Want to get started

Hi, new member here. Jeff, 29, from Michigan.

I’d like to start out by saying that blacksmithing has always intrigued me, however I’ve never done anything with it. I am a design engineer and I operate CAD programs daily, so I know how to design stuff but I’d like to pick something up as a hobby such as smithing.

With that said, I have no idea where I’d even start with this! Lol. I see that anvils are not cheap by any means and there are a lot of different types of forges.

For someone interested in pursuing smithing, I’d like to hear some advice from the community on here as far as what I should do to get started. Would it be ok to start out with a “cheap” anvil so to speak, to see if I like it once I get started? Also, are there starter kits available that won’t cost me an arm and a leg?

Hey Jeff I was trying to do the same and came across Whitlox forges they have one for around 150 dollars and a blower for about 135 and can’t really help you on the anvils I hoped this helped

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Hi Jeff and welcome to your new addiction! I started my little addiction with reading about it and finding webpages and forums like this one and a bunch on Facebook. With that being said my very first forge was a lawn mower deck flipped over and a firepot in the hole. The reason for that was I wasn’t sure if I would like it (which was a lie I fell in love with it) and secondly it was free cause I found all the stuff I needed on trash night. As far as my first anvil I bought at the scrapyard for like 25$ it was a bug hunk of steel. The hammers I found in the pawn shop for a few bucks. And that’s about all you need too get started. And the blower for the forge was a hair dryer for 2$ at the thrift store.

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That is true rich as far as the anvil goes. You really don’t need an anvil just an anvil shaped object.

youtu.be/SHWd0bMVSOU

Welcome to the craft! I work in software as a day job, I can’t express enough my passion for this craft. Getting away from being in front of a screen to working with your hands, to me, is extremely important.

That being said, I would say the best thing to do is try to find a local blacksmith group or club in addition to asking questions often and just starting to absorb the concepts of the craft. It’s a long road, but an enjoyable one.

Once you get into a group, you’d be surprised as to how the blacksmith world around you opens up. It’s a little hard to find a group at first, but once you do, you’re surrounded. I started blacksmithing back in 2011, just through someone local that I had known blacksmithed. He pointed me to a local group in Minnesota called the Guild of Metalsmiths. I then learned about 4 more groups around Minnesota of blacksmiths and joined a couple others. All of a sudden, I was inundated with blacksmith contacts, email lists, class schedules, and more.

I would highly recommend once you do find a group local to you, finding out a class schedule. Before you even have to worry about a forge or an anvil, get some of the basic stuff - safety is extremely important, so a good pair of leather gloves (many smiths, myself included, don’t wear gloves when smithing especially in the hammer hand), ear plugs, eye protection, a leather apron is good to have, and be sure you have cotton clothing to wear and good steel toe boots.

A few good things to get right off the bat is a nice, 2lb (roughly) cross pein blacksmith hammer and a pair of universal (wolf jaw is pretty good) tongs.

Then look for a beginner blacksmithing class. It’s best to instill good blacksmithing techniques early on, harder to change later. A blacksmithing class has experienced blacksmiths looking at your form, positioning on the anvil, and how you are hammering the metal. It’s priceless to get this hands on training.

Once you get your first taste then you can decide whether the craft is for you (which likely will be yes :wink:) and even ask the local smiths what they use for a forge (coal, gas). You can use lots of different things for an anvil. I would not go and buy an anvil at the prices they are at right now, wait until you can find one for $2 a pound that is in ok condition, that is a fairer price. Again, local groups are great for this.

Welcome to the forums and to the craft, hope you stick around :slight_smile: Looking forward to more posts as you delve deeper into the craft.

Grant


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