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Hi, I've been interested in all sorts of blades since I was about 9-ish, and interested in making them for the past few years. I just never figured I could find someone to help me learn the basics of the craft, much less afford the bare minimum. I've recently began to dig around and found that I could actually get the stuff I needed for my own forge and anvil for pretty cheap. I just need some advice on if what I have planned is okay, or a waste of money. First up, the forge I found a tutorial on making a forge using a cheap charcoal grill, a mix of plaster of paris and sand and a fan. I looked on Home Depot's website and found a grill, an electric leaf-blower, sand, plaster, and some ducting for about $100 - $120. Link to the tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKXN23h3DkI The Anvil I need to check with the local CSX yard, but I was planning to use an old piece of train track. I know there's an anvil for about $85 from here: http://www.oldworldanvils.com/anvils/index.html, but I think I can get the track for cheaper. (Please, correct me if I am wrong.) The Tools This is where I need help. I found a good bit about the tools, but not much on what kind of tongs, punches, or files you would need. I am also at a loss for where to find a good hammer to use. I know i can make my own tongs, but again, I don't know what I'd need as far as punches and files go (and I'd rather not have something with moving parts as my first project. ) Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. The Knowledge Of which I have none. I live in Central Alabama, just north of Montgomery. I am going to try getting a hold of either the Montgomery forge group or the Vulcan forge group and see if someone would mind teaching me enough to get started, but if anyone here knows of someone, I'm all ears. Also, any advice is greatly, greatly appreciated. My plans While I do want to make swords, axes, polearms, and the like, I want to start slow, and I'd like to make my grandmother some decent kitchen knives for my first project. I don't plan on making a living at this, though I'd like to see about making a little money at it. I do plan on posting things I am working on here for critique, so hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more of me. Edit: Forgot to mention that I have no metalworking experience nor do I have access to a welder. I know that some of you guys on here can fabricate anything. I don't have the skill for that, sorry.
I first tried my hand at smithing when I was a teen, and I was rather ignorant about it. I just heated up a metal rod and started pounding. I split the metal in several places and destroyed my moms smoker grill in the process. But here lately I've been doing quite a bit of research and I'm confident I can pull it off now. The only problem I have is funds. I've got kids, and kids aren't cheap. My wife and I work are butts off to provide and we just get by. So the idea I came up with is to build a small forge from scrap I have lying around. An old pan for the forge, a satellite dish mount for the air inlet, and the whole thing on bricks for a base. I know it's not the best but it's a start. What I plan on making is whatever I can sell. My stock is going to be any scrap steel/iron I can get. Steel tubing from chairs, railroad spikes, old pots and pans, you name it. Right now I have no real smithing tools to speak of, just a framing hammer and channel lock pliers(insert WTF comments here). My first project will be making a punch and drifter from railroad spikes. Next will be a decent hammer, then tongs. And from there I will start working on art and knives that I can (hopefully) sell. I will use any money I make at first to upgrade my workshop until I am happy with it and I can afford better materials. Like I said, I've done a lot of research into the art. But research is just that. It's not experience or practice. I know what I need to do overall but I'm still gonna need a lot of practice on technique and form and such. So if anyone out there has any good advice or comments please let me know. I am eager to learn and willing to take advice from experts. I am definitely open to suggestions on anything. Just keep in mind that for now my budget is about $0.17 Thank you, Scrapsmith Steven PS I will post pictures as I build.