Old ways are sometimes the best ways.

This particular time of a new era could easily go down in history as the age of Game of Thrones. All thanks to that notorious J. R. R. Martin and his careful studies of the middle ages. Which are now having a comeback. Big time.

It started with reenactments of old duels. Sword fights in full on knight gear, tournaments and tests of honor. Yes, this is a legitimate sport now. But another practice of the old is becoming more and more popular. A whole other way to go about DIY projects.

Blacksmithing

Yes, with the forge, anvil and a big old hammer. You don’t need to worry; it won’t make you look eccentric. Even if it does, life is one, life is short. Immerse yourself in what you love and what you find interesting.

Is it the good old craft of bending metal this way and that way until, PUF, it assembles in something completely new? Go for it!

Necessities

You can’t be a blacksmith without all those tools to work with. And materials, of course. But, the only logical approach to this subject is to acquire the necessities. So let’s see what you’ll need.

In order to play and shape the metal, you will need a fire source. So, you’ll need a forge. Forge is just that, your fire source. You can buy one or you can build one, it’s up to you. Even buying one doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a fortune. A blower might take a few more bucks out of your pocket, though. But you’ll use it well so you can keep that fire going.

Anvil is another must have one. It doesn’t have to be that stereotypical thing that we all have in our minds. It can be an iron one, or it can be a chunk, a block, a boulder. It really doesn’t matter as long as it offers you a stable surface to work upon.

Which bring us to…

Tools

If you’ve decided to take upon the noble craft of blacksmithing, you cannot go without a hammer, or a few of them. You can experiment with different sizes, just make sure that the steel is hard enough to last you a long time. And endure some hard work.

You will also need tongs. They are excellent at handling very hot, just-got-out-of-the-fire, metals. Think of them as your extended hand capable of playing with fire.

And then there is a chisel. A handy one to make all the shapes, details, curves etc. You may not need them immediately, but you will soon enough.

It’s easier than one might think

All in all, creating your own little blacksmithing post really does not have to cost a lot. Research some more and be creative. Always be encouraged to go out of your comfort zone. And blacksmithing may just be the way to do it. So, let the games begin!

Going Metal!

What lasts for a very long time, is very resistant to harsh conditions and is also pretty strong? Metals. A precious gift from Mother Earth, metals have been our comrades for quite some time now. After using rocks for a while for all their needs, the first people soon discovered that metals are the way to go. And they are, up to this very day.

Construction industry

Far from that that metals are the only source in the construction industry. But they may turn to be most profitable ones. Using metals rather than other materials has a few benefits here. The installation tends to be faster, lowers the cost of maintenance, decreases the heating and cooling expenses and can endure far more wrath from sometimes very moody weather. Plus, it lasts longer.

Whether it be carbon or stainless steel, aluminum, copper, it is all welcomed! Buildings, bridges and a whole bunch of different vehicles would not be what they are today if it weren’t for metals. Do we need to mention machinery? Usually, machinery is made out of metals exclusively. Since working with high temperatures and pressure is what machines do, it’s easy to understand why. And just think how easier our lives got since the dawn of machines!

Electricity and security

Electricity as a phenomenon may not interest you much but that doesn’t change the fact that you still need it. Right? All of our electronics need electricity. Otherwise, they would not function. Thanks to various metals and their even more creative ways of usage, we today proud ourselves in all the television, mobiles, fridges… The list goes on and on.

Think about all those locks and safes that contain your valuable items. They are made of steel. Do you know how easy it is to break steel? Not easy at all, if not impossible unless you have some laser tools. And come on, how many of us have those? Thanks to clever usage of metal, we all can sleep easier at nights.

(Not so) personal uses

All the utensils that we store and use in our kitchens are made from metal. The tools that we use for gardening, farming, agriculture in general are greatly made from metal. Why? For the same reason as to why we use them in construction. They are strong, can withstand high heat and pressure and are resistant to corrosion.

Precious metals are used in the fine art of making jewelry. All that nice copper, silver and gold around our necks, fingers, on our ears. Who doesn’t want that! Even some furniture like cupboards and shelves are made of metal.

Let’s face it

Metals are everywhere. In all forms, colors and shapes. If you are handy and willing to thinker away, you can even play with it at your own home and create stuff! Combine it with other materials and you may really have something rather special in your hands.

Metal Working Tips

 

Metal work is a backbone of the industries today. From building big bridges to home use utensils, metal works are a part of daily lives. This is an industry which generates great revenue and its scope is very wide. If you are thinking of taking a dip in this business it is important that you familiarize yourself with some of the most important parts of the trade and know the secrets which lead to success in the industry. Jumping into this industry without proper information can cause heavy losses and a great setback to your future endeavors. Given below are some of the metals working tips by professionals.

