One of our main bread and butter products are fire place pokers and tools.
Its something that is easy for folks to find a relevant use for when it comes to purchasing ironwork. When you make a purchase that is an investment, you always feel the need to justify that purchase. Is it something I really need and is it worth what I am paying for it.
Artisan blacksmiths fight the battle everyday of competing with cheaply made ironwork from big box stores. I have heard a million times. But I have a budget. Does your budget include money thats disposable? Buying cheaply made product is not wise for any product. If you have to replace it in a few months or it doesn't make your work easier then yours was not a good investment. When you purchase well made tools they will serve you as long as needed if properly taken care of. Ironwork was meant to be of heirloom quality and an investment in something that will be passed along.
When choosing a fire poker or any fire tool for that matter, ease of use and quality of product should be your first consideration. What size is the stock? Are they solid pieces or welded? Is it going to bend when asked to do hard work? And does it please the eye as well as the hand.
Our tools are made from solid iron stock. Almost always at least a half inch or better in thickness. This should be something you look for no matter who purchase from. The handle should have a grip that feels good in your hand. We have several different handle options because this is something that is not one size fits all. If you have wrist issues our Large scroll is a good option because it changes the angle of the wrist when working with the tool. Our braided handle pokers are very comfortable in your hand and look very nice on an indoor hearth that is a focal point in a room.
The business end or Pike should be split off of the original stock and forged out. Not welded on to the end. I can just about promise a welded tip is going to break off at some point. Our pikes are designed to allow you to push and pull logs with ease and to control them as you move them around. Each poker end is forged into a taper and then hammered back into itself. It is then quenched in cold water, a process that hardens the steel, called tempering.
The length of your poker depends on your hearth or pit. Your tools need to reach at least halfway across your fire with enough extra to keep your knuckles off of the heat. There are a few things to keep in mind. The longer your fire tool the heavier it will be. We have actually had someone order the 48 inch fire pit poker and then send it back saying I didn't realize it was going to be so long and heavy. Take a measurement and make sure you will enjoy using your tools. I use this photo next to a door knob to try to give a real prospective on the length of a 48 and 50 inch fire pit pokers.
Purchasing good ironwork is an investment. We have lots of folks purchase a piece at a time, building their set as they can. Find tools that are of quality and made by someone who loves their work. Find a design that you love. It will last long past you and the maker if properly taken care of. To maintain your fire pokers and tools we always recommend dry storage when not in use. Before and after each fire season wipe your poker with boiled linseed oil to clean and condition. A little goes a long way! Maintain as needed by polishing with a bees wax based furniture polish. The bees wax seeps into the pores of the iron creating a protective layer that prevents rust from going deep. Any surface rust can be cleaned off with linseed oil. Bees wax is the best way to protect and the fact that it is a natural product is a wonderful bonus. Lehman Brothers Catalog sells an aerosol spray bees wax that is wonderful for iron and heirloom furniture. For less than $15 you can get a can that will last a very long time.
Purchasing from an artisan maker allows you to get exactly what you want. Need it 37 an 1/2 inches? They can do that. Need left handed tools? They can do that. Cheap is not a wise investment. Disposable is always like tossing money in the garbage. Rethink and purchase better.
We always welcome questions and discussion about purchases. It is important to us that you feel good about your investment in our product. We want you to have exactly what you need and give your children something to fight over when you are gone!
Keep on Poking! The Blacksmiths Wife
We will Praise Him with the Anvils Ring