I am in the business of manipulating metal by heating it in a coal forge and shaping it on the anvil and using many other tools and jigs to get a desired shape. This can be anything from a piece of art or a useful tool or utensil that is far more substantial than most items that are coming from import sources.
While some people may (not) want to pay for the hand crafted work, it is something that is sturdier and unique and no two pieces are ever exactly alike - they are a one of a kind work of art.
There are a lot of items that I make on a regular bases such as campfire cooking items and pot racks, I enjoy the challenge of crafting that unique piece someone wants for their home, ranch or business that they design to fit into their personal style. Many customers design their own items or I can craft the item from ideas that are given to me.
String Bean's blacksmith shop is in business of customer service and satisfaction.
Thank you for visting String Bean's blacksmith shop - I am looking forward to helping you with all your ironwork needs.
In 1987 I attended a FCF (Frontier Camping Fraternity) which is a pre 1840 reenactment National Rendezvous in Eagle Rock, Missouri. It was there that I saw an old man demonstrating blacksmithing - they called him Parsons.
Even though there were a lot of activities such as black powder gun shooting, knife and hawk throwing and more it was the blacksmithing demonstration that I found to be the most fascinating part.
So I watched Parsons for three days and after returning to Texas began to look for blacksmith equipment of my own. My first forge was found at the Gun Barrel City flea market for $15.00. It was made in the early 1900s by Champion Forge. The man I purchased it from told me that it was from the old blacksmith shop in Kemp, Texas. Although rarely used today my original forge is still in my shop.
Shortly after securing my first forge I found my first anvil at a First Monday Trades Day in Canton. Although I would later find better equipment I put that anvil to use for 10 years.
I needed other supplies but not knowing other blacksmiths it was difficult to find coal that I needed. My wife, in frustration, searched the internet and found coal in nearby Ben Wheeler, Texas from the town's blacksmith - a Mr. Howard Walker.
After taking over my wife's greenhouse we finally lit the first forge.
Over the next 10 years I taught myself by reading books, watching videos and a lot of practice, practice and yet more practice. I refined my skills making items for family, friends and the reenactment community along with the Royal Rangers.
In early 1999, I attended the NTBA (North Texas Blacksmith Association) meeting. It was hard to believe how many people were interested in Blacksmithing. Making many friends along the way and going to conferences and meetings I learned more skills and techniques.
For 20 years blacksmithing had been hobby but in October 2008 blacksmithing became my full time occupation.