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Now that we have a newsgroup, you are going to want  information on how to get to the new blacksmithing newsgroup. You may have to subscribe to the Zippo News service as I did. My local server didn't have the newsgroups available. If you have Netscape, you will be able to read the news groups, but you'll need a news service to get there. At this moment in time, it is located only at Zippo News and they have just set it up as January 30, 1998.

You can get to Zippo's home page and a place to signup for their service at: <>. I was frustrated because I couldn't get the newsgroups so I finally signed up with Zippo. The service has been  great and they have all of the newsgroups, a real batch.

 At this moment in time, there is only the one post from me welcoming people to the newsgroup. Hopefully, within a few days, Deja News will be picking up postings from the newsgroup. I'm rather new to the creation of newsgroups, so I don't know how long it will take the various news services to add the "alt.crafts.blacksmithing" newsgroup to their service. It was only created on the afternoon of January 30, 1998.

Ok, you have a newsgroup for blacksmithing discussions, I challenge you to go forth and use it. I've sent a lot of e-mail messages in the last two weeks now I would like to start reading some blacksmithing posts. Let's use it.

Here is the control message that created the newsgroup. It defines the scope of the newsgroup and my intent in creating it.

For your newsgroups file:
alt.crafts.blacksmithing    discussion group for blacksmiths

CHARTER: The discussions on this newsgroup should be the practice of the process of blacksmithing: i.e., the shaping, forming, and fabricating of useful objects and structures from iron and steel through the use of forging with a blacksmith's forge, hammer, tongs, and anvil, including the use of foot and electrical powered hammers and coal, gas, and electric forges. Topics  might include design of ironwork, techniques for producing it, tools for accomplishing  the tasks, computer programs to use in making drawings and/or designing the ironwork.  The blacksmith of centuries past normally worked with iron and steel to  create almost all of the iron work used in the world, including nails, bolts, cooking  utensils, tools of  almost all trades, gates, fences, hinges, and hardware of all types.  The most ancient blacksmiths might have even built kilns to melt the ore to make the iron that he would forge into useful items. All of these would be considered topics for discussion within this newsgroup. This newsgroup would be for the Hammer and Anvil group of people devoted to carrying forward the ancient processes of the blacksmith. The use and discussion of modern welding equipment as used in the modern blacksmith shop would also be acceptable for discussion. As would the forging of non-ferrious metals such as brass, copper, etc., because these are also practiced by the modern blacksmith in many cases.

POSTING AND DISCUSSION: A proposal for this newsgroup was posted at alt.config on January 21, 1998. After considerable discussion on the topic the proposal was revised and resubmitted to alt.config on January 27, 1998 with the current name and a charter revised to include various comments received during the discussion period of the previous few days. During the discussion period, approximately 70 to 80 comments were generated. Some of these were posted to alt.config, some on theforeg e-mail group, some on rec.crafts.metalworking, and a great many were sent directly to the author of the Proposal. A good 3/4 of those comments submitted were favorable to the formation of a discussion group for blacksmiths. Currently, it appears that there is enough favorable response to warrant the creation of this newsgroup.

NOTE: For people wondering why I did not select rec.crafts.blacksmithing as the name for the newsgroup, there were not enough responses to create a newsgroup in the rec.* area. It takes more than 100 votes to create a newsgroup there and 2/3 must be for it. There were not enough blacksmiths willing to step forward and say, "Let's have a newsgroup," to make it on the rec.* area which would have been picked up by more news servers. For you people who wanted a newsgroup, it may require subscribing to Zippo News to get the newsgroup, if enough will do so, we should have a good group. Incidentally, the price isn't too high at Zippo.

Fred Holder
Editor and Publisher
Blacksmith's Gazette

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This page last revised on January 31, 1998.