Blacksmithing is a highly professional process in which wrought iron or steel is forged to fabricate different products. It requires a high level of skills.
If you are new to blacksmithing, or you have a little knowledge about blacksmithing, you should learn about it. The more you add to your knowledge, the better you perform.
Learning is a continuous process. In the past, people used to be expert in more than one field.
Now, it is challenging to be an expert even in a constricted field and know everything about it. You become better at something by learning and researching about it.
Blacksmithing not only requires knowledge from the books, but it also requires applying that knowledge at your work. If you are not utilizing the knowledge you have gained about blacksmithing; it’s as useless as handles on a snowball.
Books provide you with knowledge about almost everything. Reading them makes you understand things you cannot work on your own. If you want to get an expert view on something, you should read books or articles.
Likewise, blacksmithing is a profession that requires you to learn about it first, and then apply it in the workshop. Pretty straightforward, right?
There are hundreds of books written by blacksmiths that are available online, or you can go to a bookstore and buy it. So, do you want to be better at blacksmithing? Buy yourself a book!
Blacksmithing is a craft that requires experience and constant practice to become a master. However, you can accelerate this process by using appropriate tools. Books are one of the most significant blacksmithing resources that can help you refine your blacksmithing technique a lot faster.
However, there are countless blacksmith books available, both online and offline; therefore, most people often get confused about which one would be of help to them.
Below is a list of Top 5 books that provide useful information on different blacksmithing techniques and tools.
1. Basic Blacksmithing: An Introduction to Tool Making
Are you a novice blacksmith? Are you interested in making tools on your own? Admittedly, Basic Blacksmithing is best for you. To become an expert at blacksmithing, you have to learn the basics of the process.
Blacksmithing requires a lot of tools, which include a hammer, tongs, forge, etc. used in various techniques. This book will explain how you can stepwise manufacture tools used in the forging process.
Also, It explains very briefly the different facets of the trade which a novice blacksmith must know. Moreover, this book can help you make inexpensive tools using pure raw materials and easy techniques.
The book is particularly useful for beginners. It offers valuable information on the techniques for tool making as well as providing reviews for the elementary aspects of the trade.
And guess what, the book can keep you from wasting countless stock over unsuccessful projects. Overall, Basic Blacksmithing helps beginners embark on blacksmithing projects without much previous experience because it covers all aspects of the trade.
Moreover, the book starts with the tools along with its uses. Then, it discusses raw materials and the blacksmithing approaches, which can help out the beginners. Processes like punching and hot-filing are also briefly explained with sketches.
Step-by-step instructions to fabricate tools like chisels, hammers, and tongs are provided in this book. If you want to know how to make hearths, you should read this book.
This book is flexible in terms of the techniques used to manufacture tools and also the dimension of the apparatus. You can customize the tools according to your personal preferences. It also helps you in making tools using conventional techniques.
If you’re just starting out, the book can be a means of a head start as it has all the necessary tips and tricks to embrace a blacksmith’s journey.
One more good thing about this book is that it is written by someone who worked in the development technology sector for a couple of years. It shows the credibility of the author.
Hence, this book is a useful resource you can use to get a lot of information regarding the basics of blacksmithing and the tools involved in it.
- Tips on making tools using simple methods and scrap material.
- Almost everything is described in a very detailed way using the right words and visuals.
- This book is not for people who are experts in blacksmithing.
- Does not discuss complex projects and techniques.
2. The Backyard Blacksmith
The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith is written by an eminent authoress, Lorelei Sims. Lorelei is a professional blacksmith and has years of experience in this field. She owns a blacksmith shop in Illinois.
She has created several metal ornaments by applying her skillful techniques. Apart from her own work, she has been a teacher for blacksmithing and conducted several workshops throughout the years.
Moreover, she has also attended a lot of blacksmithing conferences, especially in North Korea. If you want to see her crafts, you should visit her website.
Blacksmithing is a profession that is now being adopted by many people all around the world. It can be a productive and fruitful hobby for you. Even if you are a beginner, you can still end up creating a beautiful product.
Blacksmithing requires some instructions before you start melting that metal. You need to read a few books, attend classes, watch a few videos to proceed. This book is best for you to begin with. It will help you get a good grip on the basics of blacksmithing. Isn’t that what you are looking for?
