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A look at the Blacksmiths of a Renaissance Festival

I just came back from a renaissance festival. (King Richard's Faire in Carver Massachusetts. And I was pleased to find that not only did they have a blacksmith but they had two! Nice! And both had their forges going. It is really interesting to see how the smiths worked and to see a whole lot of swords, knives, daggers and other weapons that they were making. Everything is of course for sale.

But another interesting thing about these two smiths is that they had very different forges. I will show you some pictures of them and of their forges and anvils. One smith had a very old fashioned stone forge that even had an old fashioned bellows. The other smith has a forge that was a bit more modern - it was a metal dish style forge with an electric blower.


The blacksmith at his forge

Here is a picture of the first blacksmith at his forge. I will show you a better picture of the actual forge. But in this picture I wanted to point out the bellows. He is operating a lever that pumps the bellows. It is very old fashioned and perfect for a renaissance faire.







The top of the forge

This is a picture of the top of the forge. The arrow points out the firepot where the hottest part of the fire is.

You can see the various smithing tools resting on the bricks both upper and lower - tongs, pokers etc.

And you can see he has a pot for quenching.




The blacksmith at his forge

In this picture you get a really good look at the forge. The blacksmithi is working at the vise. He is filing down a knife.

You can see the hammer and anvil and you can see the forge. This is a really nice example of an old fashioned forge.










The Other Blacksmith

There is a second blacksmith at the Faire and he uses a more modern forge in a very different style. This one is a dish style forge with a metal pan for smithing and uses an electric blower as the source of air flow. It still uses coal but it is quite different than the other one.


A blacksmith forge

You could almost consider this one to be portable. There is a 12 volt car battery that operates the blower. You can see the battery on the floor.

And the build of the forge as a pyramid makes it convenient to move. But, I wouldn't consider the anvil to be portable :) They never are!










Blacksmith toolsHere is a look at some of the weapons on display. These were made in the second blacksmith shop. They range in price, size, style and shape. There are small bodice daggers, larger daggers, small swords, big swords, maces, axes, and all kinds of swords. Pretty neat collection.




There are a couple of wonderful things we can take away from this trip to a renaissance faire. First it was really terrific to see an actual blacksmith at work and in particular to see him at work on a very traditional forge with a bellows. Second, this faire just gives us a good example of the fact that a forge can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes! They get the job done even if your forge is made out of some piping and the deck from a lawnmower like mine is! :)

lawn mower forge

This video is footage I took at the Renaissance Festival. There is a little bit with the two blacksmiths.




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. You can also buy this book directly from the blacksmith Author Lorelei Sims. Check out her website right here



The color of forged steel The Changing colors of steel - This tutorial, with video shows you how the color of steel changes quite dramatically as it is heated. And why this is very important to a blacksmith. The changing color of forging steel

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