Blacksmithing Tools make up an integral part of the art of blacksmithing. History leads us back to the "Iron Age" where it was first observed that some rocks were producing certain substances, when heated at a high temperature and later they solidified on cooling. Men soon realized that various articles like knives and spears, made of this substance were sharper and tougher than stone. Blacksmithing soon caught on as a profession and society advanced, blacksmithing tools became more efficient. This ancient form of art has attracted many and even though today blacksmithing may not be a viable profession for many, it is still a prominent field with plenty of enthusiasts.
Learning the usage of various blacksmithing tools like forge, anvil and stand, hammers, tongs, hardies, shaping tools, chisels, punches and rifts is vital to be a good blacksmith. You will need to begin with a thorough research about blacksmithing tools. Some common blacksmithing tools and their usage are as follows:
A forge is the tool used to heat the metal, which can be iron, stainless steel, or even sometimes rare metals such as titanium. The forge, itself made out of metal, is a shallow tray supported by metal legs. Coal or charcoal is primarily used as fuel. However, diesel fuel, propane or natural gas forges are more commonly used today.
An anvil is used as a base to give a desired shape to hot iron using hammers and other tools. An anvil needs to be set up on a sturdy base which is made out of an impact resistant material. The anvil along with the base needs to be placed on a stand so that it does not move while you are working with your hammer.
There are a variety of hammers which you can choose from, depending on your comfort and your purpose. A flatter hammer having a wide face is used for flattening metals while a sledge hammer is used for heavy work. Other specialized forms of hammers are also available.
You have to use tongs to hold and manipulate the hot metal. According to the shape of the metal being held, the gripping ends of the tongs vary, in order to give a more secure grip.
A hardy is a small cutting tool with the edge facing upwards and it fits into a small square hole located in the top of the anvil. Depending on whether they are used for hot or cold cutting, hardies have thin or thick blades.
Swage blocks are the shaping tools, which are used to give the metal a desirable shape. Basically, they are pieces of metals with different types of holes in them.
You will need a chisel, which is a small piece of octagonal or round bar, stock of steel, to cut metal. One end is hammered, while the edged end is placed on the metal to be cut.
Punches and Drifts:
Punches are used to cut holes in the metal, while drifts keep the holes open while you are working on the metal.
Files come in different sizes and shapes and are used for finishing cold metal.
Water troughs, which hold water, are used to immerse the metal in the water and cool it.
Now, that you have a fair idea of the blacksmithing tools, it is absolutely necessary for you to know how to maintain these tools in proper shape. Since all the tools are made out of metal, while cleaning them, you should avoid using damp clothes, in order to prevent rusting. Always sharpen the tools and keep them in top shape in order to ensure that no accidents occur due to faulty equipment.
You can buy blacksmithing tools from the shopping websites or from the nearest hardware store. If you intend to spend lesser amount of money on blacksmith tools, you should go for used tools, though before buying, remember to check whether the tools are in proper condition or not.
In order to get more details on blacksmithing tools, you can browse the internet or go through books on blacksmithing tools like," The Blacksmith's Craft: A primer Of Tools & Methods" written by Charles Mcraven. Further, search the internet for some trading groups where you can get excellent deals on blacksmithing tools.