rthibeau

It takes money to blacksmith !!!!

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Many people come on this site, whether in the forums or the chat room, and ask where can they find tools, equipment, stuff, etc cheap and fast. It should be public knowledge that it takes money to get into blacksmithing, it is an expensive hobby and even more expensive to set up as a profession to earn a living. A 100 lb anvil will cost more than $200, tongs are better than $20 a pair, hammers are $20 and up, chisels and punches and flatters and swages and tools too numerous to mention all cost money...whether bought outright or made. Unless you want to emulate the poorest of the third world country smiths.......don't ask for cheap, it ain't happening any time soon in this country.

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I totally agree, to get a shop/studio completely set up with all the tools can be expensive. but I still contend that it's cheaper than buying a new bass boat, new golf clubs, new rifle, new bow or other new toy every few years! :D

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Amen, I was fortunate to have some money when it came time for me to buy an anvil. I paid $950 for it and another $325 in shipping. It will be all the anvil I need for a very very long time. 242lb Rhino from Incandecent Ironworks in Spokane. I've never regreted the purchase.

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As a hobbyist, I too agree. I was lucky/graced by God enough to find my first anvil and leg vise, but I bought my second anvil. For the first couple of years, almost all of my metal was stuff found or scrounged. Now, my projects are spec'd with certain materials needed. You can still get cheap, but you get what you pay for.

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Same is true up here in Canada, every now and then I still find some good used tools for a great price but if you want a complete, well equiped blacksmith shop you will need to take out the dollars sooner or later.

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ya i hafta agree ... and there is a group of people that think you should give it all to them... training costs also and no i dont need /want a aprentice! ive tried that route and really dont need someone wasteing my time and ruining my tools so they can make a few projects and then leave...blacksmith tools are cheap tho compared to other tools (ask a professional mechanic how much he has got invested in tools )and they last quite a wile ...But if you want to blacksmith and do it for 50 bucks ....dont ask someone else to scronge stuff up for you! i always let people know the price range i am willing to spend on a item ime looking for and i try to find out the price range first! that way when a deal comes along i will know it and can act quickly...

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If you visit a blacksmith shop and want what he has, be prepared to spend the same money and time he invested to get it, only at todays prices.

K Brian Morgan's 242 lb Rhino anvil was $1275 or $5.27 a pound, delivered. The first $1275 he makes across the anvil face pays for the anvil. Anything he makes after that is profit. K Brian Morgan lives in North Pole Alaska. He purchased a NEW anvil and had it shipped from the lower 48 to his place at the North Pole. Your cost may be different depending on new or used and where you want it delivered, or if you pick it up.

Good tools, quality tools, cost money up front, but pay you back each time you use that tool. An anvil is a one time, once in a life time investment. Many of todays used anvils are over 100 years old and still working and making money for their owners.

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I have something like 50 thousand invested in our shop. It takes money to make money anybody who thinks otherwise is just not thinking clearly. But this is normal for any endeavor. My anvil is one of my lest expensive major pieces of equipment. I spend more on electricity in a month than I spent on my main anvil. People will think nothing of spending substantial sums on basically disposable consumer products computers cell phones TVs and such but get cheep when they want to buy a non disposable thing like an anvil or vise. What they don't know is that used vise or anvil will be worth what they paid for it decades later.

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the other thing to think on is if you are not in a rush and take the time to look for things you can get them less expensively if you are doing this as a hobby or like me using it as another tool in the shop as well as for enjoyment you can bootstrap yourself some gear can be made others while nice are not vital
make things in your free time to sell and if you are lucky then are things that will also let you practice your skills
spend your cash on the things you need and keep an eye out for things that are barrens you never know what you will luck into
dont get me wrong i can afford to be a full time smith but but it is a huge help when i need to fabricate or fix something on the farm

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I suspect many of those who seem to be "trolling" for bargains, ... or handouts, ... are relatively young, and are just beginning to learn the ways of the "real" World.

Soon enough, they'll figure it out, ... and begin to understand the difference between cost, and value.


But more important than that basic understanding, ... is one that only seems to come with experience.


"You can trade TIME for MONEY, ... but you can't trade MONEY for TIME."

So, obviously, ... TIME is the more valuable commodity.

You can always make more money .....



.

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I was all fired up to say something "Brilliant" about this topic! :)
But you all pretty well said it better than anything I could say! :unsure:
Life is not free, Freedom is not free, and if you want buy my anvil make sure you have a lot of money! :lol:

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You have a good point!
From my perspective, the tools I use to make a living are many times more expensive than a power hammer for instance.
Blacksmithing is expensive, yes, but there are other professions with a much larger outlay.
So I say, don't be cheap if you are going to
go into it professionally, but if you are a hobbyist, thriftiness is part of the pleasure.
Just my unconsidered 2cents

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heat / energy costs too, smiths work fast, lots of tools are needed to keep working fast and efficiently


ef·fi·cient
adj.

a. Acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort.
b. Exhibiting a high ratio of output to input.

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i do agree with basicallly what has been said here, as a general rule, but have to say i have been given HEAPS of tools and other related bsmithing items for free, including a large fly press, old but useable donkey saw, lots of different tinsmith bsmith stake tools, some hammers, scrolling jigs, steel wonky but useable bench, even a sofa for the corner of the workshop. i even get given boxes of chalk and welding gloves for some reason.... i have equally given stuff away myself including doubled up anvil tools, big hand guillotine tools that i dont use, and other bits and bobs. the skills are not cheap and thats for sure, but certainly where i live people are very generous with swapping lending giving.. and that is how it should be if you can poss manage it.

