Category Archives: Cool

Job Well DONE

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Jennifer DePollo Horn, Farrier and Artist Blacksmith

Jennifer DePollo Horn, and her associate blacksmith, Bill Palmer have completed a massive set of iron flower sculptures to grace the entrance to a new city park in Lapeer, Michigan. The park is characterized as a ‘pocket park’ due to it’s location between two buildings in downtown Lapeer.

Working throughout the past winter the two artist blacksmiths forged the massive flowers. Work took place in the blacksmith shops of both these artists. Jennifer’s ‘Daisy Hill Forge’ in the far north at the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Bill Palmer’s ‘Steel Rose Forge’, located much closer to Lapeer, in Columbiaville, Michigan.

Along with the massive flowers there is also a fence designed as gnarly vines. There are a few other features within the park grounds.

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Holding my own

About a year ago I thought that my time on earth was over. Thanks to the support of so many people I’m still here and holding my own. In fact I want to report that I’m doing pretty well.

I’ve done a few projects during the past year, the biggest was building my hunting blind on property we purchased. I had help when the time came to erect it. The project was a shared activity with my grandson who built his own blind, both in my new pole barn.

Most of the other projects were smaller but important to my recovery and attitude about living. Some were small but necessary repairs. Some projects were fun things like flying one of 3 drones and creating videos from the flights. Many are posted on my alternate Blog sight at “

This week I started a new project. We decided it was time to update a lavatory in our house. I thought we’d remove old wallpaper and then decide on new or to paint. We ended up removing everything down to the bare walls. A new cabinet, new counter-top with built-in sink, new plumbing fixtures, new wainscotting half walls, wall fixtures for towels and tissues, new light fixture and new paint will be done for this upgrade.

We’ve repaired any drywall blemishes and are ready to prime the walls. The wainscot wall panel pieces have been painted and are ready for installation as soon as the upper walls are painted.

With any luck at all this project should be finished by the end of the week. So as you see, as long as I can do projects I’m happy and it’s a good sign that I’m still healthy!

Thank you Lord!

New blog site has a new companion site at OldManForge.NET

I recently purchased the Domain Name OldManForge.NET then created a Blog on

This new site will offer many of the same things found here but it may have some content that is different so be sure to check both sites on a regular basis. 

Limoncello Challenge

Wikipedia describes Limoncello  as an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri. It is also produced in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Apulia, Sicily, Sardinia, Menton in France, and the Maltese island of Gozo. In northern Italy, the liqueur is often referred to instead as limoncino. It is also a popular homemade liqueur, with various recipes available online and in print.

Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.

Old Man Forge engaged in a Lemoncello (our own Americanized name for the liqueur) Challenge. The challenge began when Son of Old Man Forge displayed a jar with the beginnings of a batch that he had started. When I got home I decided to try my hand at home-made ‘Lemoncello’.  I texted a picture of my new batch and suggested a challenge between us. Who’s batch would be judged best in a blind taste test by a panel of impartial judges.

Taste Testing the Recipes

Today we met and put our bottled batches to the test. Several individuals (impartial judges) were given the opportunity to try the unmarked samples from the two versions. The liqueur had been refrigerated as that is the proper way to serve ‘Lemoncello’.

Small liqueur glasses were placed to the right side and the left side of the table, each with a sample from the two versions. After tasting the testers were asked to not say anything out loud, but then to mark their preference on a sheet of paper. The marked paper was hidden from view until each ‘judge’ made their decision.  Some had to try the samples more than once claiming they needed to do so for better evaluation!

When the results came in the vote tally said that the batch at the left had won. The truth is that both were so close to each other that the main difference was the strength of the alcohol content.  However, as they say on the popular program “Forged in Fire”, there can only be one Champion. The “Lemoncello” liqueur from Old Man Forge is the Champion.

Old Man Forge gets the Blue Ribbon

As previously said, the big difference was the strength (proof) of the alcohol content. Old Man Forge is also a fan of the program “Moonshiners”  and thus learned that most moonshiners ‘temper’ their whiskey to ‘proof it down’ for drink-ability. The ‘tempering’ is done by adding some water to the initial batch. It results in a lower proof that will be more palatable for most people. Old Man Forge tempered his ‘Lemoncello’, otherwise the results were virtually so close in flavor that the challenge could be considered a ‘draw’.

Additionally, both Old Man Forge and Son of Old Man Forge tried their own versions of ‘Orangecello’.  Neither of them had told the other that they were experimenting with orange liqueur. Old Man Forge used common every day oranges for the ‘zest’ in the recipe ingredients of his version. Son of Old Man Forge used ‘blood’ oranges in the recipe ingredients of his version.

