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									                              Mesa Arts Center Blacksmithing
          ADA298 6569 Special Projects Fall 2008               Room: MAC Jewelry Terrace

Instructor: Michael Sobrado                                  Time: Monday and Wednesday 6:00-8:30
Email Address:                          Office Hours: Wednesday 4-5 at Mango’s
Phone: 480-529-0206                                          Text: Mastering the Fundamentals of
                                                                   Blacksmithing by: Mark Aspery

Course Objectives:
This course covers the techniques of forge and anvil blacksmithing with emphasis on wrought iron art.
Students will learn to use the forge, hammer, anvil, tongs, and anvil tools to explore Iron as an artistic
medium. Students will also be introduced to many basics of ironwork including cutting, welding, grinding,
and metal finishes. By the end of class the student should be able to perform many of the basic
blacksmithing and metalworking operations and gain enough knowledge to equip their own small shop.


                             Blacksmithing is an inherently dangerous trade.
Steel is hot, sharp, heavy, and stubborn material. You will get burned and/or cut if you are not wearing the
proper clothing and safety gear. Even with the proper equipment you can expect a few injuries along the
way. These are realities of the trade so always keep them in mind.

Students will be expected to wear long denim pants, leather shoes, leather gloves, and safety glasses.
Anyone not dressed appropriately will not be allowed to work. Leather aprons, hearing protection, and
long sleeves are a good idea but are not mandatory. Anyone working in an unsafe manner will be
dismissed from class for everyone’s safety.

As a general rule, always assume a piece of steel is hot before you pick it up. Steel with no visible heat
color can cause serious burns. Iron stays hot enough to give you third degree burns for up to 20 minutes
after being at forging temperature depending on size.

Attendance and Grading

Attendance is very important in this class, as we will be building on skills learned from week to week.
Students are allowed 3 absences. Each absence after that will reduce your grade one letter point.

Students will be graded on Attendance, participation, and work product. Each lesson will have an
associated project. Completion of the lesson project is expected and will receive a grade.
The grading scale is: A         90% and above
                        B       80% to 89%
                        C       70% to 79%
                        D       60% to 69%
                        F       59% or Below
If you are only interested in using the tools and equipment you may elect to take the course for no credit.
Please advise the instructor on the first class day if this applies to you.

Due to the nature of our facility all equipment must be moved before and after class. All students are
required to help set up the shop and put the tools away and clean up at the end of each class. If you are
going to be late or leave early, please discuss this with the instructor prior to class time.
Tools and Material
Material for use in the class, mainly mild steel in a few common sizes will not be provided. Students may
purchase steel from one of many suppliers in the valley such as Capital Metals in Tempe (where Mesa
Arts Center students receive a discount on material), and Wild West Steel on Southern in Mesa.

We will mainly be using solid steel bars ¼” round and square, 3/8” round and square, ½” round and
square, ¾” round tool steel, flat stock for tongs 3/8” X 1” and 3/8” X ¾” for candle holders.

Although hammers and other tools will be provided, students are encouraged to acquire some that they
find comfortable and use them in class. Students should also get a rolling toolbox.

Students are encouraged to educate themselves on steel, its physical properties, and different types of
welding. Steel is easier to work with if you have a basic understanding of the chemistry and physics
involved. A list of good books on blacksmithing is attached.


Unless you have 3 hands some operations are extremely difficult/dangerous to perform alone. Some
lessons will require a partner. Help each other out and feel free to ask others for aid.

             In the event of rain class will be cancelled since our classroom is outside. If there
                  is sufficient time the instructor will attempt to notify everyone by phone.
                            Makeup dates can be added to the end of the semester.

