Beginning Blacksmith Course at Curran Homestead
Beginning Blacksmith Course Begins Tuesday, November 7, 2017
19th Century Curran Homestead Village
19th Century Curran Homestead Village at 372 Field’s Pond Road, Orrington will offer a basic 6-week introductory blacksmithing course Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9pm limited to six participants beginning Tuesday evening November 7, 2017.
No experience is needed. Participants will attend six consecutive Tuesday and Thursday evening classes and will also have access to the Homestead’s forges and tools for practice or projects on Saturdays during the same 6 weeks. It is recommended that participants wear leather shoes, cotton or wool clothing (not man-made fiber clothes), bring a pair of work gloves and, if they have them available, safety glasses/goggles, and a 2lb cross pein hammer.
In announcing the course, Curran Homestead Village Museum Director, Robert Schmick, said Dwight King of Orrington will teach the offering which has been very popular among both men and women throughout the region. Dwight King has been passionate about moving metal around with hammer control for more than 12 years. His work runs the gamut of functional, handcrafted items to artistic garden and lawn sculptures, and he’s crazy about forging leaves. He has been a frequent volunteer at 19th Century Curran Homestead Village, as well as Leonard’s Mills, and is always willing to communicate knowledge of the craft. Dwight says, “Never stop learning, when you rest, you rust!”
Schmick said, “This is a beginner’s course which will introduce the participants to traditional blacksmithing methods using coal-fired forges, hand tools and shop equipment. Each participant will go away with knowledge, skills and products of his/her work.”
Dwight King added detail to the course curriculum, to include: safety discussions, materials and tools of the trade, fire starting and maintenance, heating the work, hammer blows and hammer control, measuring and marking, tapering to a square point, drawing out metal, forging square to octagonal and round, bending, twisting, forging a basic S-hook, a drive hook, screw-in/nail-in hooks, making a chisel, a punch, a drift, punching holes, flattening and spreading, forging a spoon, simple leaves, nails, rivets, tool handles, door handles, scrolls, preparing for welding, forge welding a ring, butt hinge and riveting as well as working on personal projects.
Cost of the course including materials and supplies is $395.00 per participant. Cost includes a copy of the book “The Backyard Blacksmith” by Lorelei Sims. Pre-registration is required and is first-come, first-served by cash, check payable to The Curran Homestead, or credit card (MasterCard or Visa only). To register, contact Irv Marsters, Curran Homestead Village Treasurer, at 745-4426, email@example.com, or by mail at 99 Washington Street, Bangor, Maine 04401.
Sat., Oct. 21, 2017, 10AM-3PM. Free Members Day at Newfield! This is the last open day of the season. We will have a team of Percheron draft horses on site pulling a wagon for rides, carousel rides at 11, 12, & 2PM, costumed interpreters at our schoolhouse, letterpress printing shop, Victorian kitchen, and blacksmith shop. There will be ongoing cider making at our cider mill. There will be some end of season bargains at the Country Store. BBQ Lunch: 12-1:30. Free for members. Purchase a 2018 membership and get in free. General Admission: $10 Adult, $8 Seniors & Veterans, & Free: 17 & Under.
This is a family must! There will be draft horses, Paul and Luna, pulling a hay wagon for rides. Other farm animals too.There is a jitterbug/doodlebug showdown with the Maine Antique Tractor Association, Maine Poultry Connection will be there sharing information about its scholarship program and sharing chickens and chicken coops. We will have old fashioned cider making that you are welcome to participate in, Many antique cars and vehicles. A pumpkin painting activity and scavenger hunt for the kids. Blacksmithing, cooking, music, and other activities will make this a special fall event for you.
Admissions free for kids up to 17. Adults: $10, $8 Seniors.
SCHEDULE OF OPENINGS, EVENTS, CLASSES & WORKSHOPS FOR SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER, 2017
Sat., Sept. 16, 10-3. Make a Propane Burning Blacksmithing Forge at FIELDS POND.
Pay to register to make a clean burning, relatively efficient, and inexpensive version of commercial forges
that cost four times or more the amount to make this. This is an alternative to the costly indoor set-up of
a coal fired forge for the budding blade-smith or blacksmith. Cut metal and fabricate parts using power tools.
We do the welding. Create a refractory cement mold using Sana tube, cardboard, and duct tape. Our cement
is rated for high temperatures.