The ‘Orangecello’ liqueurs were not part of the challenge. The common oranges produced a liqueur that was strongly in flavor similar to breakfast orange juice. The ‘blood’ orange version had a distinctly different, and pleasant, flavor. Some commented that they liked the Old Man Forge version.  Personally, Old Man Forge likes the ‘blood’ orange version.

Old Man Forge also produced some ‘Cranberrycello’. A special liqueur mix made from dried cranberries and the alcohol base. Finally there was sampling of ‘Mountain Madness’, a distillation with a hint of mellow peach flavor. It came from a Still hidden in the deep woods of some mountain in West Virginia.

All was fun and no one got hurt in the testing of these products.

Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Buckles and other Adornments

The rings, bracelets, necklaces, buckles and adornments shown in this gallery are available for purchase. Inquiries should be made to this email address; info@oldmanforge.comor use the Contact form on this Posting.

All of the “old utensil” adornments shown in the gallery are made from retired utensils. They have wear marks that include nicks and scratches. It’s part of the patina! Most have been polished as well as possible but all are sold as-is. The length of utensil handles affects the sizing of rings or bracelets. The items shown are mostly one of a kind though some similarity of forming might have occurred. In general the sizes shown are close approximations measured with a jewelry ring sizer or by physical measurement with a tape rule.  For bracelets measure the circumference of your arm to see if there is an item that you can wear. Many bracelets are open design and intended to be slipped across the wrist. Some adjustment is possible if the wearer bends the item to their personal fit. The purchaser assumes all responsibility for the safe wearing of any item they acquire from

Use the numbering in the title of the image as a reference identification for the item that you are interested in purchasing. Use the contact form on this posting to make arrangement for purchases.

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Click any image below to enlarge the view and start a slideshow from that point.  Note; all the utensils used in these products were used and may contain nicks or scratches, tarnish or discoloration.

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Hooray for this young “Gentleman”

Old is only a state of mind, Old is only a relative status… there is something always older! This ‘young gentleman’ has a very nice offering of talent to share with a beautiful and emotional rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You”!

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I
Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

America’s Got Talent Candidate?

Sophia Avocado plays the Ed Sheehan model Martin guitar. Come in and allow our knowledgeable sales team to help you find just the right instrument for you!!

Posted by The Music Man on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

100 Year Celebration

100 yr Commemorative


100 Years of the DePollo Building

Great grandfather Giuseppe DiPaolo came to the United States in 1891. He worked in the coal mines of West Virginia in the company town of Coketon until he opened his first general store in 1903. The store was located a mile or so down the road from Coketon in the town of Thomas, West Virginia. The store prospered and in 1915 he moved into a new building that he had commissioned. The DePollo Building had apartments on the second floor and extra rooms on the third floor. He raised his family in this building until each child went their own way. When he passed away in 1940 more than 800 citizens attended the funeral.

The family consisted of daughter Filomina, sons Anthony, Ralph, Harry, John, James and Ottavio. All of the children, except Ottavio who died in 1914, lived in the DePollo Building. Many even lived there with their own families for a time after they first married. Giuseppe DiPaolo, went by the Americanized name of Joseph DePollo (pronounced like Apollo with a D in front). When Joseph passed away his sons John and James inherited the DePollo Building and business, the DePollo Store.  Son James served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He left West Virginia in the 1940’s moving first to Chicago then to California.  Son John DePollo continued to operate the DePollo Store until 1993, he died in 1994. After John’s death his wife, Elsie sold the building because no family member had an interest in continuing to operate the store.

The building was used for a short time as a gift shop, but that failed. Once again the building was sold and this time it became a successful venture called the “Purple Fiddle’, a cafe and music venue. The ‘Purple Fiddle’ is a well known stop for bluegrass bands and has a website where the schedule of bands can be found.

This summer the DePollo family decided to participate in a special celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the building that our patriarch had built. A mini-reunion was quickly organized and about 50 family members traveled to Thomas, West Virginia to participate.

To honor the 100 year anniversary occasion and provide a lasting memorial to the DePollo family I created the memorial tile shown above. The memorial is Travertine marble, double sided (same engraving on both sides) and framed with a stainless steel channel. It is  adorned with hand forged stainless steel grape vines and leaves on both sides of the top corners. The stem of the grape leaves form a loop on each corner to allow the tile to be hung by chain. I asked the two sons of John DePollo to present the memorial tile to the current owner of the building, the proprietor of the Purple Fiddle, John Bright.

Commemorative tile
John II and Joe II presenting Purple Fiddle owner John Bright the commemorative tile on July 18, 2015