Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is a Treadle Hammer an Useful Tool for a Blacksmith Shop?

What is your opinion about treadle hammers in the blacksmith shop?

Thanks for the praise about the youtube videos. They are only 10 minute long videos but actually take me about two days to produce. I put them up so they can help people like you. There is more information on each topic on my website in the members area so check out the newsletters when you get a chance. Videos have their place and combined with the written word can be quite powerful education tool.

Treadle Hammers
Are they a useful tool?
Yes sort of. Since I build air hammers and have good control with them I can use it effectively as a treddle hammer. My opinion is that if a person can afford to build an air hammer that this is a better option.... but a good half way point would be an air assisted treddle hammer.

The big bonus with a treadle hammer is the control and cost can be quite low. They are not fast but you have a great deal of control with them for punching and texturing. They are unpleasant for drawing out, which I use my air hammer for all the time.

In short it depends on the type of work you do.

I hope this helps.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wholesale Pricing of Blacksmithing Work?

How to Price Blacksmithing Work at Wholesale?

Pricing is always difficult and wholesale can be tricky. Unfortunately I can't give you step by step but only generalities.

Work as many irons at a time that you can. a gas forge is easier in this respect as you don't burn the steel.

Jig everything possible that you can. Shape of the hook cut off etc. This will also give you an uniform product which the stores like. Unfortunately makeing the jigs takes some time.

Negotiatiate with the stores for better advertising "Locally Hand Made by Traditional Blacksmith" so they can ask a higher price than usual so you can charge a bit more.

Negotiate with the stores to advertise you so you can get larger commission work from customers. Pay them a finders fee perhaps 10% and build this into the price you charge the customers. In this case deal directly with the customers and don't have the store as a middle man if you can help it. It will save you many headaches.

In short you have to work as efficiently as possible to keep your cost per unit down. If you can work in multiples as this streamlines the process. Eg. curl 6 hooks, bend 6 hooks, cut 6 hooks, start over.

If you find you are doing much production consider hiring a student at minimum wage to do the non cost effective work such as painting. At first this seems like a large expense but if you keep them busy it does actually pay.

I hope this helps. I have sold wholesale for years and you can make decent income with it and you usually have few problems getting paid which is good and if you have a good relationship with the stores they will work for you too.

There is more information on pricing on the main site http://www.artistblacksmith.com/ in the members area under the articles.

David Robertson