Q. What kind of coal do you use?
A. Pocahontas #3, it's a high bituminous coal. Very low sulfer, with
enough volatiles to stay lit over a half-hour lunch break. It cokes
well when you need it to. A well managed fire gives almost no smoke.
Q. Have you ever used anthracite?
A. Yes. Hated it. Hard to light. Wouldn't stay lit. One phone call, and
it would go out. Doesn't coke at all. Burned really clean though.
Q. You don't wear gloves, do you ever get burned?
A. Yes, very superficial burns sometimes happen when bits of scale land
on my hand. They're tiny and don't carry much in the way of
and it's over in a small fraction of a second, but they can be a little
distracting. I can't remember the last time I raised
blister with heat, and I've never managed a 3rd degree burn.
regularly get the hairs on the back of my hand shortened though.
Q. What about classes for teens and children?
A. Policy is yet to be established. It will depend some on the
insurance company, but we're pushing for an arrangement that will allow
youngsters to participate if their parent or guardian is present. It
may be possible to arrange for school officials to fill that role.
Still up in the air.
Unless otherwise noted, the pacing of the instruction will be geared to
adult and near-adult size, strength, and co-ordination.
Q. I see you have a class titled "blacksmithing for women", does this
mean the other classes listed are NOT intended for women?
A. Not at all. For the most part, anybody is welcome in any
so long as they can follow the instructions and stay safe. There will
be classes working on projects that require a fair bit of strength
and/or stamina and not everyone will be physically suited to them but
that's not based on gender.
We may find there is a call for single-gender classes and we will be
giving it a try.