Hank Rearden
This post is to help answer a question for people who want to start or try blacksmithing but don't know the first step. Provide a response that can help give direction for the novice. Something like a collaborative primer on getting into the craft.

Lets assume the person has a basic knowledge of blacksmithing. ie. has picked up a hammer and shaped something, watched a demonstration or had a class and wants to do more on their own.




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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SW Reynolds
Draw-out hammer control. 1/4" square to a point for about 2-3 inches and round that taper. Sounds boring? Do it. Try it. When you be good with that try 1/4" round. Now you have NO REFERENCE to square. Draw that to a point for 2-3 inches. Keeping it square. Sounds boring, eh? Try it.

Grab up some horse nails and forge the nail head into a quarter sized round. No. So. easy. Then try forging a candle flame from that same type of nail. Ultimately, you want to forge the finial first, then the hook end. My students hate that exercise. Probably because it's tough. They can't do it, but would much rather be forging a gun. Because THAT is easy.

I had hoped to locate some pictures, not I don't have any. Anymore.
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Yesteryear Forge
Hooks - Hooks and more Hooks
S hooks , J hooks , coat hooks , wall hooks.
Round S Hooks
Square S hooks
Rectangular bar S hooks.
Twisted hooks
The point is that most of what you do the rest of your days as a blacksmith will always come back to the fundamentals of making hooks - which is the fundamentals of blacksmithing.
Drawing out
Upsetting..
Bending
Square to round
Round to square
Tapers ( round and square )
Here is a photo of some hooks that I did for a pot rack that I was making 031.JPG  032.JPG  033.JPG 
Give out before you give up - if it was easy anybody could do it
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jmccustomknives
now that's a lot of hooks. [eek] 
If you want to start smithing look at the way I started and do the opposite. [crazy]

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

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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Definitely start out with the basics of tapering and drawing out, twisting, and bending. Leaves are an excellent starting point for slightly more advanced forging using the pien, chisels, and separating the leaf material from the stem material. Understand the tools, very importantly the anvil and its many uses.

SW Reynolds wrote:
Grab up some horse nails and forge the nail head into a quarter sized round. No. So. easy. Then try forging a candle flame from that same type of nail. Ultimately, you want to forge the finial first, then the hook end. 

I had hoped to locate some pictures, not I don't have any. Anymore.
Found a video on that very project earlier today, Reynolds. 
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Hank Rearden
Thank you Yesteryear Forge. Your post of all those S-hooks has given me an idea on what to do while demonstrating at the Williams Grove historical steam engine Association spring field day May 20th, 21st and 22nd. After going this weekend to the forge and talking with the association's president we determined the best thing to do will just be doing some entertaining blacksmithing.

So I thought what a great opportunity to practice making chain link and maybe a few hooks. I'll get the practice bending forge welding and maybe even a few decorative links so for three days I will be duplicating the same process over and over and over again and it's result of your suggestion so thanks again.

Friday is a full day and they expect heavy turn out, Saturday has a consignment sale. (usually find good blacksmithing stuff there) Then Sunday is another full day with the steam train and car show and flea market.

Originally I had hoped to build an annual Hammer-in for spring. That was pretty ambitious. This will be more manageable and will allow me the opportunity to get to know the folks at the event. PLus my skill set can use the forge time.


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
You must have a lot of pots. [smile]

I've been want to make a pot rack. We have a collection of Lodge cast iron pots and pans.
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Yesteryear Forge
The pot rack hooks were for a custom pot rack that was a 4 ft. X 5 ft. free standing pot rack that stood over an island in a kitchen.
The 4 corner post were 1 1/4 square stock and the connecting bars were 1/4 inch thick.
Do not have a photo of the finished product though.
Was made for a very busy kitchen.
Here is a full scale sketch / layout on a 4 X 7 sheet of metal full scale sketch 010.jpg  full scale sketch 015.jpg 
Give out before you give up - if it was easy anybody could do it
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NorrinRadd
Nice bit of sketching there!
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