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I Forge Iron

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Hi folks!

New member here from Hyattsville, MD (part of the greater Washington DC metro area).  I've been browsing for a while and thought it's time to join.

I've spent the last five years living in DC proper sharing a row house with no garage and hardly any back yard area while my wife got her masters and landed a great career that has anchored us here.  We bought a house that needed some renovations and moved in March 2019.  I was particularly excited to have a small garage and driveway.

I wanted to get into blacksmithing a hobby - making hooks, home decor, fun xmas gifts, maybe eventually garden tools or steel frying pans.  Back in February I even had a solid plan!  Take a half dozen classes, get to know a local smith or two, and then have a better knowledge base to figure out the right way to start at home.  I don't have any associated metal fabricating tools or skills, my other crafts are mostly leatherworking and a bit of wood carving.

Of course, after my first class - which was super fun - pandemic happened. So for the past 6 months I've been reading a bit and reworking my plans until I can take classes again.

Fall and the great weather it brings is fast approaching and I've been thinking more and more about just going ahead and getting a forge and some anvil object to start doing some work in my driveway.  The current plan is

1) find a bituminous coal source (google shows a handful of coal suppliers no further than baltimore)

2) decide if I should buy a forge or try building a JABOD

3) acquire an anvil or heavy hunk of steel somewhere

I wanted to give a big thanks to the website operator and everyone who participates here, resources like these are such a help to people who want to start a hobby!  I'm looking forward to being able to post my forging attempts.

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Welcome! I've been in a similar boat. I finally built a JABOD and have an improvised anvil. Super easy to do both and a great way to get started without breaking the bank.

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