Fall Conference, 2018: Sept 14 - 16 at Al Lake's Moccasin Mountain Hammers in Lewistown, Montana. Joseph Lech Demonstrated

Joseph Lech grew up in Massachusetts, earned an associates degree in forged architectural ironwork at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC, and worked for three years at Spirit Ironworks in Bayport, New York. Fortuitously, he was visiting Frank Annighofer on his journeyman tour of American blacksmithing shops when news arrived of Dorothy Steigler's need to cancel. Joseph volunteered to step in in her stead.

He demonstrated traditional colonial hinge making and forge-welding chain.

Host, Al Lake's Mocassin Mountain Hammers, the conference site, has a serious collection of vintage power hammers which members were welcome to try. See Mocassin Mountain Hammers on Facebook.

This was a demonstrating and a hands-on conference. 



Joseph drifting the eye of his colonial hinge to size.


Showing the result to the membership.


Fluxing, prior to forge welding.


Forge welding the back-flange of the hinge onto its front strap.


Isolating material for the hinge's bean-finial using the edge of the anvil.


Joseph using an eyecrometer to determine placement of a punched mounting hole.


Forging one type of hinge pintle, capturing a bar within a forge-welded arm.


Beginning a second, alternative pintle with a forged square corner---the short leg to be forged and filed cylindrical.


Joseph with the finished hinge.

The pair of hinges, finished.


Nathan Kimpell beginning his upset for the square-corner pintle.


Member forging his hinge.


Hial beginning his bean-finial under Joe's guidance.


And, forging his pintle.


Joseph giving advice to Dave.


Russell and Joel watching.



Hial adjusting the Beaudry 400-pound power hammer.


Bar, bent into a near circle and ends scarfed, preparatory to forge welding the first chain link. 


Forge welding the first chain link.


Forge welding three chain links together.


A set of three chain links finished.


A committed blacksmith, Nathan Kimpell


Andy trying out the Beaudry 300-pound power hammer.


And, Dave Osmundsen using a cut-off hack under the Beaudry---that he had just forged on the same machine.


Duane helping Nathan with an extracurricular project.


Knife forged and finished by Duane Bowmar.


SOME of Al Lake's power hammers.


Our host, Al Lake---to whom, thanks. 

Northern Rockies Blacksmith Association.   Betty Ellis, Secretary, 2 Silvertip Place, Clancy, MT 59634    406 431-8227    bettyinmt44@gmail.com

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