Back in the early days of BAM (Blacksmiths Association of Missouri everything was new to us. Our meetings were held in old garages and sheds, and we would huddle around the anvil as everyone took tums demonstrating his newest discovery. The members who knew how to forge weld seemed to posses some magical power that elluded the rest of us. They would smash together white hot steel as we watched in amazement. Like growing up, there was a newness about it all that could only happen once.
As time went on and we matured as blacksmiths, our skills improved. We began looking for better ways to do things, and some interesting new tools began to surface. Among them was a tool guide that used top and bottom tools made from bar stock. Don Asbee (one of our founding fathers) nicknamed it the "Smithin' Magician"; a take off from a spot on local television for a product called the Kitchen Magician. "It slices, it dices, and its only $9.95," the announcer would explain. The blacksmiths' version was equally useful, it would cut and fuller and it could be rmde in your own shop.
Many versions of the same tool have been made since the first one. (It was destroyed several years ago by some over zealous British farriers using an eight pound sledge.) The design has remained basically the same, and it has proven itself to be one of the most useful tools found in a blacksmith shop.
I have periodically included drawings and explained the use of Smithin' Magician in the pages of the Blacksmiths Journal. Following is a collection of drawings from the journal that show the construction and some of the uses for it.