Frequently Asked Questions
 
     
  Some of the questions you may have about Cityboy Forge's products can be found here. If you have a question not addressed, write to me and I'll add it to the FAQ.  
 
 

Q: You don't call them "customers", you call the "Clients". Why?

A: Creating a one-of-a-kind belt buckle takes a lot of communication. Pants don't just "accidentally" stay up. The Cityboy needs to know: Who is the buckle for? What's their personal style? Are they passionate about something that can be translated into a wearable piece of art? The finished product says a lot about the wearer, and it says a lot about The Cityboy. Thus, it's important that both are happy with the product. You can buy a buckle from our personal stock, or you can help create a unique expression. In any case our Clients are highly respected. Read what some of them have written us about their buckles on the Testimonials page.

 
 
 

Q: Do you make buckles for women?

A: Absolutely! Many of the buckles on the website are owned and proudly worn by women all over the US. If the weight of a buckle is a concern, designs can be executed in thinner steel, copper and brass. The Cityboy would never let the weight of a buckle keep anyone from looking hot and well accessorized!

 
 
 

Q: Do I have to order a buckle that I see on your website?

A: You can, but you can also have one made to express your own idea. Many of the buckles on the site are co-designed by our clients who desired something unique for themselves or as a gift. Sometimes they say: "He really likes to golf." and other times a client will let us know what materials, what finish and what size they'd like to see. The Cityboy loves to work with clients to formulate the perfect buckle expression. More about buying a buckle:

 
 
 

Q: How are the buckles packaged? Will I have to dig around my closet for a box?

A: The buckles come packaged like this. You may add wrapping paper or a bow, but we like to gift them with a rubber band for easy opening!

 
 
 

Q: If I want to give someone a Cityboy Forge birthday, Christmas, wedding, or other present, how far in advance should I order the Buckle?

A: The Cityboy wants his clients to be happy. If you know that your Dad would love a unique custom Cityboy Forge Belt Buckle three months from now, go ahead and order it now while you're thinking about it. You'll get it in plenty of time for his birthday. On the other hand, if you want to send an incredibly thoughtful "Thank You" gift to your friends who let you stay in their house in Mexico, the Cityboy can send them a nice Gift Notice announcement right away, and finish the buckle ASAP. We'll work with you.

 
 
 

Q: How much are your Buckles?

A: We've anticipated your question. Click here for pricing information.

 
 
 

Q: You don't have a shopping cart on your website. How do I buy your buckles?

A:Shopping carts are cool but only when they work. We blacksmiths like the old fashioned ways of doing things so our transaction would start with a good old-fashioned email to CityboyForge.com. From there you can pay for free through Paypal which ALWAYS works, and it's fast, like light. For more details on buying a buckle go to "Buying a Buckle".

 
 
 
 

Q: Do you offer Gift Certificates?

A: You Betcha. You can give a Cityboy Forge "Solid Steel Gift Certificate". Write to the Cityboy for more information. Let's just say that you won't have to wrap up a picture cut out of a magazine. Your giftee will receive a chunk of solid steel stamped with the gift details tucked into a leather pouch and nestled in a gift box. THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!

 
 
 

Q:Your buckles don't look like they were made by machines. Why is that?

A: We get that all the time! That's because they are made by hand from simple materials. The only machines that touch them would fit in your back seat, like a sander to make the edges smooth, and a buffer, to make them shiny. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the drill press. I use a drill press to make holes for the screws on some buckles. If you drive a 48 Ford, the drill press will fit in your backseat too.

 
     
 

Q: How do you make a flat piece of copper or brass into what's basically a little relief sculpture?

A: That would be a combination of techniques such as repousse and chasing. Repoussé is a centuries old French technique. The word means to "push from the back" and that's what you do. The metal is hit from the back using hammers and tools that push a design into the sheet. Chasing is the opposite; you do the work on what will be the surface of the piece. The tools are simple yet effective.

 
     
 

Q: When you say "Hand Forged" what does that mean?

A: Forging is one of the oldest technologies still in use today. The forging done at Cityboy Forge requires heating metal until it glows red, orange or yellow, then hitting it with hammers and other tools to move the metal into the desired shape. That's the simple answer. An anvil is used because it provides the resistance necessary to let the hammers do their work. Not all forging is done by blacksmiths, and blacksmiths do much more than just forging steel.

 
     
 

Q: How do you heat the metal?

A: In the case of our belt buckles, we use a propane forge. It's a pretty simple affair much like an outdoor grill on steroids. However, this forge is capable of safely reaching temperatures well over 2000 degrees. There are high tech parts that keep the gas flowing safely and it takes much training to use the forge in a safe manner. Forging steel is not something you do without first getting some training from a blacksmith or other knowledgeable person. Interested in learning to be a blacksmith? Click here, or write to the Cityboy.

 
     
 

Q. Why did the Cityboy decide to make belt buckles?

A: The Cityboy had a scrap of material left over from a blacksmithing project that looked as though it wanted to become a belt buckle. Using concepts and techniques from that same project, he created his first buckle. Appropriately it is an anvil. Making the buckle was fun and relaxing, but the real excitement came from wearing the buckle out to parties, concerts and just running errands around Chicago. Everybody loves the feeling they get when a total stranger pays them a compliment, and he set about to spread that great feeling among his friends, making gift buckles at first, then realizing that there was perhaps a niche market for these very personal bits of wearable art. The rest is very satisfying history.

 
     
     

All words and pictures © 2004-2014 WJG/Cityboy Forge. All use in any media prohibited without the written consent of the owner.