Blacksmithing while you are flat broke. A letter of encouragement.
So you’re a young person (some of you at heart anyway). You been watching forged in fire, Milwaukee Blacksmith and several other blacksmithing shows that are currently on cable TV. You’ve watched every YouTube video ever made on blacksmithing. And you have a growing desire to do it yourself. However you find yourself economically challenged. Otherwise known as dead broke. Liquidity Challend, or if you will dead crackered.
If you are sitting right here with me right now, this is exactly what I would say, “That ain’t no excuse!” I have watched YouTube videos on people in Africa who literally have nothing but fire, animal skin, iron ore, mud and charcoal. They use not one penny! Yet I saw them produce a hammer out of the Earth they were standing on. Come on! you live in America. You drive by scrap steel on the side of the road every single day. You have access to old car parts. Just look on craigslist you’ll have all the steel you need for smithing for years within one week of collecting the free scrap steel on that site! Heat? Make a forge for next to nothing! Dig a trench in the ground 3 inches deep. Lay a pipe in that Trench. Covered it up. Dig a hole where the end of your pipe comes out on both ends. Shape one in the shape of a Duck’s Nest. And on the other end dig deep enough so you have clearance around the end of the pipe. Fill the ducks nest with charcoal. If you don’t have it make it out of old pallets for free on Craigslist! Learn how to make home charcoal it’s on YouTube. On the other end of the pipe put a hair dryer on or make a fan out of a old cardboard box side and blow or fan air into the end of the pipe or fan down into the hole that will create greater pressure and push air through the pipe and bring your charcoal to glowing red in minutes. Now you can heat Steel. Now if you’re thinking your mind that this is too much work, a lot of trouble, or beneath you to work in the ground, then this ain’t for you!
My question to you is what is your desire level? How bad do you want this. You don’t need a Anvil with a perfectly flat face. Go to the junkyard find a piece of Steel over 10 pounds with a flat surface and you are in business. You don’t have the right hammer? You can get a claw hammer at the dollar store for a dollar! It’ll work until you can get something else. So what am I saying? The main thing that is keeping you from blacksmithing today is your desire. My mother has always told me, people do what they want to do. So if you ain’t doing it that means you don’t want to bad enough! I met a blacksmith in Watertown New York he had tables of items that he was selling. Oh did I mention he was in a wheelchair!
So this is my question, what is your desire level? How bad do you want to do this? You will know your desire level by what lengths you go to to practice this ancient art. I would take nails and put them into the hot coals of a fire. And then shape them with a claw hammer on a quarter inch piece of Steel. With no blower it was a long time between Heats. But hey I was smithing!
Just a note of my writing style as I proofread this. I am not at the Apex of literary excellence. LOL
One of the problems is that you want everything perfect before you start. Pefection is the enemy of progress! If you are one of the people who won’t do something unless they have the perfect tools to do it with. You need to break out of that mindset. You don’t start anything in life at the top. We all begin at ignorance. As we practice our craft we gain more and more knowledge. After doing this for 30 years I now know hundreds of ways not to do it! That’s what’s so great about blacksmithing, I have developed my own style. No one else does it the way I do it on the face of the Earth! And no one else will do it exactly the way that you do it! Samuel Yellin started out as an apprentice. His company is now producing some of the most beautiful works of blacksmithing art in the world. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Yellin/
I tell you when you’ll start blacksmithing. When you have vision. That means you know what you want to be able to do and the products you want be able to produce.
Next would be When will you have a strong enough desire do it! What if I told you that if you did not blacksmith you and your family would starve in the next year. I bet if you would go out blacksmithing! With that mindset you would be able to Smith in no time. You might be not be the best at it but you sure would start because you want to live and you want your family to survive. There are things in life that you must have. Water food shelter, these are things that you will not compromise on you must have them. And because it is a must you do everything in your power to get them. What it blacksmithing was a must? We do the things that are a must in our lives. Sit down and write down the things in your life that are a must.
Here is another way to put this that is a little closer to reality. What is the next depression is just around the corner. Or what if you lost your job. Could you survive with no income? What if you had a skill that allowed you to produce tools and the ability to produce parts that are no longer available for peoples vehicles or their tractor.
There is something taking place in the world right now that is as I write this, changing the way business is done in the world. Check out AliExpress. Look at the prices on that website for any item that you use. You will be blown away by how low the prices are. Only one catch everything on there is produced in a third world country or China. You can get anything on there in just a few weeks for pennies on the dollar. The only problem is when everybody gets hooked on sites like this, what happens when the supply chain is interrupted by a bad Trade Agreement or a war. This will drive a lot of businesses under. This was started by Jack Ma. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alibaba_Group there are people making millions of dollars on this right now. Check out some YouTube videos on it it might change your life.
This is my take away from it. What if this is the way that business is going to be done in the future. And I believe it is. It doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart. Every Bank and financial prognosticator on the earth is saying there is coming a severe downturn in the economy. For your sakes and mine I hope it is a long ways off. But I’m preparing now like it’s going to happen tomorrow. I hope you are too.
Back to blacksmith. Come on what are you waiting for? Get smithing for Fun and Profit.
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Well you know you can always get me at my website.
Peace my friends
February 7th 2017.