Talk:Blacksmith

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I have edited the information on "Blacksmith" because the blacksmith is not obsolete. Thousands of us are employed throughout the world providing everything from sculpture to medical equipment.

Good for you. Please add more info, e.g. why it's called "black", its history, has technology advanced? -- Heron

Does noting that Blacksmiths produce "sex utensils" add much to the article? It may be true, but I don't think making sex toys constitute such a major element of the blacksmiths art that it needs mentioning so soon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.112.28.194 (talk) 21:58, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Room for more[edit]

These are some thoughts I've had as I read this and related entries here. Yes, I'm thinking about editing this a bit myself. I have the facts, but I want to get references together.

There is room for more in this entry. Some thoughts on that subject:

1) The article on "forge" is pretty good and covers much the same ground. That should be linked at least. Should give some thought to where the information is better put and how much detail. BeckenhamBear (talk) 16:34, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

2) The entry would be improved with more historical information and more bibliographical information.

3)There should be some connection to basic tools and techniques. Again this could be addressed by connecting to "forge".

I'm of the opinion that blacksmith/blacksmithing should be a separate section as it refers to the trade and tradesperson involved. "forge" seems to refer more to the particular tool/equipment and the processes involved.

Please go ahead and make your contributions if this is a subject you are familiar with. ike9898 22:20, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)

New Wikibook on Smithing[edit]

I'm in the process of moving some journal entries from the last several Summers of reenactments and smithing into a Wikibook. From that I want to link to several entries here. Both this one and some in Metalwork. For those who might be interested the link to that book is:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Down%27n%27dirty_Blacksmithing

It is, admittedly, rougher than I care for, but it's a start.

I'm hoping that as I pass the links to other smiths I know that this will get more input.

My hope for the Wikibook is that it is a point of entry into these other articles and vice versa. It's intent is to be as hands-on as I can make an e-book.

Some of that hinges on the weather getting warm so I can make some pictures of what is going on in the book. Until the ground thaws I'll work on the words and pages.

--Erraunt 17:17, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

errors[edit]

I'm going to go ahead and 'be bold' and fix some information on this page I believe to be inaccurate. But I don't happen to have an authoritative source at hand, so I won't object if someone elects to roll back my changes, provided there is justification.

1)Traditional japanese samurai swords were for use primarily against unarmored opponents; were used in slashing and draw-cut techniques that do not jar the steel overmuch: were forged using (often) very poor japanese steels which led to the folding techniques; were not usually tempered in the same manner as western weapons.

2)Blaksmiths use all sorts of blowtorches, not just oxyacetylene (my teacher uses oxy-propane, for example). I'm making this ref less specific.

3)While its true that low-carbon wrought iron is easier to forge weld than mild steel or carbon steel, all are readily forge-weldable (I have done it myself, as a beginner).

Overall I'd like to see expansion of this article with more in-depth information about various techniques. --Leperflesh 20:32, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Good edits, thank you! KarlBunker 21:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

someone had added the incorrect information that you can hold steel you have heated in your bare hand. I have removed it, and added the note that tongs (even a pair of pliers) should always be used to hold hot steel. I also removed the dangerous and foolish idea that steel could be upset by droping it on the floor. this is, in pratice, very dangerous and unreliable.67.140.63.41 (talk) 11:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

additions[edit]

I like how this has been fleshed out. I've added a few sections on techniques and tools. I didn't have my dictionary handy so my apologies in advance for typos, formatting and any other faux pas.

I tried to avoid duplicating some of the tool entries. I'm sure there are a number of links to more information that should be in there but I figured the additions made sense in this article and better to get them in while I had the time than to take the time to make them pretty. Apologies for any offense. I'll make an effort in the next couple of weeks to check some of my teaching materials to find better definitions and descriptions of the basic operations and such.

Part of me wants this to have a ton more pictures ... and then I start wondering if that's too much for one article. I'm open to pushing some of what I added out into sub articles if that would be more appropriate.

Erraunt 03:55, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Erraunt -- I think these are excellent additions. One thing I questioned was whether there should be so much description of the types of welding other than forge welding, since these aren't traditional blacksmithing techniques. I think maybe a brief mention of the fact that modern blacksmiths sometimes use modern welding techniques, with a link to Welding, would be better. I think more pictures would be great. A lot of things would be much clearer with a good picture, like a selection of hammers, maybe an illustration of upsetting, all kinds of things. KarlBunker 12:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

KarlBunker -- agree completely. Got busy writing and kind of just kept going and so we have the MIG and TIG. My main goal was to get what in the local guild we call the "basic operations" into the article. I think they're important and I'm trying to find a middle ground between a meaningless listing and a how-to. There is tons more that could be done both with this article and the rest of the metalworking project. Unfortunately I don't have the time I'd like. But I was looking at it last night and going "not quite enough". Erraunt 15:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I did some more editing this morning and need to do more.

