We met at Safeway Bucky’s for coffee, Raven already has the bagels. I picked up some flea stuff for the cats. Off to Shelton’s for some good sprouts, a special mix of all kinds and a sweet 100 tomato plant. To Garret’s to find a good hook latch for the front shutters. Nothing looked right, I picked up piece of iron rod to blacksmith our own. Outside we picked out some more new plants for the garden, pickle cukes, big boy tomato, a basil and Raven’s pick of stevia. Sally’s is packed as it’s Easter weekend egg hunt, we’ll pass. Home. We plant them in the garden happy.

Raven has an hour long phone session to deal with. I’m a blacksmith today. I pull out the cream cheese and smoked salmon, she can make lunch when finished,

I break out the oxyacetylene mini tanks, the small wheel and measure the already cut too short for big wheel banding strap. Using my pocket knife I score the mark, easy to see on black. I break out the extension cord and cutoff grinder, zip it clean to the line on wood backing, then grind it clean flat 90 on the lapidary removing the paint in the process. I use three C clamps, one bigger I ground flat on the edges so the smaller ones can hold the banding together for the weld. I used a tight spring clamp to hold the bands together as I set the second clamp. Looped over two saw horses I’m ready. It’s windy, back to it I light the torch and set a neutral flame, laying down 4 coat hanger sections melting them together and down to the strapping. Quenched with a soup can from the big coffee can of water. Moving it to the anvil and reheating red hot I smack it flat with the hammer. Heat hard, quench, heat to temper (guess) and quench again. It turns out perfect and fits.

I prep the big wheel in the band clamp, measure a new strap, cut it on the cutoff grinder and sand prep it. Clamped together ready for welding as lunch is ready.

Bagels, cream cheese, salmon and sprout salad, yum, simple elegance.

Back to it I had a hell of a time getting the big wheel to weld right. Meanwhile Raven stained the small wheel.


I finally got it, a fraction large but it will do. I’ll add glue, this whole wheel needs it. Raven takes it to stain.

Time to play with the hook, I smack the hot round rod square and taper the end by heating and hammering it down. I left a larger spot, then tapered down the next shank section, keeping it square best I could. Another fat spot then tapered for the final loop. I secured the taper punch in the vice tight with the hammer for a round anvil. Heating each section red I hammered the hook up first, then over hard round for the main hook with a flair at the point. The back loop hammered in, using the cutoff wheel and grinding it flat. A trip to Bosworth’s for a couple eye screws, heated and hammered to match. I moved the hook out hot to accept the eye, then closed it.


A fine latch. I have in mind to copper plate it in copper sulfate solution then gun blue it to match the door hardware and prevent rust.

Raven finished staining both wheels, suggested using the smaller wood wheel to cover the real one.


I think it would look better to cover the real wheel and move the small wood wheel to the back, put a plant on the fender.

I received a steamer pan in the mail today, a perfect fit to the 3 sinks we bought. I have a mind to make a two inch punch and a 4″ indent tool. Triple sinks are expensive, steamer trays cheap, an opportunity.

A lot got done today, two iron tires, a latch, two wheels stained, and a fine lunch. Happy Easter tomorrow.

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