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I Forge Iron

help for a newbee


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hey all i'm new to the art of blade smithing of any shape or discribtion. my plan is to bring back a bit of tradition, ya see i'm Irish and and back in the day Ireland had some of the best blacksmiths an swordsmiths in the world well so i heard ha.

so after months of searching a found an anvil 60kg/132lb for sale in a car boot sale. 250euro approx $260 so happy days anvils this size are like gold dust here.

and received high heat resistant blocks from a brick factory that is closing down for free.

i was just wondering would any one here be able to throw some advice or tips my way like what tool would be good to start with and likes, all or any help will make me very greatful.

thanks in advance.

Edited by ginjaninja
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Welcome aboard Ginjaninja, glad to have ya.

Good score on the anvil and brick.

There are only a couple more things you need to get started forging. A source of air blast for the fire, a bellows can be made inexpensively a blow hair drier works just fine while you look for the perfect blower, bellows etc.

A hammer or two, any with a smooth face will do to get you started, ball peins are common and work well. Keep your eyes open for cross and straight peins, single jack sledges, drillering hammers, etc. I pick up every ball pein I can for under a $ as they're perfect to reshape for specialty hammers and top tools.

That's about it for the MUST haves: anvil, hot fire and something to hit with.

Some other VERY handy things are:

Tongs, vise grips or pliers will work just fine till you find or better yet MAKE some proper tongs.

A few chisels, hack saw and an assortment of files and sand paper pretty much rounds out the basic kit.

A vise is just almost an essential but a person can improvise one with stakes and wedges if necessary. I highly recommend finding a proper post vise, you will end up using it almost as much as the anvil. A machinist's vise will only serve for low impact exercises being cast iron. Any heavy hammering will break them. Post vises are designed to take a beating, they're generally wrought iron or mild steel with the thread screw protected from impact forces. The leg transmits the extreme forces into the floor rather than letting the vise proper take it.

With these you can make virtually everything else you need.

If you'll click "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location it can make a big difference. IFI is represented by members from more than 50 countries and a lot of info is location specific. Also if local folk know you're there they can invite you to gatherings, tip you to tool deals and offer hands on help.


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Welcome to IFI. About the only thing that Frosty forgot to mention is take a long look a the Metalworking Lesson link off the front page. There is an enormous amount of info in there for a beginner, and us still getting through Blacksmithing102 :)


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Safety gear! I forgot about safety gear too! Oh what is WRONG with me. (None of you wiseacres need answer THAT. ;) )

Eye protection is an absolute minimum. Hearing protection, natural fiber clothing and leather boots/shoes are important too. Gloves not so.


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I also welcome you to I Forge iron.
You have already been given some very good advice to help you get started.

I believe everybody here at I Forge Iron wants you to succeed.
So I have another suggestion that I feel will help you stay on track toward your goals.
Please read (study) all you can about the basics of blacksmithing.

Keep in mind that there are basic skill proficiencies that are fundamental to the trade.
You will need to develop each one, and then be able to combine them as you need them in order to create the products that you speak of.

I would bet your ancestors learned to blacksmith one step at a time also. But they did not have the advantage that you have as far as available information and materials are concerned.

As you ask questions here at the site, you will no doubt receive answers to your question.
Please take the time to absorb what is being said in answer to your questions until you understand the information that is given. If you still have a question ask again so it will be made clear to you!
For the most part, all of the basic topics (questions and answers) have already been covered in detail in earlier posts, and all you will have to do is a simple search for the topic, or ask where you might find the information.

As I am sure you know, that you must walk before you run. It is also true that you will advance much faster with your blacksmith skill building (in a logical order) if you are able to find a skilled blacksmith to guide your path.

As rmcpd has mentioned, go to the front page. Under “Side Menu” spend some time studying what is available such as Metalworking Lesson.
I do not see any Blacksmithing Groups from Ireland, so try to find a blacksmith to help you.
Maybe, you will be the one who will have to start a blacksmithing group there in kilkenny.
Please keep it safe!
Ted Throckmorton

Edited by Ted T
spelling issue!
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hey ted tanx for the advice hopefully i will start a group here. there are very few traditional blacksmiths left in ireland so this is one of the reasons i am tryin to start smithing again in my area.
here my anvil



Edited by ginjaninja
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