members. Thanks to those who helped set up, take down and shared their ideas. We were hoping for this to be a source of finding out what you want to do.
September was another new adventure; a Gas Forge Workshop chaired by Richard Boswell. We also had a new host, Jerome Klawinsky, owner of C & M Horse Shoe Sales in Conroe. Jerome opened the doors of C & M to us and provided an excellent work shop area. Richard arraigned for Jay Hayes, the designer of the forges that were being assembled, to lead the workshop. Jay is also a combustion expert and had lots of info to share. This was a one-day event and a lot was accomplished.
In September, Lee Oates picked up the banner for HABA. I had received a request for Boy Scout merit badge help from a family that had newly moved to Houston. Lee took on the request and worked out the details. As part of HABA’s out reach and mission of education, Lee kept our fires burning. Thank you Lee.
October found us back in Oldenburg but with a some new twists. We had 2 nationally known demonstrators, Kirsten Skiles and Bill Fiorini. Again, James Porter chaired this event. There was also another twist; we worked at having a lot of tools available. Dave Koenig picked tools up in Wisconsin, C &M made tools available and HABA had some items it had accumulated. The third new twist was the Widow Berryhill’s tools. Richard had received a call from Mrs. Berryhill to see if someone would assess/buy her late husband’s smithing tools. We agreed to take the tools to Oldenburg and sell them. We were able to get somewhat more than what we thought we could for the tools. This seems to fall under another out reach project. Bottom line on Fall Oldenburg was I feel it was a success with HABA trying a number of new ideas. Again, to ALL that made this happen many thanks.
HABA has prospered this year in memberships, organization, contacts, out reach, education, and financially. This is do to the hard work and determination of HABA’s members and leaders. I know there are events that folks have gone to and flown the HABA flag and it has not been mentioned here. There also are those folks I have overlooked in mentioning your efforts for HABA. Please accept my apologies for the lack of acknowledgement. TO ALL OF YOU A BIG THANK YOU FROM HABA!
2004 is already shaping up to be another exciting year led by Richard. I am deeply indebted to the board and membership for your support in making 2003 another banner year.
Our Prez Sez.....
from HABA President Les Cook
HABA sadly notes the passing of Jeffrey John (Stretch) Panak. We just saw Stretch at Oldenburg. More about our fellow smith can be found on the web site. Check with Balcones Forge for info about a proposed memorial fund.
The HABA board of directors met on October 13. HABA membership is close to 150 and the board has six members. Richard Boswell (VP) and James Porter (Treasurer and membership coordinator) came on board at the end of last year. Richard took over the web page and set a standard that is hard to exceed. James and his wife Cathy are working diligently to keep the book organized during HABA’s growth.
The old moss back board members, Dave Koenig(Originator and Past President), Larry Hoff (one of the original members, Past Treasurer and present Secretary), Frank Walters(early member, Past Secretary) have put in many hours to make HABA and the events happen.
For the past 2 years, HABA had a calendar of outstanding events and activities. Financially, HABA prospered. All this was made possible by the hard work of a very small number of people organizing the events and the general support of HABA members and other blacksmiths in Texas.
At the last board meeting, we found that HABA really has two needs. One is to add to the board of directors. The other is to identify people to help organize monthly meetings and special events. For the board we are looking for folks with administrative abilities; business experience and other talents that would help keep HABA running smoothly. BLACKSMITHING ABILITIES ARE NOT AN ISSUE. The skills necessary to forge a fine tool are different than those needed to run a business. If you are interested in lending a hand and can spare a couple of hours a month for HABA, please contact any member of the board. The board is also thinking about forming of a HABA advisory committee. The function and purpose of the advisory committee is to advise the board of directors on matters relating to the purpose of the organization and to suggest projects that the corporation may undertake.
The HABA board will meet again on November 20. The location to be announced.
Our Prez Sez.....
from HABA President Les Cook
from The HABA Letter #61
Hopefully this will be a short letter. Lets start by welcoming our new editor David Bailey who is taking over the job from Dave Koenig. We extent our gratitude to Dave K. for a huge job well done.
