ValyrianSteel

Hello from North Texas

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Hi everyone. My name is Abby and and I am really interested in blacksmithing and didn’t know where to start so I’m just here to learn and hopefully find someone in my city who can help get me started :)

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North Texas is a large area, Can you narrow it down a bit by letting us know what city?

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

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Depending on how far you want to travel . . . lots of possibilities.

As where to start, find a section of IForgeIron that is of interest to you and start reading. There are over 50,000 questions on the site with over 600,000 answers. We suggest you pack a lunch and a cold drink when you visit the site. (grin)

If you need help figuring out the site layout, use the IForgeIron  Table of Contents.  Ask questions if you need help.

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Well Austin is a 4 hours drive so don’t think I’ll be traveling there haha, but yes I’ll be reading through the forums definitely!

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Welcome to the addiction, we are always thrilled to have another lady join the ranks (tho y’all tend to do beutiful work and make us guys look bad ;-). I raised daughters, so I have a soft spot, lol. 

Remember that blacksmiths make things, and that extends to your tools. You don’t have to invest in thousands of dollars in equipment to get started. 

The pinned posts in each section are good reading.

among the recommendations I have are, knife making 101. Even if you have no interest in knives, this introduces you to medium and high carbon steels, dressing a hardware store hammer for blacksmithing and heat treating. 

I would also recommend the improvised anvil thread, as it will open your mind to the possibilities of finding a useful piece of scrap steel to get started. 

Glenn’s 55 forge and my Just. A box of dirt (JABOD) forges inspire you to build an inexpensive forge to get started with. 

Lastly. The historic record showes us that Iron Age and Viking era smiths used 1 1/2-2# hammers and this is a good place to start. You will work your way up to 3-4# but you don’t need to kill your self. You can find suitable hammers at swap meets, but a 24 oz. and 32 oz ball pein will get you started. 

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Charles,

Thank you so much for the helpful information! It’s kind of intimidating/difficult to start this journey alone but advice like yours will be valuable!

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Welcome aboard. I would normally post a link to the READ THIS FIRST page, but I see Glenn beat me to it.

How did you get interested in smithing, and what kind of things are you interested in making?

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Hi Abby, welcome to the insanity.:) My wife started along the journey several years ago, after watching me hammer hot metal for about 30 years. She dosen't post but looks over my shoulder a lot and I can say she picks up on how to do things a lot faster than I. A member here jlpservices does some instructional videos and my wife follows her on the forum and on her you tube channel. Finding a blacksmithing club close to you will be the best way to learn, nothing beats hands on. You might want to contact these folks North Texas Blacksmith Association.

http://www.ntxba.org/

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Welcome aboard Abby, glad to have another ladysmith join us. ( deleted the part about: sweaty, dirty, smelly. We all get that way in the shop)

What would you like to make? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks everyone! 

I hope to one day be able to smith swords, would love to make replicas of Viking and Game of Throne swords and daggers! 

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You do know that the American Bladesmith Society has a bladesmithing school up at Texarkana TX that offers classes in various bladesmithing skills?   Definitely the fast track to learning those specific skills!

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The usual advice for aspiring sword smiths is to learn basic blacksmithing, then knives an then long knives, short swords then swords. Not that every one agrees with that advice...

we do have a few sword smiths here tho. 

As advised finding a smithing group near buy or even taking vacation and attending some classes will jump start your adventure. But failing that don’t give up hope. We will gladly help, if you do your homework. 

So first things first, what do you have for kit and workspace?  A kit for bringing home road kill is a good idea, as well as the tools that will make up you blacksmithing kit. Do you have a local dog trade or swap meet? Good place for tools.  Wile machine shops, scrap yards and heavy equipment shops are all good places to acquire anvils (in this case solid steel scrap that makes good anvils) a 10-20# sledge from a swap meet works, as will a 4” shaft or square section of steel. A 4” thick piece of plate is even better. All that said you will see many options  here.

