Blacksmithing is relatively easy, all you have to do is take a piece of red hot metal and beat it with a hammer till it looks like what you want then stop.

"No American is safe while Congress is in Session." Will Rogers

Forging a Web Page


Richard A. Hanson © 2007



Foreword:  As almost everybody knows, if you make a product and intend to market it, you must have a page on the Word Wide Web.  Developing a “Web Page” is absolutely no problem to the pimple faced ilk with multiple piercings and bad hair, but to many of the blacksmithing community who are technologically challenged it is as difficult as forging a scroll would be to the aforementioned computer geeks.  For several years now I have been threatening to develop a “Web Page”  I contacted several services that will do this and they all wanted an arm and a leg as well as an option on my first born to perform such a simple service. I figured what the heck; we all know blacksmiths can build almost anything I decided to do it myself.  How tough can it be anyway?  However, after repeated attempts and an equal number of failures, I must pass on to you this admonishment; do not try this yourself at home, I am a trained professional!


Attempt No 1. The hardest part of making a web page is getting what we have in our minds into the computer.  Since I do best when I can actually see what I have in mind I decided to lay everything out on paper at 100% scale.  After carefully assembling numerous sheets of text along with pictures the next problem was to get that information onto a disk and into the computer.  This proved considerably more difficult than I had expected.  My first attempt was to forge weld the paper work to the disk, this resulted in burned paper and a melted disk stuck to the anvil not to mention droplets of molten plastic with small pieces of flaming paper attached flying all over the shop when I hit it with a hammer.  Had it not been for a leather apron I would have molten plastic stuck to all surfaces of my body that were the same height as the anvil.  Remember Safety First.


Attempt No. 2. I reassembled all the information on paper, thank goodness for backup files, but the problem is still how to get it onto the disk and into the computer.  Since attempt No. 1 was such a dismal failure I decided to take a new approach.  Once again I started with a new CD and since forge welding was such a dismal failure, I decided to go a much lower temperature route.  Suffice to say that you can’t solder paper to plastic either. 


Attempt No 3. By now I am sure that the biggest problem is getting the information onto a disk.  Really once the material is on the disk it is a simple matter to place the disk in the disk drive and transfer it from my computer to the appropriate server.  Since welding or any sort of attachment that requires heat seems to be out of the question, but still wanting to use traditional joinery, I decided to rivet the material to the disk.  Alas this did not work either, the heads on the rivets kept the disk drive for closing. 


Attempt No 4. I think I have finally hit upon the perfect solution.  Why didn’t I think of this before?  When in doubt use Duct Tape.  In retrospect this was not such a good idea.  It took several hours with a series of dental picks and other tools made specifically for the job to remove all the remnants of the duct tape from the disk drive.  Not to mention that the computer read the aluminum coating on the tape as some sort of program and erased my hard disk.  This is proving to be much more difficult than I originally expected.


Attempt No. 5.  I am a little bit mad now, no that’s not exactly correct, I am a whole lot mad now.  I have wasted enough time on this already.  I am going to get this information into the computer if it kills me.  Once again I start at square 1.  Assemble all the information and pictures at 100% scale.  I am getting to be an old hand at this part, takes practically no time at all.  Next I carefully wrap all the paperwork around the computer disk then place the disk gently in the disk drive.  Now comes the delicate part, taking careful aim I strike the edge of the disk once smartly with a 4 lb hammer.  Now that I think of it I should have used a lighter hammer.  Anyway, the disk broke as it was driven into the computer; the shock of the blow caused the read/write head to contact the surface of the hard disk causing it to crash also.  There was some consolation though:  Cost of parts to repair computer $389.85, labor for computer geek to install new parts, $693.72 look on computer geek’s face when I told him what I did, PRICELESS!


Afterword: Since all surplus funds have been spent on getting computer back into operating condition, the development of the web page has been put on hold.  Suffice to say that when sufficient funds become available hiring a computer geek may not be such a bad idea after all.  But then, if I could do it myself I would have extra money for tools Hummmmm……….