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Found 71 results

  1. I'm a beggining 14 year old smith and I have finally acquired the last piece needed to complete my forge. My mother and I took a long trip to multiple flea markets and antique stores looking for an anvil. We found multiple but many were outrageously high. We found one 200+ pound anvil but it was 500 and I simply didn't have the funds. Near it was a 50-60 pound small anvil for 200. Eventually after viewing another small one of similar price we found a slightly damaged 100 pound Vulcan anvil for just over 200$. The very end of the horn was broken off and the edges were slightly chipped but the face was smooth. Was I right to purchase this one? It also had a five on the heel of the anvil and I am curious as to what this is for. P.S. I know about the thin faceplate being brittle.
  2. Hello all I am very interested in getting into bladesmithing and even posted a discussion awhile back about information on constructing a side draft forge but I have had an unfortunate lack of funds to do so. My current situationhas made me rethink my starter forge design. Since I still need to learn the hammering and heating techniques as well as heat treating I was looking for some info on brake drum forges and the pros and cons of using them as far as functionality I am mainly going to start out making knives. Any information and help would be appreciated. I know I intend to use a solid fuel forge probably making my own charcoal as well.
  3. Purpose of New Thread: Documenting my failures and successess while attempting to build my first propane forge. Very detailed for anyone who is super new like me. There is no reason to read or follow this thread any further if you are an expert at building forges and blacksmithing. This thread should be beneficial for those who have very minimal skill and knowledge related to blacksmithing, like me, but are now falling in love with the craft. When I say minimal, I mean limited tools, limited knowledge of how to use certain tools, and your wife will not allow you to even unclog the toilet BC she fears what may follow! If that describes you, then you and I can relate with one another. After spending several days reading through multiple threads on this site, I learned a few things. First, there are a TON of EGOs in the blacksmithing community. Do not let the keyboard warriors scare you from the valubale resources this site has to offer. Two, do not expect someone to be nice to you because you just now learned about blacksmithing and want to build katana swords BC you binge watched 3 seasons of Forged in Fire. Three, don't ask questions unless you have researched the problem thoroughly and are still lost. You will get an answer, but it probably won't be what you were expecting. (If someone retorts what I write about that, then go read a few threads because you obviously haven't read any.) Four, spend time putting your bio together so people know where you are from. I've already had some local reach out to me and I'm looking forward to working together with him some day. Again, I'm still learning all the "unwritten rules" as I go along, but I learned most of them by reading through several threads. I would recommend you do the same. Soooooo, let me begin by saying I love watching Forged in Fire. I've read a few posts in here and we may be in the minority by admitting we like the show. Because of some of the comments I've read, I have embraced the idea of being called a "Forged in Fire" TV smith. If we survive not blowing everyone up, we may one day pound some metal into an object! However, my son and I love the show and are eager to learn more. So that's how I ended up here. Along with this site, I watch a ton of YouTube videos for building forges and blacksmithing. Some are better than others, but I learned more by reading the Forge 101 posts here. Which brings me to the forge build... Before I learned about this site I started building a forge out of a propane tank. (See pic) Be super careful cutting these bad boys up. Again, we are not expected to survive long, so don't give us TV Smith's a bad name. Just make sure to bleed the propane out of the bottle, clean it, and "air it out" for a few days before hacking away. I cut away both ends of the tank and was left with 12 inches in total length . I used a handsaw BC I didn't want to risk the sparks and propane having a party together in my garage. I then researched forge liners on google and found kawool