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I Forge Iron

How do I GET OUT of blacksmithing? As in quit.

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I got a email that ask: How do I get out of blacksmithing, as in quit.

Let us define the addiction and them suggest a cure.

From the first fire it is all down hill with NO way out. You will spend money, you will travel to meet other blacksmiths who will encourage you to deal with your addiction by learning more, doing more, and sharing the addiction with others. You will start seeing things in a different light, roaming the back alleys looking for discarded metal so you can then turn this discarded metal into something useful. You start seeing metal, everywhere, in railings, sign brackets, the signs themselves (such as Wendy's Restaurant), and in many items such as tables, candle holders, etc.

You then see metal in tools and tooling, wrenches, chisels, pry bars, etc. Your addiction grows deeper as you think you MUST HAVE an anvil, a vise, a hand cranked blower, and a real blacksmithing hammer, when in actually what you have already works. You will convince yourself that you can not make an S hook without these things although blacksmiths have been working with much less for hundreds of years. You will find that the addiction deepens when you start looking at the heavy 200, 300, 500 pound anvils, and power hammers, whether it be a build it yourself hammer, or buy a working power hammer. On yes, you MUST have a real pickup truck to haul all this stuff back home.

There will be small reminders from friends and family that you addiction is getting out of hand. You spend the weekends at the forge, you have a resource center (scrap pile) in the back yard, and your aftershave smells like coal smoke. Others will support your addiction by bringing you scrap metal, asking you to make things for them, and telling people you are a blacksmith that can make anything out of metal.


How do you quit?

You put out the fire, and walk away. But the addiction will linger and roar back to life with the smell of coal smoke or if you hear the ring of an anvil. You tell yourself you just going to "look" and get lost for 4 hours watching another blacksmith as he demonstrates the craft to others. You find yourself looking at metal objects and saying I can make that.

You can NEVER be fully recovered from the blacksmithing addiction. You CAN walk away but deep inside you will always remember.


We may need to develop a 12 step program for recovering blacksmiths.

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Good Morning,

Same problem with Automobile Racing. Once you are in, you are in deep. There are no AA or GA meetings that can help.

I have watched a lot of Racers quit Cold Turkey, then they buy a Sail Boat to get away from it. Guess what, there are Sail Boat Races too. Hooked, Lined and Snookered. Try Knitting!!!!!! I bet I can make a line of Pearls.............

Once you are a Smith, You are Hammered!!! Get over it. Enjoy the Journey, there is no Destination or Thyme Lyne!!


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For the first 17 years of my life, ... I'd never set foot in a Duck Blind.

Two years later, ... Boats, Calls, Guns, Camo Gear, Blinds, Face Paint, Chest Waders, Decoys, Decoys, Decoys .....

Somewhere along the way, I quit criticizing Drunks, Druggies and Religious Zealots, ... because I now understand the depths of addiction.  :(



For the first 40+ years of my life, ... I'd known my Great-GrandDad had been a Blacksmith .....

( There were all sorts of tools around my GrandPop's place, ... that his "Pap" had made. )

But I was a "techie" sort of guy, ... having a fine time, flying around the Country, ... consulting, designing, and building Custom Production Machinery, ... for Manufacturing.

Then, some health issues threw a wrench in all that, ... and changed my way of looking at things.


I'm glad I had the opportunity to "play in the Big Leagues", ... and I'm equally glad it's over.

Stress will most assuredly KILL YOU.

Puttering around my Shop, ... doing exactly as I please, ... is the best stress reliever ever.

I wish I'd figured that out 30 years sooner .....

Some days I sweat, and swear, and sparks set my Beard on fire, :rolleyes: ... and I enjoy every minute.

Life's too short, to miss out on the things that give you satisfaction.


If a bunch of Hammers, ... or a Shop full of Machinery, ( and old Tractors :P ) make you happy, ... just consider yourself LUCKY that you've found your "Drug of Choice".




