I've been doing woodworking and metalworking (welding/fabrication, machining, and a little casting) for a while. Now I have a nephew who is really anxious to do forging/smithing work. Primarily knives and such (for a sense of scale) at this point. He and his father have acquired an awesome cast iron stove that will work great for a forge after a little modification for controlled airflow, and they have basic fabrication tools (saws, welders, grinders).
Anyway, we're celebrating his birthday this week so I want to give him metal stock with instruction to decide the designs he wants for his hand tools and we'll make them in my shop. Maybe make a set for me while we're at it; we'll see. I have various bits of 4130/4140, S7, A2, D4, and others for making tools, and plenty of high carbon stock and leaf springs and such that we can use for workpieces.
But... I don't know much. I've watched plenty of videos of this kind of stuff on youtube over the years, but always as a passing curiosity and not as any sort of study as I do with machining stuff. What I need for now is a list of what tools he needs to get started. A basic set of forging tools for a particularly mature teenager. I have been browsing the relevant categories on here, and I see LOTS of tools that I COULD make, but I'm not sure at this point what we SHOULD make first.
- A hammer is obviously needed. Perhaps a couple different ones of different weights/sizes? Specific recommendations (again for a teenager) are appreciated.
- He has a set of fireplace tools and various old pliers for tongs that should work okay for now. It seems to me like he should get a few thousand hammer swings before he will know what size and style to make. Let me know if you disagree??
- What else? What are the tools for piercing and opening holes, forking a taper, and other cool tricks I vaguely recall seeing? I don't know which terms to look for, and I don't have time to research it all right now. I want to give him a list of things for him to research and decide how he wants to make them, and we'll make them together.
He has a disc of (yet unknown to me grade) steel maybe 2" x 8" for an anvil-ish. If it doesn't seem to be a very good grade I have a similar disc of 4140 we can use. Or maybe we'll weld the 4140 on top of the other one after we form it. Don't know yet, but we'll figure that out. It's the hand tools I'm focused on for now.