From a swap meet chisels, tongs and hammers are all good. In a pinch chanellock type players or long handle needle nose players work ok to forge with (beter than vice grips). Tongs can be a frustrating but rewarding  first project. Buy the time you have made the punch and drift for the eye and rivet header, the rivet header, a chisel and a rivet, you have acquired most of the skills you need to tackle tongs. The problem with tongs is making two identical halves, lol

If you were a few hours closer I would hook you up with big round drop I have for an anvil. Once you have an anvil and hammer, a few hand tools to include hack saw, file, chisel, safety glasses, sturdy leather footwear and natural fiber clothing. We will help you mount the anvil and build a simple inexpensive forge. If you don’t have a place to work from we can even help with ideas for sheds and portable setups as well.

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Wow you guys are so helpful! I’m so appreciative of all the wonderful advice!

I live in an apartment and work so I don’t know about driving to classes as a vacation, but I do have a a few ideas for places to work which hopefully work at. Currently I have no tools are setup I am just starting this journey into blacksmithing from the smallest baby step... which is why I researched these forums, to get advice on what tools to get and where from, and you guys have delivered! 

I will also look into the bladesmithing classes though Texarkana is 3 hours from me, perhaps I can research more resources closer to me. I suppose my first step is to find a place and aquire the tools I need to start.

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Stop by the hobby store and pick up a block of modeling clay. Anything you can do with modeling clay you can do with metal. 

Modeling clay is great stuff to practice with. Uses the same tools and tooling as blacksmithing, solves problems, teaches techniques, and the list goes on and on. Lay down a couple of rails and use a rolling pin to flatten out the clay between the rails. Then use a butter knife to cut the flattened clay into dimensional strips, thickness of the rails (1/4, 3/8, 1/2 inch) and what ever width you want.  If you want round, then form it between your hands. 

Look for a chunk of metal as an improvised anvil, a light weight hammer, and some copper or brass sheeting which is soft, and easily cut.  Those metals can be worked cold. Jewelry, roses, and all matter of small things can be made.

All this practice will jump start your blacksmithing when that time comes. 

Do not get excited about tools just yet. The modeling clay will show you what you need.  For instance a chop stick is a tapered dowel. Straws are drill bits and come in many different sizes. Spoons can be rounding hammers or fullers.  Dental floss is your new band saw. The soup ladle is a hemispherical dome or round anvil. Soup can can be an anvil horn, or tomato paste can for a smaller horn. All this should put your mind into gear. 

DO NOT build a box, and then try to think outside the box. If you do not build a box, that means everything is a possibility. Stop looking, and start seeing the possibilities. 

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I know TP and others who have built setups that will fit into to two 5 gallon buckets, and TP tells of one of his students (now a metalergest and member) who built his forge in a discarded grill and changed it to the fence at his dorm. 

What tdo you drive? We pony podiatrists work out of our vehicles (I know one who shod race horses out of a Cadillac) so we have some experiance.

 

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One other small bit of advice: for safety's sake, make sure everything you're wearing is natural fibers, hijab included. Stray sparks and artificial fibers are not a good mix.

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GOOD safety tip John! Artificial fibers melt, stick to your skin and deep fry you if touched by anything around 300 f and higher. They make for ugly painful burns. 

An old online friend of mine I haven't heard from in a few years lived on the 9th. floor of a retirement condo in Florida. He forged blades on the balcony and did the grinding and bench work in the kitchen. His entire shop fit in his closet and was quiet enough his neighbors never knew.

Oh I'd like to compliment you for your log in name. It's beautiful and fits your Avatar perfectly. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Excellent tips! Safety is always my priority! 

 

 

I don’t think so, haha, Valyrian Steel is a type of steel in Game of thrones series, which is beautiful, strong and has magical properties. There’s only a few swords made of this steel in the series. 

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The sequence in the episode "Two Swords" where the Valyrian steel sword "Ice" is melted down and cast (CAST!!!) into two smaller blades (later named "Widow's Wail" and "Oathkeeper") has been known to give bladesmiths fits.

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