Blacksmith Shop (Pläksmitti)

The blacksmith shop was an essential part of a self-sufficient homestead. Without any nearby hardware stores, all tools and parts needed to be made by hand. Hjalmer was known as the family and neighborhood blacksmith.  Inside is a forge lined with sand and a blower used to heat the iron red hot for shaping into tools and parts. Hjalmer shoed horses, made bicycle parts, and constructed tools.

The wood is thought to be spruce. The log blacksmith shop, fourteen feet by sixteen feet, has walls covered with hand shaved shingles and a foundation of dry-laid igneous rocks. Rough hewn pine boards nailed to balsam rafters support the hand shaved shingle roof. A wide, low vertical doorway on the west gives access to the hand-packed soil floor interior. A single board frame sand-filled forge sits on the southeast corner. A twelve inch square box vertical chimney hangs above the forge and exits smoke through the roof. Three six-light windows are in each outside wall. Inverted V notch corner notching holds the walls rigid. A heavy pine plank work bench is fastened under the east window. Numerous shelves made from old boxes are nailed to the walls to hold tools and supplies. An anvil is clamped to the top of a round log. An improvised blower fashioned from a cream separator blows air through a sheet metal duct into the bottom of the forge. A small hole in the wall above the forge allows long metal to be passed though the building while being heated. ('Askel' Means Step by Gene Meier)

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