For the record I debated on expanding the basic processes as there is a "Forge" article which does discuss forging. However that article describes what I would call "commercial forging" as in a manufacturing process. I think, at least for now, in "Blacksmith" it's appropriate to talk about the processes of forging as accomplished with the basic hand tools traditionally associated with the blacksmith. OK, maybe I'm taking advantage of the organic nature of Wiki and putting it here until time and opinion develop and it becomes more evident where these should best be. I place some value on getting the information in and findable over trying to find the *perfect* location for the information.

Right now in the back of my mind is a debate on if the basic operations should be offloaded, eventually, to individual articles with much more detail. I don't know how necessary or appropriate that would be and my current thinking is to just get this clean and tight and down the way when more illustrations are available a separate article might be worthwhile.

Tools needs work next I think. There are articles on the particular tools in other sections. Illustrations again are an issue. Had I time and Photoshop running or my scanner up I'd just sketch or photograph and upload.

Is it time to put more of a focus to this article? Would it be appropriate to say in the beginning that this article will focus on "traditional" blacksmithing and leave more modern and production methods to other articles?

This brings to mind that the history of the craft section could, appropriately, be expanded. Thoughts? Opinions? Brickbats? Erraunt 18:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Re. It should be noted that none of the four basic forging operations remove stock. Punching can remove stock. (I remember some book talking about the great amusement old-time blacksmiths would find in watching a barefoot apprentice who has stepped on the hot billet of metal knocked out by a punch. :-)
I don't think any more detail is needed on the basic operations, and I suspect that offloading them to individual articles would bring objections that such articles are "Such a minor branch of a subject that it doesn't deserve an article" (part of the Wikipedia:Deletion policy.)
I don't think it's necessary to say that the article focuses on "traditional" blacksmithing. I think people perceive blacksmithing as being inherently a "traditional" craft.
Oh, and "pien" is an accepted alternate spelling, though personally I like "peen" much better. :-) KarlBunker 18:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


Re. It should be noted that none of the four basic forging operations remove stock. Punching can remove stock. (I remember some book talking about the great amusement old-time blacksmiths would find in watching a barefoot apprentice who has stepped on the hot billet of metal knocked out by a punch. :: Re. the forgoing ... you know I thought about putting "at most a negligible amount of stock" in there. :) Yes, when punching there is, typically, a small disk that pops loose at the very end, occasionally a slug if you use another method. Most of the stock when punching is pushed away widening and lengthening the stock at that point. Strictly speaking, yes, there is *some* stock removed in punching operations. Usually most of the stock is pushed out of the way. Different from drilling where the stock is cut out of the hole removing material.

I know you aren't arguing the point, but thought I'd let you know.

And I'm trying to figure out how to say this without sounding like I'm bragging or putting someone in their place, but while I'm not what I would consider a professional blacksmith, I do smith and have for over 6 years steadily, I teach occasionally at the local Guild of Metalsmiths and elsewhere, and I demonstrate regularly. And I've made stuff and sold it which, I guess, technically, makes me a professional.

So I know what happens when you put a punch through a piece of steel (and I don't wear opentopped boots!)

That said: challenge me on anything I write. I'm fallible, and while maybe "more expert", I will not claim to be "an expert". I don't know the backgrounds of other contributors, but figured since I know I've had hands on experience with this stuff and have read a few of the "classics" on the subject that I would try to bring my direct experience into these articles as much as I can. (Which is some of why the forge welding section shifted to descriptive rather than technically detailed.)

On "peen", I like the other spelling too, but having used both "pien" and "pein" and not remembering which way it is or if the "i" before "e" rule applied I opted for "peen" because it's simpler.

Remember, us blacksmith types are about efficiency. ;)

I'll leave the operations as they are. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel they do something for the article. You know it's a fairly focused thing. I bet we could put just a little more flesh on the bones and a bit of polish and it could be one of those "more complete" kinds of articles. Erraunt 02:06, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

KarlBunker
Appreciate the editing you did the last few days. I may have some technical issues with some of what you removed. I'm going to give it a day or so and then work by posting proposed changes here for comment before an inclusion. Erraunt 19:13, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I made the following change today back toward the orignial writing:

For example to fashion a cross peen hammer head a smith would start with a bar roughly the diameter of the hammer face, the handle hole would be punched and drifted, the head would be cut (punched, but with a wedge), the peen would be drawn to a wedge, and the face would be dressed by upsetting.

