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Hello from Germany


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Hi, my name is John and I am new to this Website as well as Blacksmithing! I am 22 years old, born and raised in San Diego CA, and I currently reside in Eifle Reigon in Germany, and In search of a Guild or group to join within the area! I've been lurking these forums for two days and I finally decided to pop in and say hello to the community!


I have come to this site to learn the basics of Smithing and read all kinds of articles and absorb as much knowledge as I possibly can! (As well as get some great ideas for beginner projects to master the craft)


A major goal for me is to eventually begin blade smithing (In due time of course), Renaissance fairs and fantasy things have always been a major interest to me.


My current Project is to set up a Forge and acquire the necessary tools to begin my long journey! and I feel like things are going fairly well at this point!

-Just acquired a brake Rotor and an Anvil of sorts


I hope to get to know each of you and learn as much as I can! Thanks for reading!



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As to bladesmithing, click IForgeIron.com → Bladesmithing → Knife Making Classes


As to forges, click IForgeIron.com > Forges > and then → >Solid Fuel Forges then >BP00238 Simple Side Blast 55 Forge ©


You may want to find and visit with these folks in Germany, IFGS, Hephaistos, Metall-aktiv


Pack a lunch and a cold drink and read IForgeIron.com cover to cover.


If you have a fire, some metal, something to hammer with and something to hammer on, you can make most everything else you need. The most important blacksmithing tool is located between your ears. Read and learn all you can. A visit with other blacksmiths will jump start your journey like nothing else you can do. Sweep the floor, bring lunch, offer to assist them in their work. Be respectful as they are taking their time to talk to you, and share their knowledge.


Best of luck on your journey. It is like no other journey you will ever take. It can be a hobby a living, or turn into a way of life. If you have question, just ask, as someone one on the site usually has an answer.

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Hello and welcome. Are you currently stationed overseas with the military? I ask because if so you may be able to avail yourself of any number of opportunities if you know who to talk to or what to ask about.


When we were stationed out near Seattle our base had a fully equipped wood shop that was available for all base personnel, their families and most civilian contractors to take advantage of. The sub base nearby had a fully equipped auto shop complete with welding and some minor metal working facilities. However few if any knew those facilities were available. Also "available" were any number of base shops if you knew who to ask nicely. Frequently base maintenance shops would often sit idle and the operating personnel didn't mind if others made use of the equipment, assuming it didn't interfere with any military projects  etc ,  you could operate the equipment safely and you asked nicely. A couple six packs of cold beer often went a long ways towards opening doors.


While I doubt the have forging equipment, they may have other useful stuff like welders or OA gear that might help facilitate projects. .Making up a few nick nacks for the guys wouldn't hurt.

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Thanks for the warm Welcome! and Yes I am Military, currently working in the maintenance field, as a Jet Engine Technician
That is a great idea! I should get with the other shops around where I work to see if I can acquire some tools or use of shop for some of the finer detail works, I know our metals shop has a lot of nifty tools I could definitely use to make life a lot easier.
I have some questions about safety when placing my Forge, I have done quite a lot of searching and found minimal solid answers..
I plan to make the 55 Coal Forge as my neighbor has a Drum just laying in a pile of Junk (Treasure) and I have a fairly Decent size Back yard and a Barn attached to my house.
However the problem is I cannot make any "Upgrades" to the barn as I don't own it, so I will most likely be place my forge outside. what is a minimum safe distance for my Forge to be away from my house? I'd like to set up shop inside the Barn so I can work in more comfort during the winter months (Open the Double doors to the barn and roll the Forge outside) and have my Anvil, Vice, and other tools that I acquire over time inside the barn.
Also, I went over the Blueprints forum fairly well and I may be going blind but I didn't notice a forum for good beginner projects or a topic with a collaboration of projects that are simple to do.
Edit: I guess making my own tools would be good starter projects, as well as maybe some other things I have seen online (S. Hooks, Candle Holders, and It seems that Fire Stoking tools are popular too)
 P.S. Agreed! Cold Beer is always the best way to get the door

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I have some questions about safety when placing my Forge, What is a minimum safe distance for my Forge to be away from my house? 


