Working Iron 101 – A Guide to Blacksmithing

Working Iron 101 – A Guide to Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is a very old profession. It has been around for thousands of years. Throughout time, blacksmiths have played a very important role, providing essential tools that would lead to growth, innovation, and development. Needless to say, it’s a highly underrated profession.

It is also a profession that’s considered mysterious and intriguing for some reason. It’s not uncommon to become very curious and ask a bunch of questions when they encounter blacksmiths. That’s why we at Boston Ironworks have penned down this brief post about the bare bones of blacksmithing.


Molding metal takes time and energy. There’s a lot of hard work involved. However, the entire process of blacksmith work in Boston can be broken down into three distinctive parts.

  • You soften the metal and make it more malleable with heat.
  • You hold the hot metal in different ways and angles to help you shape it.
  • You hit the metal at regular intervals in different ways until it attains the desired shape.
  • Heat – Different blacksmiths would use different kinds of forges. Some burn coal, others run on gas or electricity. The forge needs to reach the right degree of heat to work well. Working on iron would require about 1400°F of heat.

This is the most basic description of the process but that’s essentially what a Boston blacksmith would do.


Of course, you can’t be a blacksmith without the right tools and these tools need to be of excellent quality.

  • Metal – If you want good results, you need good quality metals. A Boston blacksmith would know the quality of metals when he works with it. Metal with too many impurities would lead to bad quality end-products.
  • Holders – You can’t hold metal that’s heated to 1400°F with your hands. You need tongs, clamps, and vices. If you don’t have a solid grip on the metal, you won’t be able to shape it. Good quality holders are absolutely essential.
  • Anvils – This is one of the most recognized tools used by blacksmiths. It’s something that a blacksmith would place the metal on to shape it.
  • Hammers – These are used to shape the metal. No blacksmith can work without them. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different kinds of work.

If you want to know more about blacksmith work in Boston or our other 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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