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Blacksmithing – Tools and Techniques

Blacksmithing

The term “blacksmith” comes from the activity of working iron or the “Black” metal – so named due to the colour of the metal after being heated

The Blacksmith uses the following:

The hearth or Forge – Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel, until the metal becomes soft enough to be shaped. Colour is important for indicating the temperature and workability of the metal: As iron is heated to increasing temperatures, it first glows red, then orange, yellow, and finally white. The ideal heat for most forging is the bright yellow-orange colour appropriately known as a “forging heat”. Because they must be able to see the glowing colour of the metal, some blacksmiths work in dim, low-light conditions

Hammers

Blacksmiths use a range of hammers all have a special function.

Anvil

An anvil is a block of metal with a hard surface on which hot metal is formed and is made of a number of components:

  • Bick, Beck or Horn is used to bend metal
  • Table of the anvil, is used for cutting
  • Face is used when stricking hot metal to shape it
  • The Hardy hole is a square hole into which specialized forming and cutting tools, called hardy tools, are placed. It is also used in punching and bending operations.
  • Punch Hole

Tonge

For holding hot steel while its worked

Swages and Forming Tools

Blacksmith working at Spalding Chain Bridge Forge
Ryan Blacksmithing at Chain Bridge Forge