Blacksmith – Power Hammer Classes have been suspended until September 2020 in the ACT and Southern Highlands.

RESTORING THE PAST WITH THE PAST…

1910 IRONWORKS BOWRAL AREA SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS NSW

Finding a smaller power hammer (in this case a trip hammer) for teaching has taken me close on 3 years. I had landed one this time last year and unfortunately it slipped through my fingers. But this baby is now safely sitting in my workshop awaiting an overhaul before she’s put back into service.

A good friend of mine Rod Visman tracked down its origin and even found a pic of one rusting away in a paddock OS. Evidently it’s a “MODERN POWER HAMMER” Pat. Feb 9 1904 Koch Mfg. Co. Grinnell.

The 1910 one is operational and came form an old springs factory in Inverell NSW and was shipped to the Southern Highlands – all two tons of her…

Image 1

Here is an advt. from 1903 advertising this very same hammer… and below is a 1904 metal lathe that it will share the workshop with.

Courtesy of  – https://www.mmsonline.com/blog/post/antique-catalogs-capture-the-art-and-heritage-of-metalworking – great web site!

These two pieces of machinery are currently being restored and brought back to their original working condition, along with a  late 1920s belt driven hacksaw.

Courtesy of  – http://www.lathes.co.uk/rapidor/ – Another great vintage machinery web site!

All these vintage machines, along with others were rescued in many cases from the scrap dealers torch. But why do we use such ancient equipment at the 1910 Ironworks? Well from my 40 odd years of restoration work and recreating things from the past, to restore the parts to era, you need the machinery they used – it’s as easy as that. Modern machinery is great, but if you want timber to look pit sawn, then you have to pit saw it by hand. We pride ourselves on period metal restoration and replication.

We currently hold teaching classes in traditional Blacksmithing, where we use tools, anvils and hand operated machinery well over a 100 years old. At the 1910 Ironworks students learn the traditional metal working ways, with no help at all from a grinder or cutting disc. So, hand filing and using a hand operated post drill is something you learn very quickly.

The courses have been so successful over the last 3 years at 1910 we’re extending them to  include traditional power hammer work, utilising refurbished vintage machinery that gives students a real taste of what it was like when we were true artisan craftsman. Hence we will be extending our courses eventually to include Knife and axe Making, Tool Making and Tin Smithing, which will include brass and copper work.

Ironically the Australian Government deregistered Blacksmithing and Cabinet Making as professions this year, just as the rest of the world is trying to save and nurture the old crafts, along with our history we neglect it or run a bulldozer through it.

So, watch this space in 2020 for teaching course you will not find anywhere else in the country. The classes are small too, because of safety and the need for one on one teaching, so they book out very fast.

Once I have some firm dates for our extended course, I let you know. In the mean time check out our Instagram feed 1910_ironworks for up and coming details.

Cheers, Steve – stephen.hogwood@optusnet.com.au

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