For a beginner blacksmith, the first blacksmithing projects can be a little intimidating and seem impossible. The number of tools, techniques, and different forging methods can be overwhelming to start with.
But in fact, it’s not all that scary. A novice blacksmith can create inexpensive and fairly easy-to-make things that will help you develop your skill level and acquire first-hand money for large projects.
The Internet is very helpful in finding information on projects that interest you.
Remember that there are a lot of options for working with metal. All you have to do is practice and improve your skills.
This article will introduce you to the basic tools to get the job done and provide you with a list of easy blacksmith projects for beginners to get you started.
- 1 Basic tools for beginner projects
- 2 List of 11 easy blacksmithing projects for beginners and how to do them
- 3 More project ideas for beginner blacksmiths that need basic tools
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Results
Basic tools for beginner projects
The most basic: forge, hammer, tongs, metal surface for work, punch, press, vice, mostly mild steel or mild steel bar. You might not even need an anvil, any heavy metal block will do just fine.
Also, do not forget about basic protective equipment: goggles, an apron, and gloves.
List of 11 easy blacksmithing projects for beginners and how to do them
J-Hook and S-hook
J-hooks are one of the simplest hooks, and even a beginner can forge one in only 10 minutes! An infinite number of things can be hung on this type of key, and the length of the J-hook can vary depending on needs and preferences. The best thing about it is it’s a great opportunity to practice and sharpen your blacksmithing skills.
This is also a great opportunity to earn money, as many people are willing to buy J-hooks. By creating one piece for 5 minutes you can earn $60 per hour. This is a handy item to have around your home, as you can hang almost anything on it.
The S-hook also is one of the basics of blacksmithing. All you need is the tools and the ability to bend and roll. You can significantly increase your skills in crafting this item.
They differ in that the J-hook has two of the same side. You can easily make a j hook from a square or a round bar, it all depends on your preference. Keep in mind that you can get some pretty good money for this item.
To create a hook, you need an anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, vice, ⅜ inch mild steel bar, and chisel.
First, heat the end of the mild steel bar in the forge, and then use the hammer to create the right point. Make a center punch to the end of the steel bar and then rotate it to make a point, increasing the taper of the point to 1 ½ inches.
After getting the tapered end, heat the rod and smooth the edges for a round shape by turning and making round punch to the taper more and more, which will help create the rounded shape and get rid of any hard edges.
Next, blend the cone to your desired effect and heat the metal to form a U shape. Finally, bend the tapered end inwards to create a curled end. Then cut the hook to the desired length with a chisel. Lastly, straighten its hook and hammer in the straight end to create a place for attachment.
Fire Poker can be made with basic forging skills. Fire poker is also one of the easiest projects to make. You can always go for the simplest option or add some decorative work, especially if you want to sell them.
To craft a fire poker, you need: an anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, vice, and a square mild steel bar.
Make a long, thin taper at one end on a square bar. Create a loop by wrapping this end around itself. Then you need to heat it and give it the right shape to get a smooth spiral. After that, twist the very end of this cone around the rod, while leaving the rod in a vise. Lastly, create a shorter conical point at the other end of the bar.
This is possibly the easiest project on the list. A bottle opener is quite an interesting project because it is always needed in every home and adding a little flair to this thing through creativity will never be superfluous. Bottle opener sells well because many people like handmade products. It’s also a great gift.
You can always develop your blacksmithing skill and at the same time bring joy to someone by making a good present. It’s a great basic project and a great way to earn money. For this project, you need: an anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, and vice.
You can also use any metal rod or even a piece of rebar.
All you have to do is heat the material and flatten one end of the rod so that it punches through and shapes a large hole, creating a ledge to grip and pull bottle caps.
For most novice blacksmiths, a decorative heart is one of the first projects. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. You will surprise your wife or girlfriend, or you can easily earn $20 by selling this heart. You can also use the decorative heart as a showpiece in your home or as a paperweight.
To create a decorative heart, you need a small piece of mild steel round bar or ½ inch square bar, a forge, an anvil, tongs, and a hammer.
