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I Forge Iron

Basic Blacksmithing- A beginners guide to toolmaking


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By David Harries and Bernhard Heer. Published by Intermediate Technology.

I chanced upon this book whilst browsing Amazon. I want to learn to make tools of various descriptions, so this was an especially lucky find for me.

The style of this book and short and simple. How-tos for toolmaking are presented in a very similar style to most of the blueprints on this very site. The information on technique is technically basic. Exactly what the beginner like myself needs!

An interesting point with this book is that the authors spent a lot of time in Africa with local smiths, studying the way that smiths in such areas live with just the very basics of tools and materials. All of the blueprints in the book are based on how these African smiths make the various tools listed, from scrap sources. This is particularly useful for those smiths who make things from scrap exclusively.

The book even includes information on how to make an anvil from a section of railroad track, how to make a simple forge from clay, or bricks and how to make a bellows from leather or goatskin.

I would recommend this book to the beginner like myself, simply because of the uniqueness of its approach, and the fact that it provides the very basics of instruction without the confusing verbiage that is often the opinion of the author, thus saving the reader confusion down the road.

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Atomic Forge and I have exchanged notes on the subject and I understand his concerns. We appreciate peoples concerns on copyright and other issues bring brought to out attention, and we try to address those concerns on an individual posting basis.

As of May 1, 2008, the United Nations has 192 members and the US State Department recognizes 194 independent countries around the world. It is a little beyond the scope of this site to police the internet or to contact everyone evolved to see if they have permission to do what they do, and if it is legal to do it in THEIR country.

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It is a VERY good book. Even if you are an experienced blacksmith there would be something in it for you but the real power is the simplicity of it all for the beginner. By the time you have worked your way through the exercises you have a good set of tools and skills.

Highly recommended.

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I stumbled on a site called internet archive that has books that can be downloaded and videos. These books mostly were written in the 19th century and early 20th century. They are from various public funded librarys. Some of them are fairly rough to download. search internet archive and click on texts at the top of the page. you can search any topic and might be surprised what comes up.

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