Old Dominion Black Smith Association

Established November 2005


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

Marty Soyars:

Truly appreciate the opportunity to work with ODBSA active member Marty Soyars on this sun shining pleasant day in March as we explored the different ways to shape hot steel into practical tools and sometimes artistic beauty.

My free day long beginner classes have always been designed to teach new smiths the basics by using the near bare equipment needed to forge most anything, a lot of which you will make yourself or purchase at flea markets. It’s really not that expensive to get started in this craft!

Here are some of the things we used this day: Coal forge using good bituminous coal purchased from Lloyd Burns from WV, an old hand crank blower # 40, old used 115 lb. anvil, old 5”pole vise, 2 lb. hammer, mild steel (both cold roll and hot rolled), ¼ “ & 3/8” tongs purchased from ODBSA member John Elliott of Blacksmith supply, flea market chisels used to make veins in leaves or metal and punch holds in metal, homemade booster block (flat piece of metal with holes drilled into it to for punching holes through metal, old wooden mallet used to straighten out twists that are bent and not damage the twists, twenty mule team borax for keeping oxygen suppressed when forge welding and to wash hands, water for fire control - cool down hot metal and sometimes to harden it, wire brush to scrap cold/ hot metal, fire rake-poker-shovel that I forged the first day ever blacksmithing 14 years ago at John C Campbell Folk School in NC, cheap cotton gloves (used to hold warm metal), wet rag ( used to hold hot metal), hardy cutter( to cut hot metal), Harbor freight hand grinder and belt sander used to shape Marty’s 2 lb. hammer face, small ball peen hammer to make indentations for spoon, small piece of used 2” X 4” wood to help make spoon, small old hand table mounted crank grinder, used farrier rasp to file down hot metal, old twisting wrench, and sealer for finished metal (see Old Dominion Association Web site for formula).

Thanks Marty you did really well,Type your paragraph here.




Bradley Lewis:


After nearly two years of ill health and unable to work in my blacksmithing shop I did not realist how much I missed the smell of a coal fire while shaping hot metal on my banged-up 115 lb. Peter Wright anvil with my $2.00 two pound old long handle blacksmithing ball peen hammer. Thank you ODBSA active member Brad Lewis for giving me the opportunity to share a little of what I remember about some of the fundamentals of this historic craft on this day long adventure that left me total exhausted but excited that I’m still relevant.

Some of what Brad learned this day: fire control, when to use red or white heat on the steel, size and shape of the hammer to use, hammer control and angles, drawing out, upsetting, point making, curly ques, leaf making, spoon making, nail making, drifting a hole, made a fire rake and poker, hooks, different twists, forge welding, etc.

I have three more active ODBSA members signed up to take this beginner free class with me in the next two weeks. Who is next to sign up for this free class? 434-335-5621

By the photos, how do you think Brad did?

This page shows Bobby Floyd's One day class for beginners.