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I Forge Iron

looking to improve my library...


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i have so many books i dont know what to do with them all. from novels to reference manuals on all sorts of crafts and things. but my selection of blacksmithing materials is slim at best. what books do you all have that you depend on for critical info and ideas?

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I have only three so far and they they are very basic (necessary for me) and from my perspective, very good.

The Backyard Blacksmith - Lorelei Sims
Quarry Books
ISBN-10: 1-59253-251-9

Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking, 2nd edition - Percy Blandford
Tab Books (Division of McGraw-Hill)
ISBN 0-8306-2894-0

The Artist Blacksmith - Peter Parkinson
The Crowood Press (Canadian, I think)
ISBN 9781861264282

The first two I found at Barnes and Noble. The third was a gift from a Canadian friend.

I hope this is useful.


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Mark Aspery's 2 books are definately a must,
1. the skills of a blacksmith
2. leafmaking (can't remember the title, it's out in my forge)
any book by Donna Mellach on metal work, contemporary blacksmith, fireplace accessories etc.
3. Colonial wrought iron by Plummer
4. Whittakers blacksmith cook book and blacksmith craft.
for art design I suggest "the power of limits" by Doczi
bealers "the art of blacksmithing" is one I keep coming back to. Man there are so many good ones, I just read southwestern blacksmithing by Turley, very interesting for historical purposes, not so much for actual teaching,
also look into welding books and older metal working books such as " mechanical movement devices and appliances" by hiscox,
these are just a few I'm looking at on my office bookshelf.
best of hammerin to ya!

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Plain and Ornamental Forging by Ernst Schwarzkopf has been reprinted by Astragal Press. I've been using my copy since I discovered it in a 2nd hand bookstore in 1965.

One of the best and it may be out of print, is "Werk und Werkzeug des Kunstschmieds" by Otto Schmirler. Don't be thrown by the title which roughly is, "Work and Tools of the Artsmith." Each printed page is in English, French, and German. The photos and reproduced watercolor pictures make it a wonderful how-to book. The author was raised in and around his relatives' Viennese iron studio, where he became the designer.

Turley Forge and Blacksmithing School : The Granddaddy of Blacksmithing Schools

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Any year edition of Metals Handbook, which describes properties, alloys, and processes of any metal I ever want to work with. I have two, 1948, and 1969, both are very usefull.
Also, Machinery Handbook, older editions are better, since they have more info on earlier methods, but any year is a vast treasure trove of metalworking info.

No blacksmiths library is comeplete with out a copy of The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers. Well illustrated and comprehensive, it covers most every aspect of blacksmithing and is very easy to understand.

And of course the pinacle of metal working books, Metalworking for Craftsman, which goes way beyond blacksmithing, into repouse, jewerly, casting and enamaling to name just a few topics.

If you can find The Blacksmiths Cookbook, Recipes in Iron, by Francis Whitaker for a price you can afford, you will have done very well indeed.

In addition my library includes books on sheetmetal, machine shop, various metal specific books, books on tool and diemaking, welding, casting, drafting, art, and all manner of engineering texts and manuals as well as as many Blacksmithing books as I have been able to find.
Many offer redundant info, yet each and every one has something worth paying for.

Edited by arftist
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