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I Forge Iron

New to Smithing


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My son is a freshman in a local technical school and has been exposed to blacksmithing together with lots of other really

great things (CAD/CAM for design, metal fabrication, HVAC, 3-D Printing...)


He really enjoyed the blacksmithing and I have to admit I have been interested since seeing live blacksmithing at Woodstock Fair (Ct)

and at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne VT.  Anyways I was able to buy some nice equipment for a really good price (Hay Budden Anvil (~250#),

Peter Wright Anvil (~156#) a blacksmith vice and Centaur Forge (I'll attach pics).


Getting started what should I look for for hammers and tongs to get started and can someone suggest a good beginners project.  I've watched

lots of videos and would love to make some tongs, but that may be too ambitious a starting point.


I restore old tractors and hit and miss engines and have gotten pretty handy working with sheet metal, such as bending shaping, welsing, etc.

I'm also a hobby cabinet maker making Queen Anne reproductions...Acted as GC when building my house, a post and beam, and learned plumbing,

electrical, really bad plastering (I've gotten better but will leave that to the pros). My older son is a Sr at the Agricultural HS and he helped me learn welding (not so easy as I thought) (have a hard time to see the weld puddle) and have takjen a few classes.


So when I say new to smithing that means having bought some of the basics, read alot, and watched quite a few videos.


Couls also use some advise on operating the Cnetaur Forge.











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Need better pics of the forge, close ups, more views etc. Solid fuel forges are simple enough but can't see what you have there. 


Best bet is to buy a copy of "The Edge of the Anvil" or "The New Edge of the Anvil" or even "The Complete Modern Blacksmith" 


Then start making stuff. There are only four basic treatments; Drawing out (making thinner) Upsetting (making thicker) Bending and twisting. Each of these however has about a zillion or more sub-catagories.


I highly recommend making tools as learning projects. 


The benefits be twofold; You stock up on tools and you learn. 


I am guessing you are in N.E., there are a few good schools in N.E. 


Put your general area (Eastern Mass, Southern Conn) in your header under your name, and a local may contact you. Lots of blacksmiths here in New England.


Come here with specific questions to get the best, fastest answers. Most folks ignore vague general questions. 


Also check the stickies, look for a group to join, and best of the best, take a class. 

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Well welcome aboard, this is a great place to come when looking for help or ideas. Good beginner projects just to get into the swing of things would be hooks.
Hammers, get yourself a founding hammer or ball peen or cross peen or straight peen, or rock. Pretty much anything that is hard that you can hit against something else that is hard. (Though I wouldn't use a rock on an anvil that isn't already seriously beat up.) Make sure the hammer isn't too heavy to start off, sure heavy may move metal better but it's also harder to control. Start maybe with a 2# or 2.5# and see how you like it (also how your muscles will like it later). You will be sore, but don't let that stop you!
One other thing, make sure to have your anvils on stands, it's also important that they are the right height. A fun way to check the height it to put a piece of wood on the face of the anvil and hit it with the hammer, if the crescent it towards 12 it's too low, if it is towards 6 it is too high. If it is towards 3 or 9 you are holding your hammer incorrectly. You want anvil positioned so that when you hit the wood with the hammer it leaves a full circle indentation.

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