I don't know how to put it better. At the end of making a hammer head, the face is "dressed" roughly smoothed and usually given a slight dome or convex surface. It does not get wider. To get it noticably wider would take so much upsetting as to distort the peen and the eye and it would be a *lot* of work. "Upsetting" is the process that is happening at this point. It isn't as overt as the upsetting you do on a rod end for fashion a rivet head, but it's still upsetting.

The purpose of this was an attempt to get across that these processes don't necessarily happen in isolation. A smith doesn't go "first we draw, like *this*, then take another heat and upset like *this*". It happens on the fly. If I'm working out a chisel blade I'm hammering along to draw it out over the horn and I see it getting a little spread at one point so in a heartbeat I have it on the face and up on edge, give it a few raps to bring it into line, a quick check and back to the horn for more drawing before I loose the heat.

Maybe I'm tilting windmills, but it's this kind of thing that would illustrate a blacksmith's work and how it differs from other kinds of metalwork that are more "manufacturing" and "factory" work. Hope this makes sense. 128.101.114.146 21:07, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I think that change back toward the previous writing makes perfect sense. Thanks. KarlBunker 23:24, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I noticed that there was no article written on specifically bladesmithing, so I wrote the bare bones of one and mentioned it at the top of this article. Hope nobody minds. And please update or edit the bladesmithing article as you see fit, it's far from complete or comprehensive, I just wanted to have something there. Kazrian 12:46 5 June 2006 (EST)

History[edit]

Can someone confirm whether the following is true? I'd heard that in ancient times, blacksmiths were often hobbled (intentially crippled) by their villages to ensure they did not leave. The reason for this was that they were so valuable to a community that their departure meant economic/technological doom for a community.

I had also heard that this is the reason why Hephaestos (sp?) is shown as crippled in the greek myths. Any references on this? If this is true I think it would be an excellent addition to this article since it deomonstrates how incredibly important blacksmiths were to communities. Thanks Hu Gadarn 18:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

response: I also have heard of the crippling of blacksmiths, but I know of no reliable reference for such behaviour. I would leave the story as 'apocryphal'.

yes i havent heared much about crippiling their blacksmiths but if you look up hephaestus on this site it tells you a couple stories such as being throone by the gods but the scientific reason was in the smithing itself and being bent over for so long and the arsenic and other chemicals that we would now consider deadly but were common practice back then may have crippled him well thats my 2 1/2 cents --Stonewall92 (talk) 01:22, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism?[edit]

So anyway, i went ahead and corrected stuff like haz and blaksmifa'z in da houze and such, but im not even sure the bit of article is even relevant.. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blacksmith&action=edit&section=14 Perhaps some woking by someone who KNOWs would be good? 82.38.28.177 14:13, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted one round of vandalism. I see as of this date that a section on one of the key processes has been removed. I'd simply revert but I do see a few additions by "names" and I'd hate to pitch out something good.

I'll try to make time over the next weeks to do some serious editing, although with the vandals amok I want to ask if there are steps we can take to protect this work. At least block changes from the more obvious IP addresses that seem to be the biggest culprits? Erraunt (talk) 02:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Heat Treating[edit]

I believe that being technically detailed in the explanation of a complex process can only be a benefit to Wikipedia in general as well as helping those who come here for information perhaps come away with something more than could be found in another place. What do you all think? Patris Magnus 01:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

A lot of discussion of heat treatment isn't appropriate to, or necessary for, this article. There's an article on heat treatment which could be expanded. If you're eager to write about it, why not put it in the correct article? KarlBunker 03:22, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree: heat treatment should be included in this article. Heat treatment of steels and iron is a necessary and intrinsic part of the craft of blacksmithing. Furthermore, the article heat treatment is more geared to industrial and metallurgical methods which are not blacksmith related, require equipment and technology beyond that found in smithies, and apply to more metals (such as aluminum alloys) than are the subject of blacksmithing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.37.58.28 (talk) 07:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Quality of pictures could be better[edit]

