Loving custom orders and quick sales!

I was contacted a few days ago by a lady looking to have a knife made for her husband’s birthday. She was very nice and very specific in what she was looking for. 

She was interested in a Damascus blade kukri, with a brass guard, camel bone handle, with her husband’s initials engraved.

I was super excited with this challenge. I took a few days to forge and shape the blade. Of course, I don’t generally have a camel cadaver laying around, so I ordered the bone for the scales.

I then took a break to work 2 days at my “regular job”. Then I got hopping today to complete the fit and finish. I might be a little biased, but I think this one came out looking FANTASTIC! But you tell me.

Here’s a little short video of the initial heat treat.

This one was a beautiful custom order. We love to hear from people and to see the creativity that others can come up with. The real joy is to take that vision and then for us to make that vision come to life.

Now, this wasn’t the quick sale as it took about a week and several messages back and forth. But, the quick sale came from Maria’s work. She had a fresh bunch of tie dyed aprons and took photos yesterday. She then posted them on our Etsy shop and within an hour one of them had sold! Gotta love a quick turn around!

We hope you all have a great week, and feel free to come check out our shop. Www.noharminfarmin.com

All the best,

Chad

We’ll be headed up to the farm to study the mud within the next few days. We’ll post an update on that mystery then.

Remembering those that have gone before…

On this Memorial Day I want to ask each and every one of you to spend just a few minutes to reflect on the sacrifices made by our folks in the military. Those that spend weeks and months away from home, family, and friends to train, to fight, to protect the very rights that so many these days take for granted. In particular the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not come home.

I am not a combat vet. I wasn’t a SEAL, or a Sniper, or any other high speed, low drag operator. I was a Motor Transport Mechanic (U.S.M.C. MOS 3521). I was capable, as a Sgt, of running an Infantry squad. Each Marine is a rifleman before anything else. I am proud of my service and am saddened each day when I see news of military members who take their own lives because the burden that has been place on them is too great.

So, I ask that if you know a veteran, whether they served in combat or not, just a quick, sincere ” thanks” means more than you know. We don’t need discounts, or perks, or special treatment. That’s not why we did what we did. We did it for you, and most would do it all again at the drop of a hat.

I hope that you take the time to enjoy the freedoms that have been won this weekend, but please, just take a moment to think about where they came from.

Semper Fi,

Chad Hollar

U.S.M.C.

1991-1992, 1995-2001

Taking a break…haha

Lately we have been running wide open, full throttle. Both of us working full time jobs, making things for our etsy shop (for stock and custom orders), and going up to the farm every other weekend has been a rough pace for Maria and I.

We haven’t been staying overnight yet until we get the driveway drivable and the shed/cabin built. Using the tent cuts into work time and we found that we get more work done by driving up in the morning, working til dark and then driving back. That equates to 7 hours total driving and about 6-8 hours of work. Unfortunately that also means one day of work every 2 weeks. That severely slows progress.

This last Thursday I started looking at the weather, and it looked as if there was to be thunderstorms on the day we planned to go. So we made a decision to just stay in town this weekend.

This has proved to be a good decision, even though it turned out not to be much of a break. Since Thursday we’ve gotten a good number of orders in our Etsy shop for both made items and things we had to make. Including one fantastic custom order request for a Damascus steel kukri knife that I’ve been working on between other projects.


I started with 11 layers of 1095 high carbon steel and stainless sheet. I’m going to keep folding to try to get to 200+ layers.

So, even though we haven’t set foot on the farm, the work never ends for homesteaders. It’s a good thing that we love what we do.

We hope you all have a good holiday weekend, and if you need some tools made, or a good working apron for your homestead, feel free to come check out our Etsy shop while you are taking your break. Lol

Www.etsy.com/shop/noharminfarmin

All the best,

Chad

The great mudhole mystery part 2

So, we’ve gotten no closer to solving the mudhole mystery. We had these grand plans to dig a hole in the center to see where the water was coming from. Just one problem…

It rained like crazy the day before and everything was soaking wet. I was able to dig a slight ditch running to the existing swale and a ton of water ran off, but I don’t know if that was collected rain or something else.

This is what we are dealing with. Maybe on the next trip we will be able to figure more out.

The great mudhole mystery…

Since we got back from NYC we had a chance to get up to the farm for some work. We are just about ready to set the footing blocks for the cabin, which is really exciting.

