Tag Archives: Fire

Blacksmithing 101 Classes

NOTE: This was a class that was offered in 2013, it is not a current offering. What PS1 does have are irregularly scheduled authorizations for it’s members, access to the tools and equipment, and usually enough material for learning, though the general rule for materials is BYO. While we do not usually have “classes” per se, we are an environment and a group of people that foster learning from other members and through practice (trial and error with very little judgement about the “error” part of things.) If you join as a monthly member, you can be authorized on all of this equipment (we have a new forge and anvil now, too) and have 24/7 access to the shop. At 11,000 square feet and with 400 actively dues-paying members, PS1 is a great place to learn and practice. Come to an open house (practically) every Tuesday evening at 8 pm for a chance to meet members, to look around and for a quick tour.

Both the fire poker and the railroad spike knife classes will be offered on SUNDAY April 14th at Pumping Station:One.
knife forge
Ever thought of Blacksmithing as a way to relieve stress? Well then, sign up for THE FIRE POKER CLASS where you will make a fire poker to soothe your
anger while also pleasing your inner pyro . You will learn to taper & draw, twist, and to scroll some steel. And you get to take it home and show it off!

Or, if you are more into stabbing junk mail through the heart, make yourself a RAIL ROAD SPIKE letter opener! You’ll learn to sledge, taper & draw, and maybe even twist your handle.

Please sign up for your preferred class and time using the booking link HERE!


  • $40 for members ($50 for non-members) for the two and a half hour long instruction & materials needed for the *fire poker class*
  • $25 for members ($30 for non-members) for the *rail road spike* class.

Both classes will also certify members to use the forge!
What you need to know:IMG_20130210_122708_948

1. If you have a nice pair of safety glasses, bring them – we have some available, but they may not be comfortable.
2. Wear ONLY cotton clothing and closed toe shoes (preferably leather with rubber soles) Any other fabric may catch fire and will melt onto your skin and continue burning you which is never fun. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt is preferable to protect from flying slag.
3. Bring a water bottle- forging is hot work.
4. Your off hand (non hammering hand) will be holding the steel and will require a glove (though two gloves is REALLY preferable). Please bring well fitting all LEATHER gloves if you have some (calf skin gloves work best). This helps reduce chafing and prevents burns. Your hammer hand does not have to be gloved, but better safe than sorry.
5. This activity has a high risk of burns – you will be dealing with glowing hot steel, sparks, and hot slag. Wearing appropriate clothing and gloves minimizes this risk, but accidents still happen. You have been warned, now come have some fun!

• Please try to arrive 5-10 minutes early so we can get started
right away.

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Fire Starters the Boy Scout Way

Egg Carton
Photo by greenchartreuse on Flickr

Fire starters are an easy and convenient way to get a fire going without messing with loose newsprint or dry tinder only for it to go out when somebody breathes on it.  There as many recipes out there for these things as there are BBQ sauces. This one is my tried and true favorite of many.


  • Paper-based egg cartons (the classic kind, no plastic)
  • Old candles (can be found for next to nothing at thrift stores)
  • Sawdust (for flavor)


Melt the candles down in a pot/pan that you never want to cook in again.  This can be very dangerous so do use some common sense.  While the candles are melting, cut the bottom of your egg cartons out removing the lid and the flap on the opposite edge that holds the lid closed.

Once the wax has melted entirely so there are no solids left CAREFULLY pour them into your egg carton trays.  If you have a funnel, this would be a lot safer. (safety = 1 / fun)  While the wax is still in liquid form, sprinkle a generous amount of sawdust over the tops of each and let them dry all the way until they are room temperature again.

After they are all dry cut each individual pod (12 per carton) out with the peaks of the carton split equally.  This will make for an easy wick come lighting time.

Thats it!

Now you’re ready to start your charcoal grill, backyard foundry, etc. with minimal set up time and the best part is it can cost you nothing!  As with any open flame, it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher around too.

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The Foreman Dog - by Jeff Kantarek

In case you thought otherwise, it turns out nerds aren’t exempt from proving their survival skills by cooking meat on an open flame from time to time.  To keep with tradition this Saturday, May 1st @ 3:00 we will be cooking out in one form or another, (The weather looks good as of this writing, so expect full force) and you are all invited to join us.

If you want to eat as well, we ask that you please bring something to share too.  We’re all excited to come out of our caves and kick off Spring/Summer this year with food, drink & good conversation so come on out, we need to attract the fire department like we did last year!

Hugs from the VP will be available too.

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