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I Forge Iron

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Hey everyone, I'm William and am currently wanting to learn the trade of blacksmithing. I'm only 16 and still in high school. With no job, I don't see how I'll get started in the next couple of years. I was wondering if anyone knew of any colleges of technical schools that teach blacksmithing. My interests in blacksmithing are blades, armors, maybe some jewelry, and I'll make my own tools so I know I can trust my equipment. Anyone got some advice for me?

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If you are in the USA there are a number of schools ranging from class specific places like the American Bladesmith Society school to entire curriculums like the school of art and design at Southern IL University, Carbondale. http://artanddesign.siuc.edu/

Now Frank Turley offers a world renowned blacksmithing classes in Santa Fe and Penland school of crafts offers classes on the eastern coast.

So more info needed!

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Welcome aboard William, glad to have you. My first bit of advice is polish up your salvaging (scrounging) skills, it's a misunderstanding to think you need a "proper" anvil. An anvil is a heavy piece of iron, steel or a boulder you use to back the work against as you beat it into submission. I don't recommend the boulder but having used a couple can say they work okay.

Setting your sights high is a good thing so long as you don't take the numbers of failures personally. We all learn from our mistakes and many of us should be multiple PHDs by now. Blades and armor are are different things entirely of course there are cross overs but none are big things. Swords are NOT big knives and it DOES matter how thick the metal is, etc. Jewelry is of course a different kettle of fish altogether but fun.

Making your own tools is better training for every aspect except maybe jewelry than you might think. Making hammers, punches, chisels, hardy tools, tongs, etc. will give you experience with heat management and heat treatment. Building oh say a smoke hood or similar will let you work with sheet steel, there are no rules saying a smoke hood has to look a certain way so making it look like a big helmet or ciurasse (SP?) is dandy.

There are plenty of classes offered in your general area, hook up with the local smithing association is a really good beginning and making friends amongst smiths is best. Smiths tend to LIKE passing on the craft.

Frosty The Lucky

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Thanks for the advice guys. As soon as I get my first job, I'll be working towards a car and then stuff to get a forge going. My girlfriend likes the idea of a home business being done by me becoming a blacksmith and making ornamental things and some blades and possibly armor if I can get that good, and her doing some carpenter work and jewelry working. Depending on the area, would this be a stable enough business to need only one decent paying job to pay bills and still live comfortably?

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