was an option. I bought some on amazon and thought this was super easy. I then quickly found out you need to wear a good mask while working with this stuff. No, the little white mask that old people wear will not work. Drop the coin on a nice mask because you will use it A LOT! Do not go cheap on this. Sell a kidney if you must, but save your lungs with a proper mask. Your kids will need one at all times too. The liner was actually really easy to put on. As you can see in the picture, I thought I had it all figured out....... then I stumbled onto this website and quickly realized I'm really unprepared to make a forge, let alone an efficient forge for my needs. So hopefully you learn from my mistakes and read through all of this before you start a build. Now I'm going to finish the build I started because I want to see this through. After reading a few posts, I learned that you need to do some math and learn how to measure in cubic inches. If you are like me, I have no clue what that is, but I dare not ask here, so I went back and asked my friend Google. I like Google because it doesn't judge my stupidly. Long story short, it's how big the inside of my forge is. The reason this is important is because there is a guy who goes by the name Frosty, who posts all kinds of information on this site. He even has a burner that he created and gives very detailed plans of it under the forge tab. (Forge > Frosty "T" Burner) He basically tells you how big the forge needs to be, in order for his burner to efficiently heat the forge. In my case, I need to make the measurements and find out because I don't know. Being stupid, I just rushed into building the burner because I assume it's a one size fits all kinda deal. Now I know the forge needs to be somewhere in the ranges of 300 - 350 cubic inches. If I'm saying that wrong, don't worry, I will be corrected within hours. Point being, check out the post related to the Frosty T Burner
  4. Hello, I found this forum through underhill forge. I am interested in trying my hand at some bladsmithing and am currently looking into an affordable class in the lancaster/philly area. If that goes well i would be interested in continuing, but do not have the money or space for a forge of my own. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a community forge or where you can rental space or time?
  5. After a fashion, I squished some hot change together and made this for my wife.. Next up, will start on making actual patterning between metals, but was happy with my initial results.
  6. Hey everyone! I am new to this and was wondering if anyone could give me tips on starting out! Making a forge ect! I am a stay at home dad and my daughter has recently fallen in love with blacksmith work and bladesmith any advice would be great! Thank you!
  7. I am a complete beginner when it comes to forging and I won't pretend like I know anything. I currently work in metal-casting and welding and wanted to get into forging to broaden my knowledge. I've been researching into a lot of beginner forges and I keep coming back to brake drum forges, probably because of the cast iron and easiness to scavenge them. I have a semi brake drum sitting around the shop which I heard was too large to use but I could always melt it and pour into a better shape. Overall, I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself on the forum and I am always open to criticism. Once I have time after the holidays settle down I can post some pictures of what I am starting with and I hope to get some feedback. Thanks everyone!
  8. Hello, this is my first post. You have a great forum here. I have an old 83 lb Northern Star cast steel anvil from Sweden. I have done a few small projects but really don't want to do heavy projects on my anvil as im worried it may be a bit too small and I don't want to destroy it. I am building a striking anvil (6'x12'x 3" thick mild steel with a 1" Hardy hole) but sizing the stand and height of the face as you would a regular anvil (instead of the shorter striking anvil height) to use for the larger projects i want to do in the future, Until i can afford a larger anvil I figure i can use the horn on my old anvil when needed. Does this sound like a bad idea? How far in should the Hardy hole be in from the edge? Should I put a Pritchel hole in it (and what size if so)? How far in from the edge should the Pritchel hole be, and how far away from the Hardy hole? Your thoughts would be appreciated Sorry to be so long winded.
