I thought it would be useful to have a page you can always come to for tools, best-selling books, and equipment suggestions. I’ll be continually adding to the resources here so feel free to bookmark this page for easy reference.
Blacksmithing hammers can range in price from $2 for a claw hammer at a yard sale to $110 for a Hofi-style ergonomic hammer from Big Blu. I prefer the Nordic-style of the Vaughan and Peddinghaus (sold by Pieh) hammers below and have used them for years.
The widest selection and best prices can be found in two places:
- Blacksmith Supply – This is your best source for the Tom Tongs I prefer. They just feel good in the hand.
- Blacksmiths Depot – The Depot is slightly more expensive by about $5 per item. A lot of their tongs are USA made.
Beeswax is the traditional choice. You can find it at local natural food stores or craft stores. It’s also available on Amazon here:
One great thing about the Internet is that you can find just about anything. You used to have to go down to your local steel supplier to order small amounts of bar stock. You can still do this and I highly recommend it since they are some of the most knowledgeable people on the subject.But if you know what you want, you can find it online, too. Here are some listings for tool steel on Amazon to give you an idea.
Reading a bit before jumping in might save you some headaches down the road. I talk about these books quite a bit on this blog:
- Ted Tucker’s Practical Projects for the Blacksmith – An oldie, but a goodie (Published in 1980). It takes you through useful projects starting with the simplest first. He shows you how to create a simple coal-fired forge in the first chapter, too.
- Aldren Watson’s The Blacksmith: Ironworker and Farrier – Mr. Watson was a skilled artist and writer. He does a thorough treatment of blacksmithing basics and projects. I bought it for its content, but would have for his artwork and diagrams alone.
- The DIY Blacksmithing Book – Easy to follow steps: Building Your Forge, Creating Your Workspace, Finding an Anvil, Hardening and Tempering, and much more. This is this site’s official book on the subject!
If you’re ready take the plunge after reading about how to build your own forge in the three books listed above, here are three companies who manufacture reasonably priced forges.
- N.C. Tool Co. – The company that made the used forge I use. Double-burner: $458
- ChileForge – Barrel-style forges. Without corners, where can the gas and heat escape? Nowhere, and that’s a good thing. Double-burner: $775
- ForgeMaster – Similar in style to N.C. Tool with various features: pass-throughs, hoods, stainless. This is the one I use in my shop. Double-burner: $775
To be perfectly honest, you’ll find your best deal on real anvils at flea markets, estate sales, and some antique stores. Your next best bet is to check out Craigslist in your area and eBay. If you’re not dead-set on a traditional anvil, it’s easy to find pieces of railroad track for very little money ($30 usually).
Traditional anvil brands to look for: Peter Wright, Peddinghaus, Fisher.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. That means that, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you decide to purchase something. I have experience with the products I recommend here and wouldn’t suggest them if I didn’t vet them first. I operate from a frugal mindset and will always try to provide the best deal. Please only act on my suggestions if you feel it will help you achieve your blacksmithing dream.