Pricing my BEGINNERS Blacksmithing Workshop
Listen, we fail a lot. Its just part of life.
I have been hunting with a recurve bow for a few years now and outside of a few squirrels it has been a total failure. Maybe that’s not true because I do love the bow and target shooting is great fun but I haven’t yielded much meat successfully. This pushed me to buy a rifle and learn more about hunting. Through this adversity with the recurve I have learned so much more. While I am no hunting success story I will say this “I have not yet begun to fight!”
Many people get into things each year, they spend a bunch of money and in six months they are listing those items on craigslist. I don’t think there is anything wrong with failure. Its part of the human experience. Its part of living a dynamic lifestyle where you are unafraid of trying new things.
My outlook on self reliance is always changing and I am going through a serious change right now. I am sure PrepperCon will add new pieces to my toolkit as well! Once I get this new change in style and tactics all ironed out I will write something longer about it. For now I want to focus on one aspect that is drilling a hole in me lately.
I cannot shake the need to know more about metal and have the ability to manipulate it. BLACKSMITHING. Its inevitable now and its something that is going to happen before the year is out. So, of course, I am reading and watching and consuming media on the subject constantly. At this point I feel like I have a few decisions to make, I hope you are in the same boat.
- Starting Cheap and Small
- Saving and Waiting
- More Research
I want to get my hands dirty and that is why I have decided to create this article about Pricing my BEGINNERS Blacksmith Workshop.
Now I want to put an emphasis on BEGINNERS because some of the things I am going to price in this article are not going to be of high quality. They are going to be beginners tools. That’s important for you to understand. I want to get a read on my abilities without investing 5,000 in a workshop!
Fail fast. Its great advice.
For many of us the blacksmithing journey stops right here. When you find out that a legitimate anvil is going to run you between $450-$2000 the breaks get pumped, real fast. From here those lofty ideas of blacksmithing start to fade and then your attention is pulled away by baseball or some google ad sense. Funny enough, this happens more than you think but specifically when you are floored the introductory price of something.
This Grizzly 55lb Anvil on Amazon is not a high quality model but it costs $60. Remember, I am a beginner. I am setting up a beginners shop. I want to make a knife and see how much I hate or love doing it. I read the reviews and I know this thing is going to get dinged up, fast. Its only cast iron.
That said, the price of admission for blacksmithing goes away if I am just dropping $60 on an anvil to find out how this fits into my lifestyle. Don’t get wrapped up in having the best right off the bat!
For those unfamiliar with the forge, this is where you are going to heat the metal to glowing so that it can be formed.
When it comes to a forge you can go a few routes. You can certainly make your own forge. Or you can purchase one. To be honest, I am not sure which route I will be going. I have a few thoughts and they are leaning towards an old cast iron wok that I bought years ago and rarely use. I also may buy a cheap firebrick based forge.
Ideally I will be after something like the forge by Whitlox Homestead, one day, but that is an investment!
The more I talk to blacksmiths and the more I research, its seems these can be had at scrap yards and flea markets at a decent price. That is an important option for me. The best deal I could find on Amazon was 39.95 for these tongs.
The tricky thing about tongs is that they coming fitted for holding all different shapes. Some are made to hold round bars of metal, some for flat pieces. There are event tongs for holding T shaped metal. Because of my motivations I am looking for something that will hold flat item. I may also invest in some cheap locking pliers as well.
Now when it comes to my apron I will not be taking risks. I want a solid leather apron that will protect me because I am going to make mistakes. I am not afraid to get burned and that means I will likely get burned. I was a chef for years and suffered some tremendous burns. The Apron will protect all my important parts.
I have been eyeing this little number.
Another article that you can get for pretty cheap. Of course, you will want to be pretty sure that they will protect you when the tongs start to get hot. Just because they are fireproof does not mean you can pick the glowing metal up with your gloved hand. Even with your gloves on, be careful.
These are priced pretty decent at the local hardware. That means I am not really concerned about finding one or searching for a good deal. The grinder will get me to my goal of shaping a knife blade properly. This tool will also help with grinding a knife handle.
A good hammer is a good hammer and that transcends the idea of blacksmithing so I will likely look for something by Craftsman. They have this great model that is a 40 ounce pounder, perfect for steel. If it turns out I hate to smith I can at least have a quality hammer for any number of tasks.
What am I missing? I want to start pounding metal and as far as I can tell this is about the fastest way to start. Now, remember what I said, this is a beginners shop that will give me a quick gauge for how I feel about blacksmithing. Sure, watching other people do it is very alluring but I want to be sure its the right move for me. I am sure that in about 30 slams of the hammer I will know if this is what I am into.
There is a part of me that likes the idea and there is a part of me that knows its necessary. Why not give it a try, right? Expect more from me on this topic as I slowly start to learn how to smith I will make sure that I offer you some of my tips, tricks and fails so you can come along on this journey. Talk to you soon!
Oh yea! This whole setup will cost less than most anvils, particularly if I make my own forge.