My guest today is Andy Blakney, one of the owners of the Quick & Dirty tool company. They specialize in making affordable tongs made here in the US out of Auburn Washington. On October 20, 2015 there was a large warehouse fire that burned in their shop and most of the contents, tools, machinery, stock. Andy tells us where they stand right now in assessing the damage. The very next day after the fire a Facebook page was created to help raise some money to help support the owners of the business and their families. People have been donating tools, knives, blacksmithing classes with all of the money going directly to Andy Blakney and Larry Langdon.
What We Talked About
- Quick and dirty Tool Co started in March of 2014 when Andy started working with Larry on making blacksmith tongs. The business has grown quickly to where Andy was making tongs 60 hours a week. In 2014 he made over 4,000 lbs of tongs.
- Both Larry and Andy learned a lot of tool making skills from Grant Sarver who owned Off-Center Tools, which eventually was bought by Kayne and Sons.
- The staple tongs that Quick and dirty Tools make are the v-bit tongs.
- Typically they buy 60 bars of ½” round 1045 steel stock which yields about 810 lbs of tongs or close to 400 pairs of tongs.
- When the fire happened in their shop, luckily they had been mostly caught up on their orders. They had the freshest tongs going in the US!
- Andy is talking to a few blacksmith friends who might be able to continue the process of fulfilling tong orders in the near future.
- When the fire happened, Andy was just about to start teaching a beginner’s blacksmithing class at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA. A half an hour after starting the class his cell phone was ringing off the hook and gathering texts from people asking him if he was OK. Andy immediately called Larry and his wife to make sure everyone was OK and then finished teaching his class.
- Quick and Dirty Tool Company has hired a professional advocate to help them with the insurance process and estimation of damage costs.
- The landlord of the building has offered Andy and Larry to move the contents salvaged from the fire to another shop across the street rent free. This is because of the close relationship they have with their landlord over the past 10 years.
- A day after the fire happened a few blacksmiths created a Facebook page called the Quick & Dirty Fundraiser to help support Larry and Andy by asking people to auction items and have the proceeds go directly to Larry and Andy.
- There is also a Go Fund Me page for monetary donations.
- Andy talks about the “magic” punch lube they make and how it’s become known as the best lube for punching. The lube will soon be available for sale on the Quick & Dirty website.
- Go Fund Me page – https://www.gofundme.com/w56vhkss
- Facebook Quick & Dirty Fundraiser page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/478212502348721/
- Quick & Dirty Tool website – http://quickanddirtytools.com/
- Quick & Dirty Tool business Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/QDTool/
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Nimba Anvils, www.nimbaanvils.com
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