If you ever desire a book with an explicit instruction that uses a supplemental pictorial representation to illustrate, then The Backyard Blacksmith is for you.
The book effectively gives simple illustrations that can help even beginners make their tools. It also covers topics that can help you create your very own gardening tools
The authoress also provides a detailed explanation of the basics that you need to understand before you get on the road to be an advanced blacksmith. These basics include how to make simple instruments and how to fabricate different metal arts using different procedures.
These simple tools can be advantageous for you. The essential tools mentioned in this book include handles, nails, and hinges.
Handles can be made for different purposes, including door, window, etc. You can get a basic idea of how to understand blacksmithing techniques and apply them.
Apart from the tools used in the forging process, this book will also help you work on different types of crafty projects.
You cannot just pick up a hammer and start hitting on a metal. It is like driving a car without a steering wheel. You have to understand basic techniques like coal forging, hammering, and other such basics.
Some heating methods are also briefly explained in this book. One of the best things about this book is that you will see some sketches and visuals. Visuals help you understand things in a better way. Stepwise instructions are given in this book for your convenience.
Also, the name of this book does not suggest you go to your backyard and start blacksmithing right away. You have to understand the fundamentals of blacksmithing, and then you can even start it in your yard, or a workshop based in your home.
This book demonstrates how you can enduringly start designing distinct products using wrought iron or steel. Also, Lorelei showed that you could work on diverse projects; even forging door pulls seems interesting in the book.
Door pulls have a high demand in almost all the countries. You can earn a lump sum amount by creating basic things like gate pulls, hinges, etc.
- The author focuses on the basics.
- Simple and understandable illustrations.
- Less-detailed explanation of building a fire using intricate equipment.
- It is for the people who are novice blacksmiths or are thinking about being a blacksmith.
- Advanced blacksmiths will find nothing surprising in this book.
3. New Edge of The Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith Network
This book is a little bit more advanced because it majorly focuses on the technical aspects of artistic blacksmithing projects. It also provides simplified information on the various metallurgical properties of metals used in blacksmithing.
You can consider making use of this book if you desire to start blacksmithing business in full. New Edge of the Anvil also uses pictorial representation for easy understanding.
New Edge of The Anvil was published in 1994 by Jack Andrews. This book is a revised version of Edge of The Anvil, published in 1977, written by the same author. That book was his first-ever successful book. He gained courage from it. He revised his old edition to make a few changes in it.
The new version includes updated data and a lot of visuals. Jack was an outstanding artisan himself.
Apart from being an expert blacksmith, he was a great mentor. He worked in this sector for many years and had a vast experience in metal arts.
This book contains a lot of drawings and pictures to make sure that you can understand all the procedures and tools in a better way.
Different types of forging methods are discussed in this book, which includes heating the metal, cutting the metal, upsetting, welding, metallurgy, etc.
Apart from these procedures, it also explains how to shape the metal in a better way by controlling the temperature and taking a few precautionary measures so that you do not end up ruining the whole process.
One significant aspect this book covers is Metallurgy. It deals with knowing the characteristics of the metal. You do not have to enroll in a metallurgy course or be an expert at it. However, you should know the basics of metallurgy.
Knowing about metallurgy can help you in choosing the right metal with the right properties.
Why? It can help in the forging process and might save you from facing different kinds of issues, including uneven heating, not using the right tools, brittle end product, etc.
Also, you might need a further understanding of metallurgy if you are dealing with various tools. All you need to know in a single book. Amazing?
Apart from metallurgy, processes like corrosion and metal finishes are also discussed in this handy book. You can learn about corrosion, which might distort the forging process. A few tips are also given in this book.
Charts and instructions are presented to keep the readers engaged. Jack also explains the whole procedure of design and even helps his reader in using electronic devices like a computer in the designing process.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is used nowadays for this purpose. From fabricating tools to opening your own workshop, this book thoroughly guides you.
This book is included in the Top 300 in Amazon’s best sellers rank list in the metalwork category. It has been an aspiration for several blacksmiths for some years. It shows the artwork of some of the great blacksmiths, including Martin and Samuel.
