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I Forge Iron

New blacksmith

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Hello, all. I am new here and have been wanting to get into blacksmithing for a few years now. I'm more interested in being a bladesmith, but I'd like to make other things on occasion. I have made a couple of knives, but nothing fancy. Just wanted to ask if there are any tips you guys have for a beginner? I guess dos and don't for someone who is just starting out. Believe it or not, I was using a 5lb barbell weight as an "anvil"... It's xxxx hard to work with. I just set up a what I hope is a better anvil. It's an actual steel anvil that weighs 20lbs that I affixed inside a 5 gallon bucket of quikrete and a few rocks. The whole thing weighs about 105lbs. As for a forge... Well I have one of those hollowed out white firebricks and a coffee can forge that I use with two bernzomatic ts8000 torches. Maybe I should upgrade that as well... I have a 4lb driver hammer, a 2.5 lb cross pein hammer and I use an assortment of pliers. I also have some borax. What do you guys think is the best way to utilize those? What can I realistically expect with my set up? Do I need more tools, or something better? I am a mechanic, so I know my way around tools and have pretty hearty hands and arms, so I hope that will help me some. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks guys. Here is my anvil. It's still curing.



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Well you could read the hundreds if not thousands of posts already here about getting started...the stickies, etc.

I will say the fastest and easiest way to get to making good blades is to learn to forge first and once you have hammer control and heat control down pat; then go on to making blades.  Knife grade steels are harder to work and much more fussy in their working.  Mild steel is much more forgiving and so you can often make a mistake but still end up with a usable item rather than just another piece of useless scrap metal.

Learning the basics will also teach you if your hammers are dressed right or if your anvil is a right height.  I am the average height for an american male and I can say that one would be just about right in height if I was kneeling---an uncomfortable position to forge in.

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Trust me, I'm reading as much as I can. I'm sorry for the lack of context that points out that this was more of an introduction. I'll continue with making knick-knacks to get a good feel for it. That was good advice, thanks. I never knew about hammer dressing, I'll have to search for that too. Thank you, sir.

Okay, I'm reading quite a bit of posts right now. Plenty of information here. Great forum.

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I'm pretty new to this myself, but to go along with your reading, I actually learned quite a bit from making myself a few pairs of tongs.

You get a lot of hammering and drawing out practice, and end up with something that will be a useful addition to your shop.

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