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Just getting into blacksmithing

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I just got into blacksmithing and I was wondering how I should start

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Read the forums. There is a huge wealth of information available, just sit down and spend a day here. Frosty will be along to tell you to put your location on your profile.

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Pack a lunch and a cold drink and read IForgeIron cover to cover, starting with the subjects of interest to you. Find a blacksmithing group near you and go to the meetings. You will learn more in a day than you can ever imagine.

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Haha, I will repeat what everyone else is saying, read read read read read read.... ALSO...   Since you are just getting into metal working and black smithing, find a local area smith, or a nearby Blacksmith association and talk them, get a time to go and see their forges, their shops, and see what you like and don't like.  Also as an ending note, as you are just getting started, I would suggest to try and keep your costs as low as you can get (This is an expensive hobby) but just in-case you end up not liking it (It is also hard work and can be dangerous) then you don't have 4000$+++++++++++++++++++++ worth of tools and equipment you aren't using just sitting around.  There are many simple and cost effective forge builds and alternate anvil ideas and plans you can find on here, just hunker down, chug the coffee, make sure you have a comfy chair and something to take notes on, and read until you can't read anymore, and then keep reading.....

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Besides reading the sections of Iforge that interest you, build a fire and give some of it a try. It's not complicated nor does it take special tools, a blow drier, hole in the ground, heavy chunk of steel and a smooth faced hammer is enough to get started.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I already have a forge and a couple of hammers an anvil and some scrap steel I was also wondering what I should start with for projects

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S hooks for hanging stuff from branches, framed walls, etc. are a good first project they teach straight even tapers. You want to match both ends and turn a small "finial" scroll facing outwards on the hook. The finial scroll prevents the hook from punching holes in stuff having it turned outwards from the hook keeps things from getting caught. It's also amazingly good practice remembering which way to turn scrolls and hooks. Turn the finial scrolls before you turn the hooks.

Once you get a handle on drawing nice even tapers and which way to turn the finials try twisting the shaft. There are I don't know how many kinds of decorative twists out there but keep them simple at first. Twists really dress up S hooks and most things with a straight shaft.

Coat hooks to screw to walls, posts, beams, etc. These are good for learning lateral or widening drawing and punching counter sunk holes. Again, widen and punch the screw holes first on one end, then twist if you like and draw, turn and put the finial on the hook. Counter sink before you punch the holes, this makes it a LOT easier. OR you can make a "counter punch" which is a combination hole punch and counter sink punch in top tool. You can buy a "pilot" at virtually any decent hardware store. Use it to drill into a decently thick piece of steel, 1/2" is plenty. Now using one of those chisels, punches or . . . you've been picking up at yard, garage, etc. sales. A large center or drift punch is perfect, heat it and drive it into the hole you drilled. You want it to fill the counter sink made by the "pilot" drill. It may take some trimming and grinding, maybe a couple trips to the die you drilled and a quick quench from NONE MAGNETIC in WARMED oil. That's it your counter punch.

Use the tool you made to punch the screw holes in the flattened end of the coat hook say 1 1/2" apart and finish up your hook. Decorating the wall end of coat hooks is always nice, I like leaves but a nice spread cross is also attractive.

I think that should take care of a couple sessions. The mission if you choose to accept it is NOT just making ONE repeat the various hook designs you choose till you can make a set of at least four matching hooks. They don't need to be exact copies but close enough to make a matched set you'd give your boss's secretary or hang on the office wall so customers can hang their expensive coats.

Hmmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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If you have tools you probably have some ideas. Start trying things that you are interested in and if they do not work you should be able to find out why on this forum. The best way to learn anything at all, at least in my experience, is to do it. Heat some steel and make some mistakes. As frustrating as it is breaking a piece that has an hour or two of your time in it you will gain a pile of knowledge from it. 

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23 hours ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Besides reading the sections of Iforge that interest you, build a fire and give some of it a try. It's not complicated nor does it take special tools, a blow drier, hole in the ground, heavy chunk of steel and a smooth faced hammer is enough to get started.

Frosty The Lucky.

Enough to get started!? Heck, I've been told that's all anyone needs! A guy could build anything he needs if he can make a hole in the ground and find a couple rocks, right?

 

(just funnin')

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Good Morning, Fire

Post your location where you are making a shadow, If it is the Pacific North West there is a HUGE get together today at Longview Fairgrounds today. There also is a Spring Conference May 13-15 at the same Fairgrounds. Check out North West Blacksmith Association, www.blacksmith.org 

There will be many like minded people, there will be many things to look at and steal with your eyes, there will be things you can trade money for. Bring a Camera, a notebook with a pencil/pen. There is a covered area to throw down a sleeping bag, don't expect to get 8 hours sleep.

Learn on.

Neil

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1 hour ago, Firestarter said:

Enough to get started!? Heck, I've been told that's all anyone needs! A guy could build anything he needs if he can make a hole in the ground and find a couple rocks, right?

 

(just funnin')

If you're good enough yes. It isn't the tools it's the person who does the work.

I've done the smooth boulder and cobbles thing, it's a lot of fun, especially when challenged by an office guy. Funnin's a good thing, I'm up for fun.

Here's the scenario. Our boat sunk, we're camped on Evans Island a shingle beach on the east side of Crab bay with plenty of '64 earthquake debris to scrounge and we need some tools to survive. You don't have tools, even lost our fishing and camping gear. "You pick a smooth 100+/-lb. boulder (It was an ultra mafic, probably a hornblend) and a couple larger than fist size smooth cobbles.

That's the scenario, live or die. Want to play? What's the first tool you'd make?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Blacksmithing Projects by Percy W. Blandford, $10 on amazon. It has all sorts of projects to start with from punches, chisels to gates. Its always a good place to start building your tools.

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Excellent book T.J. I highly recommend it!

Frosty The Lucky.

5 minutes ago, Firestarter said:

Fire.

How? You have nothing but wet clothes but weather is good enough you won't die of exposure right away.

I started a new topic "On The Beach" with this subject as a game challenge. I can answer specific questions about living on that beach, scroungable  materials, forage, etc. I thought it might be fun.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. have a picture of the lemon or are you making lemonade? Don't worry we'll be happy to help out. There are thousands of posts archived by section on Iforge. You'll get a good jump by doing some reading, it takes a certain knowledge base to ask good questions and understand the answers. Pack a lunch and something to drink it's literally visiting the library.

Frosty The Lucky.

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9 hours ago, Forged Lemon said:

Yes sir! Glad to be here! Gotta get my profile pic lol

glad to see some one else that is in the same country AND state. double wammy.

                                                                                                     Littleblacksmith

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On 5/3/2016 at 5:28 PM, littleblacksmith said:

glad to see some one else that is in the same country AND state. double wammy.

                                                                                                     Littleblacksmith

Yes sir! Driving distance haha. Glad to see it as well!

On 4/26/2016 at 2:07 AM, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard, glad to have you. have a picture of the lemon or are you making lemonade? Don't worry we'll be happy to help out. There are thousands of posts archived by section on Iforge. You'll get a good jump by doing some reading, it takes a certain knowledge base to ask good questions and understand the answers. Pack a lunch and something to drink it's literally visiting the library.

Frosty The Lucky.

I got that picture the doctor ordered!

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So you are aware of the American Bladesmith Society bladesmithing school located almost within spitting distance of you right?

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Are you a member of Four States Iron Munchers Blacksmith Association yet? We meet just southwest of Texarkana on the third Saturday of each month. PM me for details.

 

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light the forge and do the basic. taper, spread, twist ,bend and half face hammer blows. before you know it you find more projects to make than you have time

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