A look into History: Blacksmithing Materials Through the Ages

A look into History: Blacksmithing Materials Through the Ages

Blacksmithing is an ancient profession and over the years, blacksmiths have used a number of tools and materials in their craft. The profession has evolved every time a new metal was introduced into the industry. Blacksmiths throughout history took the time and invested the effort to truly understand how different metals work and how to shape them. A modern Boston blacksmith relies on this knowledge to perform his or her craft.

At Boston Ironworks, we like to educate because out the blacksmithing profession and here are some facts about different materials we use.

  1. Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is the most important material in blacksmithing and professionals in this field have used it for hundreds of years now. Ancient blacksmiths almost always used wrought iron as a base material for items that contained copper or bronze. They would smelt iron and expose it to carbon, creating two different types of metals. The soft iron was used for everyday materials and tools while hard iron was used in the manufacture of sword and battle armor.

  1. Steel

Blacksmiths recognized that steel was superior to iron very quickly because it didn’t wear down as easily and was more resistant to heat. This alloy of carbon and iron is relatively easy to make today but blacksmiths struggled with it in the past. They couldn’t consistently recreate the alloy, which is why steel was rare and precious in the olden times.

  1. Copper and Bronze

Before iron was introduced to the market, copper, bronze, and other such metals were very popular. These metals are softer, more malleable, but not really as hard as iron or steel. Copper was often used to create small daggers and it was later combined with tin to create the harder metal bronze. For a long time, bronze was used to create swords before iron became the material of choice.

  1. Wood and Stone

The use of wood and stone diminished as blacksmiths started to use metals like iron and bronze. A modern Boston blacksmith will still use these materials to create tools like hammers and axes but metal like iron and steel are simply more prominent.

If you want to know about a Boston blacksmith or our services, you can call Boston Ironworks at 617 657 3117. You can also fill in this contact us form. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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A look into History: Blacksmithing Materials Through the Ages

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