County attorney relaxes as blacksmith


Monsson has huge metal shear, which operates with a long lever to cut through relatively thick metal.

A post vise is set up as a straight line to the floor, which allows him to hammer an object and keep it stable, he said. The force of the blows is carried into the floor, which keeps the vise from shaking.

The post vise has been around since the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance, Monsson said.

Blacksmiths must take care in their art, he said.

His forge gets close to 3,000 degrees, which is enough to weld metal, and can actually burn steel, Monsson said.

He also has a Sandia forge, which runs on propane, he said. That particular device requires care to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when all the oxygen is used up in an enclosed space.

Monsson has personal experience with that, because he worked at a steel mill in East Chicago, Ind., in the summers after high school. He once got a headache and ache in the back of his neck and the foreman ordered him outside,

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  1. FLAT ROCK – Hundreds of Americans and Canadians pulled small, perhaps mysteriously heavy gifts from under the tree or out of their stockings Christmas morning. Hidden within their presents' wrappings they found objects of steel forged by blacksmiths 
  2. According to the 1901-02 college catalog, 'The Forge Shop has twenty-four forges and anvils, and necessary small tools, shears, blacksmith's drill, vises, swage-block, etc. A few forges are equipped with hand-blowers in addition to motor-driver power
  3. Whether it's the heat of summer or the middle of the night, he can head to his shop and work. In Fontenot's shop, at his Tyler home, sits a swage block and anvil, as well as a self-made hammer, among other things.

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