Blacksmithing Dangers and Advice:

Blacksmithing is inherently dangerous in many aspects:(lungs, skin, eyes and hearing)

  • If using coal as a fuel source, breathing coal smoke has been proven to be dangerous.
  • Working with fire and extremely hot metal. We all get burnt so please wear gloves.
  • Never look into the fire when white hot unless wearing protective shaded glasses.
  • Always wear glasses or preferably safety glasses when working at the forge.
  • Make sure everyone watching you work has glasses and /or safely glasses on because hot metal will splatter.
  • I love the sound of the anvil ring but it is not good for your hearing. This is the most neglected subject that I have found. None of the books on blacksmithing that I have read even mention this as a  problem, but it is one. After meeting numerous blacksmiths, the one thing that has emerged is the amount of them that have some hearing loss due to hammering metal on the anvil. Try putting a magnet on the side of the anvil to help deaden the ring; the more bottom surface that sits on the block/stump helps; some blacksmiths mount their anvils on a lead sheet, piece of leather or silicone caulk before tightly fastening it the anvil base; also a chain around the waist of the anvil that is used as part of the fastening system will help. Always wear earplugs.

Another neglected subject is the use of scrap metal. It can possibly kill you. Two blacksmiths died in recent years in North Carolina when heating some scrap metal. Zinc fumes etc are toxic. A lot of wrought iron that I have seen has lead paint on it. The best advice was given by Master Blacksmith/Teacher David Tucciarone ("If you don't know what it is don't forge it.")

Jerry Darnell at Otter Hill Forge

            Purpose, Goal and Objective

The purpose of this organization is education for blacksmiths and for the public at large.                     

The goal of the Old Dominion Blacksmith Association is to share the working knowledge of one of the most important professions in the history of the world, that of the blacksmith. For without the blacksmith “nothing” would be what it is today.

Because this trade “as it was”, is now extinct, the objective of this association is to consolidate the tremendous cumulative knowledge of regional blacksmiths into one group for the benefit of all and to provide to all members the opportunity to improve upon their blacksmithing knowledge and skill by having “explanatory demonstrations” performed by its members/guests at each monthly meeting and to provide a venue where novice and experienced share their ideas in the hope that this historic craft will perpetuate well into the future.

Contact Us At:

Please put Blacksmithing or ODBSA as the Subject of your email or it may be considered Junk Mail.


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Click "HERE"


Jay Hatfield


Call or Text

ODBSA is presently an Affiliate of The Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America, Inc. (ABANA)  

"Anyone may reproduce anything on our Web Site or Newsletter, However

we would appreciate acknowledging where it came from.

Members of Old Dominion Blacksmith Association:
                                       * 98%  Hobbyists 
                                       *  2%   Professionals
                                       * 106   Never blacksmithed before joining.
                                       * 51     Have done Public Demonstrations (20 with portable forges).
                                       * 33     Served in the Military (Veterans) & one active duty member.

  Other Blacksmithing groups in Virginia with a Web site:
1.  Shenandoah Valley Blacksmith Guild 
2.  Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild
3.  The Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac, Inc 
4.  Tidewater Blacksmith's Guild, Inc. 

Most other blacksmithing groups from every state can be found on ABANA's Web site.

   "By hammer and hand all the world does stand"  
      "The Real Keeper of this Historic Craft is the Hobbyist Blacksmith"
                  "ODBSA does share acquired knowledge with the general public"            
  "The best way to learn this craft is to teach it"

Serving South Central and Western Virginia Blacksmiths Including but not limited to areas near Appomattox, Lynchburg, Danville, South Boston, Martinsville, Rocky Mount, Stuart, Ferrum, Floyd, Bedford and Roanoke.

               " Members are provided one of quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to learn the historic craft of blacksmithing!".

                     Benefits of Joining
               Old Dominion Blacksmith Association

Provides you with one of the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to learn the historic craft of Blacksmithing
* New requirements to take the Free Beginner's Hands-on Blacksmithing Class that we offer that includes everything furnished including         lunch free:
1. Must be an ODBSA member
2. Must be at least 18 years old
3. Must already have "all" the equipment to get started.
4. Promise to attend as many ODBSA monthly Events as you can the first year.

Monthly meeting/demonstration or event is held normally on the second Saturday of the month, from 10:00 am until at least 3:00 pm. Check schedule for when they will be held.

Some of the best-known blacksmiths/artist/teachers in the country have been and will be demonstrating their skills/knowledge of this craft to you at our events and all have been willing to answer questions.

No dues!
Your cost: Admissions fee is normally $20.00 except for hands-on training Events and the cost will be what it costs the club to hold the class, that includes material. Note: all members spouse or significant other and teenage children of members are free to observe. All visitors/guests (except the ones invited by our host) must pay the admission fee. The Admission fee does not apply if we have Iron-in-the-Hat raffle.

Our Web site has a Beginner Section where many of the their questions have already been answered by our more qualified ODBSA members.

Blacksmith Library brought to you at each event (it's all free)
All DVDs of past events are for "ODBSA members only" and cannot be distributed to anyone else because this is a promise that we made to the professional blacksmiths that demonstrated to us. 

ODBSA logo T-shirts, and hats (our cost)  

Refreshments provided at some events (Donation Jar): Lunch provide by host at some events. Pay at sign in table or if donation, a jar will be furnished.

Member suggestions/input are most welcome for serious consideration because it is your organization. 

Monthly events are held at various shops/studios providing members with cues of different designs for their own shop/studio.
ODBSA provides Safety Glasses or Goggles to everyone one in attendance at our events.

Tailgating used blacksmith equipment is always welcomed at all of our events.

NEW to ODBSA: A Tailgate section will be added to the "Tailgate / Links" Page

For people new to this craft we will try to help you find the necessary equipment to get started. 

When available, Blacksmith coal can be purchased at the same price we paid for it.

If you are interested in joining our club here is the link to our Membership Page

Copyright @ Old Dominion Black Smith Assoc.. All rights reserved.

                              Some Facts                 
      If you have opened this page then you are a blacksmith, want to be blacksmith or just plain curious. Whatever, we are pleased that you did.
     Our first official meeting/demonstration was held on January 7, 2006 near Lynchburg, Virginia and as of November 2010 we have had an average monthly attendance of 25 members.
     So far, we have met once a month at different locations and blacksmith shops in south central, central and south western Virginia and have had some of the best known master Blacksmiths in the country to demonstrate for us.
     We are learning both blacksmith and how to improve this association as each month passes.
     We are simply a group of diverse people having a couple of things in common: the desire to learn more about this craft and to share what we learn with others, including the general public. We have no dues, are not an official  non-profit organization and we will exist as long as people are willing to participate.  If you are interested in joining us as an active member, please read on.

ODBSA Meeting: Plantation Forge, Sept 2018

             to the 

                                   Established November 2005                        

All club demo or hands-on meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month.

Old Dominion Black Smith Association

Established November 2005