Blacksmithing Class – Railroad Spike Knife

Newly added class schedule: August 31st! @ Pumping Station: One Chicago

Sign up now before classes fill up!


I’ve got a large inventory of railroad spikes just waiting to be turned into knives!
on Square Market


What you need to know:
  • Payment is required 5 days before class or you will forfeit your reservation. You can cancel your registration 48 hours in advance for full refund.
  1. If you have a nice pair of safety glasses, bring them – we have some available, but they may not be comfortable.
  2. Wear ONLY cotton clothing (no shorts) and closed toe shoes (preferably leather with rubber soles). Any other fabric may catch fire and will melt into your skin and continue burning you. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt is preferable to protect from flying slag. Any exposed skin is at risk for slag burns.
  3. Bring a water bottle- forging is hot work.
  4. Your off hand (non hammering hand) will be holding the steel and will require a glove, though two gloves is REALLY preferable. Please bring well fitting all LEATHER gloves if you have some (calf skin gloves work best and can be purchased at any home mprovement store). This helps reduce chafing and prevents burns. Your hammer hand does not have to be gloved, but better safe than sorry.
  5. This activity has a high risk of burns – you will be dealing with yellow hot steel, sparks, and hot slag. Wearing appropriate clothing and gloves minimizes this risk, but accidents still happen. You have been warned, now come have some fun!
  • I ask that you try to arrive 5-10 minutes early so we can get started right away.


Every Day – Learning Something New

3d printer

It all started today when I decided it was time for me to tackle the years of dirt and mold ground into my bathroom floor tile grout. When we first moved in I didn’t notice it, just thought it was a bad grout job. But then while scrubbing one day I realized what it truly was and that no regular mopping would ever remove it. I tried scraping it, but was afraid of damaging the actual grout and it didn’t come up easily.

I tried bleach and numerous other bathroom cleaners, but gave up when nothing was able to break it up and scrub it away. I hated knowing it was there and with my time off from work I put it on my to do list.

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End of Year Craziness

So I haven’t been around much, things got pretty crazy since last I posted.

First there was sailing season, which went very well this year. We had a great dedicated team and on occasion a few of Ed’s sailing buddies (with many years of experience) came aboard and assisted in tactics. So we won a bunch of beer can races and even placed 2nd in one of the legs of the Tri-state!

The server streetlight is still on manual. I was focusing on perfecting our $150 360 machine at work instead of hooking it up to the server. The 360 machine allows us to shoot a product from 3 different angles as it turns a full 360 degrees. It has worked out pretty well so far, allowing up to 50 sets a day.

360 Machine in Action


And I’ve held some more blacksmithing classes, though I always seem to forget to take pictures in the Railroad Spike Class… and my phone also decided to eat most of the photos I had taken. So that’s a bummer, but here’s a few student’s works:


And just in time for the new year, I’ve started a new job! In some ways I’ll have more time, and in other ways I wont so I make no promises on updates.




Streetlight Warning System (soon to be Server Streetlight)

This is an older project of mine, as in I’ve been working on it for quite some time and recently finished up the first phase. Right now its quite simple, two streetlights on either side of a hallway room that change color with the push of a button. The hallway office belongs go our IT guys and when things get wonkey, they would be bothered over and over while trying to fix things. Now, they can shut their doors and turn the light to “Do Not Disturb” (red) and fix things without disruption.

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Shoe Repair – I’m A New Sole


While packing for vacation I found that the paper thin strip of fabric my sandals had for a liner was peeling off. In fact, one liner fell off completely when I touched it.

Remembering I had just bought the most amazing thing at Home Depot the other day, I wondered if I could save these shoes that, except for one piece of fabric, were practically brand new.

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