Archive for November, 2011

Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Forge

A blacksmith forge is the most important of the blacksmith supplies.  All blacksmiths have a forge or hearth which is needed to heat the metal to a malleable temperature  in order to shape it.  Without a forge you cannot shape metal.  Many blacksmiths create their own forges with the supplies they have lying around in their shop.  Forges can be made out of anything from old barbecue grills to old tire rims or brake drums. You can certainly buy a forge but they can be quite expensive.

There are various fuels that can be used for a forge including bituminous coal, coke, charcoal, oil and gas (propane).  Many blacksmiths still use coal but coal is not a clean burning fuel such as propane.  In addition to the forge you will need an air blower and tuyere in order to increase the temperature of the fire so the metal can reach a malleable temperature which is usually around 1300 to 1600 Fahrenheit for tool steel.

Here is a great video on how you can create your own blacksmith forge:

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Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Tongs

Another very vital component to your blacksmith supplies are blacksmith tongs.  You will need tongs in order to move hot metal from the forge to the anvil and to assist in shaping the metal.  Some of the common types of tongs are box jaw tongs, blot head tongs, scrolling tongs, flat nose tongs, pick up and rivet tongs, Vi-bit tongs, round nose tongs, and wolf jaw tongs. Tongs can vary in length but most blacksmith tongs are usually longer than 12 inches.

Box jaw tongs are designed to securely hold bar stock. Bolt head tongs are used are great for holding curved shapes such as old style bolts. Scrolling tongs are used to bend iron without damaging the surface of the ironwork. Flat nose tongs are useful for picking up metal sheet or flat stock.  Pick up and rivet tongs are designed to pick up and handle round iron stock.  Vi-bit tongs are designed to handle both round or square iron stock.  As the name implies, round nose tongs are designed to only pick up round iron stock  Wolf jaw tongs can handle various sizes of stock.

You can buy tongs from various places but any true blacksmith will make their own tongs.  For those of you that have never created their own tongs below is a good video I found to get you started:

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Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Hammer

The most important tools of your blacksmith supplies is a hammer.  The hammer is vital for a blacksmith just like a paint brush is for a painter.  With a hammer the blacksmith creates his master piece of metalwork.  He shapes iron into whatever form he desires.  Without a hammer there is no blacksmith.  The most common blacksmith hammers are Cross Peen Hammers and Ball Peen Hammers.  The Cross Peen Hammer (see below photo) has a flat striking end and a wedge-shaped surface on the other end.

blacksmith hammer

A Ball Peen Hammer (see below photo) has a similar striking face as a regular hammer and the other end is ball shaped.

blacksmith hammer

Both hammers are designed to assist a blacksmith in shaping the iron with their unique ends.  For most blacksmith work you should not use a hammer that weighs more than 3 pounds.  The heavier the hammer the faster you will get tired when striking against the anvil.  When starting out as a blacksmith you should obtain several hammers of different weights to determine the one that best suits your size and strength.

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