  9. May I start by saying that I am currently deployed and trying to plan a proper course of action for when I do return home and begin casting. All I can say is that I have at least six months invested in reading and another six months at least before I would even attempt anything. Secondly, I do not intend to jump into casting, ESPECIALLY more advanced metals, until I feel properly prepared. Preferably being told by more senior members that they do not feel it would benefit me to remain at the level I am at the time. Thirdly, I have an understanding of the risks involved, have a background in chemistry and thermal physics. With that being said I welcome all criticism and opinion both. I am not one to be offended, but please keep in mind statements like "you are going to win a Darwin award" offer much less insight as opposed to "you should preheat this so as to remove moisture because of the detrimental effects it could have when it makes contact with the molten metal". Now, with that all out of the way, allow me to get into the primary agenda of my thread. I'll bullet my points so as to simplify my intentions. - I do intend to be properly capable of casting iron at some point in my life. - I am looking for advice on time frame and milestones that I have yet to find. - I do intend to both take a class upon my return to the states and work personally with someone senior to this process. - I am hoping for insight as to what matters in terms of priority when learning. So, with those highlighted, I hope we are on the same page. This is what I believe I should do, and please feel free to offer your insight to correct me, as I have nothing but time to make amendments to my plan. I plan to begin with casting aluminum. Now, my question with that is what is most crucial to begin learning in regards to it aside from safety, obviously. I would think that when first starting, one should use virgin metal in a commercially manufactured crucible following a proven designed foundry so as to create as many scientific constants as possible, thus eliminating as many factors of variability. I also understand that degassing for aluminum is not as necessary as the process is for some other metals, which again, limits the variables. So, with this metal in particular, what is most important that I focus on perfecting? What are some milestones to work towards? How do you know when you are ready to move to the next metal? Furthermore, what metal is recommended to begin casting after aluminum? Through all of my reading and watching I have found a plethora of information, but these are the topics I felt were not covered by any person of proper credibility. It could very well be that perhaps I have not looked in the right places, so if that is the case, please offer me some help in where to look. Lastly, I further understand that any input received is advice only and I accept the responsibility and liability upon myself to consult a professional with anything beyond my own capability. Thank you in advance.
  10. So I'm sure this is gonna cause quite a stir, but please be gentle, I'm new to blacksmithing. I can't afford to buy an anvil right now, but I was able to obtain, legally, several pieces of railroad rail. As shown in the pictures I'm planning on cutting one piece in half to make two anvils as an experiment. I've read about people using a leaf spring and welding it on top for the flat and hardened surface, then throwing it in a fire to slowly heat up and then dropping in water to harden. I guess my question is, I also obtained a piece of steel they use to attach the rail to the tie. It has square holes already in it, and it the length of my anvil from the horn to the end of the face. Can I use this in place of the leaf spring? Later on I plan on cutting another piece in half and welding the two pieces together to form a wider anvil, with a piece of hardened steal welded on top. I forgot to mention I plan on using one of the square holes hanging off the back side of the anvil as a hardy hole. That way I don't have to drill any holes into the rail itself.
  11. Hope all had a great weekend! Knocked out some riveted crosses for gifts this weekend! Ball peen finish! My first time ever trying to rivet! It's amazing the strength that single rivet has! I got my first forge fired up with all the research and help from this forum! Thank you hope you like! Open to criticism!!
  12. So I just got my forge set up last weekend. I use a bucket forge with some 50/50 plaster of paris and sand as a lining, and a hairdryer as an air source. I picked up some charcoal and set to forging. I found a railroad spike randomly and decided i might as well whack at that. I'm using a large hunk of cylindrical steel, (i can barely lift it so its heavy enough) for an anvil. I've watched quite a bit of videos on railroad spike knives and i thought i might as well try it out. A couple hours passed and i finished the forging. I did a little bit of grinding and this is what I've got. After reading a few of the posts here everyone says its a waste of time finishing these, and i shouldn't have bothered making one so early into my experience. I am very tempted to finish it, because i think it came out pretty good and its the first thing i made. I'm wondering whether i should, or if you guys have any other advice on what i should do instead. I'm still brand new to these forums, so i apologize if this is in the wrong place. But thanks for any and all suggestions..
  13. Hello I am 15 years old and I'm a beginning blacksmith. I've always liked knives so it seemed fitting that I would make a knife as one of my first projects. I looked online to see some examples of railroad spike knives and all of the are left kind of rustic looking. That's why I decided to do a nice polished look. I didn't have a vise set up at the time I made it so I didn't put a twist of any kind in the handle. I just want to know what people think of this shape and style. Any opinions at all are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  14. Hello everyone! I realized I hadn't made an introduction thread, but a few of you may have briefly seen me in the chat. Long story short: I caught the blacksmithing bug shortly before I began a study-abroad semester in Germany. After some digging and shoulder rubbing I managed to find a blacksmith only a thirty minute train away from where I am staying, and so far have been working along side him a week. My time in his shop thus far has caused me to go from distance-interest into full-blown infatuation where I managed to spend as many hours working with him as possible this week, and it culminated today in him leaving me to work the forge and anvil mostly on my own. Along with my video-watching of cool projects I have also been lurking this forum a bit, and I would love to get involved in this community and find other blacksmiths to connect with in my home-area when I return so that I can continue building on what I will be learning over the course of the next two months. Having said all that, anyone in DuPage County, Illinois?
