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Stefan's Florilegium


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BY-Blacksmith-art - 11/14/07


"The Backyard Blacksmith" by Master Sven Odin Eye.


NOTE: See also the files: bellows-msg, Blacksmithing-bib, blacksmithing-msg, blksm-anvils-msg, blksm-forges-msg, blksm-welding-msg, Forg-Cnstrctn-art, smeltng-coper-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



The Backyard Blacksmith

by Master Sven Odin Eye


I am often questioned about Blacksmithing and how one gets into it. I tell you true, itÕs not terribly difficult to find out.


The Vikings (and many elemental cultures) often used large smooth stones as anvils. You can use that or many other options. Take a splitting wedge and drive it into a knot bound piece of firewood. Get a cheap Chinese anvil from Harbor Freight Tools in Portland. Get an old piece of railroad track.


My first attempt used the Chinese anvil, a Hibachi and a hair dryer. I used a pair of channel lock pliers as my tongs and an old engineers hammer. I filled the hibachi with charcoal briquettes and used the hair dryer (my wifeÕs OLD one) to blow air in through the bottom vent. This gave me enough forced air to forge a railroad spike into a knife. ItÕs really that easy folks. If you do that and arenÕt hooked, offer your anvil for sale to the next person that wants to try it out, I bet that anvil wonÕt go through more than two sets of hands!


For fuel, good hardwood charcoal works best, and itÕs been showing up on supermarket shelves lately! You can also get it in 20# and 40# bags at Albina Fuel in Portland. This is PERIOD fuel, from the Bronze Age through the steel age. They didnÕt start using coal till the 1600Õs. The British were running out of trees and this forced the experimentation with coal. And the best part is that charcoal just smells like another BBQ so you can use it in residential areas as I do!! The coal stinks bad of sulphur and other impurities, though it is a bit easier to reach a welding heat with the coal.


If you try it and find that you are hooked, then itÕll be time to step up to a real forge. I used my kidÕs old fort. You really need only a lean-to to do this; it really is an outdoor activity. A friend of mine makes forges out of old water tanks, cuts off the bottom and the top and he has the bowels of two forges.


Grendel also makes forges to order. The blowers are a bit harder to come by, but you can get by with an old squirrel cage fan or such.


The web has tons of blacksmith sites, if you donÕt have web connection go to your local Library; they have public terminals you can use.


Copyright 2007 by Master Sven Odin-Eye, 1044 NE Sunrise Ln., Hillsboro, OR  97124. <wdlndbks at aol.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org