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Modern Blacksmithing equipment


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@dads706 started a topic the other day about where to get stuff if someone was starting out. It got lost in the shuffle of forum issues so I’d like to start that again. Hopefully those who were able to post before can get back in on this with things being easier to post and respond now. Here are some places I find things.  

1) individuals.  Talk to people, the more the better.  If they don’t have things, they might know someone who does.  

2) auctions. Take the check book and swing for the fences

3) local antique stores.  Look around and you might find something nice

I believe the original question talked about finding these things new. Most blacksmithing items can still be purchased new. It may cost a LOT but they can be bought. There are several makers of tooling on eBay and Etsy (never used Etsy personally) 

Here are a few websites that a person can look at: http://fontaninianvilandtool.com

https://www.centaurforge.com/mobile/

https://kensironstore.com

https://www.piehtoolco.com

https://www.hightemptools.com/burners.html

I’ve never personally ordered from centaur forge but have heard good things. I’ve gotten lots of ideas from U-toob and many of those people post links in their videos to where certain things came from.  Another route is to just make what you want. Tongs, hammers, forges, and other tooling can be made. All of those items are still be manufactured obviously also. I’m not sure if you can still buy a post vise new today or not. There are many other sights but these are a few things I’m familiar with. Feel free to ask questions and add to this thread. 

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3 hours ago, Sledgehammer said:

@dads706 started a topic the other day about where to get stuff if someone was starting out. It got lost is the shuffle of forum issues so I’d like to start that again. Hopefully those who were able to post before can get back in on this with things being easier to post and respond now. Here are some places I find things.  

1) individuals.  Talk to people, the more the better.  If they don’t have things, they might know someone who does.  

2) auctions. Take the check book and swing for the fences

3) local antique stores.  Look around and you might find something nice

I believe the original question talked about finding these things new. Most blacksmithing items can still be purchased new. It may cost a LOT but they can be bought. There are several makers of tooling on eBay and Etsy (never used Etsy personally) 

Here are a few websites that a person can look at: http://fontaninianvilandtool.com

https://www.centaurforge.com/mobile/

https://kensironstore.com

https://www.piehtoolco.com

https://www.hightemptools.com/burners.html

I’ve never personally ordered from centaur forge but have heard good things. I’ve gotten lots of ideas from U-toob and many of those people post links in their videos to where certain things came from.  Another route is to just make what you want. Tongs, hammers, forges, and other tooling can be made. All of those items are still be manufactured obviously also. I’m not sure if you can still buy a post vise new today or not. There are many other sights but these are a few things I’m familiar with. Feel free to ask questions and add to this thread. 

yard sales and estate sales is were I got most of my tools

up here there are lots of older men that worked in the mines

one sale there was a box of taps and dies 35.00 for close to 1000. dollars of tooling

another deal was a case of asorted bronze rod from the Anaconda mine in Montana.

they just wanted it gone.

Mike

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1 hour ago, Mike H said:

yard sales and estate sales is were I got most of my tools

up here there are lots of older men that worked in the mines

one sale there was a box of taps and dies 35.00 for close to 1000. dollars of tooling

another deal was a case of asorted bronze rod from the Anaconda mine in Montana.

they just wanted it gone.

Mike

I’ve heard stories about 900lb anvils that came out of the Anaconda mine. I think @Old Binder Guy had seen them. 

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Growing up, I remember dad having  a large forge, trip hammer, several tongs, and ...... 2 or 3 varieties of those square blocks with different curves, squares and holes. (sorry, don't know what they are called, but would know if I heard it)

He donated all of it to the Pioneer Village museum at Minden, Nebraska. Wish I had it all back. 

When I bought my wood planer, the guy asked me if I was interested in blacksmithing. He showed me his shop. Almost peed down my leg. His shop was what I imagine Sledgehammers to look like. Just made ya drool looking at the stuff. He told me he taught 'smithing' classes, but unfortunately I wasn't able to justify the 2 hour trip to his classes. I'm sure he has passed by now. He told me that he was commissioned to do a lot of the original iron works in a couple of the historic buildings in Omaha. 

Local historical group took over an 1880 farmstead and have a show each year. There was a blacksmith shop on the far when they took over, but much of the tools have grown legs and walked away. I remember seeing probably 4 or 5 'Cone shaped things' the largest being probably 4 feet tall and weighing a couple hundred pounds. All disappeared.

Off topic but another of those kick yourself moments..... my uncle who collected hit and miss engines also restored buggies and was known for his wheel making. One day after he could no long do his wheel wright work, he called and asked if I wanted his tools? He told me to come by some tme and he would give them to me. Well, like most of us, I figured he would live forever and I had plenty of time to stop and get them.  Until... he wasn't there anymore. And when that happened, I couldn't go to the family and say.... "oh, by the way, Uncle xxxxxx" told me I could have all his wheel wright tools.   So goes the story of my life. Day late ad a dollar short.

FYI..... this is the same uncle that was a pathfinder in WWII. They jumped into Normandy on June 4th. 2 days before D-Day. Their only support was the French underground and if D-Day had been canceled or postponed, they would have been on their own.

