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Iron in the Hat :

A NEW Blacksmithing Tradition

Iron in the hat is a tradition at blacksmith organization meetings used to defray costs and share our "treasures" with others.

Iron in the hat is a type of raffle where attendees donate items "to the cause". At blacksmith meets the items may be items they have made or extra tools or supplies. Often the items are things that one is tired of looking at taking up space in the shop. Items vary from antique steam engine gauges to new boxes of welding rod or pieces of saw blade and wrought iron. I've donated logo baseball caps (hat in the hat), catalog CD's and forged items.

Tickets are sold at bargain prices (usually a dollar each). You place one or more of your tickets in a cup next to an item that interests you. At a predetermined time a drawing is held, one ticket drawn from each cup and the winner announced. It is all great fun and once in a while you bring home something REALLY interesting (perhaps exchange for the thing you brought which also has a happy home). I've brought home Tempil sticks, tongs, sanding belts and other interesting items.

Everyone is not expected to bring items, not everyone buys tickets and not everyone that buys tickets wins something. But everyone that choses can take part one way or the other.

In most places you must be present at the drawing to win. If the winner is not in attendance another ticket is drawn. Local rules apply.

It makes things go much faster and easier if you ask participants to write their name on the half of the ticket they put in the cup.

Iron in the hat, a new blacksmithing tradition.

2003 Jock Dempsey,

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