Getting Started

Hi to everyone,
This is my first post here, I've recently decided
that I would like to take up smithing as a hobby. But in the future maybe as
a career. I'm only 17, in Australia and I'm still at school. I've done a bit
of reading and I guess I have a slight idea of what I should be looking for.
But I just wanted to come on here to get some reassurance from some more
experienced folk. I've seen alot of home made forges, but I was wondering if
anyone here knew of a site or a book that could give me some kind of
detailed idea on how make my own forge. Also, I was wondering at what weight
anvil i should be looking at getting. And if you have anything else i should
know about getting started into this that would be really good.
Reply to
Maxine Ametovski
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I forgot to say, I would be looking at making a coal forge.
Reply to
Jhi Ametovski
You'll be lucky to make a living I think, perhaps if you weld (with a welder), you could scrape by doing fabrication (gates etc) and car repairs as well.
Go to Uni and study engineering or metallurgy. Get a trade that *will* supply a living, and can be expanded to encompass smithing
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Also try web searches for "ABANA", "Ron Reil Burner" (this is more for a propane forge), even "forge"
The biggest you can find (and keep looking for a bigger one)
Reply to
Big Egg
Sorry I missed the original post. I am also very new to this craft. Maxine if you are reading this I found a great deal of useful information at
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(This is my first post so please accept my apology now if this message doesn't follow the thread correctly. I'll know how well I did once I have a chance to see how it appears in the group..)
Big Egg wrote in news:
Reply to
Storm Walkyn
Hi Max, here are a few good sites for ideas and new comrades. If coal smoke and hot iron gets into your blood there is no stopping it. You will know soon enough if this is so.
Luck to ya, Glen G.
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Reply to
Thanks alot everyone, ill take a look at those sites glen.
Sorry my name is jhi by the way, maxine is my mum, her name was just used to set up the account and I forgot to change it before I came on here.
I've found a lot of pictures of coal forges so I have a fair idea of what im going to need. The only thing im stuck on is what i'm going to use to pump the air in. I've seen all kinds of ways, just wondering what you guys think is probably the best way to start with.
Reply to
Jhi Ametovski
I started with cheap yard/garage/carboot sale vacuum cleaner rigged to blow - cost about a fiver (10AU$?) and a "brake drum" forge (do a web search). If you make a Y junction from sink waste pipe (40mm - 1 1/2 PVC) with an adjustable cover on the straight through pipe, and connect the offset pipe to your forge, you will have variable blast. Alternatively, a small centrifugal fan (from a forced air central heating boiler) connected to a sewing machine foot pedal. The point is that you need to be able to reduce the air blast (especially with a vacuum cleaner) otherwise you'll waste fuel and burn your steel.
A small bellows is quite easy to make - its basically two boards (about a foot square each) with a spring between, and leather or canvas around the edges. Make two holes in the top board (about 1 1/2" diameter) and fit one-way valves - basically a flap of canvas or leather 2" square glued on three sides over the hole (on the inside for intake, outside for output).
Reply to
Big Egg
Hi Ho, welcome to the group. First, stay in school, go to university, get a degree in something, get a real job that will pay your bills. While you're doing this, you can take up smithing as a hobby that can make you beer money. Pounding hot iron is one of the easiest things in the world to do, all you need is Fire and a hammer and anvil. I learned to weld in fifteen minutes by watching someone else do it once. Welding and heat treatment are the only really tricky bits, the rest is just coaxing the iron into shape. There will be some who decry the simplicity of this, but pay them no mind, it's only as hard as you make it. (Swinging the hammer is hard enough, not to mention the instant sunburn from the hot end.)
Let's look at the real money-making areas of smithing that survive in today's CAD/CAM world. There's Ornamental Iron, like gates, fences, balcony railings, and other architectural applications. There's Farriery, a good one can pay the bills still today, but it's a specialized skill, and a bad one can cripple a horse for life. There's historical replication, a variant of Ornamental Iron, which deals mainly with late mideval and rennisance body armor and weaponry. There's functional weaponry, knives mainly with the odd sword or battle axe. And then there's Art, which is in the eye of the beholder. Most of the traditional industrial smithing applications have been co-opted by mass fabrication, and are no longer cost effective.
All these applications are similar in practice, but the specific equipment varies widely, so think about what kind of stuff you really want to make before you spend bux on hardware, it can add right up. You will need at the very least, a forge, a large supply of fuel, an anvil of some sort, hammers, tongs (this is your first hot project), gloves, EYE PROTECTION, and a well ventilated space (carbon monoxide is a silent odorless killer) with room to Jump Back in case of 'problems'.
Digerst this and we'll talk more later...
Charly the Bastard, the Last Dworf in Ansteorra Head Metal Forger In Charge, Dwarven Metals
Reply to
Charly the Bastard
Don't know anything except the heat treating and it's simple and straight forward just like the old;) Bastard sez. ;)
I agree with -all- the old;) Bastard said as far as the parts I know.
Alvin in AZ aka- was- "hammer mechanic" VW newsgroup (ramva) and was- "the old fart" Tool, RAtM and KoRn newsgroups, still is- "second dumbest guy on r.k" knife newsgroup, new- "retired signal-ape" blacksmithing newsgroup and always- "ASM's number-one, newsgroup-parrot"
Reply to
Charly the Bastard wrote:
Reply to
Charles Smithers

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