But, we do have a bit of a mystery.

The area where we have cleared and graded for the new driveway is looking really good. Its about ready for the 175 cubic yards of crushed run…yeah a long driveway.

Most of it is cleared, graded, crowned, and looking pretty. But…..there is a very small section (about 10 feet across) that is always wet.

Leading up to it, and beyond that spot it will be dry as a crust. So dry that dust kicks up when you walk on it. Then, in a matter of two steps, you are up to your ankles in mushy mud. The soil doesn’t look any different than the surrounding terrain, there is no stream, ditch, or hole leading to it but it is constantly wet.

It’s not even in a low lying area, its almost at the top of the hill. I don’t know if that soil is packed too tightly and won’t allow rain water to drain, or if we’ve got a hidden spring.

There was no unusual plant growth around it to indicate a a marshy area…the ground is just wet.

I don’t have any photos of it yet because its been such a mystery that I keep forgetting to take some. Lol

The next trip up there will be dedicated to unraveling the mystery. The only solutions I can see are: dig a pond, install drainage tile, or reroute the driveway around it.

Anyway, happy farming and have a great week!

Everything and nothing..

I’ve waited a while to write another post as we’ve had a lot going on and yet nothing really happening.

Confused? Me too.

Maria and I had a great trip to NYC so that I could participate in filming an episode of Forged In Fire. 

I can’t talk about the show much as of now due to it not airing yet. I will let everyone know when it does in case you want to watch. I can say that it was a great experience and I would totally do it again.

We had a few extra days in the city and we were able to do some tourist type of things. Neither of us are big fans of cities, but Maria was sporting around like a local in no time. We did a lot of walking each day, ranging from 5 to 13 miles and saw a lot of cool things.

This is the beautiful view from our hotel room.

We got a great view of Ms Liberty from the Staten Island ferry.

At the 911 memorial we found the reflecting pools very touching and heart wrenching. There was also a couple nearby creating this really cool sand structure.

We also spent a full day at the Met. Marveling over the history, and the craftsmanship of everything displayed there. It was very humbling to know that these things were created long ago with only hand tools. 

I found a lot of inspiration in the armory section. The knives, swords, and firearms were amazing.

Anyway, we are home now. We’ve had one trip to the farm to work since then. That’s a subject for another post. 

Remember to watch Forged In Fire, not just for me, but for all of the talented smiths that participate.

Slowly..

We have had so much going with other things since we bought our land that things have been super slow getting the homestead up and running. We do just about have the driveway ready for the 175 cubic yards of crusher run to “pave” it. We have had to cut, and dig, and plow, and scrape to get 950 feet of 12 foot wide driveway cleared.

We have been holding off with trying to build ANY structure until we can get the truck all the way back to the building site. We are close now.

This week is the trip to NYC for my competition and filming for Forged In Fire. Once that’s done we should be able to work on the farm more than 2 days a month.

Its hard to believe that we technically got all that done in 8 days work. Even though those 8 days stretched over 4 months.

Once I get done with the show, it will be game on with the farm. Just a tad bit more compaction and then the gravel. And then, we can get some structures up.

Its way past my bedtime as I need to get up tomorrow, complete an order for some woodworking holdfasts that someone ordered today and then stress about New York some more.

We hope you all have wonderful week.

Chad

The pure joy of gravel…

With just over a week before we travel to the big Apple so I can compete on Forged In Fire, we have been busy preparing. I’ve been trying to get the shop cleaned and organized in the event that I make it to the final round. There’s a lot to making sure all of the welding tanks are full and that I have all the little supplies necessary to complete a mystery project.

Even with all of that AND both of us working full time, the work on the farm doesn’t end. 

We recently had a friend give us a 14 inch single bottom plow. That was a great gift and has already come in handy. Our first major project is getting a manageable driveway in place. Once that’s done we can start building our temporary cabin/work shed. We’ve got to get tools and supplies back to the work site.

Today we bought a 5 foot grader blade to help with that project and many more to come. We’ll be putting them both to work this Saturday.

Today, I had to give an interview by phone with a production guy for the tv show. He asked a ton of questions for over an hour.

One of the questions that he asked was “If you become the Forged In Fire champion, what do you plan on doing with the $10,000 prize?”

Without thinking, I replied that we need 175 cubic yards of gravel for our homestead.

