What it takes to be a blacksmith

I feel compelled, again, to say sorthing in "blacksmithing". if anyone is interested, I wrote an article, based on this skill set,
that discusses ways that folks might apply this tool to their own situation.

ABANA chapter and registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, United States Department of Labor.

straightness and evenness, show a workpiece which has been filed to a smooth, flat surface, describe the types, care and use of files.

grinder, belt grinder, sharpening stones and abrasive papers; know the types of abrasives and how they are graded and classified, show an edge tool that you have sharpened.

end of a bar with a die, know the common thread classifications, know the common drill size classifications, and the care and use of twist drills.

to properly anneal, harden and temper carbon tool steel, know how to use and case harden mild steel, know the colors for tempering, make or show a tool you have made that has been heat treated and will cut or forge mild steel without breaking or suffer deformation on the working end.

tinsnips, bench or floor shear, know how to use the oxyacetylene torch for cutting and demonstrate each technique.

other shop related injuries; describe methods of hearing, sight and body protection and why they are necessary; know power tool and machinery safety including welding equipment safety.

carbon and tool steels and their classification, cast iron, brass, copper, aluminum; know sheet and plate gauging for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

------------------ Pete Stanaitis
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Pete,
This is an intimidating list, since I haven't been through an apprenticeship or formal training. And it makes the craftsman title of 'Journeyman Blacksmith' even more impressive. 'Hot rasping' was just one of the surprises I got from reading the list.
Thanks.
Brad K.

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Back to the shop to practice for me.
Thanks Pete. Regards Rusty_iron, Brisbane,Oz.

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Here are the 1912 Boy Scout Blacksmithing Merit Badge requirements -- 1912:
BlackSmithing To obtain a merit badge for Blacksmithing a scout must 1. Upset and weld a one-inch iron rod. 2. Make a horseshoe. 3. Know how to tire a wheel, use a sledge-hammer and forge, shoe a horse correctly and roughshoe a horse. 4. Be able to temper iron and steel.
...considered an adequate task for a 12 year old boy.
John
spaco wrote:

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On Sun, 20 Apr 2008 22:59:48 GMT, "John O. Kopf"

Obviously things have gone downhill since 1912.
Bruce-in-Bangkok (correct email address for reply)
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We went from a farming country to industrial based country. The war(s) slingshot us into different configurations.
e.g. After WWII, the G.I.'s coming home often stayed near the separation town. L.A. was super sized by the Marines coming home and staying in LA and not going home to fly over farms and ranches. Some did naturally return.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Bruce in Bangkok wrote:

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By that age, my dad was doing that on the farm. They used 16 Morgans for the big tasks, but only 8 to pull the plows.
Granddad bred Morgans but I never met him. Neither did Dad. That was life on the farm. Granddad and Grandmother both had degrees from Purdue University.
I have a booklet he got from his extension agent (more so back then) about using a rope and a horse.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
John O. Kopf wrote:

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There is no longer a blacksmithing merit badge, but they've replaced it with a metal working merit badge, in which a scout will learn some of the basic information on various types of metal working (via definition only), and then they may choose one type of metal working to actually apply the skills in. If they choose to go the smithing route the requirements are
1. Learning about the basic tools. Name, and tell the use of, the basic tools used by a Blacksmith. 2. Learning about the design process. Make a reasonably accurate hand- drawn sketch of TWO tasteful objects that you would like to hot forge. Place each component?s dimensions on your sketch. 3. Learning some of the basic skills. Using low-carbon steel at least -inch thick, perform the following exercises: a. Learn to draw out by forging a taper. b. Learn to use the horn of the anvil by forging a U-shaped bend. c. Learn how to twist steel by placing a decorative twist in a piece of square steel. d. Learn to use the edge of the anvil to bend metal by forging an L-shaped bend. 4. Applying what you've learned. Using low carbon steel at least - inch thick, make at least TWO tasteful objects that require hot forging. a) Include a decorative twist in at least one of your objects. b) Include a hammer-riveted joint in at least one of your objects. 5. Preserve your work from oxidation.
They took out the welding and tempering (the scouts learn the definition of each earlier in the badge, but that's not enough...) but I'm glad that they ask for "two tasteful objects" rather than a horseshoe.
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There is no longer a blacksmithing merit badge, but they've replaced it with a metal working merit badge, in which a scout will learn some of the basic information on various types of metal working (via definition only), and then they may choose one type of metal working to actually apply the skills in. If they choose to go the smithing route the requirements are
I can't help but wonder how many Scout Master's know how to contact their local blacksmith? I used to be a Scout Master mumble mumble years ago. I don't recall if I was even aware of the blacksmith option for the metalworking merit badge ( or if it even existed waaaaay back then). I'm think I may make some contacts with my local district and make them aware that if any of the boys want to blacksmith I would be glad to work as a counselor with them.
Anlon
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