As a beginner blacksmith, you might find it difficult to choose a forging project that matches your skill level. You might be excited to start forging replica swords or replicas of ancient crafts, but these projects are usually too advanced for beginner smiths. Attempting an expert job like this without the proper training can lead to wasted materials and frustration for the smith.
Instead, try building up your skills gradually by practicing some of these seven blacksmithing projects to get you started. These forging projects will help you practice and develop fundamental skills that prepare you for more intensive work.
Beginner Blacksmithing Projects
When you’re still learning and practicing the basics of blacksmithing, it’s important to choose projects that reflect these basics. Here are some beginner-level smithing projects that help you practice the foundational skills of blacksmithing. These crafts don’t require high-level techniques or equipment, which makes them accessible to all smiths with the basic tools and skills.
Hooks are great subjects for beginner blacksmiths to create. There are multiple types of hooks to target, and you can focus on different styles of hooks based on your skill level. For example, start with a simple shape such as the J hook. Once you’re comfortable creating the J hook, practice a different hook style with two rounded ends, such as the S hook. Creating various hooks will help you practice pointing and tapering edges, heating and reheating the metal, creating curls and twists, and more. Plus, hooks are very accessible because you can craft them with scrap metal and metal parts you might have on hand.
A fire poker is another excellent beginner blacksmithing project. Fire pokers can make handy tools to have around the workshop, or you can sell them or give them as gifts. Whatever you decide to do with them, crafting fire pokers can help you build and train forging skills such as tapering, curling, and other shaping techniques.
You’ll need a long strip of metal, but the tool requirements are standard and accessible for beginners. You can even practice adding decorative elements to a piece, such as twists and loops. Adding these decorative elements is especially useful when selling or gifting a project, as they add that special touch.
Bottle openers are other examples of tools that you can use around the house. These practical items are also great for gifting or selling. Everyone can use a bottle opener in their kitchen, garage, or outdoor gathering spaces.
Bottle openers are shorter, stouter pieces that require more precise shaping than a hook or fire poker. You’ll also practice creating a hole or loop that will act as the opener. You can use scrap metals and metal parts to start, but you’ll want to select a food-safe material for use in the kitchen.
While they may be more of a novelty item, dinner bells make great vintage-inspired decorative pieces. Most importantly, crafting a dinner bell requires careful smithing techniques and poses a unique challenge. When creating a nice-looking bell, you’ll need to keep all three sides of the bell even enough to form a triangle. This aspect can be difficult when shaping certain parts of the metal, so you’ll practice precision while shaping the corners. By the end, you should have a beautiful dinner bell that looks like a musical triangle.
Intermediate Blacksmithing Projects
Once you complete the previous projects, you might look for work that is a bit more advanced. Fortunately, there are plenty of crafting ideas that will test your skills and offer challenges that are still within your experience range. Here are some examples of intermediate-level blacksmithing projects to inspire you.
While perfecting beginner projects such as the hook, fire poker, and dinner bell, you may have experimented with decorative elements in your blacksmithing pieces. Crafting decorations is a huge category in blacksmithing.
Professional blacksmiths create everything from jewelry to decorative fences in the forge. Channel this category of blacksmithing by creating intermediate decorative pieces such as rings, key chains, dice, and more. Many blacksmithing workshops focus on creating decorative pieces like these, making them an excellent project for early blacksmiths. These pieces will help you hone your shaping skills and offer opportunities to experiment with techniques that add texture to metal.
Mastering the basics opens new horizons for practical pieces you can create. For example, you can turn metal scraps around your workshop into workshop tools you need. You can craft hammers with the exact shape and weight you need by shaping blocks of metal. Once you have the perfect hammer head to suit your next project, you’ll also learn how to craft sturdy handles, which is crucial for creating tools such as blades down the road.
Cooking utensils are the ultimate practical tools and gifts you can make in the forge. Some basic, beginner-level cooking utensils to craft include spoons, tongs, mortar and pestles, and more. Eventually, you can work your way up to crafting kitchen knives—these are a great introduction to bladesmithing, which you might try in the future. As with making hammers, crafting cooking utensils also helps you practice making and attaching handles to your tools.
Where To Find the Tools You’ll Need
You’ll need a few basic tools to start crafting these example projects. Of course, you’ll need a forge and fuel source before anything else. You’ll also want to acquire an anvil, crucible, hammers, tongs, and safety gear before you begin. Finally, collecting accessories such as vices, chisels, and other detailing equipment can help you work more efficiently and perfect your techniques along the way.
Fortunately, don’t need to look far to find all these tools. Here at Cast Master Elite, we offer all the blacksmithing tools and accessories any beginner smith needs to start this journey. Browse our selection of smelting crucibles and other accessories you’ll need to start crafting.
We hope these seven blacksmithing projects to get you started have inspired you. Use these accessible projects to practice basic techniques and improve your blacksmithing skills. Once you perfect these creations, you can even sell them at your local flea market or art fair. Have fun experimenting with these different creations, and don’t forget to stock up on all the materials you need here at Cast Master Elite.