Just one of my friends?

Frank Niro

I have never had many close friends in my life but the few that I've had as my life goes on have been and are far more than many may figure the word friend covers
As I continued with my knife making in my life, I always sort of hoped that one day through someone's goodness I would be given a chance to hit some hot steel and try to forge out a shape that just might relate to a blade shape. I have had a hand full of far away email friends offer the chance to visit and have the chance to give me their attention for the time needed for them to show me how they shape out that bar of appropriate steel into a knife shape.
A lot of time was going by with my hopes of that ever happening, and especially any chance of me swinging a hammer with some expert supervision. As I get older not only is my energy level getting smaller but my ability to get around and travel have been severely limited. I've always known I wouldn't one day be making the Damascus I often use in my folders but still I hoped for chance just to pretend to myself if helped what I didn't do with a smith helping me he would complete so I would be able to go ahead.
A few weeks ago one of those local very close friends of mine passed on in a phone conversation he was going to go ahead and build a small forged. I asked if he want to search out forums for information on builds. "No", he replied he had made something in the past and would wing it this time. Maybe a month passed by, before he gave me a call on a Sunday afternoon and said he had that forge up and howeling. "Would I want to come up to see how it worked?"He warned me not to expect some huge furnace but that this was in fact quite small. I therefore wasn't surprised to see this smallish size tube with what I knew to be a burned sticking in the side sitting on the garage floor. "I'll show you how this work's" was his next remark and he proceeded to light it up. Man, did he have my attention! I was facinated ! Sure this thing was small but it was sure looking like it could do a job if even only in a small way. Next he picked up with pliers he told me was piece of mild steel that was about 1/2" wide and 7" long and placed it into the forge. "There" he said,"see that color? "That's what we want." He then removed the piece from the forge and stared to hammer on it while explaining the you wouldn't be able to do much bigger pieces in it. "Well " he said "it's your turn." He had a small piece of Damascus all set to go and had me get it into the forge. "Watch the color, Frank," was his next remark and soon after, "Now bring it out, and use the hammer on it." We went this way a couple or more times until he said he thought it was flat enough and long enough to make into a small blade. Trying , to forge in a blade shape would be another lesson. I was really over whelmed by all of this, but there is more to the story. No I couldn't take that Damascus and turn it into a blade for a small folder for him. It had several cracks probably from hammering on it in the wrong heat.
The rest of the story is
I later found out he built that forge knowing it was very limited in size but he hoped was big enough for me to have a chance to complete that long time wish of trying out a forge!
Many, many, thanks Friend.
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Well-Known Member
I know your friend very well Frank and that's the kind of person he is. He thinks of others needs way more than thinking of himself. I know I'm proud to call him a friend as well.

Frank Niro

I figured I could at least talk about him and yes a few like you Jim might right away pick up on who it was. A most important friend in my life !