Many thanks to Frank Walters for his work in making the Rusty Anvil Rendezvous (RAR) possible in June. We had a great location and it was good to see all who turned out.
In July, HABA went to Houston for the Meeting of the Guilds at HCCC. Dave Koenig led the way and handled the event for HABA. Many thanks to Dave for his efforts during this time when his commitments to ABANA leave him very little extra time. During July, I was away in Maine and attended a seminar led by Brian Gilbert of Hammer’s Blow fame. Again, many thanks to all whom kept the forges going and the anvils ringing for HABA.
August saw HABA’s second annual brain storming meeting. We had fifteen folks that signed in, which included some that were new members and some that were going to join. There is plenty of fodder for the board to chew on but in a nutshell it seems that we need to look at getting back to more basic and simple meetings.
September’s gas forge workshop at C & M in Conroe is coming together nicely. Richard Boswell has been chairing this event. He now has it set up for Jay Hayes, burner guru, to here for the workshop. If you feel there is something that you can do to help, please contact Richard or any board member. If you have questions or want to see what is going on, come on by. October will see HABA in Oldenburg for our fall edition of HammerFest. There is a new twist. We have the opportunity to present Kirsten Skiles and Bill Fiorini as demonstrators on Sat, Oct 04. James Porter is chairing this event. We need help to make this work. Please contact James or any board member to offer your help.
November is going to be HABA’s first annual dinner meeting, feast or what have you. It is in the planning stages and we need your input.
Here is the serious stuff. HABA has many members and we on the board are concerned about how few of you all we have been seeing at the meetings. ALL meetings are open to HABA members. Workshops are open to ALL members, whether or not you are directly involved in what the workshop is about.
HABA is here for you. The board tries to figure out what most everyone wants but WE NEED YOUR INPUT AND IDEAS.
A smith can move a lot of metal given enough time, heats, and stamina. With a couple of strikers, that same smith can move the same amount of metal with fewer heats, in less time and no one breaks a sweat.
Our Prez Sez.....
from HABA President Les Cook
from The HABA Letter #60
2003 is stacking up as another very busy year for HABA.
The March Meeting
The March meeting hosted by Lincoln Electric Company was well attended. This was the result of Ed Malmgren introducing us to Tom Angelino, Lincoln’s district manager and his very patient and understanding staff. From conversations with attendees, every one came away with new insights and welding knowledge. We wish to thank Harry Harris of Texas Welders Supply Company (TWSCO) for his help and guidance. If you have a question about welding, ask Harry. His knowledge and expertise is well known around town. Harry has also very graciously extended a 10% discount to all HABA members on purchases at any TWSCO store.
Spring Hammerfest at Oldenburg
Our spring 2003 edition of Hammerfest in Oldenburg, TX had more changes and improvements. Our new treasurer, James Porter, chaired this event. James is also in charge of memberships. A big thanks goes to James Porter, Dave Koenig, Larry Hoff, Tee Hines and Jim Wheeler who helped setting up and James Porter, Jim Wheeler, Charles and Sharon Heathcock, and Reynolds Cushman who helped to take down the event site.
A Special Thanks is extended to Kenny and Susan Hall who again were our hosts. We had about 12 forges set up and operating thanks toFrank Walters, Dave Koenig, James, Cathy and Richard Porter, Steve Blankinship (HABA Librarian) and his family, Arlie Beckendorf, Les Cook, Jim Wheeler, Charles and Sharon Heathcock, A. J. ’pink flamingo’ Garrett, Bob and Cathy Collier, Richard Boswell, and Vince, Kathy and daughter Shay Lusco.
At Oldenburg, Bob and Cathy Collier made a special donation to HABA, a beautifully framed print of Norman Rockwell’s The Horseshoe Contest. This print will find a new home…details to follow soon. A Big Thanks to Bob and Cathy!!!!
Another note from Oldenburg was that by the end of the weekend, both of HABA’s treadle hammers were sold. Jeff and Alan Lee bought the ‘good looking’ one (thanks to Frank Walters’ pinstripe paint job). Richard Wegner bought the unpainted hammer. Jeff and Alan, and Richard thank you very much. HABA appreciates your business. These are wonderful machines.
