Archive for the ‘Blacksmith Supplies’ Category

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:

Technorati Tags: , ,

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:

Technorati Tags: , ,

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.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Blacksmith Supplies – Choosing a Blacksmith Anvil

One of the most important of the blacksmith supplies is a blacksmith anvil.  Having a quality anvil is the foundation for creating quality ironwork and, therefore, it’s important that you choose wisely.  When choosing a blacksmith anvil you must take several things into consideration before you buy an anvil:

  1. First and foremost, NEVER buy a cast iron anvil.  These types of anvils are worthless and make it difficult to produce quality iron work.  Although more expensive, you should always buy a forged tool steel or cast tool steel anvil.  If you have a cast iron anvil, I am sure you understand what experienced blacksmiths means by “Anvil Shaped Object”.
  2. Decide whether or not to buy a new or used anvil.  New anvils can be expensive but prices have come down some;
  3. Decide on the size of the anvil you want to have. As a blacksmith, the heavier the anvil the better it is for forging.  Forging anvils can weigh 100-500 pounds.  Buy the heaviest anvil that you can afford.  A 200-300 pound anvil is usually sufficient for heavy work.  If you need an anvil that is portable for onsite light forging, go with a 100 pound anvil;
  4. If you are going to buy a used anvil, be sure the surface of the anvil is flat.  If you do not have a flat anvil then you will not be able to obtain straight ironwork;
  5. Make sure the anvil you purchase is able to accept a standard Hardie and that it has a pritchel or punching hole.

Some well known anvil manufacturers (old and new) are Refflinghaus, Kohlswa, Peddinghaus, Nimba, Vaughns, Branco, Emerson, Habermann, Euroanvil and Rathole.


Choose your blacksmith anvil wisely and you will create quality workmanship.

As mentioned above, below is an Anvil Shaped Object (Cast iron junk)!  Never buy this type of anvil.

 

anvil 

Blacksmith Supplies – The Basic Supplies That All Blacksmiths Need

blacksmith suppliesThe blacksmith has many tools and supplies.  The most recognizable tool of a blacksmith is the anvil.  The anvil is a heavy piece of cast iron or steel that a blacksmith uses to shape a piece of iron. 

Steel anvils are preferable over cast iron anvils.   The next most recognizable tool of a blacksmith is a hammer.  There are several different types of hammers but the main thing is that it should be heavy enough when striking the iron and anvil, but not too heavy to wear you out and cause fatigue.  Most work can be handled by two hammers, one weighing 1 1/2 or 2 lbs and another hammer weighing 3 or 3 1/2 lbs.

Another important tool of a blacksmith is the tong.  Tongs are used to hold and manipulate the hot metal.  Tongs are vital in moving the iron from the forge to the anvil and/or vise grip.  The blacksmith also has a forge which is where he has created a hot fire.  The forge usually contains coal, charcoal or some type of gas in order to heat the iron to extreme high temperatures.  Bitimunous coal is the preferred fuel since it burns slow and at very high temperatures.  You will also need a blower attached to the forge in order to increase the temperature of the forge fire that is needed to form the iron.

Other supplies such as swages for the anvil help form the iron to the shape you want.  Of course you will need raw pieces of iron that you can use in blacksmithing and creating new objects.  

Once you have created an object, finishing supplies such as bees wax will help protect the finish of the object.  You should also have a metal brush to remove oxidation during the forging process. 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,