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Dustin Troutman (@troutmanforge)


Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Dustin from @troutmanforge and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These spotlights are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!


Name:  Dustin Troutman
Business Name:  Troutman Forge Studio
Location: Chester, South Carolina 
Socials: IG: @troutmanforge  FB: Troutman Forge
Website: (currently under renovation)
Specialties:  Custom hand forged knives, Damascus steel, and other forged goods.
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I started messing around with forging in early 2017 after seeing some guys on YouTube make a forge from a sink and a hair dryer. I remember thinking I could build a better set up than that that's where it began. First thing I forged was a pair of rebar tongs using a imported cast iron anvil and ball pein hammer. The first blade I forged I used files and sandpaper to clean up bevels, I soon after started upgrading my equipment at every opportunity, took classes and kept learning at every chance.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Looking at blades, armor, and art from the Mughal Empire of India and ancient Japan, To imagine some of the  skills required 300 and years and longer ago to make what they did with primitive (compared to today) tooling is mind boggling.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
My favorite tool is my Sweeny no 8 flypress I just got in. The amount of manipulation and forging from that antique hand tool essentially (arm tool lol) is amazing,  and I'm just at the tip of the iceberg of its capabilities.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
It's a Mughal dagger inspired fighter (knife). Made from w-2 steel with hamon. Features a 1800s wrought iron naval chain guard and Gem Bronze spacer with a Curly Koa pistol grip style handle. It has a custom horizontal hanging sheath with chain mail hangers to hang from a belt or sash that was made by Jac'd up leather works.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I would love to be a professional arms recreation specializing in eastern blades, but I'll settle for any smithing gig that would allow me to work from my shop full time.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
Probable a tie between the ceramic grinding beltsceramic cut off wheels, and the stripper wheels.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The ceramic belts. I've used about every manufacturer of belts and yours is the best value and consistent results. The bulk pack is nice as well!
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Before you ever put your forged product to the grinder, use the stripper disc on a hand grinder. It will remove all the scale and save your belts, but also reveal how much grinding you may or may not need to do.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Neil Kamimura, his style is off the chain and everything he makes is awesome. Would be awesome to work on a  Damascus wakizashi build with him.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Look to history for inspiration and old timers for advice, just because it's on YouTube doesn't mean it's correct and a working with a master Smith for a day could be life changing.
What are your future plans for your shop?
Currently building a new, larger shop that will be ready hopefully by the end of the year. Some major projects will be coming as soon as it is.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Support craftsmen, makers, and artist. Buy local and help support the American dream.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Dustin! Also thanks for sharing that great tip using the stripper discs first!
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