That depends on your set up, your location, and your ability to control a fire. Safety is always first.  Far enough away that you do not collect smoke and soot on the side of the building, or it gets drawn inside with the air currents.


The Blueprints are arranged in the order they arrived. They were numbered so they could be referenced. Search the forum for good beginner projects or a topic with a collaboration of projects that are simple to do. 

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Thanks for serving from a former Navy brat.



There are all sorts of beginner projects that will help you build some basic skill sets. Coat hooks are a good idea. You can do simple spike drive hooks or fishtail scroll hooks where you drill the tail for a screw to attach it to the wall or backing board. They make nice gifts or "bribes" :P as well. You can do a lot of different things on these hooks for practice. Tapering, drawing out, twisting, bending and forming all come to mind off the top of my head.  Fireplace tools, door handles/drawer pulls, candle holders, bathroom towel bars and TP holders and robe hooks, bottle openers, plant hangers, shelf brackets, forged crosses, hinges... I could probably keep going for hours....  Basic knives and letter openers are always popular with military personnel it seems. Knives don't have to be completely forged. Many times you can rough shape them and then do almost all the finish work cold with a grinder and sander before heat treating if need be. Nice finished goods can be traded to others on base for raw materials or access to tooling/equipment you want or need. Do yourself a favor and document in photos what you make. That way you can remember good ideas and what and where you may need work.


 Europe has a vast history of antique metal work. You can probably find ideas just about anywhere you go in and around some of the older sections of town.


Tooling is always a good idea. However you may not have the skills and equipment to start forging tools right away. That doesn't have to stop you however. Lots of tools can be made with say an electric welder and access to some basic machine tools like a saw and drill press. Tongs, nail headers, bending forks, cut off tools, chisels, guillotine fuller, dishing tool made from pipe... Many of these things can be held in a vise vs a hardy hole in an anvil when you start out. A lot of these basic tools I made up using some scrap and my welder. I wouldn't go too crazy with tools though. Build what you need when you need it.



A couple generic thoughts. I'd bet if you hunt a bit you have a fairly good chance at locating old tools and anvils, assuming the language barrier isn't too much of an issue. Keep one thing in mind about purchased and home made tools though. You can only bring so much back home... I have no idea what the moving allowance is today. I know we had a limit when we were stationed in Hawaii as far as what could be shipped back to the lower 48. The other moves were all in country and the moving allowance was different. I do remember cramming everything heavy we possibly could in the two cars and trailer when moving from Washington state back to Virginia in the mid 80's to keep the movers weight down. Keep in mind you may have to abandon some of what you acquire or make, so be smart. Chances are you'll only be there a short while anyways and can always get set up with more later. True antiques would be #1 on my list to bring back with me.



Don't overlook the chance to learn how to arc weld if you don't already know how. I'm betting you can swap some forged projects to get someone to teach you the basics. Knowing how to weld, both with an arc welder ( mig stick or tig) not to mention with OA and with the forge can be a big asset in the future when doing this hobby. Avail yourself of the opportunity to learn if you get the chance.


Good luck and stay safe.

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Thank you for serving from a retired Coastguardsman. 


Look at the plans here for the 55 forge. It is a great starter forge that will serve you well for your entire tour. 


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Welcome to IFI. Pull up a stump, sit a spell. 


Every Tuesday at 10pm eastern time, 4am your time Wednesday morning. (I think) Set your alarm early. We have BP's or Blue Prints which are held in the chat room. The Admin's post several links to projects and how too's and we all sit around and discuss them. It is not usually as intellectual as it may sound. A good time to be had by all. You can ask questions and get your answer from knowledgeable smiths and the rest of us :) within seconds.


Also there are people on chat from all over the world pretty much 24-7. 


Enjoy the ride.


Mark <><

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