Woodworking and forging


July 13, 2008, 03:49 PM
I was wondering if any of you do any major woodworking/forging. I carve a bit with my knives, and would like to do more. I am also Looking more seriously into forgin and metal working. I need to know what basic tools i need for more woodworking. I also need some basic and cheap plans for a forge. Also, will a railroad tie[ i think that's how you spell that] work as a first anvil.

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July 13, 2008, 04:52 PM
I believe quite a few knifemakers have started with a railroad tie anvil - you need Wayne Goddard's "The $50 knife Shop". He shows how to make a cheap forge and it's just a great book.

July 13, 2008, 05:47 PM
Okay. found a site called anvilfire, that has alot of useful stuff.

July 13, 2008, 06:22 PM
Here are some link pages and sites to help with the forging:


BTW you need the rail for an anvil; the tie is the wooden part the rails sit on (might make a good stand for an anvil:))


July 13, 2008, 06:32 PM
Oh yeah.We had railroad ties as useless beams in out house, we took those out and their leaning against our porch. Wow that's alot of inks by the way. I thiink i need to find a spot for all the forge stuff as well.I think i might make a little shack that connects to my room. what about woodworking.

July 13, 2008, 07:29 PM

July 13, 2008, 10:38 PM

You're close enough to Wes Byrd to look him up. Let him know that you're a teen interested in learning to forge and he'll bend over backwards to help you learn.


July 13, 2008, 10:51 PM
is wes byrd in Tennessee?

EDIT: Never mind. I'm kinda broke at the moment, just getting my facts together for my birthday :). I've got till nov 1, well that's if thing go the way their suppose to. I'll probably get some woodworking tools first, and slowly get the blacksmithing stuff.

July 17, 2008, 11:57 AM
My railroad track piece is a pretty crappy anvil; it does not rebound well. From what I've read the best way to do it is set it on end so there is more mass below the working surface, but this makes the working surface very small. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, since a lot of ancient swordsmiths used stake anvils with a face not much larger than the hammer.

As for a forge, there are numerous ideas from brake drums and wheels that you can build pretty cheaply. Mine is an old wheel rim with some rebar legs, refractory cement lining, plumbing pipe for a tuyere and a hair dryer for a blower. It gets lump charcoal (not briquettes) hot enough to forge.

July 17, 2008, 01:35 PM
is wes byrd in Tennessee?

Now why would I advise you to look him up if he wasn't in TN and relatively close to you. ;)

Wes Byrd

189 Countryside Dr.

Evensville,TN 37332

Wes will work with you at his place if you're actually serious about wanting to learn to forge. He's working with lots of kids teaching them to forge and if you will work at it he will give of his time. If you're not serious about it don't bother him.

July 17, 2008, 01:42 PM
I think i might make a little shack that connects to my room. Forges, and fire, and sparks, and smoke, and fumes, and anvil noise connected to your room?

That's probably a really bad idea!

A free standing blacksmith shop not connected to your room might be a better way to go.


July 17, 2008, 03:12 PM
From what I've read the best way to do it is set it on end so there is more mass below the working surface

No, the railroad track surface you use should be the "upper" surface the rail car wheels ran on. This surface is work hardened and compressed and makes a much better anvil face.

That said, anvils can be as small as 4"X4", but you're much better off with an anvil face at least a couple of inches larger in every dimension than the longest knife you intend to make.

Larry Harley get the flat face of stamping die blocks that are 18"x12" and uses them. They make great hornless anvils. The don't have hardie holes though, but a cheap anvil can serve that role or you can hot cut on the surface of the die block (if you're very careful).

Forges must be far enough away from the other buildings on the property so that when a fire breaks out (Yes, I said when.) you don't endanger the other buildings.

July 17, 2008, 03:24 PM
Is not forgery a crime.:neener:

July 17, 2008, 04:02 PM
I just heard my mum on the phone talking to my grandma. Things are seriously screwed up[more than i thought], and we'll e moving as soon as mum takes care of some stuff and divorces my step dad. the last parts definitely a good thing. Either way, this is all really good information for when i do get a chance to start forging [lol forgery's a crime :D].

dagger dog
July 17, 2008, 09:28 PM
I think the word you're looking for is a rail road iron, and yes they make good little anvils the only thing is there ar no pritchell or hardy holes in them. If you can find a welding shop with large enough oxy-acetelyne rig you can have the iron shaped into a rough anvil shape, but it's a lot of work. Northern Tool co. has some 65 lb Chinese anvils for a reasonable price they are a utility pattern and these have 1-1/4 " hardy holes , for your cutting hardys and bottom fullers
and other tools. A make shift "forge" can be a few fire bricks available from Tractor Supply or a wood stove store and a shop vac for forced air just add coal. Mankel Tools has anvils , forges in gas or coal. A good leg style blacksmith vise is about as useful a tool as the anvil.

Buying these tools always go for the larger sizes if you have the choice, you can forge small tools with large tools but you will have a hard time forging large tools with small tools.

July 24, 2008, 07:21 PM
I have a railroad iron "anvil" What makes a great base that does not rebound and bounce is a log on end maybe 30" hardwood is best as is DRY......whatever height that is comfortable to hammer. Then you can take an angle grinder to customize the shape for different tasks. Have fun with it.

July 24, 2008, 07:32 PM
A railroad tie, being wood, is too soft to shape steel on. Although medieval reproduction armour makers do use wood to form helmets. An anvil needs to be iron or steel, preferably steel, to forge knife blades etc.

July 28, 2008, 01:07 PM
In any case get the forge set up first. then you can make many of your woodworking tools.

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