                       ** Denotes important basic operation that should be learned.
August 25, 2008
Discuss Safety and Class procedures, Material, tools
**Cutting- hot and cold cutting, smithing magician
**Hammering technique, Types of hammer blows (Full-Face, Half-Faced, Fullering, Shearing, Horn)
**Drawing out/Drawing down                           1/ 4” or 3/8” Square or Round
August 27, 2008
**Spreading                                          3/8” Square or Round
**Dishing, Use of Swage Block

September 1, 2008
Labor Day, No Class
September 3, 2008
Tapering                                              Project: Stylized Leaf 3/8” Square
Wrapping and twisting with forged Stock

September 8, 2008
Upsetting, Twisting, reverse twist                    Project: Hold down/Holdfast tool 1/2” Square
Oxy/Acetylene Torch
September 10, 2008
**Bending hot and cold stock, hossfeld bender,
September 15, 2008
Scroll making from start to finish           Project: Scroll Shelf Bracket
September 17, 2008
Scroll making from start to finish           Project: Scrolling Jig ¼” X 1” Flat stock
                                             Cheap ½’ ratchet, cheap ½” sockets
September 22, 2008
Introduction to steel types/heat treatment   Project: Small hot cut chisel 5/8 Round Tool Steel
September 24, 2008
Hot cutting with hand chisels                Project: Dog Wrench/Scroll Fork 3/8” x 1” flat

September 29, 2008
**Punching Holes                             Project: Round Punch 5/8 Round Tool Steel
October 1, 2008
Punching Holes                               Project: Gate Pull ½” Round Mild Steel

October 6, 2008
Basics of electric welding
October 8, 2008
Grinders and surface preparation

October 13, 2008
Tong Making                                  Project: Scrolling Tongs
October 15, 2008
Tong Making

October 20, 2008
Collars and Collar Stock                     Project: Trivet
October 22, 2008
Collars continued…

October 27, 2008
**Slitting and drifting bar stock            Project: Square Punch ¾” round tool steel
October 29, 2008
Slitting and drifting bar stock              Project: ½’ Square Drift ½’ square mild steel

November 3, 2008
**Rivet Joinery                              Project: Scroll Candle Holder
November 5, 2008
Rivet Joinery

November 10, 2008
Ring and Chain making
November 12, 2008
Steel Finish Options

November 17, 2008
Use of multiple techniques                   Project: Door Knocker ½” round Stock
November 19, 2008
Complete doorknocker
November 24, 2008
Use of multiple techniques                         Project: Linked Candle Holders 3/8”x3/4” Flat
November 26, 2008
Complete Candle Holders

December 1, 2008
Student Projects
December 3, 2008
Student Projects

December 8, 2008
Student Projects
December 10, 2008
Last Day of Class, Blacksmith Journal Videos

December 15 and 17 can be added class days in the event of rained out classes.

                              Recommended Blacksmithing Books

Mastering the Fundamentals of Blacksmithing by Mark Aspery*
The Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims* Best Book out there for beginners!
New Edge of the Anvil by Jack Andrews *
The Blacksmith and His Craft by J.E. Hawley (This book is available from our local blacksmith’s group,
The Arizona Artist Blacksmith Association,
The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer
The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers
The Artist Blacksmith by Peter Parkinson *
Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking by Percy Blandford
The Blacksmith by Aldren Watson
The Craft of the Japanese Sword by Yoshindo Yoshihara
Blacksmith’s Journal – monthly by Jerry Hoffmann, *
The Anvil’s Ring and The Hammers Blow – Quarterly publications by ABANA, the Artist Blacksmith
Association of North America, WWW.ABANA.ORG *

                        Good things to keep in mind in any steel shop:
                              Think at the forge and work at the anvil.
                                    Never pick up the pretty end.
                                        If it can cut you it will.
                                       If it can burn you it will.
                          If it can fall somewhere and start a fire it will.
                                 Don’t hit tool steel with tool steel.
                   Don’t use your forging hammer on anything but hot steel.
                          When alone never turn your back on the forge.
                        Remove hardy tools before hammering on anvil.
                                Assume it is hot before you touch it.
                   Put it back where it belongs when you are finished with it.

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