In beginning blacksmithing, there are few questions to ask yourself first:
- What is my budget?
- What will I make?
- How much room do I have?
- Will I be able to expand?
- Are there any fire or noise ordinances I need to be aware of?
Although simple, these questions will help you target what type of forge you might set up. Will you be running a coal, charcoal, wood, or gas-fired forge? Will you have a Bernoulli burner or bellows setup? Will you be making candle holders and squirrel cookers, or exclusively knives? If you're getting into the industry and want to expand your tool inventory or forge size, do you have room to expand or will you need to keep a small footprint? Setting up a shop from scratch can be daunting, and the price of a good anvil is usually enough to discourage most folks. As others have stated, I highly recommend seeking out a local Smithing guild, join an online forum, or find someone already doing it semi-professionally to learn the trade and key techniques before investing a lot of time and money into something which may not hold your interest. Most of all, don't let it be a pipe dream--get started!