'The Complete Modern Blacksmith' by Alexander Weygers

Longtime Boing Boing reader Charles Statman recently recommended I take a look at The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers. This fantastic HOWTO book is detailed and fun, even for someone who can never hope to actually use it.

Weygers explains techniques and methods for making tools, and the tools to make tools. His diagrams are clear and concise, and the text is simple. I can absolutely picture how I'd undertake many of the projects he documents, I just don't think I ever will. This book, however, provides incredible opportunities to learn about how things are made without ever having to get your hands dirty! Be it making your own anvil or designing a water pump system, from making new tools to fixing a broken one, this tome is ridiculously complete. It is actually 3 out-of-print books combined into one.

The Complete Modern Blacksmith got my brain working. Weygers likes to improvise and find cheap ways to do things without spending a lot of money to solve a problem, and that is fun.

The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers

(Thanks, Charles!)

Notable Replies

  1. While this book is a great romantic look at blacksmithing and does have some good knowledge, some of the safety standards are horrible. The New Edge of the Anvil is one of the best places to really learn about the craft. I was a blacksmith for 13 years and used it often as a reference.

  2. Blacksmithing is a heck of a trade. I was a bladesmith years ago and was forever impressed by the control blacksmiths have over their tools.

    The book(s) remind me of this series https://www.amazon.com/dp/0960433082?tag=boing05-20 starting with coal and scrap metal to make the tools needed to build better tools and so forth.

  3. Bobo says:

    I second this. I've been hammering out blades (and other assorted things) for the last 19 years, and I can't even dream of having the hammer control of a semi accomplished blacksmith.

    one of my works for reference (and hopefully to show that I'm not too shabby):

    (sorry, somehow the pic ended up coming up a little skewed, and I have no idea how to get it to come up in proper proportions)

    As far as user friendly blacksmithing references, there's one by Lorelei Sims called "The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith" that I particularly like

  4. I wish to god this was a cheap hobby, but not if you're living in a city. Forges are going to violate fire codes, and renting space in one thats been given the OK is not cheap.

  5. Bobo says:

    In most suburbs, you probably can't get away with coal/coke, but you can usually get away with gas. I've been running propane forges in various forms (since I moved from the country) for the last 15 years or so. That, and having neighbors who don't mind what you do (often after the "Here's a present. This is what I'm doing with all the banging noises.").

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