Casey Abbs

creating original artworks in multiple mediums

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When the iron is placed in the forge it has taken the first step in the process of becoming an original art design. It comes out of the forge in a near molten state. The smith holds the material with tongs in one hand and his hammer in the other. He lays the iron across the anvil and takes the first blow signaling to his striker to take the next. The two break into a fast-paced rhythm; hammers nearly colliding. This begins the forging process. The smell of the burning coal in the air and the ringing of the anvils is like music to the soul.  When hot, the iron becomes the consistency of clay. We use a variety of tools to hold and move the iron to its desired dimensions. Each piece is checked for size and fit before assembly.  Each piece is assembled using a variety of methods including: forge welding, riveting, collaring, and tenoning.  Electric and gas welding are discouraged. As the project draws to a finish the piece is wire wheeled hot and a finish is chosen. The end result is an original art piece that will last for generations.

Working on my restored 1919 Star Triphammer


Natural Finish: The piece is taken hot from the forge and left to cool. This leaves a scale which will protect the piece somewhat. If used for an indoor application it would be fine.

Shine Finish: The piece is taken hot from the forge and shined with a wire wheel to remove most of the scale to give the piece a shine. But, the piece no longer has any protective coating and must be clear coated to protect from rust.

Rust Finish: The above process is repeated, but instead of clear coating a series of chemicals is applied to rust the piece and to stop the rusting process.  It is then clear coated.

Hot oil and wax: The piece is removed hot from the forge and wire wheeled to remove scale. It is then dipped in a hot mixture of linseed oil and beeswax, which is absorbed into the steel. The piece is then treated with a wax for additional protection.

Easy Black: The piece is removed from the forge hot and wire wheeled to remove scale. A chemical is applied turning it black and the same wax is applied. I don't suggest this finish for exterior use,  as the wax is the only protectant and must be reapplied regularly.