These blacksmiths made beautiful artwork using wrought iron. Apart from this, many blacksmiths have admired this book. They found it useful and had a positive review of this book. Nol Putnam, an advanced blacksmith, having years of experience, also suggested this book.
Moreover, the content provided in this book is very well-explained and well-organized. For instance, the heat treatment sections contained in this book are very well-explained and in a particular way. It has ample information for a novice to understand the fundamentals of blacksmithing.
Being an expert himself, Jack teaches all the techniques and processes in this book in an efficient way. This book can also be used to teach students who are interested in learning blacksmithing on a professional level or want to pursue it as a hobby.
If you are a novice blacksmith, then you should read this book. Advanced blacksmiths can take this book as a reference for the future. It is indeed a great reference book you can refer to. Specificity is a minor issue in this book because it is a reference book.
Some topics are primarily for novice blacksmiths, while some are for the experts. However, this book is a significant influencer and enlightens you on how to cover the basic knowledge of blacksmithing.
- It covers the basic concepts, which is a useful thing for a beginner.
- Experts can take this as a reference book.
- This book provides you with additional information apart from blacksmithing—for instance, Metallurgy.
- Some topics are not explained in a specific way.
- Not suitable for beginners.
4. The Complete Modern Blacksmith
The Complete Modern Blacksmith will be a great addition to your blacksmithing library because it touches some essential aspects of blacksmithing. The three critical areas that are analyzed are the areas of repair and making of tools, recycling of materials, and the field of modern blacksmithing. The book is not only great for an experienced blacksmith; it is also suitable for beginners.
The Complete Modern Blacksmith was published in 1997 by Alexander George Weygers. Alexander was a well-known painter and blacksmith. Apart from being a blacksmith, he was a mentor too.
He began his career as an engineer. He taught the philosophy of art. His artwork was presented in many exhibitions. Moreover, he wrote a few books on blacksmithing. His books are informative and easy to understand.
The Complete Modern Blacksmith is a blend of three books written by Alexander. They are, The Modern Blacksmith, The Making of Tools, and The Recycling, Use, and Repair of Tools.
These books explained the techniques through which you can devise tools and convert wrought iron into something beautiful. Also, those three books covered the basics of blacksmithing with step-by-step instructions.
Using sketches, diagrams, and photographs made these books very easy to understand. Pictures can help you understand things easily as compared to the words. Black and white photos help you understand things quickly in this book.
Are you a novice blacksmith? Are you an advanced blacksmith? Yes, this book is for both. This book provides you with information to become a better blacksmith and also to re-evaluate your skill level. The contents included range from fabricating the tools to repairing the broken tools.
Instead of reading three books, you can just buy this and read all of them in this edition. It is just like a 3-in-1 bundle.
Moreover, Alexander explains blacksmithing techniques based on his years of experience in this field. He illustrates all the procedures in a very particular way, which clears out the confusion. The approaches used range from conventional methods to modern-era methods.
One more thing that makes this book worth reading is the illustration of precautionary measures to avoid injuries. Tools like hammer and tongs are also discussed in this book. In short, this book will help you devise things you need to set up a smithy.
The best thing about this is that it helps you create tools from scrap steel. You can gather steel from different places like a scrapyard. It can save you money.
Using this book, you can create tools even for free. The “Scrounge and take” philosophy makes it easier for you to fabricate customized instruments.
If you are interested in carving knives, you should read this book. Techniques like upsetting steel are discussed in this book.
This book has some fantastic reviews online as well. You can gift this book to someone who has a little interest in blacksmithing. It can turn out to be a tremendous gift. Also, the usage of simple English will help you understand it easily.
Apart from this, you might find it a complex book. You need to have some necessary information regarding blacksmithing to understand this book in a better way.
This handy book will not only teach you how to create tools. It will help you know how to use your brain in blacksmithing. Sustainability is also considered in this book. “Money is not a problem” is a lesson this book teaches you if you are interested in blacksmithing.
- It helps you in devising inexpensive tools and saves your money.
- You can read this book instead of reading the previous three books by this author. It will save you time and money as well.
- You have to get a good grip on a few basics of blacksmithing before reading this book; otherwise, you won’t be able to understand a lot of things.
