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James Fleming (@wasteland_forge)

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with James from @wasteland_forge and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases 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: James Fleming

Business Name:  Wasteland Forge

Location: Dubuquek, IW

Socials: IG:  @wasteland_forge  TikTok: WastelandForge


Specialties:  bladesmithing, blacksmithing, historical weapons making

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I got out of the US Army and shattered my knee, I had a lot of time on my hands because of the full leg brace for a year, I had a tattoo artist friend who was making knives and finishing them in the parlor. I figured I would give knife making a shot. I did a lot of research and a few years later got serious into forging them. I've been a bladesmith for 5 years 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Knowing I can support my family doing something I love!
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
My powerhammer it has increased my means of production and increased my capabilities in the shop, ie. damascus, san mai, and major stock forging 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
I don't really have a favorite specific piece but my favorite style are my frontier knives and sheaths 
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I'm currently doing the job that I want, I would like to get better and take more classes but I'll also be testing for Journeyman smith this year so I'm always looking to become a better smith. 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
The 4.5” flap disc. I got a pack of them a few years ago and I was still using them up until recently, they have a hell of a long life! 
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
Right now the grinding hood is a game changer, its the most comfortable and useful face shield I've ever had! 
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Neal Kamimura, I would love to do a collaboration with Neal because he's got much more figured out than just bladesmithing. He's a fantastic bladesmith but he's even better at marketing himself and creating opportunities to support what he loves.   
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Perfection comes with time and experience, don't dwell on the fine details when your starting out, fundamentals are much more important. Does what your making function the way it is intended, if yes is the answer make it better, if no is the answer make one that does!
What are your future plans for your shop?
I Want to start teaching classes and expand with some proper tooling
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
The question I would like to ask is, does Benchmark have plans of expanding the types of 2x72 belts they offer? 


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, James! Glad to see you've found your dream job after the army. Also, what did you have in mind for additional 2x72 belt types?  If there's a specific one you've seen and would like us to carry, let us know! Cheers!
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