Balcones Forge Meeting Info

Meetings are open to everyone -- you do not have to be a member to attend, but to participate in any activities, you must be a member.
Meetings are usually  held on the last Saturday of each month and start at 9:30,
but subject to change. Be sure to check schedule below.


Other things to bring:
Hearing protection, notepad, camera, folding chair/bleacher seat cushion,
drinking water, returning library book/video, "Iron in the Hat" auction item, "show-n-tell" item,
trade item/competition item. Competition items are creations that take time and effort,
so you get to keep your item. Usually the items are judged and prizes awarded.


The August Meeting

 Date: Saturday, August 25th

Time: Starts 9:30 am

Where:  Sycamore Creek Ranch

5828 East FM 1431

Marble Falls, TX 78654

Our green front gate is located on Ranch Road 1431.  It will be unlocked or open.  Just follow the anvil signs down our very long gravel driveway.

Planning a good summer meeting is difficult.  The weather is hot and nobody wants to light a forge and add to the heat. Holding a no-forges meeting in my newly insulated shop sounded like a good idea.  I hope you like our solution and will make an effort to come to the meeting and bring a friend.  If we can get a good turnout for this meeting, maybe we can think up something similar - and just as interesting - next summer!  Special thanks to those who helped bring this summer meeting together:  Dave and Elise Guerrero, Randy and Sue Howerter, Jerry Achterberg, Laura Armstrong, and Rudy Billings.

Building the Box

The True Tale of How We Arrived at This Month’s Project

by John Crouchet

I am the lucky owner of two really nice wooden toolboxes, built by Dave and Elise Guerrero for the annual Balcones auction.  I used these boxes to carry heavy blacksmithing tools for some jobs I was doing at the time.  The boxes did their job and continue to attract compliments from those who see them. 

The design of these robust boxes is reminiscent of old wooden farrier boxes and “journeyman” boxes used by traveling smiths in the past.  They carry a heavy load of tools in a fairly compact space, while still keeping everything within quick reach for a working blacksmith.

We have chosen to build these boxes for our August meeting project.  Every Balcones member who comes to the meeting on August 25th should be able to complete a box and take it home.  There is no charge for the box, but you must be a Balcones Forge member.  If your dues are not paid, you may pay them at the meeting.  (Membership is $20 per year.)

 Of course, there are not enough hours in a regular meeting to build an entire box from scratch, so members Sue and Randy Howerter have volunteered to cut out all the box pieces in their woodshop before the meeting.  That is a big job!  I have volunteered to drill all the large holes for the inside tool rack.  (Not such a big job!)

When you arrive at the meeting, you will start assembling your box by sanding the parts, then drilling the screw holes with a hand drill so that the screws do not split the wood.  Next, you will glue and screw the boxes together.

Once your box is assembled, it is ready to take home.  You may dress up your new tool box as you desire.  There are lots of options.  At our October meeting, we plan a competition and prize for Best Embellished Toolbox!


All parts for the boxes will be provided, including glue and screws.


You must text or email me to reserve a box kit for the meeting.  

We need to know in advance how many kits to build.  If you are bringing a friend who plans to join Balcones Forge at this meeting, please let me know, so I can add to the box count.  Drop me an email at or a text at 830-798-3710.  Include your name.  I will add you to the list.

We still need several members to volunteer to bring electric hand sanders and cordless drills and drivers.  If you can help with these, please note that in your text or email.

Join us at 9:30 and don't forget your safety glasses 



The trade item for the August meeting is "a drill, auger, or boring bit". Flat, spiral, sharp cornered, anything that can be used to put a hole in a piece of wood. Early boring bits were concaved, round tipped "spoon" bits that made a nice round bottomed hole once you got it started. Spade bits were somewhat easier to center and start with a sharp point. The auger bit, with it's screw tip, pulled itself into the wood and the twisted lands helped to remove the wood shavings. Make one of your choice, but make it sharp because you must be able to put a hole in a piece of wood using a hand drill and your creation.


Coming Up

Stay tuned...