There are a lot of blogs on how to shape and mold metals, but this comprehensive guide is much different from them.
Let’s cut right to the chase…
If you want to learn the best blacksmith techniques this year so that you will be able to shape and mold metals, you are in the right place.
In this article, you are going to learn some of the top basic blacksmith techniques that prolific blacksmith uses to shape and mold metals into finished products.
Use the techniques discussed in the article and try to follow then keenly so that you can emerge as one of the best blacksmiths in the blacksmithing industry.
That’s sounds good?
Then let’s get started.
Who is a blacksmith?
A blacksmith is a craft person who can fabricate items out of metals by heating and forging on the anvil. The fabrication process can change the shape of the metal into an object that can be used for a particular purpose.
Blacksmithing is an ancient practice that has become popular again in recent years, and a lot of people have adopted the technique to improvise metal objects into their desired shapes.
Blacksmith does use not only iron but also steel, bronze, and aluminum. This is to provide a variety of objects that will meet the tastes and preferences of their customers.
However, iron and steel are the metals that are the most preferred since they’re durable and can easily be fabricated into any shape. They are also not that much susceptible to rusting like other metals, and this is the reason why many people prefer them.
How Blacksmith Shape and Mold Metals
Here are some of the methods on how to shape and mold metals:
The technique is also known as drawing out. Blacksmith uses this technique to make the material thin but either longer or fuller. The main intention of this process is to change the general circumference of the metal work.
Heat the metal until it is ready for forging. Use tongs to hold the metal from one end to avoid burning your hands. Place the hot part of the metal work on the anvil.
Use a hammer and strike on the work until it becomes flat. Continue hitting until the metal spread out into the desired shape.
In case the metal work has lost heat, place it back in the heating chamber so that it can again begin to forge. Once it is ready, remove it and start blowing with the hammer.
This is another commonly used blacksmith technique. The method intends to reshape the metal work after drawing out.
Here, the end of the metal work is heated up to the forging temperature then placed on the edge of the anvil where it is tapered.
Lift the hammer at an angle of 45 degrees and strike the material on the edge of the anvil severally while rotating it at an angle of 180 degrees.
After several strikes, the material will flatten out and form a taper. If you want to increase the process, you can use the horn of the anvil.
Under this stage, you need to be extra careful since the chances of destroying the metal work is very high. Therefore, ensure you position your metal work well on the edge of the anvil.
Peining is the process of moving the heated metal into different directions by the use of a ball-pein. Ball-pein is the back of the hammer that has a ball shape appearance.
This technique intends to develop openings between two separate pieces of metal work to join them together quickly.
You can also use cross-peins to create unique textures, designs, and cup-shaped objects. The technique requires someone who is highly skilled in fabrication to create unusual objects out of metal work.
Any simple mistake made here can destroy the entire project since when small pieces break off from the metal work, either the length or the circumference of the metal work interferes.
The process involves bending the metal bar into the required shape. However, you will be expected to heat the bar to forging temperature before turning.
Wear protective gloves and hold the other end of the metal bar that is not hot. Use a bending fork to twist the metalwork into a shape that you want.
Hammer the bent metal slightly to attain the finishing style of your choice. Be extra careful to avoid distorting the metal work.
This technique intends to increase the circumference of the metal work but by making it narrow or shorter.
The process works well when the metal bar has a large volume of material on one end. This makes it easy to attain the required shape of the rod.
Heat the section of the rod until it attains forging temperature and place it on the upsetting plate. Press the heated tip on the upsetting plate firmly or use a hammer to strike the heated tip.
This technique involves increasing the width of the metal work but keeping the length same despite reducing the density.
Place the section of the metal bar into the forging heat and later on the anvil. Strike the metal work on the edges by use of a hammer in a sweeping action.
Continue striking by rotating the metal bar at an angle of 180 degrees after every strike to keep the spread centered. You can also use cross-pein to make the work faster.
Do not overdo the presence since you can easily damage the part that you want to spread out. This happens in case the material that you are using has less content.
This is the technique used in fastening or designing metal work. Here you will need a punch tool which is equipment that has a unique design at the tip, and it is blunt at the other end.
The part that is supposed to be punched in placed in the forge temperature chamber. The piece is placed on the anvil for alignment. The tip of the punch is then struck slightly to create a hole on the material.
It is a technique that is used to create compound curves on the metal work. Here the metal in place in forge chamber to heat up. It is then compressed between the flat head of the hammer and that of the anvil equipment.
Shrinking intends to even out the ripples and slightly thicken the material without interfering with the length. To attain a better result, ensure the radius of the anvil, and the flat head hammer is equal.
This process involves forging the metal and then chiseling a slit around it. It is considered to be the best method especially when you are dealing with hot metal work.
Once you have cut the slit, it becomes straightforward to fabricate the metal into the desired shapes and designs. You can use other essential tools to make your work very fine.
The fabrication process is similar to that of bending, but under this process, you heat the metal bar and turn it into a fantastic curve of your choice. The wrench is the most used tool to twist the hot metal bar into a curve.
If you want to remove the curves, you need to heat it back and untwist it while still very hot. You should note that untwisting metals when the below-forging temperature may damage them completely.
The process involves placing the hot metal bar into a cold water bath to cool it down. The intention of the technique is typically part of the finishing process. It is a method of making the metal work ready for tempering.
A lot of blacksmith around the world uses this method to fasten their work. You should note that there are two types of welding that are arc welding and gas welding.
These two methods work differently since arc welding is suitable for tough metals like iron while gas welding is for soft metal like aluminum.
Forging welding is commonly used by many blacksmiths since it is suitable for joining two different metals. This only happens when all the minerals are subjected to forged temperatures.
The aim of the method is to heat the metals without contaminating them and fix them together before they cool down.
This is where the metal pieces are melted down into a liquid state and then pour into a mold to cool down then result in a new object. This is typically another option of reshaping objects.
The process involves putting another metal into the forge chamber together with the metal work so that it can have the ability to tolerate the noticeable impact.
The face of the metal work is then polished to make it shiny. You can then heat the metal work slowly to make it durable. You can repeat the process to improve the resilience of the metal.
The technique is all about quenching the material by heating it until it becomes red hot then submerge in water. Inserting the metal work immediately in water while still warm is to prevent any distortion.
You can slow down the process of cooling by just mixing salt and oil in the water. The cover on the water by oil help to prevent the metal from becoming brittle.
To get started with blacksmithing, you need to understand every blacksmith technique. These essential techniques will be your bread and butter. If you want to stand out from your competitors in the blacksmithing industry, you should be prepared to learn, test and practice all the time, non-stop improvement, that’s the name of the game!