Edited by SmoothBore
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Yes, Brothers and Sisters, you have a monkey wrench on your back. And it has been modified with another handle to make twists,

Admitting it is the first step in curing the disease. But I am here to help! (Selfless soul that I am.)

Join AA*** (Anvils Anonymous) today, by sending me (freight paid, of course) all of your blacksmith paraphernalia,  and I will deal with it for you. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that. Cold turkey.

Oh, sure, I will have to build an enormous pole barn to house all that stuff, but no sacrifice is too great to help my fellow recovering smiths.


***(Glenn, dibs on the first T shirt. Black, pocket, 4X. Bill me.)


Anvils Anonymous (c) IFI 2015

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I respectfully disagree:

there is no addiction, there is no withdrawal syndromes or anything weird stuff. I haven't changed a bit I've only experienced changes in the surrounding world.

Like people who have became completely unable to understand the simpliest things I'm talking about.

Or the stores that are completely unable/unwilling to get me those simple little things I want.

Or the value of money which suddenly became so changeable that a price of a knife bought earlier gets now 200 kg's of tool steel but on the other hand I can't buy myself a 100 kg weight drill press for the half of it.

So I'm sure there are no changes in me... But my wife often tells me: "Oh, go to your shop finally so I couldn't see your long, sour face." - still it's not because I'm missing blacksmithing, no no. It's just there are days when everything falls into deadly bored darkness. Totally unrelated issue...

And when I'm in the shop it's only natural that I try to develop the working environment to achieve bigger goals. It's because I want to earn some money - you have to spend money first to gain bigger money... I needed, really needed the 200 kg anvil, and it was cheap, too... and I really am in need of a power hammer so I have to build it, it totally builds itself by the way. And then I'm gonna make more stuff and sell it and live happily ever after...

So no addiction only natural common sense!

I'm right, I'm right, aren't I?

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So here I am on a family holiday a couple of hundred miles from home.

Hot sand warm sandy beach and I am checking iforge on my phone......

But it is all right. It is only a hobby and I can quit when I want too.

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I plan to quit blacksmithing the same way my grandfather quit smoking after 50+ years of it---cold turkey, no withdrawal symptoms, nothing!  Of course he also quit breathing cold turkey that day as well...

You know you've got it bad when you find yourself sneaking a trial size box of borax in your luggage for a 90 day business trip to Germany---along with a billet set up.  (got to weld it up at an open air museum that had a smithy!  Bad Windsheim)

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Back in the "old days" I once had a 90# carry on full of scrap metal from a scrap pile beside a rotted out cabin about 9000' in the Colorado rockies; you see they weighed your luggage but not your carry on...before security was an issue, sigh.  (and yes I weighed it as I was curious, hard to carry it on acting like it didn't weigh that much...)


So I believe I enjoy  *suffer* both chronic and acute forms...

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Thomas, i love that cold turkey line!

As far as helping other addicts out there, the first thing you need to do after admitting you have a problem (which technically would make this the second thing to do) is to remove all temptation.
I will gladly make it my personal mission to come collect all tools, books, assorted accessories, and any scrap metal you may have to help you in this cause.

Out of sight, out of mind as they say.


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Well, if it's a addiction you can get classified as disabled, go on disability and get driven to your support group. All on the tax payer dime. If you want to go cold turkey, I'll send you my address and you can send me all your gear. This has been rumored to be the best method of withdrawl because it reinforces your desire to quit by making you free yourself from the entrapmen of the shop. Take the cure, one hammer at a time and have a happy recovery. 


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Back in the 90's I stopped using the term coke at demos, too many folk giggling and making the wrong kind of comments. I spent time explaining pyrolization and how coke and charcoal are pure carbon and that forge coke is more properly called "breeze", after the long explanation I only call it "breeze." Let folk make silly comments about breeze, no stain on my rep.

Been a long time since I burned coal, maybe I should go prospecting in the coal country N. of me but propane is so easy.

Frosty The Lucky.

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