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How to Forge a Letter Opener


Intro text goes here This is a pretty basic forging project but in it I show you six different techniques that a blacksmith uses on the anvil.

If you want to learn a bit about how a blacksmith works this tutorial gives you a good insight. And we take a good look at how the edge of the anvil is used and how important it is to blacksmithing.

I have a video tutorial for this project at the bottom of the page.

Will has a youtube channel with over 700 videos on projects you can make. Check it out right here


Forge a letter opener graphic


In this tutorial I show you these six blacksmithing techniques:

  • Upsetting Metal
  • Pointing a bar
  • Drawing out Metal
  • Bending Metal
  • Flatting
  • Beveling


Part 1 Upsetting the metal


Upset the steel

The first thing we will do is upset the metal. This process will rearrange the metal so there is more of it on the end.

Here I have heated the end and placed it on the anvil in a vertical position. Now I am hammering on the top of the bar. This forces a a bulbing at the end. It compresses and flares out the steel.





Use water to localize the heat

And we have some control over how this process works. We can limit the distance the spread goes up the bar by cooling it in places. Here I am cooling the bar by pouring water on it about 5 inches from the end. This will cause the upsetting to only climb up to around that point.






Upsetting looks good

Ok, this is pretty good. Next lets work on the other end of the bar.

NextLets continue and point the bar







Watch the Video Tutorial Here:


The Backyard Blacksmith - The Backyard Blacksmith -

The Backyard Blacksmith shows you how -- with some patience and a working knowledge of metals, basic tools, and techniques -- blacksmithing can be easy to learn, and a rewarding hobby. Through instructions and illustrations, readers will learn to make simple tools and useful items, such as nails, hinges, and handles, and also an interesting mix of artful projects, such letter openers, door knockers and botanical ornaments. Written by an expert in blacksmith and metal artist, this book provides readers with a basic understanding of blacksmithing, including an explanation of tools like an anvil, an anvil stand, hammers, and tongs. Heating techniques like coal forging and fire tending are explained in detail, along with different types of metal like wrought iron, cast iron, and steel.



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