Posts Tagged ‘Blacksmith tools’

Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Leg Vise

Another arsenal in your blacksmith supplies is a blacksmith leg vise.  When buying a vise you should buy a leg vise instead of a bench vise.  A blacksmith leg vise has a “leg” that can be extended and anchored to the floor to give it strength and stability.  Most leg vises are steel (not cast iron) and are made to take the abuse of heavy hammering of metalwork while being held in the vise.  You should be able to find a blacksmith leg vise at your local flea market.  Most modern leg vises are very expensive.  When choosing a leg vise make sure that the jaws are at least 4-5 inches wide and that the jaws are not damaged and line up evenly. Because the vise has a leg it can be mounted to more locations than a regular bench vise.  You can mount a blacksmith leg vise to a tree stump, a post or a workbench. The leg vise can be used to bend iron at 90 degree angles, twisting and as a third helping hand.

Below is a short video of a Columbian blacksmith leg vise:

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Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Anvil Stand

Another major component to your blacksmith supplies is an anvil stand.  It is vital that you place an anvil on a stand that is the correct height.  If the anvil is not at the correct height, the faster you will become fatigued when hammering metal into shape.  The height of the anvil stand is different for every blacksmith.  Many blacksmiths use the knuckle rule which means that when the anvil is placed on the anvil stand it will reach your knuckles when you loosely ball your fists with your arms at your side.  This usually enables a blacksmith to get maximum swing and velocity  of the hammer without straining your back.  Of course the knuckle technique is no magic bullet and you should adjust the height of the anvil stand to fit your body and needs.

Blacksmiths use various materials to make an anvil stand or you could just buy a stand.  Some anvil stands are just a big piece of oak from a fallen tree or if you are in your backyard you can cut down a tree and place the anvil on the stump.  Whatever type of anvil stand you use, it must be secure and level.  If the stand is not sturdy enough it will just bounce around all over your blacksmith shop.  The anvil stand must also be able to secure the anvil from moving around when hammering.  If the anvil stand or the anvil itself moves around when you are hammering you will lose efficiency and it will take more time and energy to create the metalwork.

Below is a good video I found on how to make an anvil stand:

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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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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. 

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