The Blacksmith's Craft: An Introduction to Smithing for Apprentices and Craftsmen
"Someone once asked us if there was a book that explained the basics one step at a time with clear language and nothing to guess about. This is that book." - Jock Dempsey, AnvilFire
"A very small book that really packs a punch. There are several books which are printed by RDC which use their now famous format, of step by step photographs and text in short lesson formats. Each lesson takes the apprentice or advanced student through a group of tasks which teach basic skills important to that specific field.
The Blacksmith's Craft lessons include such things as basic forging techniques, hooks, fire welding, chain making, hooks and staples, harness and trace hooks, shackles, harrow bars, cart staples, plain square corner bends, and most important to the smith with few tools- the making of heavy blacksmiths tongs. Most of my tongs were made using the methods in the back of this book. If for no other reason, buy this book if you would like to make all your own heavy weight blacksmith tongs." - Beautiful Iron
The basis of the Blacksmith's Craft is set out in the pages of this book. There are four parts. Part I describes the smith's simple equipment and his tools, his fuel and fire, the processes he uses in his work and his raw materials.
Parts II, III and IV open with a description of a particular technique which is essential to the lessons which are set out step-by-step in each part.
Each of the photographs by which a technique is illustrated shows some detail of particular technical significance such as the position of the body, the correct grip of the tool in the hand, the angle at which the work is held.
At the head of each lesson is a line drawing of the piece to be made, so that progressive stages of the exercise will be more readily understood, and the relation of drawings to solid objects will become familiar.
A smith who has mastered these thirty-seven lessons will know the essentials of his craft.
Quick Overview (from the 2013 reprint)
The Blacksmith's Craft: An Introduction to Smithing for Apprentices and Craftsmen was published because there was no text book, at that time, on blacksmithing which could meet the needs of craftsmen and apprentices. The lack of such a book was a handicap to the teaching of this subject. It is also of great value to many other craftsmen and apprentices whose work depends on a sound knowledge of the behavior of iron and steel. The skill of the smith is faithfully recorded in sequences of still photographs and brief descriptions. Some of the methods shown and described are not the only ones possible. As experience is gained, the smith can develop his own variations of a technique. With its clear photographs and accurate descriptions, The Blacksmith's Craft is a valuable resource for all blacksmiths.
Hardcover, 5 1/2” x 8 3/4” Pages:104 Illustrations: 248