Northern Rockies Blacksmith Association

NRBA Fall Conference 2013    September 20 - 22, Choteau, MT

In combination with the Teton Antique Gas and Steam Threshing Association, we demonstrated blacksmithing to the public.

                        Text by Frank Annighofer. Photos by Annette Lavalette.

Our membership voted that we should have this year’s fall meeting in Choteau again. And we did. For 3 days, we joined the Teton Antique Gas and Steam Threshing Association who had invited us to join their annual meeting and demonstrations at the same time. We unloaded our trailer to set up our club forges and anvils as well as our gallery and sales tent. A number of our members brought additional anvils, forges, steel and tools. Art Andersen coordinated logistics with the fair organizers and set up a good selection of electrical tools to cut, grind and drill. Ben Lund brought a 50 pound little giant and a pile of scrap iron including rail road spikes.  Especially the spikes encouraged our blacksmiths to get creative. They were transformed to ladles, tongs, steak turner, and  ....longer spikes.


We set up our shop and tent on Thursday afternoon. Local high schools watched us blacksmithing on Friday.

On Friday Terry Melton, Nathan Kimpell, Joel Machler and Frank Annighofer demonstrated to 4 local school classes and to FFA kids.




More of our members came later on Friday and joined the demos while the number of visitors grew. Later we joined the tractor club for their potluck.


The Tractor Club encouraged us to bring blacksmithed items for sale to the public.


More people visited our demonstrations on Saturday as the gas and steam engine show officially opened their doors. Three of the school kids came back do get their hands black. Outfitted with gloves, safety glasses and ear plugs they drew their first tapers, twisted hooks and asked their teachers a ton of questions. After the work was done and a lot of pieces had been sold of at the auction that Scott Roberts managed we enjoyed our traditional banquet in the evening. Jean and Terry Melton prepared our dinner as well as our breakfasts and everything was just perfect. A big thank you to both.

Our demonstrations lasted into Sunday afternoon while more people stopped by and watched, asked all kinds of questions, and bought little items from our gallery. And, two more boys came to hammer on some hot iron. We finally broke up our camp that we had set up in the City Park just a few hundred feet from the fairgrounds and everybody headed home while it started raining.

From the Choteau "Acantha" July 31, 2013:

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