  15. Hello all! My name is Jacob, and I'm a high school student living in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. I've begun the process of designing my future workshop, and I thought I'd make an account here, since I hope to be using this site a lot in the future! I've drawn up designs for both a coal and gas forge, and have the ability to run either, but I've yet to decide which is best for me, as a beginner with shallow pockets. I do have a lovely anvil from the early 1900's already, though! Looking forward to getting started.
  16. Hi all! Just wanted to introduce myself and say hi. I'm new to the forum, and new to blacksmithing; as a matter of fact I don't even have a forge yet. I'm working on that though, and am in the process of designing/building a propane forge. Anyone else in the Edmonton area that could help me source steels, tools, etc. locally? Thanks, and I look forward to learning a lot here... John
  17. I am brand new to blacksmithing. I am working on building up my tools - hammers, tongs, a vise, and an anvil. So far, I have an old rivet forge that I am working on fixing up and a ball pein hammer. I am looking for any advice on finding the tools of the trade. Which ones do I really need to make knives and small ornamental pieces.
  18. Hello everyone, I'm a new blacksmith and I was wondering if there were any clubs, organizations or individual blacksmiths around the SFV/LA area that help out beginning blacksmiths. I've looked around for quite a while now, and I have not had much luck. I tried the Orange county blacksmiths and they were absolutely great, but they were quite far away and the frequency of their lessons was somewhat slow. I know of Adam's forge which is right near me, but their prices are much too high. So if anyone knows of any other places or people, I'd be happy to hear it. Thanks.
  19. Aloha all! My name is James Drescher, and I am a Nursing student living on the Big Island of Hawaii (specifically Hilo ). For the past couple months, I've been doing loads of research on blacksmithing. I've always wanted to craft something with my bare hands, and after some searching found blacksmithing! I'm curious if there are any IFI members who are also living in Hawaii? In regards to my progress in getting started, I have a Peddinghaus Swedish pattern (1000g) cross pein hammer, some hot rolled varities of steel to practice some of the basic blacksmithing techniques, but I am in need of a forge and an anvil. I have a 16 inch piece of RR track, but would prefer a larger work surface to hammer on. I also am planning to order a cast iron forge from a blacksmith named Klaus (lives in Arizona, I believe?). Anyone familiar with his work? The firepot and assembly look great ( it includes a clinker breaker and dump ash gate). Since I live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, coal is nearly nonexistent here, and so I had to order some from eBay! I have approximately 100 lbs so far. I like the idea of working with coal, though I hope I don't smoke up the neighborhood! Regarding my research, I've read books like " The Complete Modern Blacksmith, " and "Backyard Blacksmith" by Lorelei Sims. I found both books very informative, and will try out the basic techniques mentioned within them! Thank you very much for reading this. Hopefully, I can meet any local blacksmiths in my area. I am eager to learn about this great craft!!!!
  20. Hey everybody, looking to start forging knives from Rebar/Railroad Spikes (At least until I feel comfortable to move up to proper materials) But i've a few questions and this place seems to be the best place to ask. First can I start by saying I'm from Ireland, I know this is an American forum but yous still know your stuff Now in general I know Rebar is a bit of a nono, but if I were to use it, is there anything that I should do with it to make it good for putting an edge on it etc? And about the railroad spikes, would they be found on old Tram Lines too? Also is an everyday Hammer okay to use for hammering a piece of Rebar (OR any steel) into a knife shape etc? And finally, I have no power tools but a drill, without any machinery to grind a sharp edge or clean the steel, whats my best bet? Is buying the machinery a must? I only want to do this as a hobby, not a business so I want to spend as little as possible . Any and all tips, links and advice would be VERY much appreciated, cheers!
