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Old 10-09-2016, 09:55 AM
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Default Ideas for new blacksmithing book (traditional hardware main subject)

Hi, by now most you guys have a pretty good idea of what it is I do and the area forging wise I specialize in..


I have been planning on putting a book out for the last 30 years and way back then it might have been a smashing success as there wasn't much information out there on the subject..

Now there are lots of options.

So, I am looking for ideas on a book structure that you guys would want to have in your collection..

The main theme is " Traditional hardware forging"

It will cover traditional hardware, (thumb latches both Norfolk and Suffolk thru cusp and swivel lift) hinges both strap and H, H-L and butterfly, a section on proportions.. a section on tool making.. and of course Nail making, bolt rivet making..

Ideally I would want it to be a book that gives a beginner a fighting chance but also accomplished blacksmiths knowledge to bring thier work a step further..

So, question.. Format: step by step drawings, then step by step with photographs.. With maybe a secondary DVD or Bluray with exactly the same steps but sold separately? Or included but would incur a pricing increase..

What would you guys like to see in such a book?

Anyhow, all thoughts and comments welcome.. I need more insight and you guys are family so you can say pretty much what ever you'd like..
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2016, 11:36 AM
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First thoughts off the top of my head.

1. Start with the basics. Especially if you are gearing towards the beginners. Blacksmithing is an art that you learn as you go. ( at least I think it is :-) ) maybe at heady a short section on the forge, anvil, and basic tools needed.

2. Section and making the tools needed. Tongs, poker, shovel, etc which would help teach the basics.

3. Then you can get deeper into your speciation of hardware, hinges, and other items.

You are right that most anything can be found online today, but there is always room for more quality stuff. I'm not sure how many books could be sold, but at least the books will survive a lot longer than anything electrically saved. Would be good to preserve your info in hard print writing. Maybe you could offer a pdf version of the book too. DVDs are great for seeing the actual process, and can help teach without actually being there. But will you be able to make $ selling the books and DVDs with so much info out there for free? I don't know. But you have a lot of knowledge that should be saved and shared!

Brian
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
First thoughts off the top of my head.

1. Start with the basics. Especially if you are gearing towards the beginners. Blacksmithing is an art that you learn as you go. ( at least I think it is :-) ) maybe at heady a short section on the forge, anvil, and basic tools needed.

2. Section and making the tools needed. Tongs, poker, shovel, etc which would help teach the basics.

3. Then you can get deeper into your speciation of hardware, hinges, and other items.

You are right that most anything can be found online today, but there is always room for more quality stuff. I'm not sure how many books could be sold, but at least the books will survive a lot longer than anything electrically saved. Would be good to preserve your info in hard print writing. Maybe you could offer a pdf version of the book too. DVDs are great for seeing the actual process, and can help teach without actually being there. But will you be able to make $ selling the books and DVDs with so much info out there for free? I don't know. But you have a lot of knowledge that should be saved and shared!

Brian

Would you want to start with forge tools? ( hooks, nails, leaves, candle holders come to mind as beginner projects)

There are lots of books for the beginner... And there is so much information on getting started out there ( Do you think it really needs to be covered)..

Ideally the book would start with easy items and work in a progression towards harder projects.. shovels are high up on the list of hard to make well..

Mind you a section both on solid fuel fires and gas forges would be welcome especially with a coal forge..
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:48 PM
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Jen,

Whatever you do, one publishing avenue to consider is Amazon. Specifically their Create Space publishing arm. My wife recently published a book of her philosophical ramblings. No cost (she didn't use any additional services). She hasn't had it converted for a Kindle reader, so don't know how that works.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:05 PM
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Jen,

Whatever you do, one publishing avenue to consider is Amazon. Specifically their Create Space publishing arm. My wife recently published a book of her philosophical ramblings. No cost (she didn't use any additional services). She hasn't had it converted for a Kindle reader, so don't know how that works.
Thanks for the info Pops. Any thoughts on the book? Something you would like to see in print?
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2016, 01:21 PM
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I like the idea of starting with the basics as toprecycler stated. Maybe have a two book set sold individually or as set, one for a beginner and one for advanced work. Personally if I was going to get started in it I would want one source to use with everything I needed to know in it. Then I would buy the set, if I already had the beginners work figured out then I would just buy the advanced book.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:03 PM
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Jen, I guess I'd do a little research on what books are out there now, even if it meant a trip to the library. The only book(s) I've read on the subject were Alexander Weygers. I did like his style.

But there's style and then there's content. You don't need to rehash all that is out there from the ground up. It's a tough call. Perhaps put yourself in the position of an expert smith specializing in hardware and pretend you just got a new apprentice. (Read "indentured servant".)

I would think that cluing people in on certain moves to manipulate metal in a certain direction for maximum effect would be useful. Efficiency. As you mentioned in another post, you had half-forgotten a way of scarfing for a weld. Or the progression of banging parts from thick to thin, and where to avoid burning pieces up. When to bend or flatten what.

It's a kinda Zen thing sometimes, in my limited experience. You will things into the shape that you want.

For purposes of illustration and ease of photography, don't discount using modeling clay or the like instead of metal. You may have to chill it, but some use it to teach how metal moves when struck.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:05 PM
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I guess the reason I said tools like tongs first, was I figure you need those to make the other things too. Would you rather buy them or make them yourself? I guess you can go either way. Some people will start black smithing on a tight budget, and will make what they can vs paying $ for already made tools. I know I am on the frugal side so I would probably make my own tools if I can. I seem to have more time than money.

Brian
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:26 PM
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I too think starting with the basics will draw the beginners. I would suggest:

Cover the proper type of clothing and safety gear
Types of forges
Types of fuel
How to start a forge/How to put out a fire
Show types of tongs for specific uses
What is the proper fire to maintain for forging, heat treating
Show how to select types of steel for specific types of uses
Show how to stretch, taper, fold, weld
Start with easy examples of how to make simple things
End with more complex items

Pictures are good, but videos are much easier for beginners to understand the "how to". I'd offer both since beginners would probably want both and semi experienced people would just want the book.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allessence View Post
Hi, by now most you guys have a pretty good idea of what it is I do and the area forging wise I specialize in..



The main theme is " Traditional hardware forging"
Jen,

Like you have said, there are many books and videos out there to get a beginner started, why add to that pile.

You have a specialty that is not well covered any place else, so why not take advantage of that void and concentrate your efforts on what you do that others don't.

The heart handle on the poker you made is awesome. I am in the process of building a coal forge, but even though I haven't got my forge built yet, I would buy a book that showed how to make things like your heart handle just to keep me motivated.
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