Friday, September 24, 2010

Cleaning in the Blacksmith Shop

It was busy summer full of projects and visitors at Field's Blacksmith Shop. Now that fall is here, it is time to tackle the dirt and clutter that accumulated in the corners and the windowsills. A shop using coal forges has a lot of dust and grit. On most days our doors are wide open for the public to visit as well . That contributes to grit and leaves blowing into corners of the shop. It take some work to get it all cleaned out!

Our museum's maintenance department is very thorough at keeping our shop looking good. Over years of work, many parts of projects, scrap iron, and display pieces had accumulated on the flat surfaces in the shop. Recently, we sorted and stored several hundred pounds of tools, scraps, and half-completed projects that were cluttering the windowsills and corners. That provided room for the cleaners to get to our beautiful windows. Coal smoke and dust had given them a frosted glaze. The Maintenance crew gave the windows a thorough cleaning. The result was a startling improvement! I hadn’t realized the windows were that dirty.

A youth volunteer spent the morning of one day sorting and sizing the nails we made this summer. He neatly stacked them in the appropriate bin. Now we are ready to provide nails for internal building restoration projects and repairs.

The fall cleaning improved the working conditions in the Field's Blacksmith shop.  Light is always at a premium in a historic shop.  Now we have more elbow room and more light with which to see details of our work.


  1. I have sorted my share of Blacksmith's nails in my younger days, I was always amazed at the different sizes and shapes.
    I 'happened' across your blog, and so very glad I did, it is indeed splendid !
    What a lovely and interesting life you lead, my love of history, horses, and the simple life, will keep me returning.
    Off to read more now,

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your blog.

  3. Hello there. I just want to say that I've been enjoying reading through your blog - actually, poring over it. I'm the author of a dozen books, faith-based historical fiction being my primary genre. I'm currently working on a manuscript in which the lead male character is a blacksmith in Paris, Tennessee in the late 1800s. Before beginning this story I had NO idea about blacksmithing, but thanks to your blog I've learned a great deal. Hope you continue posting as time allows. I see you sort of quit last April. Thanks again!

  4. It seems that you have a lot to clean in your shop but you were lucky enough that you have youth volunteer. I might as well volunteer myself in the next summer if you are thinking of improving this place again.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin