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9 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. A few words on safety

    • 3. Project and goals

    • 4. Bending

    • 5. Tapering

    • 6. Scrolls

    • 7. Forging hot steel

    • 8. Cleaning the forge scale

    • 9. Closing thoughts


Project Description

Create an S-hook with fire and steel.

Creating as a blacksmith is manipulating hot iron or steel into the desired form.  For this project you will develop some basic skills and use them to forge an S-hook.


Bending over the horn, and over the edge and face of the anvil.

The most basic manipulation is bending a curve.  There are many ways to do this, here I show how to use the horn of an anvil and the anvil face to curve a piece of steel.

Drawing a taper.

Another skill of the blacksmith is forging a taper,  I demonstrate forging a square taper and round taper.

Rolling a tapered scroll and fishtail scroll.

The scroll is a common decorative element in ironwork.  There are many different form for a scroll and I show how to make two of the more commone ones, a simple tapered scroll and a basic fish-tail scroll.

Tools and Materials

Forge.  I'll be using a gas forge, there are other designs and some with work with charcoal.  If you need ideas for how to do this without spending a lot of money, follow the link below to the "I forge iron" forums, there is a lot of good information on getting started on that site.

Anvil.  I have a double-bick pattern.  If you don't have a "proper" anvil, a heavy piece of iron will suffice.  Again, there are suggestions on "I forge iron" for substitute anvils. 

Hammer.  I like something in the range of 1 to 1.5 lbs. others like heavier and some like lighter.  A carpenter hammer will work, although other hammer styles are more useful.

Tongs.  Something to hold the hot steel.  Proper tongs work better than pliers but if you have pliers on hand that will suffice.

Since fire is an integral part of blacksmithing, have on hand a fire extinguisher or some way to put out a fire.

Steel.  I'm using an 8" piece of 3/8" round stock.  Smaller stock can be used, larger stock will result in a massive hook and should be longer to compensate for the larger diameter.

Class Project:

 Complete an S-hook.




Books I've found useful:

"Plain and Ornamental Forging" by Ernst Schwarzkopf

"New Edge of the Anvil" by Jack Andrews

"A Blacksmithing Primer" by Randy Mcdaniel

"Professional Smithing" by Donald Streeter

Student Projects

project card
Ron Payne