Triangle Area Group Leaders


Brandon Willson
[email protected]

NC ABANA Triangle Blacksmiths meet the second Saturday of every month except October at Heritage Forge on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. For more information contact us at [email protected]

NC ABANA Triangle Blacksmiths Meeting

September 9, 2023

Demo: Opperation of the Coal Forges


We will be shifting focus from the Controlled Hand Forgings and the Gate project, to preparation for the NC State Fair, which is coming up in October. As usual parking is available around the Holshouser building and the Garden Center.  Avoid parking on the grass or blocking the drive to the forge.



Safety Glasses are required. Bring and wear your safety glasses. Also appropriate clothing is necessary for safe forging so avoid wearing synthetics (flammable and melts easily), shorts, and open toed shoes / sandals. Minors must be accompanied by a parent who stays for the meeting. We stress safety at the meetings. Attendees attend voluntarily and assume all responsibility for their own safety and well being. Anyone acting in an unsafe manner or or causing a disruption will be asked to step away from the forge or to leave the meeting. Come to the meetings and have fun but please keep the safety of yourself and others in mind.  If you are unsure of something or have a question please ask me or one of the NC ABANA members on site. People not forging or assisting should watch from the public viewing area and not inside the shop.


Don't forget to bring items for Iron-in-the-Hat raffles or cash to buy tickets.

Quarterly Recap - Quarter 3

July 8th, the Triangle held our first meeting of the 3rd Quarter. Attendance was a little down, but that was to be expected with the start of the summer, and many events going on in the area that day. Robert Timberlake decided did a demonstration on heat treating, and then members began once more working on parts for the State Fair Gate. We have a nice little stack of flowers built up, as well as other small decorative components for the gate. We still have some discussions with the Fairgrounds Management that need to take place, but progress is moving forward. Lunch was pizza, with Kathy Volkjak taking the helm to go pick up the grub. She also stepped up to handle Iron in the Hat. As usual, that was a fun time, with a few folks walking away with multiple things to play with. After lunch and Iron in the Hat, we had a short business meeting where we discussed scholarship availability through NCABANA, different places for classes to be taken, updates on fair plans for this year, as well as an update on Tom Watkins. That afternoon, forging recommenced, with everyone having a blast. The meeting wrapped up around the heat of the day at approximately 3pm. 

Unfortunately, shortly after the meeting in July, we were notified of the passing of Tom Watkins. He was a dear friend to all, and will be missed greatly. We are in the process of gathering photos of Tom, and planning a small memorial ceremony on the 23rd of September at the Heritage Forge, in memory of Tom and all the great things he has done. 

August 12 saw our second meeting of the 3rd Quarter. First thing in the morning, we had a discussion on the rules for the forge during the fair. After that, we opened the forge for open forging time, giving members the opportunity to make things for sale. Lunch was a mixture of Pizza, ordered from Poppa Johns and something I cant pronounce made by Drew Bruch. Both were fantastic. During our business meeting, we discussed some important topics for the group, including the progress on the gate, details for the Fair Demonstration, and our in progress upgraded treadle hammer for the forge. We then took some time to do a small round robin introduction because we had alot of new faces at the meeting. The round robin worked perfectly, as numberous conversations were had between new and old members shortly after that. After the business meeting, the forges were fired up once more, and people got back to the heat. All in all, it was a great meeting. 


Septembers meeting will be much the same, though at the time of this writing it hasnt happened yet. Coal was delivered to the forge, big thank you to Randy Stoltz for picking it up. Our demonstration will be a lesson on opperating the coal forges for those of our members that do not have experience. After the demonstration, work in preparation of the fair will continue. The Gate project will be moved temporarily out of the forge until after the fair, and we will get the remaining coal unloaded from the bags into the storage barrels. Upgrades in the sales floor will be continued as well, including painting of the sales and display counters, filling in missing pannel spaces on the walls as well as straightening the hanging display pannels. Steel will be sorted and any material needed will be listed for pickup, and any remaining details will be sorted out. I would also like to take this time to thank all of our members for all they do. Things have been running very smoothly this year, and it wouldnt be possible without the support of the community. And lastly, I would like to make one last plug. If you would like to volunteer this year, please email [email protected]

As always. Keep forging on!