Nick O

any tips for some one who just started smithing

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I've been forging a year on September 1st any tips on simple projects, ways to improve my self, tools I need and don't need. I've spent countless hours on youtube but it doesn't really help me as much as actually talking to people dose I've also looked every were on the internet for simple projects but I think most of these projects are to advanced for me. I have a break drum forge, plenty of hammers, but I am starting to collect tongs, and I have 2 anvils. Have any ideas on simple projects, tips/tricks, and tools I need to get started please let me know.

 

Nick O

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What do you want to make…why did you start blacksmithing?

Practice will make you better at the process, but I never like the idea of practice pieces. I think you learn a lot faster and are more focussed if you are making something useful you want to make for yourself or for somebody else. This instead of a boring purely "training" exercise.

Look around for something that needs making, then work out how to design and make it. Learn on the job.

Countless hours on You Tube will make you very skilled at watching videos. Spending lots of time at the forge will improve your skills there.

If you are really stuck for something to make, just look at examples of other blacksmiths' work and try and reproduce the bits you like.

Browse through the gallery here...

Alan

Edited by Alan Evans

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Where are you? There are probably more smiths closer than you realize and face to face can teach you way more in one afternoon than a month or more of YouTube and trial and error.

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Go to the bottom of the forum page and look for a group or organization near you and go to the meetings.

Most projects that look complicated are just a bunch of small simple pieces put together. The IForgeIron gallery has over 20,000 images. The forum has had this question many times before and have provided a bunch of good answers. 

Also look under the members projects section on the forum.

Think about what you want to make. Go to the resource center (read scrap pile) and select something to work with and do not be surprised if you end up with something totally different than what you originally set out to make.

Edited by Glenn

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Make nails. I start every forging session with a couple-three nails, works your point and taper forging skills. 100+ nails later I can sort of get the heads centered. From there J or Drive hooks, then S hooks (know anyone with hanging plants?)

That should get you going until you figure out what "you" want to make.

Fireplace pokers are the usual progression from there, unless you are into knives. Whole different slippery slope for the budding knifemakers.

Edited by Michael
original post drew a "forbidden" tag, tried shorter and then edited

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welcome Nick O.  FYI  When you were in the chat room yesterday, we teased you a little bit because we have another member named Nick  that used to hang out here and we thought you were him, his other half is called Marcy is still in but he isnt as much, we assumed she has him chained up somewhere so she could take over his shop

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Go on youtube and search for "How to Forge Leaf Keychain by Brian Brazeal".  He shows and talks about technique. I watched that vid a bunch of times then made two leaves then expanded on that idea.   This is the third project for me . A three legged votiv candle holder

candle.jpg

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Where are you? There are probably more smiths closer than you realize and face to face can teach you way more in one afternoon than a month or more of YouTube and trial and error.

I am a member of a group called Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association other wise know as IVBA and may soon be a member of UMBA Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association and yes there are some smiths by me the nearest one is 45min away and several others

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welcome Nick O.  FYI  When you were in the chat room yesterday, we teased you a little bit because we have another member named Nick  that used to hang out here and we thought you were him, his other half is called Marcy is still in but he isnt as much, we assumed she has him chained up somewhere so she could take over his shop

I figured you were talking about someone else and don't worry no offence taken and thanks for welcoming me  

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That's good. Good luck. I myself am still at the stage of mostly trying to repeat small projects to improve my basic skills.

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I just went at it about 20 years ago. 

I make things I need like a handle for my 450 lyman boolit sizer since the factory OEM was junk and broke.

been on the sizer for 20 years now and still gets used every fall. 

I thought when I got around to getting a real forge ( used a webber grill for years) and a real anvil ( used a rr track for years) that I would want to make decorations.

NOPE I like sharp things and that's what I enjoy making. I make the tools to make he sharp things, but DO NOT enjoy it. I'm just to cheap to buy a fuller when I can make one. 

Make a few things and see what you enjoy. In this hobby you will end up making things you don't enjoy making, to make the things that do please you.

Rich

Edited by root

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If it heats steel its a real forge, and if you beat steel on it its real anvil. 

Your right what I meant and should have stated was my forge looks like a forge, my anvil looks like a anvil now. before my forge looked like you could grill burgers on it and my anvil looked like it belonged at the CPS rail way. No mistaking my tools now LOL 

And yes the Webber SS grill melted alot of lead, mixed alot of brass, and heated alot of steel over the years with just a shop vac as a blower. 

I gave my RR avil to a friend, he just used it to do body work on a trailer of his that a lady plowed into drunk. I never though of using it for that. it was small enough to get up in where he needed it for a solid backer to straighten things out. . 

 

Rich

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Gave up a good tool, lol. Or good steel to make good tools, depending on how you look at it. Lol

No not really. I helped a great friend out. I still have 3 anvils one RR track and two name brands.

I have a parts car in his yard for my roadrunner that I have been striping and putting into boxes. ( how many people let you part and strip a car in their yard?)

Asked him what he needed, he said a anvil. I took two of the RR ones over and let him choose.

He chose the smaller of the two.

point being it served me a long time and now it is someplace that it's being used as a tool not a decoration, buy a fellow maker of things that is a true friend. 

 

Point I was trying to make to the original poster is 

Start with what you can. If your interest is held move up as you can. 

Took me 20 + years to get around to getting so called better equipment. And there was nothing wrong with what I had or it would have never taken so long to "upgrade"

As another poster said Don't make practice pieces just to practice.  Figure out what you need/want to make and go at it. the practice will be how many times did you try to make it until it past your "muster" as "good".

 

Rich

 

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Hi all,  

 

I just joined this forum a few minutes ago, which  is exactly 3 hours after purchasing my first "old" forge. I have always loved metalworking, but have no experience at all with forging or blacksmithing.  My son went to an exhibition casting show a few weeks ago and showed great interest in  making "things" out of fire and metal. This conversation rekindled my own inner child and desire to create things.  I want to create  useful everyday things.  My son wants to make huge swords. Haha. But, I just wanted to introduce myself and say hello.  I already have so many questions before I even turn coal to coke for the first time. 

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OK Hoosier.....There are a few of us here, what part of the state holds your shadow? If ya need somethin' holler.......  Dave

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Near Cory, Indiana. I picked up a cast Buffalo Forge with a hand crank silent 200 blower today. That's all I know about the forge. I have my grandfather's  anvil. It's a Trenton anvil. Haven't cleaned it up completely yet.  But it feels like it's anywhere between  75 &100 #.

20150804_202427.jpg

I mounted the forge on a contractor lumber cart so that I can wheel it in and out of my little shop.  

20150804_170544.jpg

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 Sweet... About an hour from me and about an hour to a good coal supply.  Enjoy the ride.........         Dave

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That's great !! Thank you very much!  I'm like a kid on Christmas  morning! waiting to fire my first fire. I have about 75# of good coal right now.  But yes,  plenty of coal around these parts. Thanks again!  

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Ha. .. awesome!  Thank you!  I've been looking at cross draft flues. I'm pretty sure I have enough scrap sheet metal laying around to make one.  But. .... my whole point of putting  my forge on wheels was to be able to roll it outside. I kind of like the idea of being outside. But,  maybe make a permanent  flue that I can roll it under during the cold months. Hmmmm now you've got me thinking about more design ideas fir my shop.  I like it! 

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