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I Forge Iron

The Blacksmiths' Guide 1907

About This File

The Blacksmiths̕ Guide By James Francis Sallows

In offering this book to my fellow craftsmen, I do not wish it to be inferred that I consider myself the only one who knows how to do the work described in its pages. In 27 years' experience at blacksmithing, however, working in nearly all kinds of shops, including horseshoeing, marine, railroad, printing press, sawmill machinery and automobile shops, I have had opportunities seldom obtained by the average smith. I therefore hope that the book will not only help the young men in the trade, but some of the older blacksmiths as well; and since much attention has been given to the subjects of hardening, tempering, casehardening, coloring, etc., I believe it will also prove useful to machinists and toolmakers. Part of the matter upon these latter subjects was contributed, in somewhat different form, to the columns of Machinery, but most of the material is here used for the first time.

Everything in these pages is from actual experience and I am ready at all times to answer any question on any subject that is not fully understood by the reader; but I have, tried to make everything so plain that the average blacksmith can readily understand the methods explained.

The man who gives the best satisfaction is the one to get the highest wages and I am confident that one who follows the directions in this book will give satisfaction. The methods described show how to become a rapid and an independent workman, which is the kind employers are looking for, although this kind seems hard to find at the present time, especially among the younger blacksmiths.

Fourteen years of my blacksmithing experience have been spent as foreman and during this time I have observed that blacksmiths in general have but a small chance to learn anything more than they can dig up in their own daily toil. A young man from the farm can go into a machine shop, start in by running a drill press, then a lathe, and by reading and strict attention to business he will soon become a fairly good machinist. It is not so with a blacksmith, and especially a machine blacksmith, who usually has difficulty in acquiring full knowledge of his trade. Something should be done to assist the young men who are willing to learn the trade most difficult to learn—that of blacksmithing.

"For since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations, Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people."
J. F. Sallows. Lansing, Mich., July, 1907.

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