Recommended Posts

Hello All,

Just moved  to the States from Northern Scotland where I was getting a PhD in Medieval History. Now that I'm leaving the student life behind (small apartments, no money... etc), I'm keen to get started in blacksmithing. I have quite a bit of woodworking experience, but have been wanting to try my hand at metal for a while now. So far have 0 hours of experience, but many of hours of research, daydreams, and boundless enthusiasm. 

I've inherited a small collection of tools (including some hefty ball peen hammers), and have picked up a 25lb vintage anvil. At the moment I just want to get started by crafting a few more tools  to build up my resources and experience (any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!) Planning to build a JABOD forge, although it will have to be a small one for now. 

In any event, chuffed to be here, and can't wait to get started! Anything you wish you had known before you picked up your first hammer?

Cheers-- Alexander

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only wish I knew what I know now so I'd have started earlier! :)

Advice is to find someone local to learn from. Also don't get stuck on "needing" THE "right" tools. much can be done with little and it sounds like you have an idea about that. Good! :)

Welcome aboard! If you are ever in southwestern Pennsylvania my shop is usually open to help teach. (bit of a drive) There are local blacksmith groups around the States too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One end of the metal is hot, one is not. Choose wisely.

Starting out, you need something to hit on, something to hit with with, and something to hit. Fire makes the metal move easier.

Learn to use what you have to make what you want. 

 

You may want to take note of what a smith and carpenter of the Viking Age carried with him.

The Mästermyr chest is a Viking Age (793–1066) tool chest 90 cm (35 in) long, 26 cm (10 in) wide and 24 cm (9.4 in) high, was made of oak with iron hinges and lock. The contents of the chest indicate that it belonged to a travelling craftsman who made repairs and produced new items. The tools show that he was a smith and a carpenter, and had some knowledge of locks, coppersmithing and coopering.

Some of the tools and objects in the chest:

Three padlocks

Two keys

Springs, plates and other parts of locks

Three sledgehammers

Three hammers

One ball-peen hammer

One pair of large forging tongs

One pair of snips

Four smaller anvils

Tools for making nails

Three stamping pads

Some smaller axes

One large broadaxe

One wide adze

One hand saw

Six spoon-augers

One saw blade

One chisel

One gouge

Four files

Two knives

Two bradawls

One spatula

Two sharpening stones

One steelyard balance

Four clamps

One hacksaw

Two rasps

One pair of tongs

One chisel

One stone chisel

One ash-rake

One punch

Two tripods

Two drawknives

Miscellaneous metal fittings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your warm welcome, guys!

20 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Welcome aboard! If you are ever in southwestern Pennsylvania my shop is usually open to help teach. (bit of a drive) There are local blacksmith groups around the States too.

Cheers! If I am ever in the Pittsburgh area I'll be sure to take advantage of that. Could end up almost anywhere in the English speaking world in the next 6 mos. or so, but will be sure to find local groups.

20 hours ago, Glenn said:

You may want to take note of what a smith and carpenter of the Viking Age carried with him. The Mästermyr chest.

I love the idea of simplicity (so does my wallet), and was planning to try my hand at hammers and tongs (the latter of which I have none). 

The Mästermyr chest naturally appeals to my Medievalist's sensibilities as a basic model. I have a number of Archaeologist friends who specialise in the Viking period in Northern Scotland. I had the chance to go on a few digs and handle some of the finds. Those Scandinavian craftsmen knew their metal for sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now