Clueless

Looking for a good introduction to blacksmithing

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Hello All,

I am really interested in blacksmithing and would like a crash course for beginners or shadow a seasoned blacksmith. Willing to be free labor for the in exchange for knowledge. I am in Syracuse NY area. 

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

Without knowing where you are in the world, it's hard to know what resources are available to you, so please add that to your profile settings.

Please note that most working smiths aren't likely to be interested in investing their valuable time with no return beyond unskilled labor. There are free resources available (this forum, for example), but most hands-on learning experiences are likely to cost you some cash. There are some good discussions here about apprenticeships and how best to get started as a beginner; there's a lot to learn there.

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Join ABANA and join the New York Designer Blacksmiths.  Go to every meet, hammer in and conference that you can.  

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This is the best advice I can think of too. ABANA has some excellent on line tutorials. Beware of You Tube experts unless they are endorsed by members here.

A collection of blacksmithing links on YouTube - Reference Materials - I Forge Iron

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/52373-how-to-watch-a-youtube-video-collaboration/

 

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We had a long discussion about trading labour for skilled instruction in bladesmithing and the number a group of Pro's came up with was 10 hours of unskilled labour for every hour of 1:1---and most small shops don't have that much grunt labour---a lot of folks said that they used sweeping the shop time to figure out problems.

Usually much better to go with paying for a class.  The local ABANA affiliate(s) can probably tell you what is available in a reasonable drive.

 

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One of the best things I did was to pay a seasoned blacksmith in my area to give me some pointers on hammer control and other elementary elements of blacksmithing. You may be able to find a novice such as myself to allow you some time in the forge just to get you started. I have offered to more than one person to come to my forge and learn some basics, few take me up on it because I let them know that I am not a knife maker and we won’t be forging anything close to a knife in my forge. Others are correct spend some money buy some time from a smith and then start hitting steel in your forge. You will be surprised to discover that you can make some pleasing items in fairly short order. Hammer on. 

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3 hours ago, horse said:

few take me up on it

Funny how that works isn't it? I've stopped handing out cards I have maybe two guys come over a year and seems most just want to try forging something, not learn blacksmithing. That's okay, nothing wrong with just wanting to try something. I don't even mind paying the stock and fuel bill it's only a few bucks and most want to leave me a $10. 

Every once in a great while though, someone comes through with a knack and desire and they're off and going. Makes it worth it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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when I first tried to learn bladesmithing under Bill over 25 years ago,  he first said NO he doesnt take to people wasting his time.  I went and got a few things I had already made, and returned and asked again, while showing him I am not a first day student that will run away after getting a blister, he LOL and invited me to his shop to "See how it works out".  

When I got there, he had a forge full of clinker, trash and garbage in general,  said we will start the fire after he gets us a few beers, and he went into his house. While he was gone I cleaned out the fire pot and started the fire, when he returned he freaked out,  I didnt realize there was a fuel can in the shop and he assumed I used that to start the fire.  I explained that I only used a sheet of newspaper, after cleaning out all the garbage he obviously added to the fire pot for me; because there is no way it ever burned with that much junk in there.  He was impressed and we became good friends afterwards, lasting  til the day he died.

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On the weekend of May 17/19 the New York Designer Blacksmiths are holding the spring all hands meeting, there ius also one in the fall. This is being held at the Arc and Flame center just outside of Rochester. There you can meet a lot of local folks and most likely several from the Syracuse area. The demonstrator is Kim Thomas.

I would highly recommend attending this session. You will be able to join the group and watch and ask questions.

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I would also recommend attending. Kim is amazing, both as a smith and as a human being.

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I've seen him demo in person a couple of times too and ditto what JHCC said!

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