How to get started as a Blacksmith

I get many inquiries on the subject of getting started as a Blacksmith. It is not always a clear cut path in this trade but it is a path worthy of its journey.

There are many ways to get started.

Apprenticeship is the highest level of learning available for official credentials as you can still register with OCOT (Ontario College of Trades). The challenge is to find a place to study and train.

The next best option is to take courses. Halliburton offers a 6 month course where, I believe, you receive a certificate of achievement. Algonquin offers a 3 day course and their are various private courses like the ones I offer.

Then there is the self taught method. Although YouTube is a good resource I always caution my students. Try to find the old books first, typically they are vetted and peer reviewed which makes the information more reliable.

Blacksmithing his is a very broad topic, so to help guide your search ask yourself two questions. What do I want to make? What time period tooling do I want to use? In other words do I want to make knives with a power hammer or pitch forks with only a soft 2lbs hammer?

Most importantly keep asking questions and explore by doing. This has been the blacksmith way since the beginning. Learning through trial and error and to build your own shop and tools is a big part of becoming a blacksmith.

May your passion for blacksmithing burn as intensely as the fire of your forge!

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