Blacksmithing is a nascent trend in today’s era, the wrought iron furniture are hi-end, substantial and aesthetic. The Craftsman forge a robust yet sumptuous A ’la mode and sui generis furniture. Blacksmithing is a traditional craftsmanship of fabricating objects centralizing iron by the process of metallurgy. Though the trend had lost its ubiquity within the recent years it is blooming to rule the designing industry once again. The antiquity and vintage glory spruces the richness of the article offering it a timeless lure.

Hand hammered iron finish base

Blacksmith refers to an individual who makes numerous stuffs by means of iron or steel. Using the apparatuses like hammer, chisel, blower, etc., the blacksmith creates frame, gates, grills, railings, farming tools, utensils and weapons etc. In brief, blacksmith is somebody whose occupation is producing things out of metal. Blacksmiths’ made by hand utmost of the wrought iron entities are being used in the globe.

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In some part of the world, Blacksmith are a nomadic community, a caste that does iron work. They wandering from parish to hamlet doing blacksmith work, usually in bucolic ranges. Blacksmiths who proficient in the forging of shoes for horses were entitled farriers. The term blacksmith descends from iron, formerly called “black metal,” and farrier from the Latin ferrum, “iron.”

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Blacksmith at Mexports

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At Mexports Blacksmiths are the paramount and valued primarily reserved artisans. They are metal-smiths fabricating the wrought iron by cutting, bending, welding, and hammering wrought iron to create metal furniture elements. Other than furniture, they can create decorative and other utility items. The blacksmith are ‘skilled worker’ craftsman.

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Blacksmiths at Mexports works up finest quality products

Work of a Blacksmith

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Gliding along the tradition way of crafting the metal the blacksmiths of the today’s world employ the techniques that has been followed for centuries. Product of the Hittite tradesman the process of smithing involving the forging and tempering demands the first step of heating the metal. In a forge, blacksmiths heat wrought iron pieces until they become soft and malleable. In this state, the blacksmith shapes the iron using an anvil, chisel, and hammer. The color of the iron, while it is worked upon, is important. Blacksmith has the skills to identify the right time to shape the iron at high temperatures. When the iron is heated, it first turns red in color and then turns to orange, yellow, and white. A blacksmith prefers yellow-orange color during the forging process to shape the iron. Blacksmiths work in dark rooms as sunlight obscures the visibility of colors.

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Blacksmith working on heated metal

Techniques used by black Smiths

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The blacksmith’s vital apparatus contains of a forge, or furnace, in which smelted iron is heated so that it can be moulded easily; an anvil, a weighty, resolutely secured, steel-surfaced block upon which the piece of iron is toiled; tongs to grip the iron on the anvil; and hammers, chisels, and other implements to cut, shape, flatten, or weld the iron into the required object.

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As the years sailed by the craft of Blacksmithing operating their wheels of work on everyday articles promulgated its employment in the fields of interior designing. From forging objects of day to day life like the nails and screws, bolts and fasteners, and swords and armours and many other utilities this traditional and orthodox technique of Blacksmithing is now appointed in hammering out pieces of wrought iron to mould artistic furniture, ranging from coffee, dining and side tables, to counter and bar tops.

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The demand of such handcrafted articles has witnessed a resurgence as the end products of this hand hammered articles bears an iconic finesse and character the machine forged furniture lacks.

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The work of a blacksmith can be broadly divided into four types of processes.

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– Forging
– Heat Treat
– Welding
– Furniture Finishing

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Forging

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One of the oldest known metal working, Forging is the process where blacksmiths shape the wrought iron by hammering or pressing it. The hammering alongside shaping the heated iron amplifies the strength of the metal. The forging may be hot or cold depending on the type of metal. Traditionally blacksmiths used only an anvil and hammer to do it. But modern blacksmiths may use more tools to get the end result. Categorically forging may be spanned into different types ranging from drop forging, press forging, upset forging to roll forging and may more.

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Blacksmith forging the heated metal

Where the drop forging includes the process of dropping the hammer onto the work-piece to contort it to the shape of the die, the press forging technique employs the application of continuous force or pressure.

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It’s during this phase of the whole affair winding twists and delicate or dramatic scrolls are incorporated into the framework of the metal piece. The metal is hammered to its desired motif and send off to its next stage.

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Heat treat wrought ironProcess of heat treatment

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The process centered on revamping, refining, and upgrading the physical properties of the metal. After the forging process, the iron is cooled off using one of four techniques, normalizing, annealing, tempering, or quenching.

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Process of heat treatment
  • Annealing is the process of heating up the metal just a level beyond its upper critical temperature succeeded by the cooling of iron to room temperature to get a crystallized structure in the metal.
  • Normalizing is a process that revolves around the concept of elevating the toughness, strength and durability of the piece of metal by working the heated metal to instill uniformity within the metal grains. The process then follows air- cooling the heated wrought iron to the room temperature.
  • Quenching involves the rapid cooling of iron in oil or water preceded by heating it to its upper critical temperature with the sole purpose of hardening the metal.
  • While quenching renders the metal frame brittle, tempering is used to raise the notch to the requisite hardness, toughness and strength of the metal. This is achieved by cooling the quenched iron at a slow rate after immersing in liquid. The process alleviates the stress kindled due to quenching.

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Welding of the iron pieces

Welding

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Welding is a technique that a blacksmith uses to fabricate the two pieces of similar metals to fuse together. The process is assisted by heat or pressure. The melding parts are called to be the parent material while the one aiding in formation of the join is known as the filler or consumable. Different metal pieces are heated to a particular (high) temperature where iron becomes molten, and the parts are joined together. The right moment to weld metals is when the color glows to intense orange. The presence of impurities in the metal decides the quality of welding. Also, the fire used for welding should be reducing fire or the fire that has less access to oxygen but is quite hot at its core. During the welding process, blacksmith wears protective gear, including safety goggles, apron, and leather gloves.

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The joints are shaped to suit the design and may vary. From butt joint t joint, corner joint, to edge joint there are a multitude of ways of fusing the metals to meet the requirement of the sketch. Where the butt joint welds the metals edges at a straight angle the t joint connects one edge with the middle of the other part. In the corner joint the connection is established between the two edges at an angle of between thirty to 135 degrees, and the edge joint supports the welding of the metal couples at angle within 30 degrees. 

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Furniture Finishing

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The metal goes through zillions of hand forgery, but the key to its glory lies within the finishing touches it is garnished with. This is the point where the smith chafes away the jagged and shaggy pieces of metals, the purpose is to satiate the appearance as the design requires. Depending on the furniture type, a blacksmith may finish it in different ways. The tools used to finish the metal differs based on how smooth and polished the surface should be. The finishing may be done with varnish, paint, wax, and oil. Along with giving the metal furniture a detailed look, the finish on it involves oxidation in some cases. The sole focus is to buff and brush the whole furniture with the purpose of highlighting the character and style of the complete ensemble.

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High end quality furniture finishing

Want to become Blacksmith – here are the things you need to adhere to:

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– Learn the skill in association with experienced blacksmith. On-the-job training is preferred.
– Full-time college course, which focuses on either traditional blacksmithing skills or design, will help you to learn this ability.
– Hand-to-eye coordination along with applied skill is essential for this profession. Your creativity and desire to work with tools and machinery could be add-on for this job.
– Industrial blacksmithing by doing an apprenticeship in engineering, working for a blacksmith or specialist company by combining training in fabrication and welding will be a good choice.

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