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Mercier

First time forging

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I would like to get into metalworking, I have a few questions on it. 

1. what are the basic tools I need to start off with forge, anvil, hammer, tongs, safety equipment, etc. ? 

2. What should you start off forging?

3. I’m located in Southern Louisiana are there any blacksmiths in that area that I could learn from.

4. Are there any decent people to watch on YouTube?

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Well first, keep safe and an eye on the rising water. Now that you have found us we don’t want to loose you. 

As you have already suggested you need somthing to effecently heat steel (or any of a dozen other forgeable metals or alloys). My personal suggestion is to build a simple side blast forge. If you look in the pinned posts under solid fuel forges you will find the 55 sideblast and the JABOD forge. That will get you started cheep and will burn a multitude of solid fuels. 

As to an anvil, any solid chunk of steel with a relatively flat face and sufficient mass will work just fine, again check the pinned posts under anvils for ideas on how to find them (TPAAT) and examples of improvised anvils. Do not buy a cheep cast iron ASO from Harbor Freight or the like. You can usually find drops at scrap prices that will work so much beter. Any one who tells you you need  a horn to make scrowls and bends need to be hit with a rounding hammer.

so hammers, start out with 1 1/2-2# hammers. Junk shops and dog trades are good places to look, and as you need to dress both the hammer and handle loose heads are just fine. Cross peins, strait peins and rounding hammers are classics (failing to find them second hand cheep douboe jack hammers can be ground to new shapes)

tongs take some skill to make but teach you a lot of basic skills. It is usually suggested to by a couple of good pairs but some times they can be found second hand or forged from hoof nippers and pull offs. The realy long sets of needle nose pliers can be reworked for small stuff and a set of water pump pliers work in a pinch. Vice grips suck as tongs.

Other tools can be found second hand or made, tho at some point a leg vice is mighty useful.

safty gear. Safty glasses, face shield, all natural fiber shirts and pants, wool, cotton, linen... all are good. Nylon will melt and burn... leather shoes, close toed, again your Nike’s will melt and burn. Do not role your pants up... ask Sandy why...

I’ll let others suggest local smiths and who to watch (and more importantly who not to watch)

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Louisiana Metalsmiths Association - location varies depending on the smith hosting the class. 

Gulf coast black smith association - Robert, LA 

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2 hours ago, Mercier said:

I’m located in Southern Louisiana

Welcome to IFI. We won't remember that once leaving this post, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show location. This thread will help you get the best out of the forum. READ THIS FIRST

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8 hours ago, Mercier said:

I’m located in Southern Louisiana

I wish you luck and my thoughts/prayers are with you these next few days.

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Mercier,

As Billy Bones stated, Louisiana Metalsmiths Association (LAMA) and GCBA is a great place to start. I am a member of LAMA, we hold a meeting monthly, you will meet a lot of great people that are eager to help you learn.

 

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Thank all of you for your help I’ll see about going to one of the LAMA meetings, and thank you for your concern about the water flooding I only ended up with light rain and 60 mph winds.

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I used to live in Denham Springs. I talked to a friend who is in Walker and he said that the news was hyping it all up. 

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We came out lucky, it wasn't as bad as they thought it would get.

too many useless blank lines removed

 

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Black Bear forge and Joey can see steeg are both very good channels on the you tube. I like the instruction and project suggestions that John gives on black bear forge. 

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As Cannon Cocker mentioned, Black Bear Forge is an excellent channel for beginners. You can find everything you need to know to get started there. 

If you want good practice, start with forging tapers. You can then make these into useful hooks. They will look a little wonky at first, but don't worry, metal forging takes lots of practice. 

Also, wear some good gloves. Get used to handling hot steel with anything but your hands. You can buy long pliers for cheap at Harbor Freight. I welded long handles on a pair of old pliers and used those for a long time.

Welcome to the site, and to a great hobby!

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