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Common Basic Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid

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Hi,everyone I am trying to get into the craft and have not done anything yet besides read about the craft and watch videos on youtube. This thread as been awesome and it is really good info. I was just wondering if it is better to jump right in and try to forge something or is it better to take a small workshop/get someone to show you to get introduced to the craft?

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Why not do both?

Get a block of modeling clay at the craft store and start working with it. Anything you can do with clay you can do with metal.  Find a fuel that is cheap and available in your area and read about building a forge using that fuel. 

Look for a blacksmithing group or organization in your area and go to the meetings.  Indiana Blacksmithing Association, Inc.  would be a good place to start. They have a meeting Dec. 14 at Stilesville IN.

 

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Their website lists a bunch of other dates/places in January; you might find something closer to you on it.

 

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If you can get some instruction quickly, that's definitely preferable. Glenn's suggestion of practicing with clay is an excellent one.

Another thing you can do right away is get a box of framing nails and practice driving them into a tree stump. Hammer control is one of the most important skills a blacksmith can possess, and training yourself to strike quickly, accurately, and with power will pay you dividends! Drop in five or ten minutes of nailing here and there throughout your day, and you will soon see improvement. 

Also, welcome to IFI! If you haven't yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!

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You'll learn more in a day with an experienced smith than a month fumbling around on your own. If you can take a class jump on the chance. Join a group near you and go to meetings AND take what you learn there back to your forge and practice, practice, practice. Good luck be safe and remember it's supposed to be fun.

Pnut

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If you have tools and equipment enough to fire up a forge.. Then this is the best thing to do is get a book like "The Blacksmith Craft" COSIRA free for download here on IFI or the BAM site. 

the start with page 1 or what have you and start trying things..  ABANA has their manual which has excellent exercises in it..  

Personally I like it best when a student shows up and has some forging experience because then they have some hammer time in and we can correct and improve what they are doing instead of just working on basics of hammer swing, foot position, etc,etc. 

Getting in some forge and anvil time is the only way to get better and including videos from good smiths and going and taking a class or 2 will all pay off faster than one can simply imagine. 

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11 hours ago, Blackmer Brandon said:

watch videos on youtube

Welcome aboard. youtube is OK if you are watching the right channel's. However there are a lot of videos that are down right dangerous, by people with a video camera and internet connection. There is a thread here that lists a lot of good blacksmith videos, many made by IFI members.

Above all else practice safety with using personal protection equipment.

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On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 7:37 AM, Blackmer Brandon said:

thanks everyone for the motivation and the helpful tips.

Brandon I see that Howe, Indiana is only about an hour from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  There is a place in Kalamazoo, Tillers International, that has courses in lots of "old-timey" crafts, including a bunch of blacksmithing related subjects.  These are usually two-day, weekend classes.  It might be something to look into.

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To Assume the information that was fed to me by a known smith is correct and true to my limited understanding.    If something is said..  I should do my own homework to also understand the material or information presented. 

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Thanks for all of the info guys, I also hope everyone had a good Christmas. I was wondering where does everyone get their coal from if you are using coal. my forge is an old rivet forge that has a lever blower and was going to use coal but having trouble finding any near me and was wondering if it was worth buying it from like amazon?

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There are coal sources in your area as is a local ABANA chapter or Local blacksmith group who has meetings. they will be able to offer you the best resources information.  Someone here might know of the groups around. 

Few years ago I had spoken to someone in Indiana and they found a source locally or the coal..  Can't remember whom it was.. 



Coal for the most part is expensive to ship so is best to buy locally.  

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Check with the ABANA affiliates around you; not just in IN. They should know where to go!

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Great read, Thanks for letting me hang out and learn. I will most likely ask some stupid questions as I move forward so bear with me LOL.   I'm a big reader before I start any new venture. 

I am just starting out, I only have an anvil so far has been in the family over 100 years, my wife's grandfather owned a blacksmith shop from 1890 until he passed. It should serve me well. Will be a few months before I get all the things I need and even start to pound any hot steel! 

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Yes sir done a few days back, just getting into the meat of the forum now. My first post was trying to find out about the Trenton Anvil I have.

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