Besides gumption there really isn’t too much equipment involved in blacksmithing. We had a hammer, a pair of tongs, an anvil, a hardy tool, and some bar stock. Perhaps the most important tool was the forge, shown above.
Here is a side view:
Does it look strangely familiar? It should. It’s an upside-down mailbox. Three things differentiate this mailbox from your standard roadside box: 1) it is filled with insulation, 2) it is connected to a propane tank, and 3) it can heat metal to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. I just looked that number up on this fancy chart of metal colors, which may come in handy should you find yourself facing a glowing piece of steel.
You only get a couple of minutes to work the metal while it is still hot before it needs to go back into the forge, so this is a machine we used often.
Here is a blurry photo of the forge with our bar stock hanging out in it:
I apologize in advance for the photo quality in this week’s posts. It’s not easy to take photos while simultaneously trying to stay out of the way of glowing hot metal and staying available so as not to interrupt the workflow.