Becoming a Blacksmith?

Hi everyone, My name is phill, and for as long as I can remember I’ve though blacksmithing was the coolest thing ever, I always wanted to be one! Though unfortunately I had no idea that the craft was as viable a career as it is, so I blindly stumbled through life trying to find some path I’d enjoy.
I’m now 23 and nothing has brought me joy but my dream of becoming a blacksmith is as strong as ever.
It was only in the least half year or so that I really REALISED how alive blacksmithing and bladesmithing is, and I want so badly to be a part of this world.
I want nothing more than to train, work and become a blacksmith.
I have no space to build a forge (I live in a cheap apartment), I can’t afford to take blacksmithing classes at local forges, and college/university courses would just waste more of my time as they take too long and accrue more student debt (of which I’m already in heaps of).
The only way I can see this ever becoming a career for me is through some form of paid (or underpaid) apprenticeship with a mentor.
But without any practical experience I’m not sure how viable that is.
Does anyone have any suggestions, recommendations, personal experiences that they could tell me? I’d really appreciate the help.

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Welcome @Phill_McHugh!

I don’t have personal experiences with apprenticeships, I imagine some of those are well fought over. I think more realistically, if you found a shop that did both metal fabrication as well as blacksmithing, that might give you a paid gig.

What I can say is the blacksmith community is typically very helpful to our own, when I was first starting out I went to a few local meetings of local groups. Joining a local group typically is a small membership paid annually ($25-50 where I’m from, Minnesota).

Once in the group, you can network with other blacksmiths, and you’ll quickly find that you can just get together and use other peoples shops - with permission, of course. Some blacksmiths are not as keen with other people using their tools, so be sure to ask if it’s ok - things such as a hammer, tongs, etc.

If you can find someone you can talk to and go blacksmith with, maybe have them show you the ropes, you’ll be on your way. You can then maybe just pay for the shop time, and make product out of it.

Really, the first step for any interested blacksmith, is getting involved in your local club/group.

Welcome the forums and good luck :slight_smile:

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