Can some improved pictures be used on this page? Here's my key concerns: (i) they all appear to be from one source (yet I believe there is more than one blacksmith); (ii) the # of photos is too many for what they claim to convey (two pictures are almost identical ("a blacksmith at work" and "hot metal"); and, (iii) some of the pictures are unclear ("a blacksmith's fire"). Thanks, Hu Gadarn 18:21, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I am working on additional photos for the Blacksmith and related tools pages. I think the above points are right on the money.Fciron 19:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
That was my plan. I am new to wikipedia, so I go off on long howto tangents. Thanks for the categories.Fciron 05:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a picture of my grandfather who was a blacksmith all his working life. Doc James (talk) 23:16, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I have made a work table to be used for blacksmithing, the back drop of the table is a 6 foot tall blacksmith that was cut out of 1/2" steel plate. The blacksmith is hammering a lightning bolt on an anvil. If you would like to add the picture as a reference of a modern tribute to the Blacksmith please feel free to use the photo. It can be seen at http://www.weldingpros.faithweb.com/images/chads_photos2009a_035.jpg —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bella237 (talkcontribs) 19:03, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Post-apocalyptic Blacksmith link?[edit]

While the page does have substantial info on blacksmithing, the context is... well... unusual, let's say. I'm not sure this is an appropriate link? --Leperflesh 21:54, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I concur. This (P.A. Blacksmith) page should not be linked from here. Hu Gadarn 23:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Although the context is odd, it explains why some people are interested in blacksmithing. I don't have any problems with the blacksmithing part of the article, even though the theology is suspect. --Eastmain 23:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Facing?[edit]

I was recently at a crafts fair-type thing (if you know what I mean) and I was watching a blacksmith there who said using a chisel to make imprints and delicate designs on the iron/steel was called facing. Now I'm sorry if this was mentioned before, if I didn't see it in the article, or the blacksmith was just kind of bored and made stuff up, but should this be added? BlueX511 20:16, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I (someone else) would recommend against the use of the term "facing." While there are many regional term variants, I've never heard or read of this one. It would be perhaps better to refer readers to the following terms (where they will be able to find a lot of information):

* engraving - using small chisels (gravers) to carve line art into metal.
* chasing - using small blunt rods to drive particularly shaped grooves into sheetmetal.
* repoussé (embossing) - using chasing tools and a pitch bowl to shape sheetmetal into bas-relief artwork from the backside of the metal.

Really lacking on historic content[edit]

I was coming to this article hoping to find information on when blacksmiths started to decline in numbers significantly to get an idea when the last blacksmiths would have existed in a town, but there is practically no information in that regard. I'd highly encourage someone who knows more history in this subject to contribute to it. Thanks. -- Suso 02:17, 20 August 2007 (UTC)


What Happened?[edit]

I visited this page after some time. While I don't own it I do feel some ownership toward it as I was one of the early contributors. So much vandalism and unreferenced citations! I don't know when I can get back to this to give it the thorough edit it needs, but please, while we should "be bold" cite your source at least if you're going to change what has been written. Some of the early contributors are practicing smiths and do know what they're about.

Erraunt (talk) 22:40, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

definition of terms[edit]

The definition of terms does not belong in the history/mythology section. I suggest either a new section for it, or moving it into The Blacksmith's Materials section (since all the terms defined, are of materials); or, just removing it, since the entire purpose of wikilinking words is to provide external definitions of them. --Leperflesh (talk) 22:05, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Salary[edit]

Is the salary really over 9000? 11:22, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Medieval Blacksmith's part on the Fuedal Pyramid[edit]

The Blacksmith's of Medieval times, were merchants, because they made goods, to sell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.184.211.242 (talk) 20:52, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Mangled-up formatting and organization[edit]

This article needs reorganization and the layout needs to be fixed. Why is a Blacksmith's Striker the first thing talked about for example? Some basic high school English-class stuff needs to be done for this article.

Also, somehow there are three "blue edits" right next to each other and it can't easily be seen what each refers to, maybe this has something to do with all those pictures crammed together up on the top right. I'm sure I could fix it, but it would take hours and it's not my subject anyway so I'm "not gonna do it".  :-) Some one please fix it.

Also please remove the stuff that, while interesting, doesn't have much to do with the subject.

Yours anonymously today,

71.174.196.21 (talk) 04:33, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Blacksmithering[edit]

Blacksmithering is not a real word. Where did it come from? Can’t you use the correct one smithing or even the fairly dubious but more elegant blacksmithing?

Additionally in manufacturing the term "black" is used describe metal whose finish has been left untreated or unaltered since the forging process; compare it with Bright finish. Nice enough article otherwise. BeckenhamBear (talk) 16:34, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Two additions[edit]

I'm new to this side of Wikipedia, and I wasn't certain if I should have posted this as an edit to the "additions" thing or what.

