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How we need to prepare


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Basic forging

One area I have been looking at is making my own workshop. I already have several tools although they require power which I will need to have stored or be able to create. What though will I do when those items break down, wear out or I am unable to power them. You can only store so much and it will all run or wear out at some stage without replenishment. To live in society though we will require to master metal. After all we were able to do this hundreds of years ago so it is not rocket science.

The most basic metalworking tool and luckily the easiest to make is a basic forge. A basic forge can be used for many things although when we think about them we usually think horseshoes. They are simply one of the many things we can make. Axes. swords, knives, scythes, hoes, rakes as well as hinges, latches, hooks,, guns, lathes, milling machines and a million and one other items.

A basic forge can be purchased now although it will probably be gas powered or electric start. Unless you have a gas supply near your retreat you want to be looking at a coal fired forge instead. Coal being available at the moment from mines in the UK. Personally I don’t know where the nearest one is for me but I intend to find out as well as actually getting a stock of coal in.

To make a basic forge though is relatively easy. There are several projects available on the web which you can build your own forge. Here is one from the much respected Paladin Press.

Have a look around the web at the various options and build one you feel comfortable with. As a basic tool you will use it to create more advanced tools such as lathes and if you already have more advanced tools you can use this to maintain and repair them. Cars, machine tools, weapons, etc. all require repair and maintenance. This tool is the starting point for them all.

As another data gathering excercise I have also identified the scrap yards in my area. A source of raw materials already smelted is much easier than smelting your own.

Of course there is a lot more that just building the forge. The forge has multiple uses from heating up metal to be hammered into shape, to tempering metal to make it stronger or softer or to melt metal to allow us to cast items. All of these techniques can be used with the forge and, like everything, are best practised to improve the techniques.

The forge though is our stepping stone to the metal age. From there we can start to rebuild.

3 comments to Basic forging

  • Kenneth Eames

    SD, A good supplier of books on Blacksmithing, Foundry work and Engineering, etc, is http://www.camdenmin.co.uk, it is an excellent site. Many other interesting subjects are covered. The Gingery books are available and the set of books ‘Build Your Own Metal Working Shop From Scrap’, if bought in one set £47 saving 15%. Kenneth Eames.

  • Skean Dhude

    There are many books available on this subject. The gingery ones are excellent but I think they are overpriced for what they are.

  • Skvez

    If you’re using coal to smelt metal be aware that the sulphur content of the coal can negatively affect the metal (making it brittle).

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