"So there are Oliphaunts. But no one at home will ever believe me."
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Blatant Forgery

I can’t remember if it was right before, or right after, we moved from Georgia to the house on Lake St. Clair, but a few years ago I developed a strong and utterly inexplicable urge to take up a new hobby, blacksmithing. As I write about it, I’ve convinced myself that this must have been right after we moved, and the thought came to me because I saw the enormous workshop on the upper level of the land, and I envisioned using it as a temple for self-improvement and useful crafts. On the other hand, I remember looking for resources while holed up in Gig Harbor, so… hard to say when, or where, or why this fancy came to me.

I looked into it enough to research plans for setting up forges, which I read was the hardest, and obviously most important, part.

Blacksmithing 101: How to Make a Forge and Start Hammering Metal PM’s home and auto editors took a weekend out to teach themselves how to heat and hammer metal the old-fashioned way. They started by ordering an anvil and making their own blacksmith forge. The sparks flew from there.

(From “Blacksmithing 101: How to Make a Forge and Start Hammering Metal – Popularmechanics.com“.)

My plan broke on the obstacle of obtaining a proper anvil. Yes, you can buy beginner’s anvils cheap (made in China, crack easily, full of toxic chemicals like lead), but my philosophy has always been, in for a penny, in for a hundred fifty pounds or so. That translates into hundreds of dollars.

In no way can the workshop be considered to have ever been employed for any useful purpose. It was used to hold our junk. Ultimately I wound up throwing my energies into making beer and wine. Yet the fire still burns and the dream is still alive.