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Justin’s Smithing progression. [PIC heavy]

Justin Topp

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Inspired by Jasent (as you can see in the title) I decided to start a progression post and archive all my work to look back on. I might miss a few things but I’ll try to get most of this. I’ll be adding on as I have time. To start I’m relatively new so I’m going to give some quick information about myself. I am a 15 year old aspiring blacksmith from North Dakota. I’ve always been interested in blacksmithing and recently learned my great great grandfather was a smith. I started in November 2018. These pictures may or may not be in chronological order. I’ll try though. 


this is my first anvil. I started with a rock making fire pokers but here is my first aso. A chunk of railroad track that weighs 30 lbs and is about 9 inches long.


this is my forge I started with. A aluminum terry pan with cat litter and cement blocks. Charcoal briquettes. I had a brick explode but I didn’t know any better at the time. Now I do. Hair dryer for an air supply.


this was my first “knife.” A rebar shiv


a fire rake I made and have broken and replaced 


my first hammers. A 3lb cross peen. A 2.5 lb club hammer and a 2 oz ball peen for texture. 


Horseshoe nail hooks and pendant. 

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Can't wait to see where it goes. You seem to have the one resource I'm sure most members would love to have and that's the ability to get some forge time in every or almost every day. I'm excited to see more of your work and watch you continue to get better and better.


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42 photos attached to this post.


I soon upgraded to this old buffalo forge rivet forge. 35A0CD3F-8798-4243-822F-287CF8731479.thumb.jpeg.23eaeb4b7ef9a4bd8a8b984f5290569d.jpeg

and lump charcoal/homemade charcoal instead of the briquettes 


state of the forge


knife from a file with walnut handles. F9BEFED2-A86B-482A-B3C1-F283C3993C6E.thumb.jpeg.ba927da75fa467746bd17e882f379796.jpeg

Coal! Still using a hand crank at this time haha. With anthracite. 92BA06D9-751F-40E4-9E04-9469B0111861.thumb.jpeg.804b5ed41d77a2de88ff8e9a87b2c2ba.jpeg

Rr spike center punch. D0584D67-FF88-4189-A0DE-20AA578B6273.thumb.jpeg.ee69b56cb489103ba7d721c58917f37e.jpeg

I broke my first fire poker around that time. 011396FB-3910-4785-BB2E-7D23E79859DB.thumb.jpeg.d9cd2b94f1c9098472f5bcdababd506e.jpeg

New rr anvil and state of the forge. 74C549AC-0B8D-4CAB-AB85-3D2007B0EEC7.thumb.jpeg.1ce149cf254843aa892076dc399ae3be.jpegF786872D-3E5B-47BA-ACBC-B145BBDF9793.thumb.jpeg.e41a2353aed670c99b5e25eec36dce09.jpeg

First tongs. They were horrible 5839F431-953F-4222-B32D-AE5A6DD424FE.thumb.jpeg.f48d88935c57772e8dcb95757647f8e4.jpeg

Extendable work rest for long bar stock. CFB6B291-C7B9-4BA1-9162-17A3618ABBF6.thumb.jpeg.a5fd0faa79b0decfaa2fb9d008756899.jpeg


Hot cut made for the “Pritchel hole of the anvil. It wasn’t round it was flame cut rough circle so it doesn’t rotate6AB59650-EBA5-4C98-859B-7DC658F76C20.thumb.jpeg.1000df53b7b6e072b7571d85bf06244f.jpeg

hook for hanging welding mask05FA316D-C8AC-4890-B936-1DE59ED8FEE6.thumb.jpeg.1f1bf709022b917de765b1c5a4302486.jpeg

fire pokers


1st spike knife


my first proper tongs a gift from my father AAD72C05-2EF1-49A0-BC14-7C09D2727149.thumb.jpeg.fe7d49822cada2f5dc797c4584df01ab.jpeg

first leaf


ball peen hammer I found and used a lot. 04C4B12D-948A-4E67-AFEF-56DF03558B6A.thumb.jpeg.6fb03e4ff0cc9655675cca817250be82.jpeg

 My first Anvil. A 150 lb Henry wright. 9FD497F6-8038-4A5E-9C21-DAC019E82A7A.thumb.jpeg.152433aaf5d9e6461ea840ac9c6b7fad.jpeg



 First project on the new anvil 01F6A514-753E-4232-B849-DC7AD3C5EDA7.thumb.jpeg.f210e87b85dd19169d0fba58d7bdfc25.jpeg

2nd spike knife


5$ for these plus a ton of other random stuff 8C9D3835-163C-4184-8850-8ADE6F04D30A.thumb.jpeg.16839d5df5d44590be4117793182bb05.jpeg

Center punch and chisel 29595892-251C-42DD-8C18-431B91F27813.thumb.jpeg.97da17c153266b67d69bc8b3e3ace0a4.jpeg

Trace hook.


