Blacksmithing Guide

A blacksmith guide to the world of blacksmiths and everything that it demands is what you need to begin your blacksmithing hobby. In this blacksmithing guide, you will found out how to start, where to find what you need and learn the basics of this fantastic hobby. From materials & equipment to forging and welding, you will find everything that you need to get going with this blacksmithing guide.

Blacksmithing Guide: Know Thy Equipment

The first step towards getting underway is to find the right equipment. Anvils, one of the most important items in any blacksmith's kitty, can be of any shape, size or weight. A good anvil can be picked out by looking for any chips or cuts on the flat face. Hammers weighing anything between 1lb to 16lbs are commonly used by blacksmiths. Most heavy hammers will require a double-handed grip to be controlled properly. Smaller hammers are normally used in finishing or for working on cold metal.
Any good blacksmithing guide, as this one is, will tell you that you should use a round faced hammer for drawing metal while a flat hammer is ideal for finishing the metal surface. Motorized power hammers are also quite useful when it comes to using extremely heavy hammers. They can weigh up to 150lbs.

Blacksmithing Guide: Know Thy Colour

The colour of the metal, once heated in the fire, is of utmost importance because it is the colour which tells whether the metal is affected by your hammer or not. Each time, a blacksmith will try and heat up a piece of metal and then work on it till it loses its colour. Each such cycle of heating & working-till-cold is called a "Heat". An experienced blacksmith will try to use as few "Heats" as possible, when working on metal.
The hottest colours start at white, till yellow, before the metal mellows down to orange, then red followed by cherry red until it becomes cold. While detailing can be carried out when the iron is cold, most of the heavy work is carried out on heated metal at ideal colour ranges.

Know Thy Forge

While commercial metalworkers normally use blast furnaces for their heating job, there is nothing better than a traditional forge to take care of your heating needs. Although coal powered forges are a rarity these days, you will find a lot of forges using LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas and these are quickly becoming the best option mainly because you can control the temperature of your forge at all times.

Know Thy Protective Gear

Once you have everything in place, the next most important step in the blacksmithing guide is the use of a good pair of protective eye-goggles. These goggles will prevent any stray pieces or shards of metal to fly in your direction and damage your vision. Gloves are also quite important and can prevent stray injuries as well.

Know Thy Metal

As a blacksmith, the most important materials that you require are iron ore and carbon. Carbon is usually available in the form of charcoal, the purest possible form of its existence. When forged together, the resulting iron varies in strength depending on the percentage of carbon that it contains. At less than 0.25% of carbon, you will get what is known as Wrought Iron while anything greater than 2% of carbon is known as cast iron.

Know Thy Techniques

When looking to forge metals into various shapes, blacksmithing is the way to turn to. You can draw metals or shrink them, bend them or even cut holes and patterns in them. If you are looking to combine to different pieces of metal, then you can weld them together as well by heating them to the same colour and hammering them.

With time, you can always improve upon your techniques and get better at being a blacksmith.

There is no limitation to the age of taking up blacksmithing as a hobby. While retirees are quickly taking to the hobby for physical exercise, on one end, there are children lining up as early as at the age of 6, raring to pick up the hammer and get going. There is no question of going wrong as long as you have your trusty blacksmithing guide right next to you.

Other Great Hobbies

DIY Concrete

Collectible Foreign Coins

Future Robots

Digital Photography Light

Checkout