Buffalo, WY

Pam and I settled into Buffalo, WY for the duration of my blacksmith class. It’s a great town with friendly folks and a vibrant Main Street.

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We stayed at an RV campground within walking distance to the forge. Our neighbors were vegans and into lawn maintenance.

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Buffalo has a population of less than 5,000, but had a lot going on within town and nice public facilities around town. Pam took advantage of the travel downtime to transcribe several CDs worth of 30 year old interviews into text for a friend.

She also explored the trail system in town with some nice walks.

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I spent 6 days a week in the forge learning new techniques from David, a Mater Blacksmith in Buffalo. I also forged a few new tools that I can use in the future. We used mostly coal for our fuel, but lit up the acetylene torch more than once for some localized heat.

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We tried several of the local restaurants along Main Street and did some Christmas shopping from the local artist stores. On Thursday nights there is an open mic at the Occidental Saloon. It’s been a tradition going on for 15 years now.

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The first Thursday we were in town we arrived late and could not even get into the place. The next Thursday we had dinner in the saloon and enjoyed the 3 hours of open mic. The chairs in front of the band are the “on deck” players as they rotate the players onto the stage so that everyone gets a chance.

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Earlier in the week we had dinner in the saloon with an 80 year old couple from Boston. They were doing a cross-country road trip from Boston to Florida via San Francisco. I guess you are never too old to be adventurous.
The blacksmith class taught the techniques to make mortise and tenon joints, crisp 90 degree corners from bent bars, scrolls and collars – all starting from flat bar stock. Here was my finished project, a 16” x 24” frame that weighed in at 24 lbs of steel.

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Now the negotiations begin within our household as to when I can set up a forge. I may have to wait until we find a new place with its own workshop, but I’m sure I’ll think of something in the meantime.

Great class and great town -we’ll have to revisit Buffalo again in the future.

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