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Blacksmithing is more of a long-term skill needed in a survival situation. Mostly for TEOTWAWKI not SHTF. Depending on what your making you might need a lot of materials. but in general, your going to need

 

-A mold for what your making

 

-Metal

 

-Safety supplies (Gloves, Mask, possibly a fire extinguisher, a welding apron)

 

-A hammer and anvil

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

There's probably a list of other things you'll come up with when blacksmithing, but this is just a general reference. Now here's some examples of when you aren't going to use blacksmithing,

 

-Not when there is a tornado....

 

-Probably not when the Chinese invade....

 

-More then likely not during a flood....

 

~~~~~

Here is some examples of when you should do blacksmithing,

 

-During an economic meltdown

 

-During everyday life to save money and make yourself more self-sufficient

 

-When (if) Armageddon happens and you need bullets to kill all the zombies

 

-When the effects of global warming become extreme and natural disasters go wild!

 

~~~

Now if the Chinese invade and your out of bullets, I'm sure the list can be modified, but you get my point. Now, here is a general list of what you should be blacksmithing.

 

 

Stockpiling things may include items such as:

 

Hammers, blades, pans, pots, cups, silverware, ammo, general house stuff, auto/mechanics,

 

Now here's a list of "when's" and what you should make during those when's

 

Normal Everyday Life

 

-Anything that's cheaper to make by blacksmithing,

 

-Stockpiling things, and getting your blacksmithing skills up.

 

Complete economic meltdown (Great depression)-

 

-Anything people really need and will trade for.

 

-Stockpile (especially bullets).

 

-Scrap precious metals into trade-able pieces/bars.

 

Complete disaster, government can no longer enforce laws and isn't expected to return with in the next 10 years:

 

-AMMO

 

-Precious metal scrapping

 

-All of the things you should have been stockpiling

 

-Get good at "Winging it" when you make things because you might need a lot of miscellaneous things.

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

Feel free to add to the list

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

Some things that you might consider when blacksmithing-

 

~Using a furnace may attract people, unwanted or helpful, just be careful

 

~Its time consuming and has a higher risk of hurting yourself

 

~You would probably be the only one around doing it, which can be an advantage

 

~You can scrap precious metals, which in the event of the dollar collapse, might be very handy.

 

~Its something you can't "just do", you need practice.

 

----------------

 

Overall I would say its certainly not an immediate necessary skill, other survival needs generally come before blacksmithing. But in the event of TEOTWAWKI, blacksmithing may be very important.

 

The main things I would be interesting in with blacksmithing are scrapping metals and making ammo. Ammo costs a lot and you will always need it, and scrapping metals is very handy because most people just throw metal away.

 

You can turn junk into bullets, ain't that somethin?

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts.

 

 

Also, apparently blacksmithing isnt a word, but I dont know how else to word it. So hopefully this made sense to you.

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I think that you are focusing on the melting down and casting portion of blacksmithing, and like you said the biggest reason for going into this skill would be the manufacture of ammo and possibly melting down precious metals.

 

to make bullets your going to want to use lead or copper as anything harder can hurt the gun (and is harder to melt). now lead melts around 225 degrees F, copper around 2000, so you don't need anything more than a regular campfire. As for tools you will need a crucible and mold and probably a set of tongs, you should be able to find these somewhere on the internet as i do believe casting bullets is common in reloading circles.

 

as for melting precious, gold melts around the same point as copper and sliver melts a little below that. you can use the same tools as you did for your ammo but what you do with them after is up to you. (i wonder how well gold bullets would shoot lol)

 

now as far a blacksmithing proper goes (ie hammer, anvil, and forge) thats gonna be a much larger and more permanent set up. but i honestly don't know how much use it would be, because i don't imagine that you would be able to make much beyond blades, nails, and horseshoes. As i doubt that you would be able to make complex machines or replacement parts without a full machine shop or proper materials. And if you want to make parts for say a homemade horse drawn buggy your going to need quite a bit of iron.

 

that being said there is always that possibility that given 15 or so years into a TEOFTWAWKI event, towns/communities might develop that can support and require blacksmithing.

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Anybody here read "Wolf and Iron" by Gordon R. Dickson? Not a thread jump, because Mr. Dickson spends at least twenty pages in the book describing how his protagonist goes about setting up a primitive forge and blacksmithing operation. I am not a man of many skills, but I found the discription fascinating. Anyone know if his instructions actually work? I'd like to know- been considering moving this novel to my prepping library. Many thanks!

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The "irony" of a true need for long term blacksmithing is there will most probably be an abundant amount of steel to be had. If a true TEOTWAWKI event occurs, within a short time, fuel will be depleted and all those steel framed vehicles just became raw material. basic blacksmithing will allow you to produce bolts and you can produce nuts, washers, hinges, door handles, etc with just basic tools. A tap and die set would be required for nuts and bolts, but many people have these for mechanical jobs now. There are several tap and die sets to meet any budget from Snap-On to Harbor Freight, the choices are very thorough.

