Inside: This is a review of the a great resource for the beginner blacksmith, a blacksmithing guide, The Backyard Blacksmith, by Lorelei Sims.
Are you a Beginner Blacksmith looking for a guide to help you get started?
The Backyard Blacksmith written by Lorelei Sims is a great resource for the beginner blacksmith. It is an easy read with lots of pictures for clarification. This book is divided up into three sections, Getting your feet Wet, Getting your hands Dirty, and Getting in the Groove.
Getting your Feet Wet
Divided into four chapters you will find answers to the questions. How to choose a good location? How to organize your work space and shop layout? How to use common sense and safety to protect yourself and other in the blacksmith shop? What tools and equipment should I be looking for and where might I acquire these basic blacksmithing tools? What type of material can I forge with? Where can I find iron and steel to use for projects? How do I start and control my fire?
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Broken down into three chapters you will find help figuring out specific tools and what they are used for. Good clear descriptions bring better understanding to basic forging techniques that will be used on many projects as you continue to learn to forge. The forge welding and assembly techniques will challenge you to continue practicing your skills. I think my favorite part of this section is the part on how to make your own tools. covering tool usage and forging techniques, forge welding and assembly techniques, and how to make your own tooling.
Getting in the Groove
With 20 different projects to try and practice your skill with. Each project will identify skill level needed, skills used, which links back to previous chapters; and suggested material needed. It will then show color photos of the step by step process, along with her written explanation of each step.
My personal Endorsement
I found this book to be very helpful as I was beginning blacksmithing. Starting out I didn’t know which tools where important or how I would even use them, the explanation helped me in deciding which order I should acquire the kit that I know work with. I especially got a lot of tips and advice from chapter 7 “Making your own Tooling, She covers how to make drifts, handheld punches, handheld chisels, twisting bar, a hold fast, hardy tools, nail header, hardy bending fork, roll bar, monkey tool, pritchel plate, handheld bending fork, and the guillotine tool. As of writing this I can say that I have made versions of almost all of these tools. Some get used more than others based on projects or my skills as I learn. The project section is good as well, all of them have a practical use. I think my favorite was the letter opener, based on its simple design. I have had opportunity to make multiple of these for gifts, and it was a good exercise to work on techniques and skill.
To find out more about Lorelei Sims work and other books, check out her website here.
While you continue your research on tools needed, check out ” Essential Blacksmith Tools for Beginners.”
I hope you enjoy your copy of The Backyard Blacksmith, and I am glad to recommend this resource for the beginner blacksmith.