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I Forge Iron

Ready to Learn! Any tips?

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Hello everyone!

My best friend and I would like to get started mashing metal this summer. We are very new to smithing and are doing our best to read and learn all that we can. 

We both live in Anchorage but will be “opening up shop” in Palmer. We love the outdoors and will start with a focus on making bushcraft tools for us to use.

If you have any “Alaska Specific” tips on where to get materials, tools, or any tips in general we’d really appreciate it! 

Thanks in advance!


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There was a new supply store open in AK somewhere. It was posted on the site. 

Hook up with the AK Blacksmithing group and try to go to the meetings. If you see a fellow with snowflakes on the back of his t-shirt be sure and introduce yourself.

Choose a subject that your interested in and look up that section on IForgeIron. Read the entire section and them more on to another subject of interest. Pack a lunch and a cold drink before you go. 

Welcome to the site.

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I'll throw a tip that is not AK specific---

As boring as it sounds and as much as you want to make the giant sword the first week, spend a ton of time on the basics basics basics.  Yea, we all wanna start out making cool stuff but it's mastering the basics which makes the difference between just playing and actually acquiring skills. Simple drawing and tapering for example.  Simple S hooks and similar curves with some fancy work on the ends. Flattening well so that the result is actually flat in all dimensions and surfaces.  Upsetting to form square corners in a simple bar--where you want that to happen. (and on and on)  Learn to make metal move the way you want with skill...and then when you decide to start pushing those skills, it won't be simple stuff that gets in the way of mastery.

Skipping mastering the basics is where most beginners in smithing go wrong.  As I said, it's understandable because there are so many great things we all want to make.  However, it'll pay off many times over in the long run to get good at less "interesting" stuff first.

Oh...and don't turn to 1-1/2" dia chrome moly bar right out of the smithing gate (or whatever huge hunk of steel you have sitting around).  Spring for some smaller bar material like 1/2" square---it's actually pretty cheap. Smaller projects starting with smaller/easier materials will not take hours to move under the hammer like the big stuff.  Your sanity, fuel bill, and arm can thank me for that tip later :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't know how I missed you BTB, welcome aboard. The club meeting is tomorrow the 27th. at Arctic Fires Bronze on Springer Loop in Palmer, starts around 9:00 am . There's a link on out FB page with GPS and a map.

Hope to see you there.

Frosty The Lucky.

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