5. Blacksmithing Basics for Homesteads
This book is another valuable piece for beginners. It is easy to understand even for a novice. It also provides a good foundation and template for beginners to build on. Similarly, it gives clear instructions that can assist you in carrying out varieties of projects.
Blacksmithing Basics for Homestead was initially published in 2008 by a renowned author, Joe DeLaRonde. Joe started his blacksmithing career more than 40 years ago. His mentor was a German Blacksmith who was a professional, and Joe gained a lot of experience in blacksmithing from him.
Joe’s artwork is highly admired and is also present in many private museums. He owns a blacksmithing shop in Colorado. You can visit his website to have a glimpse of his artistic touch.
Apart from being a practical blacksmith, he also taught blacksmithing lessons and conducted many workshops.
This book starts with the history of blacksmithing. If you are interested in learning the history of blacksmithing, this book is for you. In the latter chapter, the tools you can make from wrought iron or steel. As the name of the book suggests that it focuses on homesteading.
You can look around yourself and observe things made up of steel, and you can design those with the help of this book. You can forge items like cooking utensils, screwdrivers, nails, and door hinges, etc. using this book. Do you have a creative mind and a little interest in blacksmithing? If yes, then you should read this book.
Joe has provided a detailed explanation of all the techniques given in this book. All the methods used in this book are conventional. The author has illustrated concepts using sketches, and colorful photographs so that you can understand things in a better way.
Visuals can help you get a good idea of how things are supposed to be in real life. Some tips given in this book include heating the steel, setting up a forge, and precautionary measures to avoid any unfavorable consequences. Step-by-step instructions are provided in this book.
Apart from what is described above, this book will also help you in blacksmithing with finite tools.
This inexpensive book teaches you how to make tools ranging from weapons to daily household steel items using only the basic tools. These include knives, nails, and hammer, etc.
Even if you are a professional blacksmith, you can still find something new in this book, which can help you enhance your skills and become an even more skilful blacksmith in the future. This book seeks your attention and provides a good explanation with the use of well-drawn sketches and pictures.
Finishing is one of the last processes in blacksmithing. Joe has covered this important topic as well in his book, along with the use of patinas for an aesthetically pleasing surface.
The whole idea of this book revolves around teaching you how to be independent in homesteading.
The author’s credibility can be seen by his experience in this field for several years, which makes the book very engaging, attractive, and informative.
Learning from someone who is a professional in his area is a great opportunity. So, what are you waiting for? Go and buy yourself this low-priced handy book and enhance your skills.
- This book is basically for beginners, but even if you are an expert, you will find it useful to some extent.
- Usage of diagrams and colorful photograph is a plus point.
- A few concepts are not explained in detailed.
- Modern techniques are not discussed in this book, which makes it kind of a limited resource.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are books enough to understand everything about blacksmithing?
No, books are not enough to understand everything about blacksmithing. Although books are necessary to understand the basics of blacksmithing techniques and tools used, you still have to practice a lot of things.
You have to go through the forging process, bear the clangs of metal, and inhale coal dust to become a better blacksmith.
2. Are all the books on blacksmithing for the beginners?
No, all the books are not suitable for beginners. Some books only discuss modern blacksmithing techniques that involve specialized tools.
If you are a beginner, comprehending such a book might not be an easy task. Always consider your skill level and experience before buying a resource book.
3. Is it necessary to take a look at the author’s profile before choosing a book?
Well, of course, you should take a look at the author’s biography before choosing a book. Blacksmithing is a practical field. How do you expect someone to write comprehensively if they haven’t even forged a simple hook?
It is evident that if you are reading a book of an author like Joe DeLaRonde, who holds expertise in this field for more than 40 years, you will have a better learning experience.
It is a well-known fact that the most valuable information about any trade is written with ink on paper. Blacksmiths to quickly accelerate from beginner level to master level need to harness the power of valuable information in blacksmithing books along with practical experience.
Learning is a continuous process. You keep on learning a new thing every day, but you still cannot say that you know everything about the relevant field.
Reading a book beforehand and then applying the concepts and techniques you have learned can surely help you become a better blacksmith. Therefore, you should read books and utilize the knowledge provided in them.
However, you have to be selective about blacksmithing books, as many of them are available both online and offline. The above list was compiled after thorough reviews and valuable recommendations.