  21. Technically the topic is true; my first class was in bladesmithing, so we didn't get to cover a bit of the stuff we did this weekend. I took this class on Memorial Day weekend at Peter's Valley School of Craft in Layton, NJ. The class was taught by Sam Salvati. I'd have posted the photos sooner, but I've been too busy with things at work, visiting the NJ Ren Faire with my wife, helping my family move, and preparing for my wife's birthday that I forgot to share what I did! I know none of this is really "art," and most of it is amateur at best, but as a beginner, I'm reasonably proud of what I hammered out in two days of class with shared tools (one guillotine for 11 students, three hot cutters, etc). A flesh fork. The bevel on the handle needs a bit more work, and I know I need more practice for fishtail scrolls. You also can't see the marks we put on the handle, but it is what it is. My first attempt at a handle (front) with an attempt at a leaf (left) that I made during our free studio time at the end of the day. The handle in the back is NOT mine, but an example I was shown during our free time. It's not entirely level, and the sections to attach it to the door/gate aren't perfectly matched, but for a first attempt at the end of a 14+ hour day, I'm pretty proud! Two of the hooks I made for the class. The one in the back is a simple hook to be mounted via a screw/nail, while the one predominantly in this photo is my first attempt at an s-hook (made a mistake with the top, but tried to make up for it).These were the first projects made on day one before lunch. I also made another hook with a long nail to drive it in or, with some work, I can turn it into an over-the-door hook; I haven't photographed it yet. Final class project of day one was a fire poker. Reverse twists for the handle (torch and a twisting tool were abused here) with a ring at the base (didn't turn it the right way after making the shoulder, but it still works!), standard taper on the end with a bit of serpent waves for ornamentation. Not super pretty, but I like it! And that's my first non-bladesmithing class. I have a sword class that begins next weekend (no delusions of finishing a sword in five days, but at least I'll learn the techniques), and unless the job hunting goes REALLY well, a Damascus class in August at the same location. If the weather keeps holding, expect to see more of my random work!
  22. Hey guys!I've been really interesting in learning how to do forging and smithing and all that good stuff for quite a while now and am finally going to make the leap and try and do it. Just wanted a few tips for ways to make a forge, and for tools and equipment that would be good to use, especially something as an anvil, because I don't wanna throw a lot of money at this yet because I haven't done it and wanna figure out a way to try it out relatively inexpensively. Any help or tips you guys have to offer for just starting out as far as what I need and can use for starting up and learning would be incredibly appreciated. Thanks!
  23. I will be contacting Greer Tank and Alaska Steel this coming week. Do you know if either or both of them sell "simple" high carbon steels -- 1075, 1095, 1090, O1? While I will find out next week, asking you out there often helps me know more than the answer to the question I think I should ask -- such as the question(s) I should be asking to minimize surprises that might waste their time and mine. Best Wishes!
  24. I posted a message (here on I Forge Iron) asking for some insight when I was given some "to be discarded" wood planer blades. The responses were very helpful and encouraging. Since I cannot heat treat the metal (that seems to have been) used to make these blades, I have started making some quick little project knives to help me learn more about knife making and working with hardened steel. So far I have made two little knife like objects that are both even useful. The planer Blades are approximately 12.5 inches x 0.75 inches x 0.06 inches. The blades a laminated M2 Steel. As I understand so far, M2 steel is more hard than it is tough so I will avoid using it for applications requiring impact resistance -- or where failure is likely to lead to injury or death.
  25. Hello I'm looking for blacksmithing help near Sioux Falls SD. I'm looking to pick up blacksmithing as a serious hobby but I'm not sure where to start. If anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated.