Blacksmithing is the foundation of hand tool technology. Many hand tools are made entirely of metal or have parts that are made of metal. Even if the tool is not made of metal chances are it was made with a tool that did.
Forging was the only practical way to shape metal for centuries and one of the blacksmith’s responsibilities was to supply the metal parts for the tools needed to build and maintain the community that he lived in.
The work that I do showcases a very basic approach to forging metal. My videos demonstrate a good solid forging technique and my designs are usually based on classic examples with a minimum of ornamentation.
Blacksmithing is often called the king of all trades but there are quite a few things that a blacksmith makes that would be useless without the wooden parts to go with it. So in my opinion a good understanding of basic woodworking is essential.
The woodworking that I do is primarily to complete a project that started in the blacksmith shop. I will make a wooden handle for a tool that I forged or create the cabinet or chest in order to be able to install the hardware that I made for it. Once again my approach is very straight forward. I rely on basic techniques and a good understanding of hand tool technology to solve most problems.
Other Early Trades
My curiosity about early technology goes beyond just blacksmithing and woodworking. I am a trained potter and I enjoy working with any type of material that can be shaped with simple hand tools.
It is my goal to document as many of these early trades as possible in order to create a good foundation for anyone interested in taking this work further. If you have any comments or suggestions of videos you would like to see included in this series please feel free to email me anytime. Thank You!
Forging A Hook Knife
The hook knife is a curved bladed knife that is used much like a gouge. I will be using this knife to carve the seat in the Shop Stool project.
Wolf Jaw Tongs – Short Video
Wolf jaw tongs are a type of blacksmith tongs designed to hold several different sizes of bar stock.