Northwest Blacksmith Association

Archive for Steve’s Smithing Tips

Gothic Candle Stand

Making a Gothic Candle StandA nice candle holder or two should be on every blacksmith’s bucket list. Here is a fancy one that takes two to three days to build.


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Wrapped Rose

Wrapped roseIntermediate Level

The petals and stem of this rose are made from one continuous piece of iron. It requires a little bit of MIG or TIG welding.

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Adjustable Bending Fork

Adjustable bending forkThis adjustable bending fork gets more use in my shop than any other type of bending fork.

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Magnetic Blade Clamp

Magnetic blade clampSanding or filing a blade can be a dangerous project. Minimize the risk of serious injury by using a magnetic blade clamp that shields all sharp points and edges while leaving the blade unobstructed.

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Oak Branch Door Knocker

Oak branch door knockerThis article was published in the January 2013 issue of Hot Iron News.
It describes all the steps in making the oak branch door knocker shown here.

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A Beginner’s First Project: Rebar Tent Stakes

Rebar Tent StakesThis is the first project I give a raw beginner. It involves several of the basic operations: drawing out, tapering, bending, straightening and cutting.

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Make Brace Bits: Center Bit

Center Brace BitDoes it look impossibly difficult to make drill bits?

Have no fear: it’s actually not difficult at all.

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Ripple Stake

Ripple StakeMake a ripple stake for shaping the edges of leaves and flower petals.

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Easy Charcoal Maker

Easy Charcoal MakerDetailed instructions on how to make and operate a simple charcoal maker.

After working with the charcoal maker for a while, it has become apparent that several improvements are in order. The suggested improvements, along with related correspondence, are posted below the article pdf.

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David Kailey’s Tool Holder

David Kailey's Tool HolderDavid’s interchangeable handle for punches, drifts, chisels, slitters & fullers.

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Forge Welding Flux Recipes

Flux Recipe TableThis is a link to a table of recipes for forge welding fluxes. The table is compiled from a large number of blacksmithing books dating back to the late 1800’s. Also included are sources and current costs for the ingredients.

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Making Nails

Making NailsHere are detailed instructions on how to make nails, and how to make the tools you need to make nails.

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Double Diagonal Peen Hammer

Double diagonal peenThe double diagonal peen hammer is one of the most useful kinds of hammer in my shop.

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Forging a Corkscrew

CorkscrewHow to forge a corkscrew.

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Spreading Tongs

Spreading TongsIntermediate Level

Spreading tongs: a valuable tool for scrolls, spiral baskets, and any other detailed bending & adjusting.

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Making a Simple Hinge

Simple hingeIntermediate Level

How to make a simple hinge.

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Twist Jaw Tongs

Twist Jaw TongsClick here to download the instructions as a .pdf file:
Twist Jaw Tongs

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Forging Acorns from Steel Pipe

Forging AcornsThis is a tutorial on how to forge acorns from steel pipe.

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Making Drawer Pulls (beginning level)

Drawer Pull

This article describes in a series of pictures the steps in making an antique style drawer pull.

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Matching Lengths of Two Bars

Matching bar lengthsSuppose you are making a gate and you need two horizontals to be exactly the same length, but one turns out a little longer than the other. You have already forged something — a tenon for example — on the ends of the bars. You can’t cut the bars. How can you shorten one or lengthen the other?

The answer is simple: draw out or upset. The shorter bar can be lengthened by hammering uniformly along its length, cold or hot. The more you hammer it, the longer it will grow. Read More→