Basic Blacksmithing

produced by J.W. Wright
P.O. Box 50049
Bowling Green, Kentucky 42102 USA
Video, 90 minutes in length, $39.95 Postage Paid
Reviewed by Emile Carré, CJF
This review was published in the November, 1996 issue of ANVIL Magazine

This is my kind of tape! It opens with Hershel and "Cousin Willie" sitting at what appears to be the kitchen table telling stories. Right off the bat you are invited into the house and introduced to these two very interesting characters. Before the first blow is struck on the anvil, you are invited to relax and enjoy yourself.

Hershel then takes us out to the shop where he starts us out with a demonstration of how to build a proper fire in a coal forge. As the fire is cokeing up, he introduces us to the basic tools of the trade: anvil, hammers, post vise, cut-off, tools, tongs, etc. He even lets us in on some of the seemingly simple trade secrets like preheating the anvil. Before we are through, we will be introduced to most of the basic skills of drawing, stretching, splitting, necking down, brazing, welding (forge welding) and heat treating and tempering.

If you are looking for an introductory tape into the world of blacksmithing, you will enjoy this one. It starts out with the most basic skills by inviting you to make a turning fork and a spatula. This gives you an introduction into the forging of mild steel while demonstrating the more basic skills. From there we go to knife making and the forging of high carbon steel. This is where Hershel introduces us to annealing, hardening and tempering, and begins to move fairly quickly into brazing and forge welding. By the time we reach the end of the tape, we are tuning up the moving parts of a flintlock rifle Hershel built in a previous tape. This is where he introduces us to hot rasping, filing, polishing and the more subtle skills of metal working.

As I said before, this is my kind of tape þ ninety minutes of fun. Even if you never plan to do any blacksmithing, this is an excellent presentation and a history lesson all wrapped into one. By the end of this tape, I was left feeling like I wanted to get in the car and go find these two guys. Just stop by for a cup of coffee and a visit!

This one gets my vote and four shoes plus! UUUU+

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