5/8 round punch I found for about 1$586F06E6-6B59-418C-B2D7-CBEF517F4C4A.thumb.jpeg.c1f1f07c0ac2a48561a921142b349c0b.jpeg

This beautiful vise day for 2 years in the shear of the house we bought. 70lb Indian chief. cleaned later 66387E44-2A90-404C-AA65-A9D44155112A.thumb.jpeg.4b04fbb8e0a020c88ad59645b8a055b6.jpeg

Shovel I made but don’t really like haha69DBC702-C458-425A-B89D-5C1724AD6057.thumb.jpeg.417322d30f8880e7a9f31e96f3b3795e.jpeg


Second leaf


2.75lb cross peen I found 91BA8782-E8BC-4A9F-9DF2-36C07B25EF1C.thumb.jpeg.97970524778ff3eb8b297346a603e64d.jpeg

Fire tools I made. 


First hammer. Mild steel soft faced hammer BF05F020-5F16-4B3F-98EA-5163FE40C5B8.thumb.jpeg.146f7938703ece499ee69f51e6fc5eff.jpeg

V shaped bending hardy. 13957697-C606-4E7D-9640-4AA3D430B6D9.thumb.jpeg.0657f6ccbe89dd967871355cc492ae4a.jpeg

Rigged a hair dryer to my forge for easier use of coal. 36802696-A8E8-4466-A037-BD29851E517E.thumb.jpeg.0510d349d17891b08e39a9d785978d8a.jpeg

2nd hammer. 2lb straight peen42783869-39D0-44E7-B06F-49EF8FC0EE1B.thumb.jpeg.fef36b469b5b502b299171098ddf0720.jpeg

nail header and some nails C780A6FB-9811-4838-9FE0-52CE133A5471.thumb.jpeg.458c6869f4e8ff45170c9b2185b1e64c.jpeg

hammer tongs


Rivet kit 


Thanks everyone. That’s a long post sorry but I’m trying to archive everything. Yes my free time is a huge help to me. I’ve lost some pictures sadly but I’m working on it. I’ll finish and get it up to date later today 

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Thanks! I’ve wanted to do this for a while and finally had the time. I’ve learned on my own because I didn’t know of any classes near me. Now I’ve learned there are some but they are far away for stuff I know already. I learned from YouTube and reading here mainly. 

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28234C0B-96BA-4DF2-8253-3F49691C981F.thumb.jpeg.0b7006e77d2f0bc53d3fb7f04e19fec6.jpegrivets i made. 41253EFB-12B2-4E4A-85AB-8B0D1A3729B7.thumb.jpeg.122d3b72f6ea2068198ff79ae6bc2658.jpegDamascus knife 3D1FE508-15C2-41C1-B443-78BC798E3DD8.thumb.jpeg.ae9b34047775b6562d99d61f12dcaf60.jpeg
08C68BA5-B737-4618-ADF2-93A10C92D09E.thumb.jpeg.e189f3f9aa305909dd73fcd88bf9e532.jpegsome more damascus I never used  1BF79726-4695-42CC-9209-E4B93F61F691.thumb.jpeg.c69d4590176eab606791bdbd86dbbac9.jpegfirst and second hot cut. 3A760344-77D1-4968-9AE8-E60D38856B6A.thumb.jpeg.f980b338c64d3d9c2f0012031928b16c.jpegDogs head hammer. 7D202815-52B7-4641-B351-60CBEE256694.thumb.jpeg.4999edc31ea03a81f1f1db8a4a44e972.jpeghammer punch. Round punch and new hammer drift. D96C1FCD-46D0-4519-BBAB-07E16F9E470B.thumb.jpeg.d6995dcd0d76759925c9cdf2a01a0537.jpegHandled but it was later switched to hickory once this broke. 1C8CDC08-62D3-45C4-9437-2B9F64CADE19.thumb.jpeg.3a6f240936db3566f3cd99477302dedd.jpegFire poker B8380D79-0BBF-4346-8848-9B6CCA1CCAC0.thumb.jpeg.c5acfcad8fbdfbac164debdd859ddc8e.jpegfolding knife from cable Damascus. 3AB6EDDF-E88C-4F0B-82FC-7BB5678C8143.thumb.jpeg.b0d4613db60ff69d1b24a62b7f9d537d.jpegMy tong collection 39EBD6A0-E690-4A3B-9E85-FD62A2D93421.thumb.jpeg.d5a4ee256d8a8aa3186aaa46e33fb6c9.jpegmild steel Swedish cross peen with forge welded faces. FF28D02F-F0ED-4656-8A4D-1FB400B02492.jpeg.478a3676949240d163dffe978ac688b1.jpeg3 hour total time knife. Excluding epoxy drying and temper  80C40768-978F-45BE-8296-5FC839A87B95.thumb.jpeg.e2b0e5ab5ccd2ca1050c9e987de51171.jpegfirst spoon  DD3D57BC-5362-4384-A2F9-63A114DFDA58.thumb.jpeg.6176760a236928f4311a9a630306bd27.jpegTongs33F47220-EF4C-463D-9366-C3776185EC75.thumb.jpeg.fad7953d072806fc39da43e8cf01e1c7.jpegFailed tongs. B71BD350-5BCE-4201-AD3A-9C4AF7C34D3B.thumb.jpeg.43b3a07271434dec8fc82315e82b2b82.jpeg4.75lb rounding hammer. Also my first rounding hammer I’ve made 001E4D2C-CB36-4334-84B5-BBBDE22CBD08.thumb.jpeg.daaa56fcb260c40c20042aa611031753.jpegFlint striker. A0B865E4-7E6A-4D79-A750-9715FBA334CA.thumb.jpeg.42676fa267e94620a890d5da1a731f76.jpegDraw knife BB589383-0524-42C3-B9F6-012516A0826D.thumb.jpeg.fd08eea0ff0127b19eb3653ede8ca381.jpegsecond rounding hammer.  

