sawbones21

New Black smith please help

Recommended Posts

Alright so I've been wanting to make my own forge/shop (still not sure on all the proper terminology ) For quite some time but the problem is that I  am usually broke most of the time is there a way for me to make my own forge and anvil for under $200 ?? if so please leave recommendations or just tell me about your experience doing so. I'm 19 and finally have a little bit of money to start my own hobby, I've heard about going to a scrap yard and finding a block of steel to use as an anvil, any  recommendations on what to look for any and all advice on smithing at all will be a massive help, Thank you 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are you located?

Find a cheap fuel local to you and build a forge to use that fuel. Forges Solid Fuel ForgesGas Forges  Look up JABOD and follow the suggestions.  It works for solid fuels.

A collection of improvised anvils 

Look up TPAAAT and follow the suggestions.

To get the most from the site please read READ THIS FIRST

We suggest you pack a lunch and a cold drink when you visit the site. The more you research and read, the less $$$ you need to invest in getting started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done it for under US$25 before---good forge I used it for welding damascus billets for several years.  I've discussed it a pretty good number of times on this site already, how good is your google foo?   (broken knuckle train car coupler might help)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glen is an optimist, if your young, place a comfortable chair between the bathroom and the fridge, if your old move the fridge next to the toilet. 

Many of us started poor (some of us still are) in my case The Just a box of dirt forge was started. I also gathered to gather pictures of others improvised anvils. This said,  Glenn also did some excellent work  with his 55 forges. 

Anyway, the information is here, and we will help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find the closest blacksmith group to you and use a small part of your $ to join them. Go to the meetings and if you ask a question, listen to the answer.They will be an invaluable source for equipment and knowledge. Good luck. Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second Al...knowledge is the best investment you can make. Ask yourself this question..how can you set up anything when you don't know what you need? Take some time to learn the processes involved. Then figure out what part of the trade you enjoy doing and that will guide you in the direction you need to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Glenn said:

 

So I followed the guide on buing an anvil and I think I found a decent fly wheel anvil made of cast steel that will work, Thank you for all of the information 

8 hours ago, marcusb said:

I second Al...knowledge is the best investment you can make. Ask yourself this question..how can you set up anything when you don't know what you need? Take some time to learn the processes involved. Then figure out what part of the trade you enjoy doing and that will guide you in the direction you need to go.

very true thank you 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sawbones ... (more a butcher's nome the plume than a blacksmith one) ... :)

Congratulations on choosing a hobby for yourself. At your age my hobby was gymnastics and my job was blacksmithing.

May I ask why you chose it? What would you like to make? 

Any hobby is hard to start with little money, and the lack of money is usually the reason quoted for giving up. The reality is that yes, you can forge steel with improvised tools and get good at it. What will make it happen is enthusiasm, imagination and a vision of what you want to achieve.

When I was 15 I started to work in a smithy run by an Italian smith. To me it was just a job to make some pocket money. The guy was friends with my father and when it came to my mother's birthday he forged an ashtray as a gift for her. Ashtrays were a common theme for a gift 50 odd years ago since most adult smoked and smoking did not have the social stigma it has today. Anyway... the ashtray was a representation of a grapevine leaf very detailed with it's veins and curves and was a real piece of art. Strange to say but in a smithy that made architectural work, this little gift was the reason I decided to stick around and learn, rather than just do the work until knock off time. 

So what I mean is that you need some sort of inspiration to spur you on to a goal in whatever way possible. Many times folks here post videos from youtube showing african tribal blacksmith and their primitive methods. When I deplore every time this display of appalling condition that shouldn't be necessary in 2018, their goal is survival and they achieve it with nothing in the way of money and it is that determination that is worthy of praise.

Anyway, that is my rant for the day. Hope to see and read more of your new adventures.

All the best.

