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  1. My name is Sebastian, I am 34 years old. Currently in the Moore Oklahoma area. I suppose you guys have a steady stream of aspiring smiths that start with big intentions and ideas and simply fade away into the sea of whim and inconsistancy. Just the same, I suppose I should introduce myself, tip my hat and issue warm greetings before innundating you with the innane questionings of an aspirant. My blacksmithing goals are small. I have interests mostly in jewlery and small utilitarian items, if I could somehow work my way up to a few high quality knives I would be pleased with myself. I cant imagine anything I make would be over 12 inches. But you never know. About ten years ago I came to the conclusion that I was pretty worthless. Not a self esteem thing, but it occured to me that like many of my generation I had no definable skills beyond a computer keyboard. I am an author by trade and have thrown my hat into the self publishing world. I also work in the computer gaming industry. You catch my meaning, if it didn't have a keyboard attached to it I was pretty useless. So I started a bit of a journey of personal improvment, I started a crusade of research and book knowledge. Small scale farming, health and first aid, firearms, bushcraft, basic engine repair... lots of reading, lots of research with only a smattering of practical experience. All the things my father should have taught me, however declined the task. Then I picked up a book called "The Backyard Blacksmith" by a Farris named Lorelei Sims. I am sure many of you have read it. The book has kinda stuck with me and over the years I have read it over and over. I have changed a lot in the past ten years. Going from an arrogant preppy narcissist with a bad attitude typical of my generation to a much more calm and passive family man. Adopting the 'speak softly and carry a big stick' mentality. I have developed a taste for practicality and for the traditional way of doing things seeking to improve my mind and myself more than to increase my 'stuff'. So I am at the point now where general undirected book knowledge on a variety of things isn't going to cut it and I need to take steps into developing an actual skill. I am ready to get my hands dirty. So I find myself here, among you, seeking guidence, advice and looking to learn like so many before me. Resources that I have: 1: A strict budget of $100 to start. Personal preference, I could spend more but from what I have read I think I can pull it off. 2: Roughly 20 Railroad Tie Nails that I picked up a few years ago next to a dumpster in Alaska. "Hey, those might be useful one day!" 3: A Kobalt Cross Pein Hammer (2.5 lb) that I purchased last weekend and should probobly take back. It cost me about $20 or so from Lowes. I think I could pick up some used/vintage tools elsewhere and save a bit on the budget this way. 4: A typical suburban backyard in Oklahoma City with no home owners association. (yay!) 5: A massive artisan/craft/flea market this weekend in the area called "An Affair of the Heart" that should be adventagous to the cause. 6: More concrete Bricks than I know what to do with. 7: An empty propane tank. 8: Farris Lorelei Sims' book. What I know I need: A: A Forge. I am still debating between a gas or coal forge. My traditional and budget consious side says to make a coal brake drum forge and learn to do it 'right'. My parent and safety side reminds me that I live in the suburbs and I need to be mindful of being able to shut off the fire completely when I walk away from it. B: Tools. Something to hold the metal, something to hit the metal. I think the both of these should work themselves out this weekend. C: An Anvil. I think this is my biggest hurdle. I saw two anvils at a junk sale about 6 months ago and walked right past them... that was a mistake. Even if they were cast iron and would have to be replaced, sadly I didn't even look at them. I am obviously kicking myself now. I know that a 2 ft section of rail would do nicely, need to work on this and learn how to tell the difference between an iron anvil and a steel one. I move around A LOT (Every 3 to 4 years) so an anvil under 70# or so would be wise.