A piece of railroad track will make an improvised anvil, railroad spikes offer decent steel, leaf springs and coil springs can be used to make a very heavy blade (actual Ghurka kukri knives are made from leaf springs), the frames can be cut down and the steel used for projects. The plow shares from the pioneer days can be improvised, using a wooden frame, covered by sheet metal from vehicle bodies and reinforced on the cutting edge with shaped and sharpened leaf springs.

There are many books on the subject of getting started in the blacksmith trade, "Backyard Blacksmith"; "The Art of Blacksmithing"; and "The Blacksmith's Craft" to name a few. The magazine "New Pioneer" also had an article on homestead blacksmithing. The North House School of Folk Art offers a 3 day course on blacksmithing that offers hands on experience making projects that you keep. (cost is about $250).

I would skip the smelting process for steel, unless can get an actual foundry working, and learn the basics to turn a car hood into a cookie sheet or frying pan. You can use elementary blacksmithing skills (practice will produce better products) knives, machetes, axes, adzes, wrenches, lanterns, shepherd's hooks, etc.

I would venture a guess (all it would be) that a chunk of railroad track would make one helluva axe head but the labor involved would be intensive. Many pioneers fastened their own knife blades from old files.

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this is one of those things I am beginning to think would be good to know how to do. I think in a TEOTWAWKI, gunpowder, like gasoline, will run out, at which point, all the people who have firearms will have a slight problem. Casting bullets is all well and dandy, but long term TEOTWAWKI, you may want to learn how to use a blade of some kind, or a bow and arrow. Guns are great, but they require fuel. Swords, knives, Bows and arrows, and axes do not (well, ATP cycling is "fuel", but it is renewable). But the ability to fashion cookwares and cutlery out of scrap automobiles will be much more useful. Eating is always more useful than killing. And who wants to eat with their hands?

Edited by Mike Uher
adding soemthing...

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Mike,

I agree. I also promote learning muzzleloading and being able to keep a firearm for long term survival and save centerfire for emergencies and self defense. I will attach a link for the school I mentioned, they have several courses for the prepper, from clothes production to making bows to making canoes/kayaks to building and baking with an earthen oven. The courses are reasonably priced and last from 1 day to 11. It's located in northern MN and open year round and allow children to help in the projects.

http://www.northhouse.org/aboutus/welcome/index.htm

I hope everyone finds it useful, if able to go to the school, but the courses offered may help give ideas on subjects to study.

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One thing that will help in a long term, but also helps in everyday life is a peddle powered grinding wheel. It takes longer, but also won't effect the temper of steel like an electric grinder and gives some exercise. It may also allow us to "harness" that endless energy of the kids we all miss as we get older...lol.

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http://www.twinoaksforge.com/BLADSMITHING/FORGE%20BUILDING.HTM

 

 

Why Charcoal?

 

 

 

There are many uses for charcoal.

 

1. You can cook with it and it will burn better and hotter then wood.

 

2. You can use it to clean your water and make a water filter or to make sweet water. If your water is a little skunky boil water with 2 pieses of charcoal for about 15 min to remove the smell.

 

3. You can use it to help stop poisoning. For instance if you eat something by mistake that would kill you and their was nothing you could do to stop it, just take 2 teaspoon full’s and eat it three times a day. The poison will be absorbed into the charcoal and just may save your life.

 

4. Charcoal is one of the main parts of black powder as well as other things.

 

5. It also can be used as a top dressing on a wound to absorb infection.

 

6. Can be used to add Potassium to the soil and raze the ph levels as well.

 

7. Can be mixed with white ash for a cleaner and soaps.

 

This is just some things that charcoal is used for and is very important to your survival

..this was from a favorite site of mine..

 

http://www.pioneerliving.net/

 

 

Here are some great places to get information on tons of stuff..dont re invent the wheel just find who has a better one..

Matt :}

Edited by 101matt

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But the ability to fashion cookwares and cutlery out of scrap automobiles will be much more useful. Eating is always more useful than killing. And who wants to eat with their hands?

 

I am pretty sure it would be a really bad idea to make cooking ware or eating utensils out of steel from cars. cars are made of basic steel or mild steel, no fancy nickel or chromium for corrosion residence so you're going to get rusty forks, knifes and spoons pretty quick (hope your tetanus shot is up to date). furthermore I am i pretty sure early utensils were wood or silver (no rust). Engine blocks are made of cast iron however so you should be able to get away with using that for pots, and pans.

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I am pretty sure it would be a really bad idea to make cooking ware or eating utensils out of steel from cars. cars are made of basic steel or mild steel, no fancy nickel or chromium for corrosion residence so you're going to get rusty forks, knifes and spoons pretty quick (hope your tetanus shot is up to date). furthermore I am i pretty sure early utensils were wood or silver (no rust). Engine blocks are made of cast iron however so you should be able to get away with using that for pots, and pans.

 

Lets not forget the metal in the shocks/struts...leaf and coil springs are also useful. I remember reading of a knife maker using the center rod out of heavy truck shocks as source material for knife making....the rod in the struts found on most front wheel drive cars would likely be as good.

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