Curve the square bar with an anvil and then sharpen the ends of the mild steel bar with a hammer. This will create the top of the heart. Wrap the ends together until they meet in the middle and form a heart shape. The heart shape itself can vary, it all depends on your creativity and preferences.
Punches are something that every blacksmith should have in his workshop. It is best to have a variety of punches of different sizes and shapes because it is always very annoying not having the right own tools for specific projects.
Everyone knows that the main use of punches in blacksmithing is punching holes in metal or engraving a stamp.
A punch can be made from any size rod. For example, from a coil spring or any metal rod or object. To create a punch, you need a forge, an anvil (or a metal surface), tongs, and a hammer.
The coil spring must first be cut and heated. Then you need to sharpen the end at the point, whose point should be flat at the end.
Round off the edges of the cone by making a center punch to the rod a few times while rotating it. In the end, you can grind and polish it, or leave it unfinished to make it rough.
Nails are the most used and one of the most ancient metal products. You need them regularly for various needs too.
Also making decorative nails will give beginner blacksmiths the confidence to work with small metal.
To create nails, you need: an anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, mild steel bar, nail header, and 3/8 round or square bar.
Forge a short point at the end of the bar. Create the shoulder and refine its shape with a hammer, while rotating it.
Then cut off the pointed piece and place it on top of the nail header. Punch down the nail, beveling the edges of the nail head to even out the shape. Then take the nail out of the hat, but if you need something special, you can get creative.
First, use a hole puncher to decorate the nail head. Create an indentation at the corners of the nail head and make holes between the ones already made.
Use a round hole puncher to create an indentation in the center of the nail head. With a little creativity, you can make masterpieces. Feel free to make the nails in any size and shape you want.
A forged coat hook is a great decor item and is good for selling online and as a gift to friends and relatives.
To make this hook, you need a 10″ piece of 1/2″ round stock, a metal work surface, a hammer, tongs, and a ¼” punch.
Heat the ends of the bar first and hit the ends to knock them over. Create two flat anchor points by hitting the rod in two places and creating a flat edge.
After the rod has cooled, strike it to make marks, and then heat the rod again and pierce the marks you have created. Lastly, create a curved end of the hook and straighten any details as needed.
A drive hook is a great project for a novice blacksmith. It uses basic blacksmithing skills, and the power hooks themselves are very useful for, for example, sticking into trees, poles, and other surfaces.
First, taper the end of a 1/4″ steel rod and bend the cone over the edge of the anvil 90 degrees. Then heat and draw the other end of the rod into a cone shape, then hit the corners of the cone to round it off.
And finally, turn the product back on itself to bend the rod into a hook, using the anvil horn. Place the hook in a vise, twisting its body several times.
Сampfire cooking set
A campfire cooking set can be a real challenge for a newbie. It consists of a brace, fork, and hook.
This project requires two 3/8″ round bars. First, forge the bracket that holds the plug. You need to heat the end of one rod to make a scarf.
Then thin a strip over the scarf and measure that area of the rod from time to time to ensure the correct length.
After bending the thinned part of the stem to obtain a loop. Next, hammer in the connection of the hinge and body with a hammer until it is relatively seamless, and then close the hinge.
You need to open the loop back using the horn of the anvil. Heat and sharpen the end of the rod. The point will be driven into the ground, which means that it is necessary to make it long and sharp.
To create a fork, use a round shank, using a sharp and narrow chisel to create the fork teeth. Hammer the teeth to smooth out the roughness.
Bend the teeth into a U shape and then heat the other end of the rod to narrow it. Lastly, bend the small hook to hang the pot.
This is also a very simple project. You need a 16 mm square rod or any square rod of the desired dimensions for this.
First, make a line on the 16mm rod and cut out the die with any cutting equipment.
Then hammer in the edges of the die and mark where you want to place the numbers on each side.
Break these numbers with a few hits. A little bumpy at first, and then bigger bumps. Then sand the edge of the dice. Repeat the above steps to create multiple pieces.