Your assembly kit (to be assembled in class) includes a metal shell, legs, refractory, mold materials, a propane
heating wand assembly with 10 PSI regulator and hose. Kit does not include a propane supply. If time permits,
make a railroad spike knife after completing your forge. Past blacksmithing students (Curran): $275, all others:
$295. All materials & tools provided. Class limit: 5. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426.
Starting Tues., Sept. 26, 6-9PM, Six Week, Tuesday and Thursday Evenings, Coal Fired Forge Blacksmithing Class.
This class involves a real commitment, as students will be expected to complete projects over the course of
six weeks. There will be studio time available on Saturdays for you to practice your skills in addition to class
time. The class covers safety, coal fires, heating, shaping, and cutting steel. Students will complete multiple
projects under the tutelage of instructor Dwight King. Students will end with instruction on forge welding.
Forging a railroad spike knife is a preface to a follow-up KNIFE MAKING CLASS. We ask that you bring a ball,
straight or cross pein or machinist hammer of no more than 3 lbs; 2 pound hammers avoid more injuries to the
beginner. Natural fiber clothing. Work shoes. Gloves optional. Safety Glasses Required. See our Blacksmithing
Student Instructions web page. Pay to register: $395. Class limit: 6. Class includes two free texts; Lorelei
Simm’s Backyard Blacksmith and Dick Stockford’s The Knife You Make. Call: (207) 205-4849 or (207)
Sat., Sept. 30, 10-4. Metal Casting: Make an 8-inch Bell!
This aluminum casting class includes information about safety, tools, materials, and methodology. You will
learn to prepare a cope and a drag with sand casting compound for the purpose of casting a pattern. You will
heat and pour molten metal from a crucible. In addition to a bell you will, time permitting, cast several smaller
objects including your own ramming tool. Pay to register. Call: 207-205-4849 or (207) 745-4426
Sat., Oct. 14, 10-3: Harvest Festival at FIELDS POND. We will have a Jitterbug/Doodlebug Pulling Competition, participatory cider making, BBQ LUNCH (12-2), draft horse and hay wagon rides, pumpkin painting, scavenger hunt for kids, scarecrow competition: set-up your scarecrow at Curran Homestead Village, prizes awarded, See our 1917 Model T Jitterbug run, blacksmithing, see cracked corn and cornmeal made with a1919 Nelson Bros. engine running a 1872 Harrison portable grist mill.
Sat., Oct. 21, 10-3: Free Members’ Day at NEWFIELD. The museum will be open with costumed interpreters at the Victorian Kitchen cooking, schoolhouse “marm”, printing shop printer, and blacksmith. BBQ Lunch (12-2), carousel rides @ 11AM, 12Noon, 1PM, & 2PM. 2017 Curran members are admitted free; sign up for your 2018 membership get you in. Non-members: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors & $8. Under 18. 6 and Under Free.
Newfield Campus, Curran Homestead Village Open Days:
Sat., September 23, 10-3. Museum Open. Carousel Rides: 11AM, 12Noon, & 2PM.
Sat., October 14, 10-3. Museum Open. Carousel Rides: 11AM, 12Noon & 2PM.
More Workshops & Classes
Sat., Sept. 30, 10-3. Learning About Electric: Make an Electric Lamp from Scratch for Kids (Ages 9 and Above) and Adults at FIELDS POND.
This “Old School” construction involves building a lamp on a wooden base. Students will chamfer the edges of the wood with a hand tool. You will fasten white porcelain fixtures: switch, socket and insulator, to the wood base. Students will wire these components using new old stock cloth covered wire. Students will be introduced to soldering electric wire together. A clear glass light bulb will be provided. Class limited to 6. Please register sooner than later so we have enough materials on hand. Tuition: $35 All materials & tools provided. Pay to Register. Call (207) 205-4849.
Sat., Oct. 7, 2017, 10-3. Electronics 101: Make A Morse Code Telegraph Sounder ( Ages 11 & Above) at FIELDS POND.
This is an old meets new learning experience. This is a beginning electronics class as well as an exploration of a communication form, telegraphy and Morse Code, invented in the 1840s, that is still informing how we speak to each other over long distance today. You will create an updated version of the classic telegraph key sounder that includes both a buzzer and LED light signaler. This will involve assembling a circuit board, wiring and components inside of a tin can enclosure. You will be introduced to soldering wires. The class will have you make the key and then learn to use it. Tuition: $35 All materials & tools provided. Pay to Register. Call (207) 205-4849
Sat., October 21, 2017, 10-3. Make a Wooden Bench Seat Class at FIELDS POND ( Ages 10 and Above).