May Tool Making Workshop
HABA’s May Treadle Hammer/Fly Press tool workshop was hosted by Robert Killbuck and led by John Crouchet. John demonstrated the fly press at Tudor Forge last year and inspired a number of members to acquire fly presses (screw press). We felt with John’s guidance and knowledge, tooling for both machines could be incorporated into a single workshop.
The philosophy of the day was to learn how to make your own tools and make tools that could be used at the anvil, treadle hammer, and fly press.
There were a total of 19 folks who participated. Twelve sets of treadle hammer and 9 sets of fly press/treadle hammer tools were made. HABA ended up with 1 set of each and these are already sold. Everyone came away with a minimum of 9 tools. It was a very busy weekend made successful by the hard work of everyone, John Crouchet, Brian Bateman, Charles Williams, Larry Hoff, Vance Burns, Robert Killbuck, David Leyendecker, Dick Max, Charles Heathcock, Reynolds Cushman, Jeff Lee and his son Jason, Steve Green, Ray Kellow, Tony Ahuero, and James Porter.
Demonstration at Gary Job Corp Center
May also presented HABA with a new opportunity for outreach to the community. Dave Koenig and I were invited by Jarrell Lambert to demonstrate at the Gary Job Corps in San Marcos. It looks like this opened up the door for Jarrell to get some blacksmithing equipment and expand the welding shop curriculum at Gary. It was worth the trip to see these young men and women get wrapped up in blacksmithing.
Jarrell discovered HABA at the 2003 April Hammerfest. We also got him acquainted with the resources of Balcones Forge.
June Workshop for ASM
On June 07, HABA was asked to host the ASM, (The former American Society for Metals) Chairman’s Appreciation Meeting. Led by Lee Oates, Larry Hoff, Jim Wheeler, Frank Walters, Charles and Sharon Heathcock, Richard Boswell, Dave Koenig and Les Cook coached twelve metallurgists to make ten letter openers and two knife blades out of damascus steel.
Richard Wilson, President of ASM Houston attended the January HABA knife making workshop. Richard made a blade and was so impressed with the process that he asked HABA to host the Chairman’s Appreciation Meeting. It was a success! Richard found HABA via HABA’s web site.
Another Big Thanks goes to Robert Killbuck for hosting the event and cooking the BBQ.
Thanks to Others
If I have failed to recognize anyone who needs a Big Thanks for their contribution to HABA this year, please accept my apology. Let me know and I will get you the acknowledgement you deserve.
As you can see, this year is a very eventful one so far and there is more to come!
Call for Volunteers
HABA meetings and workshops are all made possible by the work of HABA members and some non-members who usually become members. During the last year HABA increased its membership from about 100 to about a 150. That is a substantial increase. HABA’s membership passing the word about HABA, public demonstrations and HABA’s web site all can take some credit for the increase.
Dave Koenig who is the newsletter’s editor is swamped with his obligations to ABANA. The lateness and lack of letters is just one example of HABA’s need for more folks to be involved in running HABA. David Bailey offered to take on the editor’s job but that will not take place until the fall. David also knows that his editorship may be limited.
To maintain the aggressive and vibrant programs from year to year, help is needed. Please step up and get involved in some piece of work. There is a lot to do and the more we can spread the load the easier it is on everyone. For example, HABA makes water and soft drinks available at every meeting. The job of making sure water and soda is available at every meeting is open. There are also jobs open to setup and tear down Hammerfest at Oldenburg for example. The October event this Fall, if a few things come together, will be a big event requiring a lot more help than usual.
As you know the old smiths had help in their shops. They were not lazy. They knew that to put out the best product, they needed additional hands, eyes, talents. HABA does too. If you can put your hand up to help somewhere, please give me a call and we will talk.
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.
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.
ABANA Hammer's Blow
ABANA Anvil's Ring
ABANA Demonstrator Guideline
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
Appalachian Area Chapter of ABANA
National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association
American Bladesmith Society
The Guild of Metalsmiths
Forge and Anvil
LAMA Electric Welding
The Blacksmith Anvil
Romancing the Hammer
What is blacksmithing...