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wet dog 01-05-2010 17:47

All interested parties,

Bill Harsey and I are pleased to announce a new thread specifically designed to teach, advise and coach the ODA blacksmith.

While many sites on the net are designed to educate the modern Blacksmith in fabrication, this thread is for the ODA.

Included is a rough Draft of the course outline POI.

Because we do not have our own area, we should make every attempt to keep this area clean and organized.

By a show of hands, please send PM to Bill or myself if you are interested.

The Blacksmith

Source # 1

The Shop, a.k.a. “Smithy”
1. Site Selection
2. Organizing the work space
a. Safety Equipment
b. Exploding conditions, environment
c. Protection and Clothing

Source # 2

Tools and Equipment
1. Anvil, anvil stand
2. Hammer(s)
3. Tongs
4. Anvil tools, Hardy(ies)
5. Coal forge tools
6. Coal forges
7. Additional tools and equipment
8. Marking and measuring tools
9. Modern Technology, the LP gas forge

Source # 3

1. What is Iron?
a. Wrought Iron
b. Cast Iron
c. What is steel?
1. Commercial forms of steel

Source # 4

Preliminary Skills
1. Coal
2. Fire Tending
3. Working with Tongs
4. How to heat your Iron Stock
5. Temperature Color Indication
6. Selecting a Forging Hammer, (see source # 2.2)
7. How to Shut Down Your Coal Forge

Source # 5 (Time for work)

1. How to use Anvil Tools
2. Tapering
3. Spreading
4. Upsetting
5. Bending
6. Scrolling
7. Twisting
8. Handheld Tooling

Source # 6

Forge Welding and Assembly
1. Forge Welding
a. Forge welding fire instructions
b. Different types of Forge welds
c. Forge welding Temp. Appearance(s)
2. Scarfing
3. Rivets, Nails, etc.
4. Mortise and Tenon
5. Shrinking, Collars, Wraps

Source # 7

Making your own Tools, this is SF Field craft NUMBER ONE
1. Resources Needed to Make you own Tools
2. Drift
3. Handheld punches
4. Slit Chisel
5. Twisting Bar
6. Hold Fast, Hold Down
7. Hot Cut Hardy
8. Cold Cut Hardy
9. Nail Header
10. Hardy Bending Forks
11. Roll Bar
12. Monkey Tool
13. Adjustable Twisting Wrench
15. Pritchel Plate
14. Handheld Bending Fork
16. Working with high carbon Tool Steel

PROJECTS, (TBD) Committee Selection

JJ_BPK 01-05-2010 19:09

This is a great idea.

It may not twist everyone's pickle, but I'm sure that at one time or the other,, most of us have had busted gear on vehicles or needed a on-site built structure.

I can see scenarios where the locals start drooling over some on-site fabrication job to fix the local well pump or erected a local TV tower for the school,, or a 300 ft suspension bridge over the....yadi-yadi-yadi...

Count on this FOG ghosting the classes...

wet dog 01-05-2010 19:14

Appreciate your support.

This is the type of discussion Bill and I were looking for.

I think we can keep the ex-wives yarn collection out of this one.


adal 01-05-2010 19:27

I am interested in the classes. It has been quite a few years since I played with blacksmith stuff. Been tryin to talk the wife into for years. This may help. :) Thanks for putting this together. adal

JJ_BPK 01-05-2010 19:28


Originally Posted by wet dog (Post 306555)
Appreciate your support.

This is the type of discussion Bill and I were looking for.

I think we can keep the ex-wives yarn collection out of this one.


Old School Crafts such as animal husbandry, Aqua-farming, sanitation and water engineering projects & smithing are the basic tools we need and use for the Harts-n-Minds side of our missions.

It may not be an primary MOS,, may not be a secondary school like MFF or SCUBA, but it is needed..

I'm pretty sure it was while I was at Brag in 69' that I heard about teaching aqua-farming of Talapia to the indigs in SA, in an effort to make them less dependent on the coca farming.

With more and more embedded missions in rual areas such as SWA and Africa on the agenda,, someone needs to get crack'n on these alternative skill sets..

The Reaper 01-05-2010 19:32

I think it is a great idea which would benefit current SF soldiers tremendously.

Can you imagine having a vehicle break on an extended mounted patrol and trying to locally fabricate a replacement part or repair, before BGs vectored in on your position? Sure beats calling for a rescue bird and blowing the vehicle in place.