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, and well honestly I don't want to get all deep or anything but since I graduated high school I've been working out and losing weight to join the military but I haven't really been happy I've just kinda been going along with the routine of (work-pay bills-exercise-sit and watch tv-sleep-repeat) and I saw a youtuber working a beautiful blade on a shoulder tie for an anvil and a hole in the ground for a forge and that really inspired me, I've always thought that smithing was really cool and that kinda just made me realize that I would love to do this and finally have something I can call my craft 

And I really want to make anything I can although the first thing I'm going to attempt is a pair of tongs, I've read and watched a lot of videos on how to do it the only problem right now is that I need to get my forge made haha, but overall I want to make anything and everything I can, I collect knives so  I'll probably learn to make those as well as tools maybe rings or ornaments of some sort but I've Finally started to build my forge.. well kinda I've started extracting clay from a patch of dirt in my yard to use for the forge and my brother has a tree stump he said I could cut from his yard to set my non-existing anvil on 

anyways Thank you for your insight and you will definitely see more from me in a little while, and if you have any kind of advice at all and on any matters id be more than grateful to hear it 

-nate or sawbones 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nate; have you started attending the local ABANA Affiliate meetings?  Looked into the ABA  bladesmithing classes in Texarkana? As Miles would say: "Forward Momentum!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/6/2019 at 4:15 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Nate; have you started attending the local ABANA Affiliate meetings?  Looked into the ABA  bladesmithing classes in Texarkana? As Miles would say: "Forward Momentum!"

I haven't attended one yet but I am looking at the NTBA 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of the best resources you could have found. Finding the specifics can be a little hard but searching google with "ifi" or "I forge iron" with your google search and that's the best way to do it. I came here knowing little to nothing, now I know a great deal about things that are even way out of my league, which is still most stuff. I've been here for about a year and a half now, knowing little to nothing. I've got a couple of books and I watch youtube videos on smithing every day. Nothing compares to the knowledge these experienced smith have bestowed upon us. That being said, once you find something to beat on and something to heat metal, practice is the best teacher, unless you can get a real teacher that is.

I started with a 22 gallon drum and a big rock as my anvil. I didn't do much with it other than beat metal ugly but it did teach me a few things. Like where I needed to go from there. I think I got pretty lucky, I found a smith located about 45 minutes away from me and he sold me a 161# Peter Wright for $290. I just recently tested the rebound and I get from 80-95% rebound on it. From what I've found that's really good for an anvil that's 150+ years old. I went late last year to the same smith and got a firepot, tuyere and blower for $120. I've got a basic setup as far as "real" tools are concerned but it's more than enough for me.

Just don't anger the curmudgeons by asking questions that have been asked and answered a hundred times, usually you'll get an answer but sometimes you'll just have to find their answer in a previous thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a little 60ish pound travel / bench top anvil. It's on the soft side and has some dents & dings in the face. Its small & I've not got much use for it with the majority of what I do. 

You're welcome to it if you like, with one condition. Use it till you can get something better. Once you get something better, don't sell it. Pass it on to someone else just starting out needing help. 

 

It's the little one by the post vice in the picture. 

1202181403.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, Fleur di lis you just put a big smile on my face. Well done! Passing the help we received learning the craft along to the next in line is a fine tradition we enjoy. It's one of the things that make blacksmith gatherings so enjoyable, everybody has questions and problems and everybody has tips, tricks and solutions. 

If you haven't heard, the blacksmiths learning curve has no end. Enjoy the ride.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just trying to pay it forward where I can Frosty. This site has been a tremendous help to over the years. So I feel obligated help where I can. 

Sawbones. The only real advice I can give is this. Don't be afraid to screw up & make mistakes. You'll constantly find new and improved ways to screw up what your working on. Just learn from it. I learn something new every time I fire up the forge. Ask questions. But search for an answer first, or you risk the ire of the curmudgeons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paying it forward makes me smile. I don't know where my old rail anvil is but it's been passed on more than a few times since I "loaned" it to a beginner. 

Ah don't sweat the curmudgeons, we only seem like crusty old farts, we just tend to talk plain. Sugar coating doesn't go well with iron work. Oh sure some folk expect to just be told something that's easy to learn on their own or get upset and argue if the answer isn't what they think it should be. You have to come to my shop if you want me to hold your hand.

If we didn't like passing on what we've learned we wouldn't talk at all.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now