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I Forge Iron

I have no idea where to start..

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 I'm a baby blacksmith, just starting out and hoping you guys can help me out a little. I am building a brake drum forge, mostly for knife making. I was thinking about using some cut refractory bricks around the inner edge to create a fire pit in the center, and hopefully bring the temp up. I'm thinking coal for fuel, and from what I've heard and read it's not really that important what you use as long as you can figure how to make it work, right?

  I don't have much room at my house I'm trying to keep everything small (and very, very cheap).  What should I use as a small anvil? I live in the country near a lot of mining scrap, so would a railroad track be okay for blade smithing, and is an old sledge hammer head okay?

 Also, I'm terrified of killing myself with galvanized metal, so how can I tell if something is galvanized? Like any scrap or piping I get from my local junk yard? 

 Any advice you would give to help a COMPLETE newbie? 

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The best advice I can give you right now is to spend several hours on this site reading through the copious quantities of posts that deal with every single one of the questions you have asked here.  Once you have a basic understanding of what you are trying to accomplish you won't need to ask some of the questions and can be more specific about some of the others.  I'm not trying to discourage you at all.  Quite the opposite, but the information you are requesting has already been typed out here - some of it numerous times.  All you have to do is look for it and read it.

Even if you do as Latticino suggests, it will benefit you to have read and understood some of the basics before heading into a class.

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