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I Forge Iron

What should my first project be?

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Tongs are good after you have good hammer control. That usually involves doing tapers, hammering square to octagon to round then back to square and making a lot of s-hooks like Thomas said. Making them will help build muscles which help with hammer control.

Once you have the basics down then try a set of tongs, but don't be discouraged, if they don't look like you want. After you have made a couple of dozen of them they will pass the test.

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In the first few weeks I made lots of s hooks, a set of fire tools, a nail header, a little punch to make the nail header (I learned the importance of keeping a punch cool too), another little punch to make the nail header, some horseshoe hearts, a loggerhead, and lots of nails. This video might help you out. https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/49180-the-big-8-blacksmithing-techniques/

The part that gave me the most trouble with tongs in the beginning was setting down and isolating the bits without a cold shut. I was using too sharp of an edge. After I radiused the edge of my anvil a little more it took care of the problem. 


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A chisel, a drift, a punch, leaves (can be a little key chain or something), lots of leaves, a coal rake (if you use coal), a fire poker... just to name a few!

Make things you'll actually use! Tools are especially useful starting out and many of them teach some of the basic techniques that will be useful on future projects.  

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