Books

Hi all, I'm an Aussie looking for a decent book on Blacksmithing, maybe one someone here could recommend to me. It would be great if the book covered a little
bit of history a lot of practical knowledge and some interesting pieces of work to make. Thanks Rod Day
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I loved 'The Artist Blacksmith' by Peter Parkinson. Technique, plus examples of work which I found inspiring. I'm an utter novice, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the technique, but it seems plausible. This is the book that got me started.
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Rod Day wrote:

Rod,
I have a number of books that I've purchased and enjoy. The data in some is redundant, but the point of view with which it is presented is sometimes different.
I will list the books according to the value I think they possess from and instructional perspective as well as whether or not they got me excited to go beat on some iron. :) I will also include links to helpful web sites I've found.
I hope this helps you,
rvb
=================================================================_The Artist Blacksmith Design and Techniques_ by Peter Parkinson =================================================================Fantastic content, pictures, and examples of work. This book, more than any other makes me want to run outside, fire up my forge, and create something beautiful. Whether I can or not is a different story. :)
Parkinson discusses workshop and equipment, forging techniques, joinery, design, and assembly and finishing. It gives all the elements you want to know about with fantastic pictures. A truly beautiful book. Something useful that could go on your coffee table and not piss the wife off. :)
Easily acquired from any online bookseller. (www.amazon.com, www.bn.com)
=================================================================_Plain and Ornamental Forging_ by Ernst Schwarzkopf =================================================================This book is copyright 1916 and reprinted by Astragal Press in 2000.
I think this book is great for one major reason; estimation of materials. It not only tells you about setting up shop, shows you forging techniques, and gives clear tutorials to reinforce the techniques. It tells you how to estimate the quantity of material you'll need to make a given item! This is huge to me. None of the other books in this listing give you this information.
Can be acquired from Astragal Press (www.astragalpress.com).
=================================================================_A Blacksmithing Primer_ by Randy McDaniel =================================================================Every time I asked about a good book for the beginning blacksmith I was told to get this one. However, finding it is a challenge. It has been in and out of print over the years and seems to be out of print right now. There is no tentative reprint date of which I know. However, you can get it. More on that in a minute.
This is a great book meant to be kept at your side while doing the lessons. It covers setting up shop (as most do), but adds information about proper chimney height and other tidbits. I like it because it shows you step by step how to make items and why you're doing certain things. I think it's a great first book. It's all text and shop drawings, though. It's not a pretty book. But, it is extremely functional.
Acquiring it can be tough, as I mentioned. What I finally wound up doing was going to Randy McDaniel's web site (www.drgnfly4g.com) and emailing the man himself about his book. He responded and offered me a reconditioned copy for a good price. I called him on the phone, gave him my credit card, and it was in the mail. I do not know about the availability of these reconditioned copies, but it's worth asking. By reconditioned I mean that some of the pages that had sections missing were glued in place and stuff. It is still perfectly functional and readable.
=================================================================_The Complete Modern Blacksmith_ by Alexander G. Weygers =================================================================Like the others, it is a good book that gives information on setting up shop, et cetera, but this is really three books in one; _The Making of Tools_, _The Modern Blacksmith_, and _The Recycling, Use, and Repair of Tools_.
Good illustrations abound and it's great to see what you can do with discarded or "retired" tools, metal, et cetera.
Easily acquired from any online bookseller. (www.amazon.com, www.bn.com)
=================================================================_New Edge of the Anvil_ by Jack Andrews =================================================================To me this book is sort of a combination of _A Blacksmithing Primer_ and _The Complete Modern Blacksmith_. It has a lot of similar material and is illustrated much the same as _The Complete Modern Blacksmith_, but with lessons that remind me of those contained in _A Blacksmithing Primer_.
Easily acquired from any online bookseller. (www.amazon.com, www.bn.com)
Some useful web sites are:
http://beautifuliron.com/ http://www.blacksmithsjournal.com / http://anvilfire.com /
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One more I really like that I didn't see mentioned:
Werk und Werkzeug des Kunstschmieds by Otto Schmirler (Wasmuth publisher). Don't let the German title put you off; the book has text in three languages (German, English and French). The book consists of drawings of ironwork, showing the steps to making something, and tooling, showing how the tools are shaped and used. Very useful are the drawings of work shown with the hot parts watercolored to show how much of it is hot. Excellent book.
You can get any blacksmith book in print (and some that aren't) from Norm Larson ( snipped-for-privacy@impulse.net), a fine guy to deal with. I'm pretty sure he does international (he's in California in the US).
Steve Smith
Rod Day wrote:

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Steve Smith wrote:

Great information, Steve. Thanks. Does Norm Larson have a web site or just the email address?
rvb
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Thanks for the responses guys. I am now on the lookout for some of these titles. I have borrowed the Artist Blacksmith from the library and it is an excellent read. I teach metal fabrication and welding at a local technical college, but I would like to explore the Blacksmithing techniques used from days gone by. Such a shame some of these older trades are becoming so very obsolete. It seems that even our metal fab and some other trades are becoming short of good qualified tradesman due to the lack of Apprentices being employed. Thanks again..
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Just the email as far as I know. He advertises in Anvil's Ring, probably elsewhere.
Steve
Rick Barter wrote:

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