Information on Blacksmith Projects

Published: 29th December 2008
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What constitutes a blacksmith project? The answer is that just about everything a blacksmith makes is a "project."

A hobbyist or amateur blacksmith's project can consist of anything from making simple nails to small tools for use in the house or decorative items such as metal coasters or candle stands.

The forge shop will produce commissioned forge metal object that can range from door knobs to hat stands to iron gates, decorative grills and architectural fittings.

A large commercial or industrial sized forge shop will produce machine and automobile parts, oil drilling equipment, aircraft and jet engine components and a vast range of other items.

The blacksmith artist will use his blacksmithing skills to produce works of art or decorative items that can range from small decorations pieces, architectural embellishments or busts and large outdoor sculptures.

All of these qualify as blacksmith projects. But what does the blacksmith have to know and do to execute them? It's not as simple as getting an idea in the head and turning into a finished piece of metal. Here is just a partial list of what the blacksmith needs to know to be able to execute a project successfully.

• Of course, he must be an expert in the art for forging and shaping metal

• He must be a manager who can manage and maintain his forging shop not just in terms of operational efficiency but also of safety and profitability. While the profitability aspect does not directly apply to the amateur blacksmith, understanding the economics of the trade will ensure that the hobby does not involve more expenditure than it should.

• He must know what equipment he should keep available and what kinds of projects he can undertake with the materials he has. If a project requires the procurement of additional equipment he must be able to judge the cost effectiveness of the purchase and the long term utilization of the equipment.

• He must be a materials manager and ensure that all the fuel he needs for the forge and metal the has to work with are available when he needs them

• He must be able to provide estimate of cost, time and materials for any projects he undertakes with the knowledge that his reputation depends on his being able to meet these commitments.

• He must be able to perform the basic maintenance of his equipment himself and also know when to call in experts for repairs that are beyond his abilities.

• He needs to b able to sketch and if necessary, prepare detailed drawings of the project he is planning to undertake to ensure that the finished work meets the required specifications.

• A blacksmith needs to be a good record keeper and have details of all the projects he has done, either in a digital or hard copy form. This is required not only for accounting and audit purposes, but also to provide a prospective client with an assurance that the blacksmith will be able to undertake the proposed work.

These are just a few examples of the things a blacksmith needs to be aware of and do to enable him to execute projects successfully. The completed project is just the tail end of a long and complicated process.

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