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I’ve got some time so here’s more stuff I’ve done. 418DF2A2-309E-4F3C-BB08-D0570E4BDEBB.thumb.jpeg.2b13b31cef063a6d874d8cecfa50bd29.jpegbox jaw tongs I made. 1C6E72A3-1547-4DC2-B3AC-BE9E8BC72EEB.thumb.jpeg.7b54d6a2fc173b69a7fdc92cad00df52.jpegWrought iron hook for hanging bird feeders. 51C95804-DE3A-4508-A43C-13FF491ACD7B.thumb.jpeg.289456ac11ea68f5e24dc6b4a3f69771.jpegOn the left is a axe slot punch. ( no pic of only it) F71EE80E-3C88-4287-8302-E97B8F1C2DC3.thumb.jpeg.ea377ea4a4d8600e5c961b911a3df64b.jpegfirst axe. Folded and forge welded   81A349E6-32A8-4CAE-8164-0244FF86DEB1.thumb.jpeg.91fb8bb4ed3513357a08a56052b3dc50.jpegViking style 7 oz wrought iron and steel hammer. F794CDFE-20F5-4B91-B1B9-2CBB3D1C44A9.thumb.jpeg.d7195bfa041615eb5de120d3d8e145a4.jpegLeaf textured by iron hammer. E650F115-289A-4A55-8614-EEC94D0CF497.thumb.jpeg.a4d14b2fdf6559347eafc092d533f9bc.jpegYakut knife from Nicholson file. E8381871-35C8-46FF-8EA6-714B1A3D3CEC.thumb.jpeg.8c23b2fd3133d50e961e97482bace31d.jpeganvil block/ stump anvil from mild steel and leaf spring. E90023E1-7234-4BD4-B126-4D3D2C88EFA6.thumb.jpeg.23a6e7b17185c71f41859c954ce62572.jpegFirst meat turner F95F047F-135E-4DDE-87B2-35C0A6984048.thumb.jpeg.109d0476d7238ecc1618bd5f8bf6fe04.jpegfirst trivet D61A503F-1C05-4924-BB99-898D6AB50FBF.thumb.jpeg.faf1f6251987540ae3f3b1cff60af935.jpegnow we are caught up to today. These are a small pair of tongs because often seem to need them for certain tasks 54BC2829-703E-42A0-8314-4CA27FF809A5.jpeg.cac82dd820889417b853d03ef893e38f.jpegfirst bottle openers used the small tongs to hold these while slitting for the openers. 

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Very nice progression on your work.

Let me give you a tip on loading your pictures. When you finish typing a line of text about a picture, hit enter to drop down a line then add the picture. For the next line of text, click at the bottom right corner of the just uploaded picture and hit enter. That should drop the cursor down to another line. Then type in your text and hit enter, which should drop down a line. Keep repeating that for all the rest of the pictures. That will make it much easier to follow when reading.

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Great work. One other thing I think might be helpful along the lines of what IDF&C said Is you may want to contact a moderator and have them add the words pic heavy to the title. Some members still have to pay for every Kb of data and may want a little warning before opening your thread. Keep it up. 


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Not blacksmithing really but Made a sheath go With the Yakut knife I forged. First time leather working. Far from perfect but it securely And safely holds the knife 


i get to go back to the forge tomorrow so I can hopefully get some forging done. Made a hood for it and used 4” pipe but it was much too small so I’m using 6”. If that doesn’t work I’ll get some 12” but it should be fine. Mainly just needs to carry the majority of smoke and fumes up not let them blow at me. 

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Yesterday’s work finished. A 3/4” round drift. A set of calipers and my third bottle opener. 


finished this axe tonight. It’s my second attempt and it’s from 1.5” round mild steel with a farriers rasp edge. About 2.5 lbs. 28 hickory handle.  


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