Jerry Frost is a hobby blacksmith who goes by the handle “Frosty the Lucky” on the I Forge Iron Forum online. He currently lives in Wasilla, Alaska where he’s the president of the Association of Alaskan Blacksmiths. Frost has been a hobby smith since he was a child. His main interests in life are metalwork, people, puns and bad jokes.
What We Talked About
- Jerry got into blacksmithing because his father was a metal spinner and a machinist. Some of his earliest memories are of his dad doing work at home on a metal spinning lathe in Southern California.
- His dad actively discouraged him from blacksmithing by telling him to “learn a paying trade.” But Frost continued as a hobbyist for fun and as a fallback skill.
- He was also influenced by 1960s show “Have Gun Will Travel” where the main character is stranded and takes iron from a wagon wheel to make weapons and clothes. Frost loved that kind of ingenuity.
- Another early memory is he would go out in the back yard to make very rudimentary knives without parental supervision.
- Now he has 30’ x 40 red iron steel shop building. His tools include a cutoff saw, a horizontal/vertical bandsaw, hand grinders, two anvils and a power hammer.
- Jerry became disabled in 2009 while cutting firewood in his backyard. He was hit by a falling tree and received multiple injuries including a broken neck and traumatic brain injury. He survived, hence his nickname “Frosty the Lucky”.
- He mainly works with a propane forge and he has created the “Frosty T-Burner” that he says is simple to build. Here is a written and illustrated instruction manual to help people build these burners T Burner Directions finished (1). He enjoys mentoring and helping others through the I Forge Iron forum online, where he is a beloved and prolific community member.
- Jerry belongs to the Association of Alaskan Blacksmiths. He helped organized it as a new chapter almost 10 years ago and was elected president for what he thought was a 2 year term. However, he has now been elected president for life. He jokingly calls it “a life sentence with no chance of parole.”
- The club is currently going through a growth spurt with many new, young professional blacksmiths joining. Some people travel 300-400 miles to attend meetings.
- Frost came to Alaska because his older brother lived there. He always wanted to live in a cabin in the woods after growing up in LA. He got a job at a service station and did some construction work. Then worked for the state inspecting asphalt trucks.
- Frost always enjoys getting together with other blacksmiths to work together, chat, eat pizza and invent tools. He and some friends recently invented a new kind of scrolling wrench, which he describes.
- Victoria: What blacksmith would you like to learn from, dead or alive?
- Jerry says he’s learned something from every blacksmith he’s ever watched. But he would like to work with Thomas Powers, another member of I Forge Iron. “So many people out there know so much that I don’t. I like to learn new stuff, I love the learning curve”.
Thanks to today’s sponsor – Nimba Anvils, www.nimbaanvils.com
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