The leaf is excellent training for beginner blacksmiths as it requires a good level of accuracy and tact.
You must be careful not to break the sheet, and you must watch the temperature so as not to melt it. Be especially careful if you have a coal smithy.
You can always try to make a keychain in the shape of a leaf. For this interesting project, you need: an anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, and mild steel bar.
First, make a rod-shaped cone with a dot at the end. Then make a series of opposite two-sided cones to create the stem. Finally, drive the cone at the end of the rod down to form a flat leaf shape, and fold the stem to complete the loop.
More project ideas for beginner blacksmiths that need basic tools
It may seem incredible to you, but a rebar snake is quick and easy to make for a beginner. A rebar snake makes a wonderful gift and can sell very well online. You just need to bend a piece of rebar a little and straighten the end so that you get a cobra’s head.
This is a rather small object in size and shape, which serves to secure the desired material. This is a pretty useful item that will require you to have good precision when crafting.
Paper towel holder
This is an extremely useful item for the home. The paper towel holder is great for the kitchen, bathroom, or workshop and doesn’t take much time to make. It’s also a great gift or potential item to sell.
Dinner bell triangle
The dinner bell triangle is a very cute and interesting thing to create. It is used to call the family together for dinner, especially when it comes to farming. You need a square or round piece of mild steel to create. Try to be as creative as you can while creating, because the Dinner Bell Triangle is a potentially great gift.
A simple and quick thing to create. Brackets can often cost a lot of money so a good way to save money is to make your bracket. Especially considering that different shelves require different sizes and lengths. And if you have them, then all that remains for you is to bend and make a hole. It never hurts to get creative for visual appeal.
Instead of buying, make your own. Especially if you are very fond of meat and are a blacksmith. This is a very simple and quick-to-create item, which is also very useful in everyday life.
Spoon and fork
Handmade cutlery is always a sign of a skilled blacksmith. You can make a whole set of spoons in different shapes and designs, which will last you a very long time. You can also earn very good money from this.
It is extremely easy to make a spoon and a fork yourself since this project does not require a lot of strength and some special tools. Very few people have handmade cutlery at home.
Drifts are similar to punches, but the main difference is in the size of the point. The drifts are smaller in diameter and increase towards the top. Punches are larger in diameter. Thus, drifts are the ideal tool for enlarging existing holes.
A chisel is essential for cutting hot metal. The chisel comes in different sizes and shapes, and to cut the material you need to make a lot of effort with a hammer.
There are two types of chisels: hot chisels and cold chisels. Hot chisels are used for hot metal, and cold chisels are used for cold ones.
There are some differences in the design of the two types. The hot bit is sharper with a 30-degree bevel, while the cold bit is 50 degrees bevel. It’s important to know this and not try to use a hot chisel to cut cold metal.
Drawer or door pulls
Every blacksmith must try to make things for household use. Imagine your satisfaction when you open a door with a handmade handle or create handles for different drawers.
All you need to do is have a piece of mild steel 8 inches long and a 3/8 square rod.
This item is very easy to make. Make leaves at both ends, place the block in a vise and twist it, and then bend it on the anvil horn.
Can you teach yourself to blacksmith?
It requires a lot of effort and time like any needlework. The more you practice, the more you will get many interesting projects. All you need is the right tools and a willingness to learn and practice.
Is blacksmithing still a viable career?
It is still in demand in the market. It all depends on the creativity and skills of the blacksmith.
Is blacksmithing profitable?
You can get quite a substantial amount of money even for simple nails. It all depends on the speed and complexity of the product.
You can always show your imagination and create very intricate handmade things. People are always ready to pay for other projects of yours. On average, for the simplest handmade thing, you can get from 5 to 20 dollars.
This article has tried to give a lot of interesting ideas for starting projects. Practice, try to sell your items, and develop your blacksmithing skills. The more experience you have, the sooner you will move from simple to more complex and refined projects! Read about importance of proper forging temperature of steel