Blacksmithing Information

A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from iron or steel by forging the metal; i.e., by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce things like wrought iron gates, grills, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils, horseshoes and weapons.

Blacksmiths work with iron, the 'black' metal, and recently steel, its derivative. The black color comes from fire scale, a layer of oxides that forms on the surface of the metal during heating. The term 'smith' originates from the word 'smite', which means 'to hit'. Thus, a blacksmith is a person who smites black metal.

Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel until the metal becomes soft enough to be shaped with hand tools, such as a hammer, anvil and chisel. Heating is accomplished by the use of a forge fueled by propane, natural gas, coal, charcoal, or coke.

Wikipedia, Blacksmithing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacksmithing (as of Mar 1, 2010)

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