How to Start Blacksmithing in Australia
Here at Sekao magnetics.net.au we are passionate about blacksmithing and helping people who are looking to get into this rewarding hobby. We want to help you in your chosen craft, no matter if you are a beginner or at any level.
Here in Australia blacksmithing and knifemaking are fast becoming a hobby that a lot of people enjoying. From young kids to the retired. Even the chances of becoming a professional blacksmith are numerous and diverse now. This all shows that that blacksmithing is fast becoming a recognized craft discipline, once again. And a viable career option, if so inclined.
So, if you have the urge to strike a hot piece of metal over an anvil for the first time. Here is a small guide to give you some tips on where to start, what to buy, and even about the courses you can take here in Aus. So here goes;
Sekao would certainly recommend taking a course before buying anything. Don’t go spending a few hundred $$ on a new anvil until you know it’s something you really want to do. So start with a great course and we recommend the guys over at https://www.tharwavalleyforge.com/ These guys run courses over the weekends. This is taken from their website…
“Tharwa Valley Forge runs courses every weekend and most days of the week. We provide everyone from novices to experts with the opportunity to experience traditional crafts and to learn new skills. No need to have ever swung a hammer or have used machines before – our courses are for everyone!
Located 20 minutes south of Canberra we’re in a beautiful piece of bushland on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Our campus covers ten acres and has onsite accommodation in our heritage-listed cottage and homestead.”
These courses are run by experienced blacksmiths that will teach you all the basics and get you ready to get started. As well as establishing whether you really do like and/or could be any good at blacksmithing. It will allow you to get a taste of the craft in one form or another.
- Buying your first anvil
As much as we would love to say to you to go and get yourself a second-hand anvil. Surprisingly (or maybe not so) second hand is more expensive than a brand spanking new one. Plus, a hell of a lot more time consuming too! You will need to check local classified, Gumtree and the like to try and find one.
Call Alan in the shop, he can advise you about the size and weight to get. Get an anvil that of course suits your purpose too. There are some differences between the Farrier Anvils and Blacksmith anvils. These are that the farrier anvil has the two little knobs at the back called turning cams, while the blacksmith anvil is square at the heel. If you are making knives, then you should be okay with either. Still, you can check out our stock of Anvils here.
- Hammers, Tongs and pick-ups
Obviously, as you are starting out, you are not at the stage where you can make your own. So, you will need to buy. Yep, quality speaks for its self. It would be a false economy to buy cheap. They won’t last. We go out of our way to sell quality; we test everything first and make sure it will last some tough ass testing. So, make sure you get the right hammer for what you are looking to be making.
1st hammer you should buy is a rounding hammer as a beginner and a good hammer will last you a lifetime. Remember Smashing your hammer into an anvil for hours at a time. Is going to be hard on your hands, elbows, and wrists. Using this hammer with a good ergonomic technique can go a long way towards keeping your body healthy while blacksmithing.
Have a read of our “the art of hammering” to learn how Alans Grandad taught him. Decent read. Also, our tongs and pick-ups are of the highest quality. We tried loads of suppliers before we decided to stock these. Choose the right ones for your purpose. Get more info on tongs in this blog here.
- Building a forge.
This is something you need to do yourself. However, we recommend this guy and how he has made his forge. Great Vid.
Get a blower from us here.
- So you have all the gear, you have done your course and you are ready to get going! Right?
Well, before you get started, please think SAFETY! Make sure that you have everything in place in case something goes wrong. I ain’t gonna list here what could go wrong, but you are dealing with heat, heavy objects, possible sharp objects and maybe even some chems. Do yourself a favour and make sure you have a first aid kit and fire extinguishing equipment at hand. Good ventilation is a must. A good leather, heavy-duty apron and a decent pair of gloves. Your Mum’s oven mitts are not going to cut it.
Above all else guys and gals, enjoy yourself. Blacksmithing is a rewarding hobby and something that would give you so much pleasure when you finally create something you want to show everyone. Which when you are new, may take a few tries.
Should you wish to pursue some more formal training, then there are several options at both Further and Higher education level. So, get on the net and google away.
The perfect thing about buying from Sekao’s online shop is that the freight is calculated on your Australian Post Code. So be confident that buying online won’t be much of a hassle. And the postage won’t be crazy.
Magnetics.net.au is a safe and secure website with full encryption. It uses PayPal, so you are assured of safety when paying by credit card. Or if you would like to inspect our items, close and personal. You, of course, are more than welcome to do so. Please come around to the shop and speak with Alan or one of the staff. Our service staff are 100% knowledgeable on all items. So pop round or call us.