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The Outpost This forum is dedicated to all who share a love for, and a desire to make good knives, and have fun doing it. We represent a diverse group of smiths and knifemakers who bring numerous methods to their craft.

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Old 02-09-2002, 08:38 PM
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I'm beginning metalsmithing

Hello all, I just watched a fascinating video by Ron Hood, of Hood's Woods on primitive knifemaking. And I must say I am astounded! I have been interested in metalsmithing for quite some time but never thought it was so simple. Or so CHEAP! Being only 15 the cheap part is at least as important as the simplicity. Although I learned much from the video and my recent perusal of the internet for any information on this topic, I thought it would help to ask if anyone out there with experience had a tip for me. Or if you are very kind, a pair of tongs or something, I am poorer than dirt, hehe.
Well, thanks for reading this, and please respond with anything helpful you can. I can be reached at Just say it is for Anthony.
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Old 02-10-2002, 08:35 AM
The Flaming Blade
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Hi. I'm Tai. Glad you liked the video.
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Old 02-10-2002, 09:41 AM
Dana Acker
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Welcome to the forum, Anthony. If you hang around and ask lots of questions, you will be able to learn alot, and move more quickly down the road to where you want to be.

There's many approaches to metalsmithing, and many smiths have completely different ways of doing things. What you will find is that most of what you will read and learn will work, though they be different. By teaching, and by trial and experience we have all come up with ways that work for us. There is no ONE right way. So do not get confused if you read a topic and three or four or ten different people all tell how to do some procedure and they're all different. As you start to learn and grow as a smith, my advice is to try as many different ways to do a technique as possible, then stick with the ones which work for your needs.

I do not know of anyone who posts here on the Outpost forum who is independantly wealthy. We all pretty much started from scratch and over the years have put together working shops or at least work places. Most of us are scroungers and proud of it. We take the cast offs and throw aways of this world and turn them into useful equipment and tools--not ot mention knives and jewelry. That doesn't mean we're adverse to new expensive tools and equipment, but most of us have found or at least started with that which we made, found or traded for.

To get you started, here's some suggestions:
1) There are numerals at the top of the main posting page, which represent our back pages, or older topics. Some are just the guys shooting the bull, others are very informative question and answer topics contributed to by many very knowledgeable people. Look back through these pages and read as much as you can. It may answer some of your questions, and it hopefully will inspire new questions. There have been many newcomers who have hung out here who got their start by asking questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question, or a question that has been asked or answered too many times. That's how you learn. And if you hang around long enough you will find that many of us who have been in the trade for a long time will be asking questions too. The point is you never stop learning, and in this life you will never know it all. So ask away.

2) Save some money and buy a copy of Wayne Goddard's book, "The Fifty Dollar Knife Shop." It is published by Krouse Publications, the company who publishes "Blade Magazine." You can order it through a book store, or there's probably an advertisement for it in "Blade." There are a lot of money saving tips on building yourself a workable knife/metal smithing operation. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend this book.

3) This forum is only one of many that are available. At both the top and bottom of the main posting page are "Jump to:" lists which have all of the forums which are hosted by the Custom Knife Directory on about every aspect of knifemaking imaginable. Also check out Tai's forum "The Crucible," and Tim Lively's "Unplugged" forum. There are links to these in at the top of the main posting page.

4) Let us know where you are geographically. We've got smiths all over the world who contribute to this forum. Chances are there will be one or a tribe/group of them near enough to you for you to participate with. I live in north western North Carolina. We ahve a solid group of people who get together and forge and generally have a great time. If you are within travelling distance, we'd love to have you join us. Our group is just one of many active ones around the USA and Europe. If there's not an organized tribe operating close to you, then maybe there will be a smith or two whose shop you could visit and watch and ask questions--the best way to learn, next to doing it your self.

Anthony, we're glad you joined us. If we can be of help, just ask. We'll do what we can, and if we can't help you, we'll try and point you in the right direction.
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Old 02-10-2002, 10:00 AM
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Since you're just getting started, the best thing for you to learn is patience. Be patient with your research, tool gathering and scrounging for forge making supplies and anvils and stuff. It took me a year and a half to get all the stuff I needed in order to get started forging. But it was well worth the wait.

And start with the most logical choices for your area. If you're lucky enough to live out in the country you can get a charcoal forge going with a minimum of expense and materials. You may even have access to coal in your area. If you live in the city charcoal is your best bet because it doesn't smoke much and you can even put your forge in a hole in the ground. There's lots of info available on this forum and on the internet in general. Have fun and be patient. And welcome to the forum Anthony.
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Old 02-10-2002, 09:15 PM
Lamnia Artifex
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Finally got my own account. Hello Tai, and yes you and Tim Lively are the people who made me decide to do this. I owe you a lot! Now if only I could find some tools, I would be set. Uhhh Mr. Tai could you tell me how you made those flat-stock holding tongs? That would help me a lot.
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