First Addition: Griswold, the blacksmith of Tristrum in Diablo I. Diablo's a classic game that most gamers have played and will agree that Griswold is a notable character. Sure, he has no real significance in the first game beyond being a blacksmith, but he's one a lot of people know.

Second Addition: The smock/apron that the blacksmiths wear. Is it made of anything beyond basic cloth? I don't know what would be added there, but some small detail should be added by someone who does know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.250.203 (talk) 14:18, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the addition of griswold is notable, seeing how he doesn't have an article. The apron is a good addition, and its usually made from leather, I believe. Wizard191 (talk) 18:11, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

ERD[edit]

I removed the section because this article is dying from scope creep. This article should be discussing the main points of being a blacksmith, their history, etc.; not the intricacies of each process and material. That's what links are for. It's one thing to say they work steel, copper alloys, etc., but it's another to explain what makes steel different from white cast iron. As such, the whole section should go, along with a lot of the processes. Wizard191 (talk) 13:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd support the materials section (mostly to distinguish wrought iron from steel), but that section was too long. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:17, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I support a general tuneup of the article, but as a person coming in here from the horse and farrier articles, who knows nothing about metal forging, a summary of the concepts and terms is appropriate, and certainly the addition of some "Main" and "see also" links would be good. I have restored the blanked section until we sort out how much needs to stay and what can go. I also tried to re-kill some of the overwikilinking that I agree was a problem. Montanabw(talk) 17:32, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that more main links need to be included, however, I don't see anything that's redeemable in the "The blacksmith's materials" section. Wizard191 (talk) 18:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Au contraire! To someone with no knowledge of metallurgy, a brief summary, such as that one, explaining the different types of metal a blacksmith uses is quite appropriate. If you think it is overly detailed, it could be chopped, but my whole issue here is that the section provides a useful summary to those of us who need to know, but don't necessarily need to research the entire topic via wikilinks. My take: rewrite, don't kill. Montanabw(talk) 02:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Shrinking needs rewrite[edit]

The section on Shrinking reads: "Shrinking, while similar to upsetting ... " This is a poor construction at best, as Upsetting is not defined until further down the article. I'm not well versed in subject matter; I'll leave the editing to someone more knowledgeable. Thanks, Karl gregory jones (talk) 22:33, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I've just removed the whole section. I've never come across the term shrinking in this context, and couldn't find it in any of my reference books. If someone can provide a reliable reference for its inclusion then they can bring it back, but the section was confusingly written and not super notable. Kierkkadon (talk) 15:32, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Shrinking is a rare technique, because it's hard to do it well. It's in standard textbooks though. Mostly a smith would avoid the need for it as much as possible, by not getting a piece to a point where it needs to be shrunk. One place where shrinking is widely used (and disliked, as it's hard to do well) is for torch-working car bodywork, particularly for dent repair. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:39, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah, that's why I've not come across it. The only time I've heard the term is as a way to attach two pieces; one piece is heated up and the cold piece slid into it, then as the first cools and shrinks it closes and friction prevents the two pieces from separating. At any rate, the section for shrinking (if returned to the article) would need to go after upsetting, and be a tad more clearly explained. Kierkkadon (talk) 16:07, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you may have latched onto a meaning of "shrinking" different from the one intended here. There is a technique called shrinking that is essentially a form of upsetting, but with the force applied by allowing the work to buckle between 2 end restraints and then striking the buckled part to force the buckle back into place. There is a more detailed explanation in http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Down%27n%27dirty_Blacksmithing .--Wcoole (talk) 20:49, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 February 2013[edit]

The link to sledgehammer goes to sledge_hammer, and not sledgehammer. This is not correct 90.192.221.234 (talk) 14:51, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Camyoung54 talk 17:16, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 22 March 2013[edit]

You really do need to include quenching. For start the raw material of METAL will not be strong enough to create a sword that could withstand a heavy blow from another sword in battle in order to protect your body from attacking swords blow. QUENCHING... Heat the metal till it is RED hot, then hammer, re HEAT metal till YELLOW, and enter METAL into bucket or troff full of water. If you need any more tips on WhiteSMITHS or BLACKSmiths then do let me know.

91.125.154.12 (talk) 23:49, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. RudolfRed (talk) 23:58, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

I added links to Heat treatment and case-hardening to the Finishing section, which seems like full coverage for an encyclopedic article. The wikibook has more detail. --Wcoole (talk) 20:41, 7 April 2014 (UTC)