Ask a Blacksmith with Finín Liam Christie

DIY Blacksmithing Finin Liam Christie

Finín Liam Christie

Blacksmith from Ireland

Introduction:

My name is Finín Liam Christie – Blacksmith from Ireland. I am a blacksmith of some 36 years. Of all this, I practiced only blacksmithing and general ironworks, arc welding, mig welding, cast welding, tight welding, brazing etc etc.

I am 51 years of age, married with 5 dependents. I was born in Dublin in the 1960s in a time of bad unemployment in Ireland. Hard, hard times for my parents bringing up 10 children of which 8 were boys. We grew up tough.

How long have you been blacksmithing and what/who got you started?

 

Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing 2

I have been a blacksmith for 36 years now. My late grandfather, James Christie, was a blacksmith. He was the general foreman blacksmith in the Midland Great Western railroad in Broadstone Dublin, Ireland.

I was only 5 when he passed away, but I think at that stage he had embedded the blacksmith seed in my brain. As all his tools were left to my dad , whom was an only son.

Over the years I had tormented my poor dad whom I sure must of being pulling his hair out by this stage. Because no matter what he done to secure his workshop, he used to wonder everyday when he came home from work, “How the he’ll did I get in to the workshop?”

It’s my secret!!!!

Do you forge full time or is blacksmithing more of a hobby?

I work full-time as a blacksmith.

 

Can you say a bit about your hammer, forge (fuel choice, etc.), and tool preferences?

Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing Hammer Head

My main hand hammer of choice would be my 2.5 lb ball pein hammer , as I find it very versatile in so many ways. My other choice would be my 4 lb cross pein hammer. I find its great for drawing down heavy iron to where I can then finish off the work with the lighter ball pein hammer.

I use solely a coal fire open type. Unfortunately, I find it hard to find coke, so I use singles coal.  It burns hot but very smokey and dusty. Not too good for fire welding. Too much impurities.

My preference of tool is my hand hammers, as I love hammer work.

What projects have you done that you’re especially proud of?

All my projects I am proud of, but I think my traditional type work is my passion. I love the old ways.

What resources helped you when you were just getting into blacksmithing?

Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing 8

The resources I had when I started out working for myself was:

I had finished my 5 years of training as a blacksmith in September 1985. There was no work in the country of Ireland at that time, so I had just received my holiday pay of £150 which was a lot back then.

So I went into the city and purchased a 9″ angle grinder and a arc welder. I had a cycle bike that I adapted to carry all my tools: a small anvil, a sledge hammer, and extension lead.

I cycled around Dublin city and county knocking at doors asking people if they wanted their gates repaired

After a year I was able to purchase my first car and trailer.

What are some tips you can offer people just starting out?

Never be afraid to ask for advice. Also listen watch closely, and work hard  you are only fooling yourselfs if you don’t do them things.

Where can we find out more about what you’re doing?

I can be found on Facebook under the name of Finín Liam Christie. I am also a member of the Irish Blacksmith Association (I.A.B.A). You can see my work their as well.

My contact details are as follows:

Email: fchristie51@gmail.com

Mobile: +353876301276

I am also open to give advice if needed.

I will quote for work all over the world if needed.

Kind Regards,

Finín Liam Christie

Blacksmith from Ireland

Thank you for sharing your story, Finín!

Here’s a selection of Finín’s work:

Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing 3 Finin Liam Christie DIY Blacksmithing 7

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