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Blacksmithing, etc.

Discussion in Everything & Anything started by Taters, Oct 10, 2013

  1. Mar 12, 2008
    Posts
    I was always interested in learning more about this. Reddit has a small (but possibly dying?) sub-reddit dedicated to blacksmithing, and I discovered it a month or so ago. It sounds really easy to start out, and you can practically build your own forge out or a brake drum and a propane tank with a little piping and some cinder blocks.

    Anyways, I was bored one night and decided to read through the "Beginner's Manual" as it were, and it was really appealing to me. I figure, I could at least learn a trade in the massive amount of downtime I have, as opposed to sitting on my ass doing nothing.

    The more I learn about smithing, the more I want to try it. I have some funds in savings that I can use for it, but I want to gather as much info as possible before I start. I like the idea of being able to make my own tools and do repairs on metalwork, and at higher levels being able to create weaponry and/or armoring.

    It might be a shot in the dark, but does anyone here have any experience smithing? I can probably find everything I need on reddit, but i'd prefer to ask around here first.

    Also here's a (long, but good) video of a guy making a straight razor from start to finish, including chemical etching. I want to be able to do this. It's amazing.

    • Artistic Artistic x 3
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    • Feb 27, 2012
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      I have a little bit of experience from Blacksmithing from taking a High School manufacturing course. We did welding, lathe, milling, grinding, cutting, forging, drilling, plasma cutting, torch cutting, CNC engraving, and a bunch more stuff. I have something i can show off. I've made a bunch of candle holders (helped grade 9's make a whole bunch of them) and i made this cool Leaf keychain thing.

      [IMG]

      Where do you plan to start? Because for some more fine work, you may need some kind of torch (propane, oxy-acetylene, or MAT gas) to do fine bending and whatnot.
      • Artistic Artistic x 2
      • Mar 12, 2008
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        That's pretty cool.

        If anything, i'll be like all the newbies, i'll probably go down to the junkyard and find some scrap iron to pound on and something I can use as an anvil. I have access to many different types of hammers already, but I also need smaller sledges (luckily these can be made, so I can always end up making my own). I also need to actually have room to make and use a forge, so i'm still in the drawing board process.

        I also have access to blowtorches and a bunch of other miscellaneous tools. My dad used to do a bunch of mechanical work way-back-when, so I have a drill press also. Not sure if it still works though. If I can clean out 90% of my garage and situate an area for myself, I think i'm golden. I just need the essentials, and my parents consent of hours when it's OK and not OK to bang on shit.
      • Feb 8, 2013
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        Lol thought this was for skyrim or something when I first saw the thread but what a surprise, the video was cool if you go through with this be sure to post your work plz
      • Feb 27, 2012
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        We used Ball Pin Hammers, so you don't really need a sledge hammer. Might take a little more banging, but they're easier to use. Getting scrap and whatnot is a good place to start. Make sure the material you're gonna be hitting it on isn't going to warp or dent easy from slamming on it. Look for a good chunk of Cast Iron to bang on. That shit is hard to dent, and even if you do manage, it won't be that bad. It can take a beating.
      • Mar 12, 2008
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        I was reading about cast iron anvils. Apparently it does, but people recommended adding a steel plate on top to reinforce. A website actually got terrible reviews for their cast iron anvils, as they dented a bunch when someone went HAM on them. I heard railroad track was good, but loud. I can see proper anvils costing a lot over here on the west coast something like $1.00 per pound, I heard they go for super cheap per pound in the eastern U.S. though.

        I plan on it. I always like to start my little projects here. Gonna be real amateur work though. I heard it takes a year to get even the basic stuff down.
      • Aug 1, 2011
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        Many anvils that are purchased now days are made from cast iron and then heat treated to make them harder and stronger, preventing denting and warping.

        If you have the resources available, start making something simple. One of the first things blacksmiths learn to make are the tools that they require to do their jobs. Stuff like hammers, pliers, ect. It'll give you a good feel for what you're getting yourself into.
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • Feb 27, 2012
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          This is your answer

          The ones at my school have to be 50+ years old, and sure, they have some nicks and dents, but they had to have been really slammed on, or been because some kid was heating it with the oxy-acet torch and then banging on it (i've seen kids try and cut the smaller anvil with a torch -_-)

          But yes, they can start costing a lot depending on how heat treated they are, the size, the weight, etc, and where you are buying it from.
        • Mar 12, 2008
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          I'll do a little searching around. Maybe I'll hit up the junkyard on the weekend and see what's up. Hopefully the junkmonger will be able to help out a bit.