Inside: What to forge? How to forge? As a beginning blacksmith you may be looking for the answers to these questions. Read A Blacksmithing Primer.
When it comes to books on blacksmithing, I am always looking. This resource came recommended to me at my local hammer in, when I was a beginning blacksmith. It did not disappoint. Being full of information, details, and CAD drawn illustrations. Randy McDaniel divides the book into threes sections after a short introduction, covering Tools, Basic Techniques and Info, then Projects and Lessons. You will want to keep this resource with you in the shop to reference as you work out the projects and lessons found here.
As tools are listed and explained, he begins with basic necessities, Anvil, Forge, Vise. He then covers hand tools and hardie tools such as, tongs hammers, fullers, swages, and files. Then this last part I found to be helpful as I was setting up my own smithy, covering various forge tools and shop layout.
A look at these basic principles as you begin forging and a looking at what techniques you have down or what do you need to implement. Here, discussing forge safety, hammering technique, basics of metals, fire preparation, and heating your metal.
Beginning Blacksmith Projects and Lessons
Here with over 20 different projects and their illustrations, this section is by far the most valuable. From wall hooks to shutter dogs, from tongs to animal heads, each project usually has more than one variation as you can see. Which will be a tremendous help in learning techniques and finding your style.
McDaniel also includes some plans at the end for fabricating your own anvil, forge firebox, and forge table. I would definitely keep this book handy, to use as a reference in your shop. As always Keep the sparks flying!
To Check out previous book Reviews: Read “Skills of a Blacksmith: A Beginners Resource.”
For other Resources from Randy McDaniel check out this book on the Forging Press.