Tool making

"For two hands"




Where to buy


Blacksmiths shop

Blacksmiths Shop







Hardy tools

Chisels and Punches

Basic principles

Forging out



Kování ostří a hrotů



Cutting and splitting


Forge Welding


In the Czech version the name of this part is "How to build the blacksmiths shop". I'm describing my shop and my first experiences. If you are a hobby blacksmith you will use the shop or building you have (I think, that is necessary to explain to you, who are not from Czech, that in Czech lots of people living in town have a country house, or cottage outside of town and use it on weekends and summer, like I do.) My description is a recommendation. Your shop may have different requirements.

Shop A room, with good ventilation. Dimensions at least 9 feet by 12 feet, and with solid floor
Chimney Made from bricks or steel, with a cross-section at least 900cm2 (approx. 1 square foot or 12 to 14 inches in diameter). The height and dimensions depend on the height of the surrounding buildings and their roof’s etc. Over the forge is a hood collecting the smoke.
Forge It is possible to buy a forge with a steel table and electric blower. The forge should be accessible from three sides. I did not try forge’s with the blower powered by a foot. Parts for forges made in Czech are described in forge page.
Anvil You can buy several types of anvils. It should be at least 120 pounds but bigger is better. You can use wooden block as an anvil stand, or half of a barrel filled with sand (with the anvil setting on a block of wood).  Best is the anvil fixed to the stand. The top of the anvil should reach your knuckle, if you stand beside it. Usually the round horn is on right side for ornamental blacksmithing (left side in America and England for general blacksmithing).
What else? You will need a hardening and tempering bath (slack tub) - the large tub with water and a second with oil. Also necessary is a heavy table and a leg vise. It is handy to have a good post drill, grinder, electric welder, and gas welder/torch. It will not take long to realize that with power hammer you will save a lot of your handwork. In Czech it is sometimes possible to buy old AJAX brand power hammers.
Safety Blacksmithing - is working with fire, be careful at all times when the forge is burning. Use the safety glasses, ear plugs, leather boots, and either cotton or wool clothing (no synthetic clothing as they will stick to the skin when hot)!


My experience


I adapted an old barn on my farm to be my shop. Because of previous construction on the building, the shop does not have one wall and is open to the outside. In the summer it is an advantage - very good ventilation, but in the winter it is too cold to work in. The outside dimensions of my chimney is 60x60 cm (15 X 15 inches). This was my first mistake, the chimney is too small. When I add green coal and the blower is running, the smoke fills the shop. My recommendation is to build chimney of adequate inside dimensions and a height at least 2 feet above any roof ridge etc. within 10 feet. A chimney cap as protection from rain is good. Because I bought a forge without a table, I made a concrete table and placed the blower beside it. It is connected by a steel pipe. I made the hood from fire proof material with a steel frame. Usually hoods are made from metal sheets. I found, that my "forge table" is too small, it is only 60 cm (24 inches). Bigger would be better.

For the anvil, I used wooden stand with a diameter of 40 cm (16 inches)., When I began blacksmithing I didn’t have the anvil fixed, but I decided to fasten it with iron straps to the stand.


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