Screw it.

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“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” – Plautus

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Primitive Hammer Class

As a late bloomer as a metalsmith, I’m always searching for classes to attend that will allow me to become better at my chosen craft.

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This summer I was very fortunate to attend a hammer making class put on by Gary Hill at his home on Raspberry Island near McGregor Minnesota.

Our instructor was  Tom Latane.   http://www.latanepepin.com/

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Being new to this blacksmithing world, I didn’t know that I had just hit the lottery and was going to a class taught by a Rock-Star in the blacksmith community.

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I arrived the night before the class with my friend Douglas Swenson.  Doug is a very accomplished smith with 50 years experience.  Doug and I discussed what type of hammer we were going to make in the class.  Since the hammer class was about forging a wrought iron hammer, Doug and I decided to make a Mastermyr hammer.

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I patterned my wrought iron hammer after one of the hammers found in the Mastermyr Tool Chest found in Gotland Sweden. The chest contained the tools of a Viking craftsman from approximately 1100 years ago.

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Tom Latane’s hammer making class was incredible. I was overwhelmed and humbled by what I didn’t know and surprised of what I was capable of accomplishing using the same techniques and processes of Viking age smiths. It took me three attempts to get the 1075 steel forge welded onto both striking faces of the hammer.

Before heat treating the hammer, you can clearly see the difference between the wrought iron and the darker 1075 steel that has been forge welded together.

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I have a much greater appreciation for how valuable iron tools had to have been during the Viking era.

If you’re looking for some custom work to add some character to your house or cabin by the lake, feel free to contact me.

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Roger Cook, Knife Maker

Roger

Roger L. Cook

is a blacksmith and knife maker residing in Mizpah, Minnesota.
Sparks have been flying from his Dawson lake Forge for over 20 years.  He’s hammer forged mirror frames, various latches and hinges, fireplace pokers, lilies, roses, leaves, bed frames, and ice fishing spears.  The list goes on.  You name it, he’s made it.
He specializes in knife making. Roger makes all manor of blades styles for his customers.
However, the Finish Puukko style belt knife is Roger’s flagship blade.

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Roger is unique among knife makers. He uses a custom variable speed grinder. The level of thought, work and dedication that went into his machine is self evident. The engineering is exact and the features outstanding. Such quality is virtually extinct. It does everything from grinding a knife blank to sharpening and polishing.

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Roger is very particular about the handle material for his knives. He likes to use rare and exotic woods. He uses Black Amber Stag (a rare European wood), Desert Iron Wood, Honduras Rosewood and Curly Maple. All stabilized for durability.
He also does all his own leather work for his knives. He keeps things traditional by crafting a Scandinavian Knife Sheath for each knife.

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He uses damascus steel for his knives. He heat treats and tempers all his blades. Damascus steel knives are very popular due to the beautiful patterns of welded, layered steel in the blade.
Roger is a full time knife maker and fully dedicated to making sure his clients are happy with their order. It takes him up to at least a week and a half of very long hours to produce one of his masterpiece knives, start to finish.

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Pictures don’t do his knives the justice they deserve. When you hold one of his knives, you can truly see the quality in his work.
Roger can be contacted by phone: 218-897-5067 or email: rdawson@paulbunyan.net

 

Coat Rack

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My “honey-do” list is different from your average man.  I get requests for coat racks to be hammer forged and put up.
Those individuals who pay attention to detail may point out that those mounting bracket holes are offset.”
To those individuals I would say, not every house is created equal, level and the studs where they should be.  A blacksmith specializes in putting square pegs into round holes.
If you’re looking for some custom work to add some character to your house or cabin by the lake, feel free to contact me.
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www.olsonironworks.com