Blacksmithing is something I have written about extensively and is a craft I’ve been fascinated with for years. You may have seen the video on U-tube which is used worldwide to help people get started. You can see the video in the article titled: Blacksmithing, Everything You Need to Know to Begin Working Metal.
This article is going to break down a couple basics on exactly what I recommend you do to get started pounding iron and learning the craft. It’s important to not overthink the process or to get obsessed with having a ton of brand new things before you even know what you’re doing. The main concept I want you to take away is to engage with someone, preferably a group, who can be a resource to you as you learn how to start blacksmithing.
#1 – ABANA is the Center of the Blacksmithing World
Artist’s-Blacksmiths Association of North America (ABANA) is the place to get most of your contacts to see who around the world or in your area are blacksmithing. This is important because many organizations will bring groups of people together to practice the craft together and that’ll allow you to use other people’s blacksmithing tools and equipment until you can get your own. It’ll also connect you with resources for getting high quality equipment for the best prices.
#2 – Find Your Local Blacksmithing Chapter
Sure, ABANA Chapters is the place to be – I TOLD YOU! Usually there are some great blacksmiths running these chapters and they just love hearing from new people who want to get in on the action. I contacted an organization in Oklahoma when I lived there and within a couple of days I was in a gentleman’s forge learning the craft and seeing an expert work metal all by myself. This is ideal – find a good blacksmith and see if you can take lessons or in some way learn from them.
#3 – Do Your Homework and Read About Blacksmithing
This is something all of the great blacksmiths I know have advised me to do and so I’m doing that for you too. I actually wrote an article called: The 5 Best Books for Learning to Blacksmith and I tell you what, those five books have given me insight and perspective it would have taken me a lifetime to earn through working metal. Come into the process with an understanding of key terminology and methods so you can get to work practicing them instead of just learning about them for the first time.
#4 – Start Buying Some Blacksmithing Tools
If you’re smart and get connected with a blacksmithing organization, the club members will be able to help you determine where to get blacksmithing tools at the best prices. Most of the time they’ll be the ones selling it to you as blacksmithing equipment is owned by a small segment of society and just by being part of a blacksmithing organization, you’ll have access to most of those people in your area.
Here are some of the fundamentals of blacksmithing.
First of all, there is the forge where the iron is heated. The forge is the very heart of blacksmithing as it is the heat that is applied to the iron that will make it possible to shape it into the final product.
Secondly, there is the anvil where the heated iron piece is pounded into shape. Read The following article
Thirdly , there is the hammer that does the pounding that coaxes the hot iron into shape.
There are other necessary tools to hold the iron pieces that the blacksmith works with. There are various types of tongs, punches and drifts, each with its specific purpose.
Finally, consideration must be given to the clothing to be worn by the blacksmith. There is an article on that also.
If you are inspired by reading about famous blacksmiths, here’s another article for you.
So there you have it my friend! Knowing how to get started blacksmithing isn’t rocket science but most people are too timid to seek out people in their local area to get help. That’s really the key to everything and you’ll be glad you did. It’s okay to not know how to do something and to ask others to show you. It’s a skill you’ll enjoy for a lifetime and hopefully you’ll have the chance to teach others who are in the same situation you’re in now: searching Google for “how to begin blacksmithing.” Thank you for reading my blog and I wish you all the best.