Goolsby7

Young and dumb, but have a little knowledge

Recommended Posts

Hello there! M'names Brandon, but ill just as easily answer to Goolsby or gools!

I was looking into various workings of attempting to start up a small forge so that i could try and practice and learn more about blacksmithing, and stumbled across this wonderful place!

But let me tell you a bit about myself before i blabber on to much.

I'm a young and dumb 25 year old living in a xxxx humid Georgia in the US who learned a bit about blacksmithing back when i was younger from my grandfather. My grandpa has some amazing skills and has done some amazing work in the past and its been somewhat of a dream to continue on the trade in some way. While i know that many younger blacksmiths tend to want to be blade smiths in reality, and honestly id love to as well, its not really my current goal. My current goal as far as blacksmithing goes, is to learn to craft lanterns and fixtures like my grandpa. Later i plan on uploading a picture of a light fixture he made and gave to my mother and i years ago that we still use today. May the day be long away and never come, but when he does leave i hope to be able to inherit the plethora of jigs, tools, and blueprints hes made over the years so that i can continue his work alongside my own.

Now as for what i posses now.. well.. i posses a limited knowledge of smithing, heating, and shaping. I have only one maybe two of my old hammers from when i worked with my grandpa. I have the will to learn. Aaaand i have a small piece of rail road track that i'm hoping to use as my starting anvil.

The biggest obstacles right now are my lack of knowledge, lack of materials and tools, and most importantly my funds. I know that i can find materials here and there but the most important part is the knowledge. A good chunk of which i'm sure ill be able to find here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowledge is the most important possession you may have. With knowledge you can acquire the rest.

Learn all that you can from your grandpa as he has a wealth of experience, skill, and knowledge. Work with him, watch him, and learn from him. It will be valuable for both of you, you to be interested, and him to fuel that interest.

Welcome to the site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to IFI.  I'm very new to this also. You have more of an advantage than you realize from what your grandfather has taught you.  I have read and studied for a long while, but due to some unfortunate turns in life, I'm just recently actually doing something.  Listen to all the great people on this site combining hundreds of years of knowledge. Dig in and read. There is so much to learn here that it will make your head spin. Don't worry about what tools you don't have. I'm learning that as well. Make do with what you do have and get there and learn by doing. As Frosty says " Welcome to the addiction!" He's right :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the welcome! I wish I could work with my grandpa, but he's a state away and semi-retired. I plan to visit him when I can though, hopefully soon. And I'm only just now doing something with what little knowledge I do have lol, been kinda of back and forth with a bit of depression I think. Keeps me from doing things I really want. But I'm pushing through because I really want to learn and improve! Just starting from scratch is the hard part. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many smiths find that welding works as a "by-job" to keep vittles on the table while working on smithing.  You may want to look into any local programs teaching it.  If you already have a job/career set up; pay this no heed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Mr. Stevens said, there are many here who deal with struggles. You can feel free to talk. We will listen. Sometimes all you need is to be able to talk. Blacksmithing has been very therapeutic for me. When I get out to the shop, the rest of the world and its worries fade away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem to have a very realistic mentality towards starting blacksmithing, I think you'll get it. You are right in that knowledge is the key. Another side to that coin is taking that knowledge to the anvil to really get a grasp of and understanding of it. Once you Try it then go back and learn more, it all makes more sense. 

This can all be done for little cash. Just look into the solid fuel threads and the JABOD threads. To get started. Scrounging for scrap to use is cheap or free as well. Many threads on that here. Just read the safety threads to do it safely. 

Once yoy build the research knowledge and "working" knowledge things get easier and you start seeing resources all around you. 

Getting started is the key and you can build up your equipment and tools as you go. You found the best forum to learn with. Many great people here that want you to succeed and good information that is peer reviewed so you can trust it. 

Yes there are some of us here that have issues as well. Blacksmithing is great therapy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Brandon, glad to have you. Don't sweat about the stuff you don't have, most of it is unimportant and can be worked around. RR rail makes a dandy anvil IF you aren't stuck on making it look like a London pattern anvil. Then you need a smooth faced hammer or two, a cross pein is handy but don't overlook yard sale ball peins.

Tongs you can make once you have a working handle couple of the basics. If you work long stock you don't need tongs. A couple chisels of different size are a good thing, you have to be able to cut stock and projects. Punches are a necessary tool too. You can find these things at yard, garage, rummage, etc. sales for not much, usually a coffee can full for a buck or two. Just because you already have a chisel don't skip yard, sale finds. You can forge them into other things you need. Alen wrenches are also good medium carbon steel that make good tools. 

You have a good attitude about getting into the craft and it's good therapy. It gives your mind something to focus on besides what's bothering us and gives us a break. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas Powers

Welding is something I've planned on picking up, even if I have to teach myself lol, a friend of mine has a small mig welder im hoping to use to learn with eventually.

Daswulf

I did dip a toe into the JABOD threads, though I need to read more I'm sure. And as for solid fuels I've been planning on trying to make charcoal once I can get the proper bits and pieces to try. I'm used to propane furnaces that my grandpa used but I knew solid fuels would be better to start out with as they can be a bit easier on the wallet once you know how to properly make it.

CrazyGoatLady

I always remembered being able to get lost in the small projects I would work on or parts I would help my grandpa make. I always enjoyed making scrolls. He had a cool jig he could put in a vice or his anvil (don't know what the square hole is called) that we would use to bend strips of metal to make them. Didn't require heating as we used thin strips, but still needed some force as it was cold heh.