Important things to remember:

Tools and setup is very important

Metal industry is highly equipment dependent and most of your starting expenses would go in setting up of a good shop floor. Many things like heavy machinery, good tools, plants, and equipment will cost you a great amount. This is an area in which you just cannot be a miser as cheaper things will cause daily maintenance and manufacturing downtime. This is a great loss as not only your productivity will get affected but your labor will also be idle. You will have to clearly identify the machines required by the process and arrange for the good ones to work.

Trained manpower

Good machines require well-trained manpower otherwise your costly equipment will be of no use. A good workman knows a machine like the back of his hand and this will take your productivity and manufacturing uptime to a great distance. If you do not select the manpower carefully then downtime can increase and the process defects will also multiply which mean more losses.

Good market

It is very important that you identify the markets to funnel your finished good as raw material and running costs will be very high. If you do not have the adequate market to consume your good the stockpiling can increase the burden on your account books. It is important that you work in this area very carefully.

Finances

In any way, the metal works is not a low budget affair. From procuring the plant and machinery to purchasing the raw material and the cost of stockpiling it in bad days, everything is going to put an extra burden on your budget and you must have provisions for substituting it otherwise you will not be able to cope up with the competition in this industry.

Metalworks is a very wide arena and heavily populated by the big fish. They do not treat the new fish with affection and are always ready to step up the competition to make things difficult for the newcomers. Yet, there are great possibilities in this area as the markets are very big and they have a very fat belly. If you have decided to take the leap of faith then brace yourself with some knowledge and jump into this vast ocean with confidence and you will surely succeed. Lot’s of industries rely on the metal industry. Below is a list of different trades that utilize some type of metal working.

  • Plumbing Pros
  • Steel Workers
  • Iron Workers
  • Welders
  • Pipefitters
  • Millwrights
  • Gunsmiths

As you can see there are several trades that rely on the fabrication of metal and the preceeding list is not an exhaustive one.  There are dozens not even listed.  Keep that in mind when you think that it’s not an important issue.

Understanding Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is complicated and involves several processes. When you want an item manufactured as a one-off, or you want to do mass production, it is vital to understand fabrication and the processes involved. Below is an outline of various processes used to fabricate metals. You will find details of how these processes work and their primary uses. You will also find a description of protective coatings and finishing touches that you can apply on fabricated metals.

Cutting

This process relies on cutting. It may sound heavy-handed, but it is among the most accurate and technical operations in the market. The first variation of the cutting techniques is the concrete sawing or shearing of metal done by large machines. However, it is possible to do this procedure manually. Additionally, it is feasible to cut this metal by use of plasma torches or oxyacetylene to cut manually using heat.

The cutting methods above have their place, but the commonest method for cutting metal during fabrication is the use of CNC machine. The device can use standard tools like water jets, laser cutting, or other manual tools. You can program the desired results into the machine, and it uses the tools mentioned above to shape the metal. This method is handy for highly detailed and intricate projects.

Joining

Joining is a conventional method of metal fabrication. The processes that fall under the broad joining category include welding, bonding or riveting with adhesives. When you look around your vicinity, you will notice an item made by one of these processes. Welding is simply joining two pieces of metal by use of a filler material and heat. Riveting involves joining two metal pieces by use of a rivet. No heat is required. You can also use adhesive glue for joining other components. Every method has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the task.

Bending

Bending is a fabrication process that involves bending the metals to acquire desired shapes. While there is a possibility of doing this process manually, modest machines have come in to replace the traditional bending techniques. The absence of joints makes bent items durable and sturdy.

Final Touches

You can apply final touches to a fabricated product after completing cutting, joining, and welding processes. This ranges from purely applied paints for aesthetic purposes, to protective coats like sand blasting and powder coating. When you consult with the manufacturer, you will find a surface that is appropriate for your budget and purpose.

What is your coolest creation?

We are on the look out for fabricators and or blacksmiths that use old school and new school techniques to create things out of wood, plastic or metal.  We have been at it for quite some time now and we feel that we have hit a lull and would really like some fresh inspiration from some of you. If you are interested in having your work featured in a blog post on this very website then please submit a photo of your work as soon as possible and we will let you know if we plan to feature your work.  This could be a great opportunity for either small businesses or small home shops to get a bit of exposure.  We know that not everyone is actually looking for exposure so we can also keep your identity anonymous if that is what you prefer as well.

 

We are excited to have the blog back up and running and hope to hear from you soon. Use the link below to send your work.

Contact us here.