Boston Blacksmithing: Tools and Techniques

Blacksmiths are professionals that create iron features using a hammer and anvil; this process is referred to as forging. When heated, iron becomes soft and it’s possible to reshape it easily into the required form. The craft has evolved in a big way over the centuries and a number of different tools and techniques are used in the work such as:



Tools Used By a Boston Blacksmith

Here we discuss only the most basic tools that are traditionally used in the blacksmithing process. Modern blacksmiths use advanced variants of many of these tools such as forges, anvils, hammers, tongs, and leg vices.

Techniques That A Boston Blacksmith Uses

A variety of techniques are used by blacksmiths in their work. Conventional techniques are generally divided into categories. These divisions aren’t very specific and in most cases, are used simultaneously in the work.  Some may be used in cold as well as hot metal depending on the feature being fabricated. Some common techniques used by blacksmiths include grinding, filing, electric welding, heat treating, brazing etc. In addition, some of the other techniques used include:

  • Drawing Out-The hot metal is hammered and drawn out to make it longer and stronger. 
  • Upsetting- A hot piece of metal is hit to shorten and thicken it.
  • Bending – To give the metal piece an angular or curved shape.
  • Chiseling- To cut and shape with a sharp tool like a chisel
  • Chaseing– Creating an indent from the front, using a blunt tool.
  • Repoussé – Adding more depth to sheet metal, by pushing it from the back.
  • Hot punching- Making holes by shearing and displacement by using a punch.
  • Twisting- Creating a helix shape by turning the ends of the metal piece in opposite directions.
  • Forge Welding – Bonding the pieces by hammering them at a high temperature till they bond.

Boston Blacksmith

As you can see, there are a number of different techniques and tools that modern blacksmiths use in their work. But what helps them create stunning designs and metal grillwork is also their skill and experience working with different metals. They have deep knowledge of how different metals perform and what kind of welding is required for different materials.  This helps them create sturdy and aesthetic features that will be long lasting too.

For more information on these and any other services, please 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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