Frosty

A proper anvil will take some time, but I'm sure I'll get one eventually. Hopefully I can figure out the best way to set up the railroad tracks piece I have in the meantime. I DEFINITELY need to scour for any local yard sales I can and hope I can get lucky. I always remember there was a massive flea market in Florida my grandpa and I would go to where he'd get all kinds of tools. Theres a small one a city over from me but I've not noticed anything useful, but that was also a few months ago. As for tongs, they are probably my #1 project when I figure out my setup for the forge I plan to make. I feel like I'll really need them. Most of the work I did and watched my grandpa do utalized them often. Chisels and punches will be a big thing for me eventually as well, they are great for detail work making leaves and feathers out of sheet metal for decoration. I had never thought to use Allen wrenches though, but now I definitely have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Goolsby7 said:

or his anvil (don't know what the square hole is called)

That would be the Hardy hole. 

The jabod is the easiest forge to make, and charcoal can be easy/ cheap to make as well. 

Like Frosty mentioned with yard sales/ fleamarkets, its all about knowing what to look for and knowing how it can be used.

Tongs are not the easiest beginners item but Can be done. Hammer control, drawing out, punching and riveting are some things you'll want to have down first. 

TechnicusJoe has a great video on making tongs from rr spikes. There are easier materials to use but it's still a great project in my opinion if you have them to use. I made a couple pair from his videos and one pair are ones I use very often. I did mess up a pair before I succeeded. After the failed attempt I went back and rewatched his video and understood better. A failure is just a successful learning experience.  Sometimes you get it right the first go. 

You will find learning the terminology helps when reading or asking questions. 

Keep us up on how your journey goes. We love pictures too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily all us smiths are just the same; why if you ask 3 smiths how to do something you might get only a dozen answers!  (Ifn you are lucky!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Goolsby7 said:

I'm a young and dumb 25 year old living in a xxxx humid Georgia in the US who learned a bit about blacksmithing back when i was younger from my grandfather.

Hi Gools ... Welcome and wish you all the best in your quest to continue in your grandfather's footsteps ... or should I say hammerblows :)

Just to contradict the locals, I'll say that "knowledge" is not in any way as valuable as once believed. 

Anyone can gain knowledge, but you need a good attitude to achieve that. So it is attitude that counts and that is hard to change if it is of the wrong kind.

i would start by not calling yourself dumb. There is no value in being the underdog. Much more value in eagerness to learn and good attitude.

In my personal opinion anyway :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Marc1: there's a big difference between dumb and ignorant. The latter can be fixed.

Welcome aboard! I hope you get a chance to visit with your grandpa sometime and talk with him about smithing. Judging from the photos you published elsewhere, he really knew his stuff. Learn as much from him while you still can!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if I might suggest that you contact your Grandfather and try to make arrangements to see him and talk with him.  Maybe just Maybe he will be happy to have a grandson interested in blacksmithing (I know I would) and maybe some tools he has surplus to share.  It is hard to get started in blacksmithing and don't expect a complete shop immediately.  Any organization local or state wide?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest thing with my grandfather is that he's a state away. It's not more then a 7-8 hour drive, but limited budget and work schedule keeps me from visiting him more. He doesn't do emails much lol. Truthfully he may have surplus tools, but knowing how my family is in general, he may not part with any heh. Hopefully I'll get a chance to visit him soon though.

I don't know of any local/state organizations, but wouldn't mind looking into them.

Also, an update: come January I plan to (hopefully) be taking classes at my location technical college for welding, financial aid allowing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Goolsby,

I suggest that you check out the Artist Blacksmith Association of America,  (ABANA),  for a local group close to you.

There are many I.F.I.  members in Georgia and adjacent states.

Just a suggestion.

Oh and welcome to the gang.

SLAG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goolsby7 I'm in the same boat as you. It's time to start and after about an hour or so on this site it seems to be fairly well structured, not to mention the obvious wealth of first-hand experience. In all actuality we could probably get by most of our major difficulties by simply xxxxxxxx (use the xxxxxx search engine).

I can tell you now i'm doing campfire with coal separation and a leafblower (use caution hehehee) or matress inflator (more likely). Eventually I'm going for the jabod technique. I'm between jobs so some trashy rebar from lowe's will work as a low carbon steel to just beat the xxxx out of. Once I work out some of the introductory processes and become SAFE and COMFORTABLE I will move on. Up here in Northern Virginia I am thinking there's a lot of potential for outdoor forging (I live in the mountains, very rural). Good luck to you Sir and may you prosper.

This message board reminds me of an old and forgotten illegal chemistry discourse site...except on that one nobody wanted to help the 'lessers' . It seems you're in good hands with these folks. 

Goolsby7 Dude my first name is Brandon also...xxxxxxx weird.

 

Goolsby7 Look at this beauty...i'm sure someone mentioned it in this thread, a JABOD.      

    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strike, you're a bit close to getting a warning with the language there. The moderators here are strict with that, and rightly so. Just ease up a bit before you attract the wrath of the administrators. And abbreviations don't cut it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto Ausfire about your language Strike, this is a family site, keep it clean please.

Okay, that out of the way, don't BUY REBAR :o to practice at the anvil. It's too inconsistent to be good learning stock. Buy mild steel, I recommend 3/8" sq. or 1/2" rnd. from the steel supply near you. If you talk to the guys in the yard they'll usually cut it in half for transport, the guys at the counter where you bought it HAVE TO charge by the cut. If they won't cut it for you in the yard get out your hack saw and start cutting. RIGHT THERE in front of their racks. Don't sweat it it only takes half a minute to cut stock this size with a hack saw but you'll be blocking their access and they can half it in a couple seconds. The trick's never failed for me. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 12:34 AM, Strike said:

Rodger dodger fellas. I can keep it clean. Thanks for the tip frosty but i'm broke and can't buy anything. Thinking about breaking the metal off of some old katanas and tools I don't use. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.