Why buy cheap products online when you can make them yourself? Become your own blacksmith and start making tools, hardware, pocket knives, and ornamental blades today.
Back in the day, everyone knew their local blacksmith. It’s still a necessary and respected profession that requires strength, endurance, and attention to detail. While it’s less common to run into a blacksmith today, that doesn’t mean blacksmithing is dead. If anything, it means most people don’t have what it takes to get good at it. But that’s not you. You can set up a blacksmith forge at home and start practicing today.
Choose a Location
Unless you build a specialized forge with an exhaust hood, you’re going to need an outdoor location to set up your forge. Ventilation is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes your forge will make. Make sure you’re far away from anything combustible.
Select a Forge
There are a couple of different kinds of forges, each of which is suited for different projects. If you want to get started quickly, a gas forge is perfect and will allow you to practice small pieces like pocketknives. If you’re committed for the long haul, you can build a coal forge (also known as a solid-fuel forge) out of almost anything, but it’s not going anywhere once you do.
Shop for an Anvil
The first thing to shop for after setting up a blacksmith forge at home is an anvil. While they don’t come cheap, you can cut some of the cost by shopping for a used anvil. The best places to look are in wanted ads, antique stores, and estate sales.
Prepare Your Tools
As you figure out which projects you prefer to work on, you’ll discover the tools you need to make them. However, there are a few essentials that every blacksmith needs in their arsenal:
While this is technically part of your forge, it’s usually just a propane torch or welding lighter that you’ll need to have handy.
You can find hammers at any hardware store or blacksmithing supply depot. Eventually, you’ll be able to make your own.
Only a fool grabs a hot piece of metal with their hands.
Punches and Chisels
These are mostly for adding detail. You’ll figure out which ones you like best as you work on different projects.
Belt Grinder: Need or Want?
If you want to make blades of any kind, you’re eventually going to need a belt grinder for sharpening. However, there are other uses for belt grinders you may not know about, like removing metal burrs from your project. While it’s not absolutely essential to have while you’re learning the basics, you might as well get one if you see a good deal.
Follow these steps and you’ll be a badass blacksmith in no time.