He paused for a moment and then said “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say something that specific. Normally its ‘take a vacation’, ‘make shop improvements’, stuff like that. Nobody has ever said 175 cubic yards of gravel” with a little laugh at the end.

I don’t know if he thought I was being funny or not. I wasn’t.

As I meet people, and they get to know me, they begin to realize that everything I do is for the homestead. Building that life and farm to create the life that Maria I long for is the end goal for everything.

Whether I’m weird because I get excited about tractor implements and 175 yards of gravel or not really doesn’t make much difference because I DO get excited about those things.

We hope that you all have a wonderful week, and hopefully we will have some photos this Saturday when we get that 1000 foot driveway all graded and ready for that gravel.

Take care and feel blessed,

Chad

18 Days until the competition and working on the farm..

As some of you may know I’ve been invited to compete on the History Channel show Forged in Fire. I’m super excited about it, but nervous as can be. I’m confident in my abilities as a Blacksmith and a Bladesmith. I’ve got alot of really satisfied customers…but this is a competition with a time limit, and some other unknown variable thrown in.

From what I’ve noticed by watching the episodes I’ve recorded over and over is that any of the smiths can beat any of the other smiths on any given day. It all really depends on who has a good day, and who has a bad day…I’m really hoping for a good day.

Maria and I did actually get the opportunity to talk with a guy who was on Season 2 of FIF…he helped relieve a good bit of the anxiety about competing, but then made another type of anxiety appear because it made it more real…that it’s really happening. LOL

All in all, we are both excited about traveling to NYC (not our first choice for a vacation spot) because neither of us have ever been. And this should be a fantastic experience.

If you’d like to check out some of the knives I’ve made, or if you aren’t into metal work and want to see some the best hand tie-dyed items I have ever seen pop on over to our Etsy shop for a gander:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NoHarmInFarmin

Maria has a true talent with dyes and cotton…and I’m not just saying that because she’s the love of my life. Need proof? Slide on over there and check them out…you won’t be disappointed..

Ok…enough about that and on to the farm work…

We haven’t had a ton of chances to get up there to work, but when we do we tend to get alot done. We had a guy give us a single row, 14 inch bottom plow for the tractor and that’s been a big help with removing roots and small stumps. There are just SO dang many of them. Maria has been cutting brush like a fiend with the weed wacker/saw blade combo. We’ve got 1000 feet of driveway, and about 70% of the area where we’ll build the cabin/shed, barn, and eventually house. Now to figure out how to not have the driveway turn into a muddy mess. Things tend to start getting sloppy after a while. Gravel will be necessary eventually…ALOT of gravel. but once the small trees, shrubs, and briars are all cleaned up we’ll plant some rye to have a better root mat that we should be able to drive on. As of now, we can’t burn anything we’ve cut until after April 30. I know that isn’t that far away, but it’s piling up quickly.

This past week we also ran into a slight drainage problem..not huge..but there was apparently a pretty hefty rain storm yesterday and down by the creek there was some standing water in the bottom land and the creek had risen about 2 feet. It was still well within the banks, but it was swollen and rushing pretty well.

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From the time stamp, you can see this was on the 29th…nice and dry…..

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Same spot, same camera…only on the 1st…alot of standing water…we’ll see how quickly it drains..hopefully fast.

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It’s a good thing my boots are water proof..LOL..

We hope that everyone has a great week as things start to green up for spring. Whenever they tell me the episode of Forged in Fire will air I’ll let everyone know..I’ll probably be shouting it from the roof tops…LOL..until the next post…..take care.

Chad

We humbly ask for your vote..

As some of you may know, Maria and I have an Etsy shop where we sell her hand tie dyed sewing projects and my hand forged knives and other metal work.

Etsy is having a contest this month to give away $10,000 to the shop that gets the most votes. The money is designated for small business improvement and we could step up our business greatly with a prize like that.

It doesn’t cost a thing to vote. You can vote for as many shops as you like, but only one vote per shop.

So, as the title of this post says, we are humbly asking for your vote. If you decide to help our cause and would be willing to share the link in a repost blog or any other type of social media we would be truly grateful.

Http:wshe.es/k85wcZlr

Thank you for reading a nd following our blog. We are thankful for each and everyone of you. We all know that the greatest asset to a homestead is community. And this community is a true blessing.

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Chad and Maria