Hank Rearden
The information below was taken from the New England School of Metalwork brochure that was mailed out earlier this year. There is a link to their school website on the bottom of the homepage. That said I  thought this would be a good guide line here on the forum.

  • Beginner: Little to no experience having never lit a fire or hit hot metal.

  • Seasoned beginner: Having working skills under your belt competent and fairly proficient with all basic forging processes and they use operation of the standard tools and equipment of the blacksmiths craft.

  • Intermediate: The above plus three years of part-time to full-time in the Forge and a good working knowledge experimentation of joinery Forge welding and clean proficient forging of tapers shoulders drawing stock down to Dimension spreading stock layout and Design.

  • Advanced: The above plus four years or more of serious work small to medium-sized projects of proficient working skill base of joinery Forge welding layout completely proficient in all major forging processes
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Metalmelt
I guess I would be a seasoned beginner. I can forge weld, make a pair of tongs, use a power hammer, weld, draw out and do an upset. I can upset the metal almost as much as it upsets me. [cool] I haven't done any joinery. I have done some Mokume Gane and did a small bronze casting last week... it was a learning experience for investment casting, That's code for an epic failure. I'll try it again as soon as I get some wax patterns made up. I usually only do sand castings, but these parts are too small and detailed for that.

I finished a beginners class at the Choo Choo Forge and completed all the basic tasks. I haven't been to the forge this year because we are trying to move back up north. Our house just isn't selling as quickly as we hoped.
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jmccustomknives
Lol, I'm barely a seasoned beginner as a blacksmith.  I couldn't do traditional joinery to save my life, not to mention I don't even have the tools.

I can do Damascus though.  [wink]

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Hank Rearden
Looks like I'm in good company. [wave]
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
I would be somewhere in between seasoned beginner and intermediate, by my own assessment. I have done forge welding using scarf welding, laminate (Damascus), and insert (for axes), as well as mortice and tenon. Drawing out stuff is pretty simple to me, and I'm always improving with the final forged finish. I have recently become very interested in the use of fullers and punches, particularly to make animal heads, if that is something to be considered. However, I'm not proficient in all forging techniques and the use of all tools, so there is much to learn until I might be considered "intermediate" by those standards.
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theengel
Beginner here.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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NorrinRadd
Seasoned beginner here as well, just because there is no "One trick pony that knows enough to hurt himself" category [biggrin]
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Yves
By your description, some of my production is that of an advanced blacksmith.

P1000521.jpg 

P1040186.jpg 

The way I feel, however, when I compare myself to people like Kim Thomas, Whitaker and the Claudio Botteros of this world, I am barely at the intermediate level.

The best are out there. The question is, how far am I (not wanting to impose the question on others) from the best?

Tough !
The alternative to getting old is not interesting.
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jmccustomknives
Yves wrote:
By your description, some of my production is that of an advanced blacksmith.
 

The way I feel, however, when I compare myself to people like Kim Thomas, Whitaker and the Claudio Botteros of this world, I am barely at the intermediate level.

The best are out there. The question is, how far am I (not wanting to impose the question on others) from the best?

Tough !


So true, no matter how good one is there is always room for improvement.  I don't consider myself a blacksmith, that is a totally different skill set.  There is a difference between a bladesmith and a blacksmith, so when someone asks me, "I'm a bladesmith that piddles from time to time with blacksmithing". 

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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anvil
I started blacksmithing around '65 and became a farrier.

I started traditional smithing in '80

I worked with Francis Whitaker off and on as one of his students from '83-'88.

been full time since the beginning and still learning.

Not to nention that each forgeweld is still sheer magic!!
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Waynem
I am some where in between beginner and seasoned beginner. i can see stuff in my head and seem to be able to move that image from my head to the steel, (not always though, do have some epic failures.)  but i will continue to forge on,  example below.  i started doing this about two months ago maybe three as of today. 
trout.jpg 
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Hank Rearden
At first glance on my cell phone I thought you actually posted a real fish. I'm glad you made this post tomorrow I'm blacksmithing at an artist party and it has a nautical theme. I might copy your exploits here.
If you're inclined we could use some more blacksmith in our iron in the Hat. Just take pictures of what you're doing as you're doing it and post what's working and what's not that's about it I'm giving away a choice between a hammer or a pair of Tongs for the Publix favorite at the end of August.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Waynem
Please by all means exploit it. :-)   and if you can figure out how to draw more material for the dorsal fin that would be great, a trout has a higher fin than what i did,  i just couldn't get anymore to pull up. im sure that is just due to total lack of experience and knowledge.

I will continue to post as i move forward. thanks for the encouragement to post. 
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Scrambler82
Beginner, beginner, beginner; I have so much to learn.

My big problem is getting started, with OCD/ADD I think too much, start and then try to change things before I really get started.
I am trying to change this habit since I moved to SoCal and hoping to be better.

I am hoping to fire up my Forge for the first time and finish the Anvil Stand soon, those are my first and second priorities, then on to forging something, maybe a hook !
I really want to try a split metal cross but need to learn the forge and some sort of hammer control.

Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Sounds like a good place to start.
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jmccustomknives
Scrambler82 wrote:
Beginner, beginner, beginner; I have so much to learn.

My big problem is getting started, with OCD/ADD I think too much, start and then try to change things before I really get started.
I am trying to change this habit since I moved to SoCal and hoping to be better.

I am hoping to fire up my Forge for the first time and finish the Anvil Stand soon, those are my first and second priorities, then on to forging something, maybe a hook !
I really want to try a split metal cross but need to learn the forge and some sort of hammer control.


It really helps me to focus on one job at a time.  Some task/builds boar me to no end and if I have something that doesn't need to be done but I really want to do it I'll gravitate over too that. 

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Scrambler82
jmccustomknives wrote:

It really helps me to focus on one job at a time.  Some task/builds boar me to no end and if I have something that doesn't need to be done but I really want to do it I'll gravitate over too that. 


I think that is my biggest problem, I like to see results... NOW, and when I don't I get bored, ADD kicks in !

That is why I am taking longer to do things, one is trying to concentrate on one thing at a time, i.e. The Stands, and then firing up the forge, trying to heat some steel.  

I also need to find a good beginners Blacksmith Class, one that will take an Old Guy, and not try to rush me along !

Working on direction, one task, finishing each thing !
Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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