Inside: How do I look at a project in the home such as installing towel hooks and create an opportunity to practice my forging skills.
As I begin the finishing stages of building house, my wife and I begin discussing the bathroom hardware. Now as I am always looking for beginner blacksmithing projects, this should be an exciting phase. The main construction phase is done. Now I get to spend some time in the forge and work on the honey do list at the same time. As a beginning blacksmith, I soon realize that this is going to be new territory. Multiple repeatable items that will be on display for everyone who enters to see and use. So before I tried to tackle knobs, handles, holders, and more; I decided to test the waters with a simpler project the towel hooks.
There were two main challenges to this project that I hadn’t dealt with before. The first being the size constraint of the chair rail trim board I had installed, and decided to attach these hooks to. The second was the fact that this was the first time that five of my hand forged hooks were going to be mounted next to each other. That meant I needed to pay more attention to the repeat-ability of this project, to achieve somewhat of a matching set.
The Struggle of Learning
As I continue to learn to forge, or I take on a new project, I seem to go through multiple steps in getting to the final outcome. Visualizing the design in my head and wrapping my brain around it usually comes first. Sometimes, I will go to the drawing board next to work out certain dimensions or forging steps. Although at times, I will go to the drawing board last to document what I have done. Forging the project, in this case the hook, here is where I learn the most. I also find out how much my skill level is limiting to a specific design. Another tip that I use to practice technique, especially when I am doing smaller items such as these, is to work in multiples. This way I can compare my progress against the set of them. So you will see me with multiple irons in the fire, practicing each step multiple times in a row.
Success and a Job Well Done
Once I realize that the basic techniques of Tapers, fullering, bending, and cutting are all things that I have done before, it was off to the races. I forged out my hooks and mounted them to the wall.