This is a beginner’s class in wood construction. It will take place in our new woodworking shop; the first class in this space! Students will use only hand tools. There will be measuring and marking of the components for a 60″ long by 6″ wide by 18″ tall bench, sawing and drilling, and hammering. We will sand the surfaces to our satisfaction. Tools and materials provided. Tuition: $40. Make two, donate one to the museum, and the tuition is free. Pay to register: call: Bob @ (207) 205-4849, or Irv @ (207) 745-4426.
Sat., Nov.4, 10-3. FIBER ARTS: Weaving for Ages 8 and Above at FIELDS POND.
This class involves not only the process of weaving but preparation of tools and materials. You will construct a drop spindle from found objects that will allow you to spin raw wool into year. You will spin a quantity of yarn for the purpose of weaving on a lap loom. You will construct a lap loom much like this homemade example found in the Evan Hart Barn ( Copeland Hill Rd., Orrington). This involves a simple wood construction with nails fastened around the perimeter for the sake of creating the warp and weft of your weave. students will also have the opportunity to dye there wool yarn. You may not complete your woven pattern entirely but will have a good start on it and will have the tools to do additional weavings in the future. Pay to register: $35. Call to register: (207) 205-4849 or (207) 745-4426.
Looking for Volunteers to Assist Us in Our Biggest Annual Fundraiser: Parking Cars for Bangor’s National Folk Festival, Aug. 25, 26 & 27, at Penobscot Plaza parking lot, Washington St., Bangor
Looking for volunteers to assist us in parking at the Penobscot Plaza on Washington Street in Bangor for the National Folk Festival. Curran Homestead Village is given permission each year by the businesses of the Penobscot Plaza to sell parking spaces to visitors to the Bangor waterfront’s Folk Festival. The Folk Festival starts at 5PM today and continues on through Saturday and Sunday. This is the closest parking area to where the festival is. This is one of our biggest fundraisers. If you want to volunteer to assist us today, Saturday and/or Sunday, give us a call at 207-205-4849 or 207-745-4426. We would love your company.
Sat., Sept. 16, 10-3. Make a Propane Burning Blacksmithing Forge at FIELDS POND.
Pay to register to make a cleanburning, relatively efficient, and inexpensive version of commercial forges that cost four times or more the amount to make this. This is an alternative to the costly indoor set-up of a coal fired forge for the
budding blade-smith or blacksmith. Cut metal and fabricate parts using power tools. We do the welding. Create a refractory cement mold using Sana tube, cardboard, and duct tape. Our cement is rated for high temperatures. Your assembly kit (to be assembled in class) includes a metal shell, legs, refractory, mold materials, a propane heating wand assembly with 10 PSI regulator and hose. Kit does not include a propane supply. If time permits, make a railroad spike knife after completing your forge. Past blacksmithing students (Curran): $275, all others: $295. All materials & tools provided. Class limit: 5, Call to register: Bob @ (207) 205-4849, or Irv @ (207) 745-4426.
Saturday, August 12, 11-5, Bluegrass Music Fundraising Festival and Civil War Event
Starting at 11AM there will be the sound of two Civil War era replica Parrot Rifles (cannon) fired off by the Sixth of Maine re-Enactors group at 372 Fields Pond Road, Orrington, Maine. There will be an encampment at this event for the family to learn a bit about soldier camp life during the Civil War. There will be a demonstration of an Enfield muzzle loading rifle as well. At 11:15 the bluegrass music will begin. There will be six bands in total over the course of the day. this include Freshly Cut Grass, Original Condition, Riverdrivers, Doug Alley & Friends, Mr. Moon Band and Wyld Blue Yonder Band. A new band will start at a quarter of each hour. Cannons will demonstrate at 11, 12, 1, 1, & 3. Come early and see the soldiers raise the flag , a 35 star flag, that is, at 10:45AM. BBQ will be available at extra cost between 12-2. Price of admission for the whole event is $9 Adults, $7 Seniors/Veterans, $5 Children (7-17), and Free Six and Under. Family (Parents & Children) Maximum: $25 Admission Cost.
For more information about the bands and Music Contact Jim Leighton at (207) 944-3128.
For more information about the event in general contact: Bob Schmick, (207) 205-4849.
We will be offering fall school field trip at our NEWFIELD campus.
The dates available are:
September 25, 26, 27, & 29.
October 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6.
Please consult our school field trip web page here for more details about our school field trips
For reservations contact: Robert Schmick, museum director at (207) 205-4849 or