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32 minutes ago, dads706 said:

Growing up, I remember dad having  a large forge, trip hammer, several tongs, and ...... 2 or 3 varieties of those square blocks with different curves, squares and holes. (sorry, don't know what they are called, but would know if I heard it)

He donated all of it to the Pioneer Village museum at Minden, Nebraska. Wish I had it all back. 

When I bought my wood planer, the guy asked me if I was interested in blacksmithing. He showed me his shop. Almost peed down my leg. His shop was what I imagine Sledgehammers to look like. Just made ya drool looking at the stuff. He told me he taught 'smithing' classes, but unfortunately I wasn't able to justify the 2 hour trip to his classes. I'm sure he has passed by now. He told me that he was commissioned to do a lot of the original iron works in a couple of the historic buildings in Omaha. 

Local historical group took over an 1880 farmstead and have a show each year. There was a blacksmith shop on the far when they took over, but much of the tools have grown legs and walked away. I remember seeing probably 4 or 5 'Cone shaped things' the largest being probably 4 feet tall and weighing a couple hundred pounds. All disappeared.

Off topic but another of those kick yourself moments..... my uncle who collected hit and miss engines also restored buggies and was known for his wheel making. One day after he could no long do his wheel wright work, he called and asked if I wanted his tools? He told me to come by some tme and he would give them to me. Well, like most of us, I figured he would live forever and I had plenty of time to stop and get them.  Until... he wasn't there anymore. And when that happened, I couldn't go to the family and say.... "oh, by the way, Uncle xxxxxx" told me I could have all his wheel wright tools.   So goes the story of my life. Day late ad a dollar short.

FYI..... this is the same uncle that was a pathfinder in WWII. They jumped into Normandy on June 4th. 2 days before D-Day. Their only support was the French underground and if D-Day had been canceled or postponed, they would have been on their own.

Swage blocks

Cone mandrels 

I wish I had a trip hammer, swage block, and all those traditional tools. They weren’t super plentiful when they were being used all the time. Now they are even more rare to see.  Haven’t bit the bullet on power tools yet. I’ve got anvils, post vises, a coal forge, propane forge, a couple hammers, and a striking anvil that I built. Most everything has its specific use. A power hammer or forging press would be a game changer on making tools like hammers and hatchets.  
 

Your uncle sounds like he would have been a really cool fella to know.

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One of my friends does some blacksmithing, he gets most of his stuff from auctions and has made a few sets of tongs himself. One thing he told me about anvils is that the new ones don't have the same rebound as the old ones, something about the manufacturing process. He said he was at harbor freight once and was looking at their anvil. He dropped a hammer on it and it was dead, no rebound at all. 

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22 minutes ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

One of my friends does some blacksmithing, he gets most of his stuff from auctions and has made a few sets of tongs himself. One thing he told me about anvils is that the new ones don't have the same rebound as the old ones, something about the manufacturing process. He said he was at harbor freight once and was looking at their anvil. He dropped a hammer on it and it was dead, no rebound at all. 

I think the new anvil makers like the ones I listed above are in a league above harbor freight. I tested one of mine today for rebound out of curiosity. It is 11” tall so I dropped a ball bearing from 11” over the top of the anvil it bounced up to nearly 100% of anvil height. I’ve never found rebound to be a big deal personally. Some people take more stock in rebound. I took slow motion video of it so I could see the height of the bounce in the video.  
I’ve made tongs in the past. That takes time. I buy them at auctions when I find them and they don’t go crazy price wise. I’ve also modified common tongs to do other things. 

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2 hours ago, Sledgehammer said:

Your uncle sounds like he would have been a really cool fella to know.

He also fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Until he died, he always slept with a window open. He and I would sometimes talk about 'things'. I'm sure he shared things with me that he never told his kids.     

Maybe some day in a different thread.

Enough on that topic.

gene

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53 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

This is advertised on Facebook near me. 

1B3567ED-3922-4C20-8047-92F0406E7F1F.png

Doesn’t look like any Fisher I have ever seen but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one. Fisher typically had anchor holes along the base and looked more traditional. I did find an old Fisher advertisement that claims “over 200 sizes and shapes”. Looking further I would guess it to be a variation of a “chain makers anvil”. That is probably a rare anvil if it is legitimate and not a newer made piece. 

2218C873-8B38-4606-89C5-D45415674BF5.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, Sledgehammer said:

Doesn’t look like any Fisher I have ever seen but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one. Fisher typically had anchor holes along the base and looked more traditional. I did find an old Fisher advertisement that claims “over 200 sizes and shapes”. Looking further I would guess it to be a variation of a “chain makers anvil”. That is probably a rare anvil if it is legitimate and not a newer made piece. 

2218C873-8B38-4606-89C5-D45415674BF5.jpeg

I don’t have the money nor room for it. 
I would love to have it though. 

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19 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

Here’s the only other picture of it. 

1BAEE7BF-8FDC-4197-B9F1-56FF3A58E3B7.png

Never seen one like it. Normally they were a well marked brand. Interesting shape. Obviously for a specific purpose but not sure what. Two Hardy holes and a strange cutout. Could have been for chain I guess.  Pretty cool and looks to be old. 

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