Old Dominion Black Smith Association

Established November 2005

Copyright @ Old Dominion Black Smith Assoc.. All rights reserved.

We are pleased to announce beginning in January a new monthly feature called the Skill Builder Monthly Challenge. We encourage everyone to join in this challenge. We have pre-selected a project for each month for 2021. The goal is quite simple. Complete the skills challenge project or tool(s) to improve and refine your skills. Some challenges will be more difficult than others and we tried to alternate between easy and more difficult challenges.  The project will specify the tools needed to complete the project although being a blacksmith is more about completing a task not how we all get there. Many roads so to speak.  We encourage you to make the tool(s) if you don’t have them then work on the project. If you can only work on making the tools, then do that and the next time you need that tool you will have it. Most of the tools are the basic blacksmith tools so we hope you have these already. We will also specify the material needed for the project and hopefully we will get to where we can offer a story board of how to do the project. In some cases links to YouTube videos will be shared to show how to steps. In the future we may also offer the stock to purchase to make the challenge at the monthly meetings for a nominal fee cost of materials.

Bring your project to the meeting the following month, we will have a table for member’s projects to be displayed. We will ask the more advanced skilled blacksmiths to offer help, tips, and different techniques or advice on the completed projects. We want these monthly challenges to build our skills while at the same time, adding tools to our toolbox. It’s not a competition. So let’s have fun, encourage each other and build our skills!

When we are able to have monthly meetings, we will display the next month’s challenge. So if anyone has questions about it. We also realize that some members do not currently have access to a forge, so we will offer a Sunday afternoon (4 hours) time at Jay’s, for anyone wanting, to begin working on either the tooling or the project challenge.

So, stay tuned. We will be sending out the information for the January skill building challenge very soon.

January – Scroll Trivet (Tools – scrolling wrench)

February – Bottle Opener (Tools – slit chisel, drift)

March – Jerry Darnell’s Rush Lamp (Tools – monkey tool)

April – Chain Swivel (Tools – punch, drift)

May – Trammel Hook (Tools – punch (round or square), round ball punch)

June – Tools – Rivet Header (Tools – Make different sizes)

July – BBQ set with rivets (Tools – punch, rivet header)

August – Wizard head tool set (Tools – punches, chisels)

September – Wizard Head (Tools – 5 tools from previous challenge)

October – Fire Set (Tools – punch, other tools of your choice based on design)

November – Christmas Ornaments

December – Twisting Wrench (Tools – Make different sizes your choice 3/8, ½, 5/8. 3/4)


**Some tools that might be used, but may not be required for these projects and can be made to support these projects are:

Punches :Round, Square of different sizes
Drift(s): Round, square
Ball punch
Slitting chisel
Wizard head tool set(5 punches, chisels)
Spring fuller, or swage
Twisting wrench
Scrolling wrench
Center punch
Fire poker
Coal rake
Coal shovel
Rivet header
Monkey tool
Blacksmiths helper, or guillotine
Butcher tool