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As someone who is now having to dispose of nearly all my lifetimes (and some of my father's) accumulated tools that all have some use to someone, it will be interesting to see what financial return I will get from them when they go to auction in the very near future, and compare that with the actual cost that I incurred in obtaining and making them.

Here in the UK seems to be very different to the US with regard to the value of older tooling of all descriptions, probably the result of the political revolution where service industries are replacing manufacturing, and the pursuit of maximum money for minimum effort seems to be the mantra,

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yes john maybe your right - you are considered a little strange/stupid here if you want to use your hands to make your money.... maybe that keep s the value low. i always think its a very emotive thing when a lifetimes tools are split up - i hope you get what you want for your things john, and they are shown some kind of respect from their new owners.

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A quick walk through my shop and you can see just how cheap smithing can be done. Not saying that my equipment allows me to make everything or I have the best. I would think I have less than $1500 in equipment. Most of which was bought in my hot rodding days.
Anvils - 2 rr iron (1 upright the other flipped over and boxed), 1 cheap ($80) cast anvil from Northern Tool currently being hardfaced.
Forge- made from junk
Treadle hammer- made from junk
Coal supply- dug out of the basement of an old mercantile
steel- it follows me home
Hammers-some found some bought
Toaster oven for heat treating-yard sale $3
Other supplies - this isn't fair, I work for a welding supply.

Family Motto: Cheap or Free B)

Is there any more a man can ask for than a hobby that pay's for itself. If one wanted to do it for a living, yes be prepaired to drop some cash.

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I used to be a general contractor and restored cars so I brought a lot of tools to my blacksmithing. I have my shop contents insured at $30G. To get to that amount, I incorporated for three years of tax write-off. Can it be done cheap? Yes. But my blacksmithing time is limited so my investment makes me more productive and often makes the end product better. The real value is the enjoyment of 'creating' something that is unique to me.....my 2 cents

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yes - i have paid more than some would for various things, because i only have limited time, and tool making is not always how i want to spend it... there is always a cheap way but i can take half your life. .. its a balancing act often between the two..

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You don't have to buy everything at once. My accumulation has grown over the last 12 years. Always on the lookout for older tools for the shop. Some finds from eBay some Craigslist. A few of my more expensive items were handed down from my late grandfather. When you find something never be afraid to ask if they would take less but no so much less as to insult the seller unless he is downright out of his mind, I have found a few of them. If you see something on the side of the road in someone's yard maybe, stop and ask but stay respectfully and keep speech ling and slang to a minimum. Ive had a case when I found something that the day before a young buck asked an old fellow about a place to hunt on he started with a bunch of yo yo yos and the old man sent him on his way but I come along the next day he told me and I spoke better English so he let me use his land. Feel its a good example for asking for anything.

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yes be prepared to spend money. But you can start with the basics there is a learning curve. to start what do you really need a forge and hammer and something to hammer on. I think is better to help a beginner to set up and basic shop that they can use at there own home if they really have the fire to keep at it they will find a way to make it work. and I always tell them to reinvest in more tools once they start making money. I built my shop from the ground up that way very little money out of pocket.

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Funny we are all sitting at computers, on the internet, talking about how expensive a hobby is. My computer cost me $1200 to build and I've had to rebuild it a couple times so you can add about the same amount again. The internet service costs about $50 a month and then there's the electricity costs. Plus I bet nobody is standing while typing so there's the cost of the chair and the desk the computer sits on. Yeah, forging metal costs money but what doesn't? I haven't yet invested as much in forging as I have invested to be able to learn about it on the net and I bought a new anvil that I'm waiting for. :D

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People come to my shop and are in awe of the equipment I have aquired. It is modest to some I have been in. It has taken me along time of buy, selling, and trading to get what I have today. I'm not sure if I can put a honest price on all of it.

The cost of this hobby can scare some away very quickly. I tell them all you need is a passion to learn and the rest will follow. You can get started with very little if your willing to settle for less as you go.

Here In the AABA we hold monthly open forges in Phoenix at Grizzly Iron and at my shop here in Tucson. This gives people a chance to come in an beat on some hot steel to see if they have the passion.

The best thing you can do for someone who is interested is invite them over lite the forge and not let them get over whelmed with the cost of it all. It is just one tool at a time.

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Yes, it sure does take money!!!

And that's not all...

I had someone who has been smithing very short time visit my workshop recently, they said to me "Wow, you're so lucky, look at all this stuff!!"

Lucky??? No luck about it... I have worked for all of it, it has taken hard work, sacrifice, determination, sheer bloody mindedness, a credit card and overdraft, persistence, sometimes stubbornness, long hours, learning curves, and some great customers to get all of my tools!!

I understand why he meant I was lucky and I didn't take it to heart, he was referring to the "shop envy" that you get when you see all the awesome stuff that others have... I get that all the time when I see people's shops (btw i have a very modest shop, lots of hobbiests have better shops than me!!) In fact I got it today when I visited a new friend who has an engineering firm, his office was bigger than my workshop!! But I would never call it luck, like it all happened by chance, kind of an insult really.

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