Blacksmithing Basics

Blacksmithing basics for beginners. Learn basic techniques and designs, choosing a forge, safety tips, making your own tools. All you need to know to learn basic blacksmithing.

Learn forge welding, working with tool steel and make knives too. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of coal-fired and gas-fired forges.

The intricate blacksmithing projects are based on simple principles. Practice these principles on simple projects until you have them mastered and then you can combine the different techniques to make more complicated designs.

Most people take up blacksmithing as a hobby but I also know a guy that made good money doing it on a more full time basis. He made blacksmith crafts and sold them from his yard. In tourist season, he demonstrated his craft to tourists at a pioneer type tourist attraction while answering questions and creating more crafts for sale. 

The guy who wrote this e-book on DIY blacksmithing basics also gives classes (Ontario, Canada) if that's something you're interested in. Like any type of physical craft, learning by doing is much quicker for most people.


Before the industrial revolution, most towns had their own blacksmith shops, also known as a “village smithies.” In the late 1800s, factories and mass-produced items increased production capabilities, so demand for handmade tools and hardware slowly disappeared.

Blacksmiths then began to focus their attention on shoeing horses and repairing wagons. Then wooden wheels were slowly phased out as forged iron wagon wheels became stronger and more reliable for transport.

Mass production lowered prices and made more items easily available, eventually eliminating the need for blacksmiths. In recent years, blacksmithing is regaining popularity just like other pioneer methods and blacksmith handcrafts attract a lot of tourist attention.

Learning Blacksmithing Basics Gives You
A Chance to Be Unique

Some people just want a creative hobby and others make a part time or even a full time living recreating old time crafts and teaching others how to do the crafts. Many practitioners use their crafting abilities to create unique gifts and make and sell unique gifts for sale to others.

You can even set up to sell your crafts online as well as locally. Handmade blacksmithing projects have a lot of consumer appeal and as others learn about you, you might have all the work you want.

Blacksmithing basics are not really hard to learn and blacksmithing seems to be one of the old time crafts that arouses a little more public curiosity.

One great feature of blacksmithing is that your blacksmithing projects will be completely unique, since we all develop our own style and way of applying the methods and techniques. Your blacksmith crafts will be different than anyone else's.

Also, experimentation will teach you more techniques. For example, some blacksmiths make a specialty out creating their own steel recipe for making knives. Different methods of treating and hardening the steel will give your knife edge different characteristics than someone else's blades.

Some go on to specialize in knife making and make a living at it.

Once you have learned blacksmithing basics, it's like any other trade or profession. You then have enough experience and knowledge to branch and develop your own methods and make your own discoveries. You can then choose to use blacksmithing as a hobby or even a full time living.

One other great feature of blacksmithing is that it can be a lot cheaper to start up than many other hobbies. You can start for a couple hundred dollars if you're willing to look a little for used equipment. The hardest item for you to find might be a blacksmith anvil. They are stilla rounf=d but people who have them use them for repair work - even if they don't do blacksmithing.

If you search online, you can even find back issues of the old type hands-on magazines such as Popular Mechanics that have info on building your own blacksmithing forges and tools. Years ago these types of magazines showed you how to build and maintain all kinds of mechanical devices.

You can even make your own simple blacksmithing apron if you have to. Just find a supplier who has some heavy leather, at least 1/8" thick.

Search for forge and blacksmithing articles and you might be pleasantly surprised what you find.


Here's a sample of decorative blacksmithing. You want to get some experience before you try something this intricate but also, you can see what the possibilities are if want to get really creative with DIY Blacksmithing projects.

Forging & Hammering

The two basic and essential processes for blacksmithing are forging and hammering.

Forging temperature and hammering procedure depends on the type of metal you are working with and the type of object you are creating.

Essential techniques for creating your metal pieces are:

Drawing is an essential technique in blacksmithing and is used to make your metal longer and thinner.

Upsetting is the opposite of drawing, and is used to make your metal thicker, shorter. 

Bending - self explanatory- heating and bending.

Punching utilizes a punching tool to make holes in hot metal.

Like any other profession or hobby, once you get started, you will find other individuals and organizations that you can trade info and techniques with, as well as finding the best places for you to purchase material and supplies.

Follow the instructions on the page and you can get a good discount on this course - Blacksmithing Basics as well as free info on more books on blacksmithing.

Below: Making a horseshoe.


Blacksmithing Projects


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