Beginner's Guide on Blacksmithing
|Beginner's Guide on Blacksmithing|
|Author||Blanchard Isaurus Raske|
“Beginner’s Guide on Blacksmithing” was written by Blanchard Raske, a blacksmith hailing from the southern reaches of Daendroc. Toward the end of his life, he had came to the realization that not all children are fortunate enough to gain an apprenticeship under a competent blacksmith. He offered this publication as a basic guide for young blacksmiths to follow in order to gain experience. It details basic blacksmithing techniques and how to create a dagger. This article is available to the public in most libraries around Regalia and its extended territories, and it was specifically created to appeal to commoners.
Beginner’s Guide on Blacksmithing
To all those who aspire to be blacksmiths, I offer you this guide on how to begin working in our field and commend you on picking up this particular book in order to learn. I assume that you have had past tribulations, seeing as you may not be an apprenticed under another competent blacksmith, and for this I offer another round of commendation. I will keep this work simple and easy to read, my terms will be for laymen, but nobles may read as well. I will try to keep the list of tools simple as I go through my guide as well, but some names I cannot alter for fear of a young prospect picking up the wrong tool and hurting himself.
I will begin with the tools of a blacksmith. To put it simply you need four things: a thing to heat your work, a thing to hold your work, a thing to put under your work, and a thing to apply force to your work. These things change depending on what you may be working on, the metal you are working on, and the conditions in your forge, but for this exercise we will assume that everything is optimal, or nearly so.
In order to heat your work you will need access to a forge, this can be found in blacksmithing shops that dot Aloria’s landscape, nearly any major city and town has one. Ask the blacksmith if you can use the forge after working hours and you should be able to practice. He will most likely show you how to use it so you don’t kill yourself, so I won’t be detailing that here. Just know that using a coke forge is more optimal than a coal one.
You hold your metal with tongs, vises, and clamps. My mentor had always taught me that “If you cannot hold it, you cannot hit it”, and his advice holds true. There are many variations of each tong, clamp, and vice. A good smithy, which is the place where a blacksmith, or future blacksmith will work, has proper tongs for every work they might do. You will have to experiment as you begin your study in blacksmithing in order to figure out what works with what. After all, I can’t take all the fun out of your first work. Regardless, a pair of tongs that works for a ½ inch piece of metal will not work for a ¼ inch piece of metal, it’ll fall through. So know if you switch you will have to switch tongs as well. Holding a flat piece of metal requires a different tong, clamp, and vice as well.
It is common knowledge that all blacksmiths complete their best work atop an anvil , although it is the most expensive tool it can be found in most smithies that you work out of, or work at. Anvils always have two holes, a pritchel, and the hardy. A pritchel is used for punching through a piece of metal. You need a place for the spare material to lay after you punch through a piece of metal, after all. The hardy on the other hand is used for shaping a piece of metal. The hardy contains tools like a V-block, which is used to curve metals. Experiment on your own using these instruments, as they are not relevant to this particular instructional article.
What you use to hit your work with is also fairly well known. You use a hammer because, after all, a hammer and an anvil go together like peas and a podl. There are a variety of weights and head styles that will be available in any smithy. It is up to you to decide which is the best tool for the job.
There are three basic ways to apply force with your hammer, there are more, but for this we only need to know three. You will learn more along the road to becoming a master blacksmith. They are called; drawing out, upsetting and peining.
Drawing Out: Hit the metal on four sides again and again and it draws out into a longer piece. This is how you make nails.
Upsetting: This is the process of applying force to the end of a piece of work to mushroom the metal out to add volume to a work. If you’re making a work that needs some heft on an end, like a wide chisel, you use upsetting.
Peining. This is applying force to move the metal in a certain direction. You can move the metal in one direction or you can spread it in all directions. The technique is comparable to hitting a piece of clay to spread it out and away from your hand. What is used for this is the ball-peen, found on the back of all hammers used for blacksmithing.
Now, in order to make a dagger you must find a suitable piece of metal, not very large or thick, as we will be flattening it out in order to create the blade. Heat the metal up, you will most likely use some sort of steel or ferr-iron. Ensure it is white hot within the forge, then quickly remove it with your tongs and hammer it until you can no longer shape the metal. Do this as many times as necessary until the metal is flat. Once you do that, use the V-block to shorten the metal piece and bend it over itself. Once you have done that entire process three times you will be able to finally hammer down the final piece and sharpen the dagger to your liking before adding it onto a hilt. The reason why we folded the metal over itself is to make it stronger and less brittle on impact.
I hope that this instructional guide offered insight into the life of a blacksmith and even a small guide on how to begin.
- The author of this publication was known for his smug humor and used it to keep the reader’s attention.