Balcones Forge Meeting Info

Meetings are open to everyone -- you do not have to be a member to attend.
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.

May 20

William Bastas Teaches
Monkey Paw Tongs

9:30 AM

Hammering, Pounding, Forging Red Hot Iron…
Tong Building!!!! 

Of course you want a pair of those fancy Will Bastas monkey-paw tongs! We all do! Unfortunately, they always sell for way too much money when Will donates them to our auctions. Well, friends, your luck has changed! 

Will Bastas has offered to lead a Balcones Forge meeting to make everyone a pair of those handy little grippers! Naturally, we took him up on that offer, and we will all be building tongs with Professor Bastas at the May 20th meeting of Balcones Forge. 

The meeting will be held in the blacksmith shop at Sycamore Creek Ranch, a familiar destination to everyone who has been to the annual Bluebonnet Demo. The meeting will begin at 9:30 am. Please notice that the meeting has been moved to May 20th to avoid conflicting with everyone’s Memorial Day plans! 

Monkey-paw tongs have unique split ends at the gripping tip of the tongs. This allows the blacksmith to securely hold a wide variety of shapes from a number of different angles. These tongs may quickly become your all time favorites. 

We will be forging these tongs from #5 rebar which makes a sturdy, resilient pair of tongs, with properties very close to chrome-molybdenum steel. We will learn how to work with this steel at the meeting. 

There is no charge for participating in this meeting, but you must be a member of Balcones Forge so that you will be on our insurance. Bring safety glasses and your favorite hammer. Wear cotton clothing (No synthetics) and sturdy, closed toe shoes. 

Our special thanks to Will Bastas for his generous offer to teach us all the finer points of tong forging. 

A little blacksmithing history: Many of us know Will Bastas from his popular blacksmithing classes at Austin Community College. However, Mr. Bastas was also the very first Forge Master of the Texas Artist Blacksmith Association (TABA), which was the predecessor organization to Balcones Forge. 


Coming Up

    June 24 
Shop of Tom the Blacksmith Leining

    July - To be determined

    August - To be determined

    September 16th - Bulverde Jubilee - Bulverde, Texas

    November - Blanco Buggy Barn - Details to be announced

    December - Devine, Texas