Author Topic: how would you get started  (Read 994 times)

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Offline stuckinthemud

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how would you get started
« on: April 24, 2018, 01:24:05 pm »
So I have no metal working tools - I've only ever worked with wood - but this forging looks really interesting, how would you get started?  Things like how would you make an anvil with no equipment would be good to know  ;D

Offline KHalverson

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 04:36:25 pm »
a heavy piece of steel  @ least 100 pounds for a makeshift anvil.
or an a.s,o as its often refured too.  (anvil shaped object)
an old hair dryer and I would build a brake drum forge and use charcoal to start my blacksmithing journey.
a trip to the local scrap or metal recycling  yard can yield supplies to get ya started.
there is a ton of info on you tube on how and what can be used.
check out purgatory forge.
trent has a ton of great ideas on how to get started .

Offline Pat B

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 06:28:48 pm »
A section of rail road track will make a good, small anvil.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline stuckinthemud

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 08:42:08 am »
Thanks guys; really stupid question, but, I live in a row of terraced houses, just how antisocial is blacksmithing?

Offline KHalverson

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 11:05:27 am »
depends on the people.
I live in a small village and have had people complain to me before.
the same people that didnt hesatate to drag broken lawn equipment over for me to fix.
so i tend to do the majority of my smithing during the winter.
i use a propane forge mostly so i do it in the garage and have not had any complaints since.

Offline sleek

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 11:24:25 am »
I have used a solid stump or turned up log as an anvil several times. Works well but you gadda work fast as the wood saoks the heat away from the metal you lay on it. I used a charcoal grill and blow dryer as a forge.  Its not anti social as long as it isnt done on week nights.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline FilipT

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2018, 01:10:09 pm »
Regarding forge you can check out youtube tutorials on how to make forge from empty gas tank.

Offline archeryrob

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 03:54:43 am »
Don't go crazy with the setup and making an anvil until you do it a bit. They sell lots of high carbon steel flat bars you can cut knife blanks from. Learn to heat quench and anneal. Learn to make handles and make some mistakes on the way. If you really love it get some more stuff and build the hobby. This is the simple way to get started without dropping a lot of money.

Buy yourself something like this and it will make you quite a few smaller blanks.

(Modified post: No commercial links-Bryce)

Make a simple forge like this with carcoal to get you started. My buddy did this with a hair dryer and fire bricks and wood ash to seals around the pipe.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 09:43:17 pm by Bryce »
"If you can't have fun doing it, it ain't worth doing, or you're just doing it wrong."

Offline Mr. Woolery

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Re: how would you get started
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 08:05:53 pm »
I'm going to be a bit different in my answer.  The best place to start is by taking a class.  I know, spend $150 for 3 hours?  Yes.  Spend it. The hands-on time and instruction from a competent smith is worth it at twice the price.  It will save you months of mistakes, teach you proper form, and give you some very important ideas about how to set up your own shop.

If you look for local blacksmiths, they are all over the place.  You can usually find a class or workshop to attend, too. 

After I took my first class, I made about the simplest propane forge there is.  2 soft firebricks (soft is important - the hard ones don't insulate) and a bead-maker's torch (Hot Head - but MagTorch sells the exact same head as a Large Pencil Tip torch for half the price of the HH) on a hose to a bbq tank.  This was only meant to hold me over until I built the big forge.  I built the big one.  Spent more money than I like to admit on it, too.  And I still do at least 90% of my forging with the little 2 brick forge. 

As far as anvils go, you don't actually need 100 pounds or more.  It is nice, but you don't need it.  You do need stable and hard.  A large flat rock will work.  You can use a stump anvil.  For inspiration, check out YouTube videos of Indonesian and Thai blacksmiths.  There is at least one that shows a head from a sledge hammer used as an anvil.  It is set into the stump so it doesn't go bouncing away, but he makes machetes on that little anvil.  Railroad track is a time-honored starter anvil, of course.  If you have any sort of scrap yard near you, go look for large hunks of steel with a flat face. 

But, as I said at first, the best place to start is with a class.  You might find that the instructor can hook you up with some tooling, too.  Most smiths are tool and iron collectors.  Much to the chagrin of our wives...

-Patrick