Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

John Phelan in the Blacksmith Shop at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center

“Strike while the iron is hot!”

At the Blacksmith Shop, skilled smiths practice this old saying to shape hot steel into traditional and useful hardware or tools. During demonstrations, smiths use a coal-fired forge to heat steel red hot, then shape it with hammers into farm implements, tools, kitchen utensils, hardware (hinges and latches for doors) and other goods.

The 12 x 16 shop building design is a typical New England structure. John Phelan developed the overall plan; Michael Beaudry specified the joinery; MOFGA’s forest provided all the wood for the building; teamsters and their draft animals skidded the trees onto the grounds; Beaudry and a small crew created the frame elements, and in 2005, 14 people joined the crew for a workshop weekend, hewing the last timbers, cutting mortises and tenons, and assembling and raising the timber frame.

Areas of the Common Ground Country Fair