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I Forge Iron

Total Newbie Information request

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So now, I'm looking to get into some hobby metal working and whatnot, and I'm a bit unaware of the entirety of what I need to know, and what good resources to learn from are. Are there any good collections of information regarding what tools, workshop, materials, etc are required to begin playing around? Any good resources for proper learning so that it can become more than just playing around? Any good recommendations for a basic setup and beginner project? What is a good expected startup cost for getting into forging? Are there any other good questions I didn't ask that I should?

Thanks muchly.

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"Metalworking": blacksmithing, casting, smelting, machining, welding, non-ferrous, ferrous, bladesmithing, ornamental, historical, primitive??????????????

Got to know the details before we can make suggestions; however every forum on metalworking I know of has a getting started section giving such information for the type of metalworking they specialize in. Most have a book review section too!

As for costs US$25 - US$2500 depending on what it is you want to do, how good a scrounger you are, where you are at, etc.

Projects can be found in all blacksmithing books, (you know about ILL right?) as well as on this site as "blueprints" or i-forge at anvilfire.com (please be sure to read the safety ones over there!).

However spending a Saturday Afternoon working with a smith can save you months of trying to learn this from a book or website. So check for your local ABANA chapter and see about going to a couple of meetings to find the resources available in your area http://www.abana-chapter.com/

So sit back, limber up your typing fingers and let us know what you want to start with!

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Specifically, there are two types of work I'm interested in right now. First, I'll be getting into some casting, and I've found plenty of good material on how I'll be setting up a home casting operation. I'm going to start building my first furnace tomorrow, and hope to have it good to go by the end of the weekend.

The information I'm requesting here, though, is more for blacksmithing, and possibly blade work. I figure do some basic smithing to see if I've got a taste for it or whatnot, but I do need to learn quite the bit before I can just start hammering steel.

The website you gave me has some good information, and I'll have to see about attending some of the local meetings to see if I can find anything, however, I do not know about ILL. Could you explain that a bit?

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ILL stands for Inter Library Loan; it's where a local public library can access books they don't have for you. It's generally free or for a trivial fee; here in NM I had to pay US$1 for a 3 week loan of a book costing over $300 on the used market! (In our *small* town I have access to books from over 90 other libraries including several university ones!)

It's a great way to check out books on a subject before deciding to buy them so you only buy the ones that you like.

Go to you local public library and ILL a few like "The Backyard Blacksmith", "The Complete Modern Blacksmith", "The Complete Bladesmith", etc. Cold weather is a great time to catch up on your reading!

I've been doing petrobond casting for knife fittings for about 26 years now using my coal forge to melt Copper, Silver, Sterling, Brass, Bronze. So there can be some overlap between areas!

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