Bumpy

Hello

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Hello all... I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a mathematician and the son of a former owner of The Knife Store. Anyway, I'm fascinated by forging, and would love to do it.... scared to death tho lol. Looks like something that looks wayyyy easier than it really is. Any ideas on where to start?

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Start by packing a lunch and a cold drink and reading the sections of IForgeIron that are of interest to you. The stickies should come first as they have good basic information. From there read the rest of the site. (grin). 

A forge is simply something to hold the fire. Find a fuel in your area that is cheap and build the forge to use that fuel. 

An anvil is something heavy to hit on. A sledge hammer head or any other mass of metal will work. Ideally something 50 to 100 pounds, and the heavier the better. Fork life forks work, as does many other things that do not look like London pattern anvils.

And a hammer is something to hit with (2 pound or so). Flea market hammers, ball peen hammers, etc etc.

Add your location to your profile. Chances are there are blacksmiths or groups near you. Go to the meetings. That is where the knowledge is that you seek. They also have the tools for sale that you will want later.

Age is not a requirement. We have had individuals as young as 6 years old when they started blacksmithing.

If you have questions, tell us what you have read, what you have tried, and how it did or did not work for you. The more specific the question, the better the answer you will get in the reply.

As soon as you finish reading this post go to the section on safety and read it twice. There are things that you want to avoid as they can kill you, zinc or coated metals for instance. Best advice to a beginner is if the metal gets too hot to hold, then turn it loose. This is a good reason for tongs, long pieces of metal and other holding devices. 

Welcome to the site and the craft. Please enjoy your visit.

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where did you start your Math education?  Same thing with your Blacksmithing education have to take classes.  Learn a lot right here but takes time to look.   

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Some people learn best from some kind of formal instruction.

But NOT everyone.

It's entirely feasible to go the "self taught" route.

.

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But even 1 Saturday spent with someone who knows what they are doing can save you *months* of time trying it on your own---like what colour is "cherry red"?  (Not red-black bing cherries but the old time orange/yellow pie cherries!)

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5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

(Not red-black bing cherries but the old time orange/yellow pie cherries!)

Than why didn't they call it cherry orange? Or just say " it was at a cherry color". Saying cherry red makes you think it is red, so why would they call it that? The only thing I could compare it to would be saying " the ocean was a sky brown".

                                                                                                                               Littleblacksmith

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Because the cherries were a wide range of colours back then before the Bing Cultivar took over?  You note that when you buy canned pie cherries they have all been dyed to a uniform colour. I try NOT to use the term "cherry red" but to explain it to students so they are not led astray by an artifact of food history!  Funny I don't recall too many "apple reds" used as a descriptive but I have seen a lot of "candy apple reds" used.

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welcome ... no offense but "way easier than it looks"? not exactly.

if you've been watching YouTube videos of guys with decades of experience who move metal as if it were clay then you've got a surprise coming your way. they make it look "easy" but to get the metal to move the way you envision takes quite a bit of effort and practice

that said, it's not all that hard to get started ... a barebones smith set up is pretty easy to create if you you want to get a feel for whats involved. a piece of rail track, a hammer, some vice grips and home made forge and you're ready to go. 

watch out though ... if you like forging then there's no getting out:)

have fun!

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Right... it looks way easier that it really is ... aka harder than it looks. Thanks for the advice guys

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Start small. Go to your local habitat for humanity or used construction material warehouse (read CHEAP MATERIAL) and find some large nails/small spikes. They will be low carbon and easily forged even at a black heat (no incandescent color). Start with tapers, then square the material from round to square in cross section. Then practice twists and bends. After you have a proper forge you can step up to larger pieces. A quick check found a Habitat For Humanity ReStore in Lafayette. located at 3123 1/2 Johnston Street. Look for metal with a black, unpainted or finished surface. You don't want to breath the fumes from paints or zinc and other coatings. 

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