Nova Labs Blacksmithing Group

Mission Statement(Draft):

  1. Promote traditional, ornamental and practical craftsmanship of hot metal work.
  2. Provide basic instruction and safety to the NovaLabs community for pursuing creative metal working.
  3. Maintain a space and array of tools for both amateur and professional blacksmithing.

Blacksmithing Stewards

Blacksmith Steward: Pat Marstall

Instructors: Curt Welch, Bill Steinhardt, Kenneth Johansen

Blacksmithing Classes

We are currently offering the following classes to provide forge time and promote interest in blacksmithing. Please check Meetup for class schedules and signups. Stay tuned for more classes on special topics.

BL: Blacksmithing Practice Sessions and Maker Meetup

BL: Blacksmithing 101 Introduction

BL: Blacksmithing 102 Fundamentals 1

BL: Blacksmithing 103 Fundamentals 2

- Blacksmithing 101 is required to join us at the "supervised practice sessions" and work on anything you can dream up, with help from experienced smiths.

- Can't wait? Please join use on the #blacksmithing channel in Slack and come out to your local blacksmiths guild, BGOP( Meetings occur on the First and Third Fridays of every month starting at 7:30, new people are very welcome!

Course PDFs:



Blacksmithing "TODO" List

Please add things here that need to be accomplished. Anyone who has time or know-how is welcome to tackle these projects to improve the metal shop and blacksmithing program!

Blacksmithing Resources

-NOVALabs Blacksmithing Binder -Forge Welding:

-ABANA -this has everything you need to know about hand forging:








-New Edge of the Anvil by Jack Andrews

 common_melting_points, measurement_conversion_table, rockwell_hardness, spark_test, steel_series_designations

-The Complete Bladesmith by Jim Hrisoulas

   steel_series_designations, aisi_steel_series_designations, carbon_content_of_common_items, common_alloys_1, common_alloys_2

-Damascus notes:

Blacksmithing Tools

Special thanks to Curt Welch for co-locating equipment.

–Co-Located Equipment–

   200 lb Vulcan Anvil and Tree Stump Stand
   150 lb Hay Buden Anvil and Wood Stand
   130 lb Mouse Hole Anvil and Metal Stand
   Blacksmith Post Vice and Harbor Freight Stand
   Harbor Freight 1'' Belt Grinder
   2 Burner DIY Propane Forge and Harbor Freight Stand
   2 Burner DIY Propane Forge and Harbor Freight Stand
   1 Burner DIY Propane Forge and Stand (Curt's)
   Brass Hammer
   Files(2 Sets of Harbor Freight)
   Tongs (3 New Wolf Jaws)
   Tongs (4 New V-Bit)
   Tongs (1 New Universal V-Bit)
   Tongs (1 New Duck Bill)
   Tongs (12 Misc)
   Hand Fuller/Swage Tools (6)
   Harbor Freight Punche Set
   Harbor Freight Letter Punch Set
   Bees Wax 3lb
   Anvil Magnets
   Wooden Mallet(s)
   Homemade guillotine
   Small Swage

–Looking to Purchase and Co-Locate–

   Tongs (Universal, Misc)
   Swage Block
   Tempering Oven
   Assorted Hammers

Blacksmithing Announcements

Several of our members took a master class from Theo Nazz on March 19 and 20, 2018. Here are the notes that Ken Johansen took: Common grain structures in forging steel: -ferrite (The desired grain structure of normal steel. Small refined grains.) -austenite (The salt-like grain structure that develops as steel is heated) -pearlite (An undesired grain structure that forms as steel cools. This structure is minimalized though normalizing the steel.) -martensite (The stressed/tension grain structure created by hardening steel. This makes the steel hard and brittle.) Here is a link with more information and grain structures:

Theo's recommended process for normalizing/thermal cycling: -The needed critical temp for annealing depends on the type of steel. Refer to manufacturer spec sheets. The following was for 10XX steel series. 1.) Bring your knife to approximately 1650 degrees F. Let the blade 'soak' for 5 mins and cool slowly. 2.) Bring your knife to approximately 1580 degrees F. Let the blade 'soak' for 5 mins and cool slowly. 3.) Bring your knife to approximately 1500 degrees F. Let the blade 'soak' for 5 mins and cool slowly.

-Theo talked about grain alignment/structure of iron in terms of dendrites. This is what makes iron magnetic. -Theo talked about crystalline forms of iron as steel is hardened from a body-centric to face-centric model. This was conversation on of how carbon moves in steel and is trapped at different positions when the steel is heated and cooled.

Tempering: -Theo recommended two cycles totaling four hours in an oven that can provide a consitent heat. An oven which flutuates above the desired tempering range can cause the temper to be ruined. -For professional tempering ovens, Theo recommend manufacturers; high-heat and paragon. He also recommended that if a keln is used, ensure that it cools slowly otherwise the lining will be destroyed with cracks.

Book recommendations: Jim Hrisoulas, The Complete Bladesmith: Tim McCreight, Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman

Additional Notes: -Theo and Justin recommended G Flex Epoxy as their handle adhesive of choice. -Theo and Justin recommended 3M Wet Dry Ceramic sand paper for hand sanding metal. -Theo and Justin also talked about 3M Trizact belts several times due to their longevity and consitent grit. Metallography of Steels metallography of steels

kennethjohansen [8:51 PM] I bought the trizact belts I have from If you find a better source please recommend them.

May 9th, 2018. Forge Care and Safety:

-When packing up the forges please try your best to clean them. The forge and cart can easily become trashed. Removing scrap metal, neatly stacking fire bricks and using compressed air helps a lot.

-If you notice significant cracks or exposed kaowool when using a forge please report it to one of the blacksmith stewards. This also means being careful when moving objects into and out of the forge like rebar. It's very easy to gash and chip the refractory. Damaged refractory can create poor performance as well as long term health risks if kaowool is exposed.

June 15, 2018. Blacksmith Volunteers Sign-up Sheet:

Members of the Blacksmith_Leads channel can use this sign-up sheet to schedule practice sessions. Some sessions may be open practice; others may focus on knife-making, tool-making, etc. Some may begin with a structured hour or skill session, before moving to open practice. Teaching /coaching may or may not be available during the open session.

Typically, a member will propose a date and time, and recruit at least one assistant to help run the session. That 'lead' then communicates the pertinent information to at least 1 week in advance so it can be publicized: host(s), date, time, number of people allowed to attend, type of practice, etc.

groups/blacksmithing.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/01 13:23 by pmarstall
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