While this book is a great romantic look at blacksmithing and does have some good knowledge, some of the safety standards are horrible. The New Edge of the Anvil is one of the best places to really learn about the craft. I was a blacksmith for 13 years and used it often as a reference.
Blacksmithing is a heck of a trade. I was a bladesmith years ago and was forever impressed by the control blacksmiths have over their tools.
The book(s) remind me of this series http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Metalworking-Shop-Scrap/dp/0960433082 starting with coal and scrap metal to make the tools needed to build better tools and so forth.
Good little book. Had it in my library for years. Edge of the Anvil is good (Never owned, but have borrowed). I found something worthwhile is looking on Gutenberg Press. The amount of out of print, out of copyright books on blacksmithing is quite hefty. Some good books out there for free. I found a few TAFE manuals for blacksmithing that I ended up printing out and putting in my workshop for reference. It was from the TAFE manual where I got the first set of instructions that were usable for doing a forge-weld. Something which so many books poorly describe (In my opinion of course).
I second this. I've been hammering out blades (and other assorted things) for the last 19 years, and I can't even dream of having the hammer control of a semi accomplished blacksmith.
one of my works for reference (and hopefully to show that I'm not too shabby):
(sorry, somehow the pic ended up coming up a little skewed, and I have no idea how to get it to come up in proper proportions)
As far as user friendly blacksmithing references, there's one by Lorelei Sims called "The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith" that I particularly like
I wish to god this was a cheap hobby, but not if you're living in a city. Forges are going to violate fire codes, and renting space in one thats been given the OK is not cheap.
You rule. That knife is lovely!
You probably can't get away with it in an apartment, no. But I've been clanging away in various parts of Seattle for 10 years now, and no one has ever cared in the slightest. Most people don't even look over as they walk by on the sidewalk, a couple meters away!
If you happen to be in LA or Orange Counties, check out the blacksmith shop at the Heritage Museum in Santa Ana. All ages are welcome; they have 13 anvils.
There's nothing "complete" about this book and there's barely any "smithing" in it.
In most suburbs, you probably can't get away with coal/coke, but you can usually get away with gas. I've been running propane forges in various forms (since I moved from the country) for the last 15 years or so. That, and having neighbors who don't mind what you do (often after the "Here's a present. This is what I'm doing with all the banging noises.").
very nice hamon. That's not something often seen on a drop point hunter. The flower patterned pins are a nice touch too.
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