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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Andy's Blacksmith Shop, Blacksmithing, Heritage Skills, The Robinson's » The Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop


I started blacksmithing not too long before Erin and I were married. After we were married I began working on my own forge. I started off first with a brake drum forge, but quickly realized that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with it, so over the winter and spring I began working on another forge. I finished it in May. In this post I will go over the basic things needed to blacksmith.




The first things you will need is an forge and some type of blower. A forge can be made many different ways. I have seen on the internet of people creating forges out of brake drums, old truck rims, fifty-five gallon steel drums, and BBQ grills.  I made mine out of steel plate and angle iron

The second thing you will need is some sort of blower. I use a hand cranked blower, but you can use old fashioned bellows, electric blowers, modeified fans or even hair dryers. Anything that will provide plenty of oxygen for the fire.









The  original fuel for blacksmithing was charcoal, however now the most common form of fuel is either propane or Bituminous Coal. I use a coal forge. Coal is grouped into several types. Bituminous coal is best for blacksmithing due to  “coking”. As coal burns, it purifies into coke. Coke burns very hot and very clean. The biggest issue with using coal is actually finding it for sale. We called around for several weeks before finding a good source of coal. The coal I use comes from Buck Coal & Ice out of Columbus, GA.


You will need a good anvil or piece of railroad iron. The anvil will also have to be held down tightly. An anvil that moves is very, very frustrating, not to mention hazardous. Anvils are a little hard to find. Antique shops and old estate sales would be a good bet.

 A well anchored post vice is extremely useful from helping to bend steel. A vice is definitely needed for adding twists. As with anvils, check antique shops and yards sales. Post vices are however more common and cheaper than anvils.

The other tools you will need is an hammer, a pair of blacksmith tongs and a good wire brush. My hammer is a Swedish Cross Pein hammer and it weighs 1000 grams(2.2 pounds). I also use other hammers for different tasks. Blacksmith tongs come in several shapes and sizes all depending on what type you need and what steel you are using. Once again, you can find good tongs at yards sales and antique stores. The same goes with hammers, although I have seen some hammers that have  seen many years of use so it may make more sense to buy a new one to your liking.

Blacksmithing is an enjoyable hobby. Being able to create something useable from hard steel is an unique feeling. I’ll be posting other articles as time permits and as I continue to learn. I am also hoping to eventually start posting some videos too.


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"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Psalms 42:11

Filed under: Andy's Blacksmith Shop, Blacksmithing, Heritage Skills, The Robinson's · Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to "The Blacksmith Shop"

  1. Angelia Angelia says:

    Excellent article Andy! So informative and great pictures – can’t wait to see what all you will be adding here. Good job!

  2. Carol says:

    Hi Andy, Good to see these pics of your forge+the coal you+Erin got the weekend we were visiting the family. Looking forward to seeing the results of your endeavor sometime. Blessings to you, Erin, and “little Paul”. John+Carol

  3. Magnus says:

    I’m wanting to take up blacksmithing and I appreciate the sources you gave. Looking forward to more posts on the subject.

    1. paul paul says:

      Great! we’ve just finished a couple of days of smithing a project. We have about a half day more to finish a project.

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