You could also use the knowledge to help your local populace and win their support. Great concept, I look forward to the learning.

If this drops, I will sticky it for you. No charge.:D


Kit Carson 01-05-2010 19:47

If I can be any help, please let me know. I'll check on it daily.

Great idea, btw.

Bill Harsey 01-05-2010 20:58


Originally Posted by Kit Carson (Post 306567)
If I can be any help, please let me know. I'll check on it daily.

Great idea, btw.

Thanks Kit and all others who think this is worth undertaking.

Understanding something about forming steel is the important part. One does not need an anvil or fire "proper" to be able to form steel when the concepts are understood. Tools can be improvised.

I have made large chunks of both iron and steel into an anvil by just giving them a flat place to sit while hammering.

If one should ever read the book about an old boy named John M. Browning and the development of his firearms, the text and pictures would shock most because of all the tools he did not have in his early stark shops where the snow drifted in through the walls during the cold Utah winters.
Browning freehand forged many of his parts because he did not own a milling machine. His work was "forge, file and fit" by hand. He had a simple blacksmiths drill press to make actions with. After holes were carefully placed the rest was cold chiseled out by hand and filed to fit.

My point is his knowledge of the craft was his greatest tool.

Peregrino 01-05-2010 21:42

Count me in. The curriculum is stuff I've been struggling through for years; it'll be nice to learn some of it "the easy way". I like the thread name.

wet dog 01-05-2010 22:33

Thanks everyone,...
this should be fun. Now return to post #1 and print copy the POI. We'll refer back to it soon enough.

Also, if someone wants to start and culltivate a library of docs, websites and intel, please do so.

Remember, this thread is about the ODA.

TOMAHAWK9521 01-06-2010 00:01

Since I'm broke-dick and don't feel like wasting my years chasing contracts I'm going back for another Bachelor's in Industrial Design. In the past, I built some concept products in soft goods for myself and the guys in my unit. However, as I have all kinds of ideas for designs in other media, blacksmithing is right up there at the top of skill sets I would love to pick up.

Go Devil 01-06-2010 06:28

Modern/Primitive Smithing
The links to video below should dispel the idea that one needs traditional gear or an electrified hut to heat metal.





Razor 01-06-2010 15:47

Great idea! Not much to add, but I foresee learning a great deal.

wet dog 01-06-2010 22:53

First lesson coming up,..
When time allows, produce, find, steal, (acquire) an anvil.

First rule, you can spend no money, well o.k. $20.

Advise you find something as heavy as you can lift, manage and store.

We are going to start by making a set of tongs, your first. Those who already have tongs, please post a few photos under 'Hephaetus Information", which will be our Library until other means present themselves. for those who have odd, unique anvils, please post photos also.

Your first tongs will be general purpose "Duck Bill". Start with 1/4" square stock iron, 3ft. long, (you'll need two pieces), $5.

If no access to heat, no worries, Tongs can be cold forged, you'll need a 16-24oz. Hammer, nothing fancy. We will be forging our own 'new' Hammers later, from Tool Steel. Best lesson yet.

Go Devil 02-04-2010 20:55

6 Attachment(s)
Just thought I would stir the pot.


The image below is a 20 lb sledge with the head set in a stump; I would advise boring a hole in a better specimen such as elm or hack berry, but this should give you some idea. Just make sure that the force from your hammer travels through to the ground.

Attachment 14404


Pictured below is the first forge that I constructed.

2" pipe from the local hardware; nipples/2 Each, Flange/1 Each, T/1 Each, Cap, 1 Each, Brake Rotor or Drum/1 Each, and 3' of Pipe.

Weld or bolt flange to Brake Rotor and screw assembly together.
You must use the T with the nipple and cap instead of a 90; the T will prevent obstructions in the air stream and the cap allows for cleaning.

This forge can be connected to a vehicle exhaust with a length of flexible pipe sold at your local auto parts store or some sort of blower such as a hair dryer would suffice.

Attachment 14406
Attachment 14407

Basic Tools:

Left to Right, 16oz Ball Peen, Cutting Hammer, 6lb Sledge with short handle.

Attachment 14408

Detail of Cutting Hammer.

Attachment 14410

Left to Right, Files, Mill Smooth, Square, Flat Bastard, Round Bastard.

Attachment 14409

The above items are cheap, readily available, serve multiple purposes, and are easy to store and transport.

Hope this helps.

I will post photos of some tongs tomorrow.

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