Best Blacksmithing Books for Beginners

blacksmith hammering tools

If you’re a beginner blacksmith or just interested in taking up blacksmithing as a hobby, you’re going to need some good resources to get started and grow your skillset. In this article, we share some of the very best blacksmithing books for beginners that will teach you the basics of this rewarding craft.

Maybe you’ve visited a historic homestead or medieval or pioneer reenactment festival where a blacksmith was at work and thought you would like to learn that trade.

Watching a skilled blacksmith methodically and carefully carry out their metalworking can be truly inspiring and make others want to get started with the art of blacksmithing.

By following the instructions in a DIY blacksmithing book, you’ll learn the traditional techniques needed to become a skilled craftsman.

{Affiliate links included below.}

Blacksmithing for beginners

A blacksmith is a craftsman who works with metal, methodically shaping and creating objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using heat treatment and tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmithing is one of the oldest metalworking trades and has been around for centuries.

The history of blacksmithing is filled with tales of master craftsmen who were experts in the fabrication and repair of tools and knew how to create beautiful and intricate works of metallic art.

Although blacksmithing isn’t in demand like it was in the old days when everyone needed horseshoes and swords, blacksmiths still play an important role in society. They can create everything from tools and utensils to ornamental decorative pieces.

blacksmith hammering on anvil

Blacksmithing is a trade that requires a great deal of skill, precision, and training. Those who pursue this career often have a passion for working with their hands and take pride in seeing their finished beautiful metal pieces.

Whether you plan to pursue a career in blacksmithing or just want to be a backyard blacksmith, you’re sure to benefit from good books that guide you in learning this remarkable trade.

The best blacksmithing books for beginners

When it comes to finding the best blacksmithing books for beginners, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, you want to make sure that the book is comprehensive but also easy to understand and follow with simple guidelines.

Secondly, you’ll want to find a book that covers all of the basic concepts of blacksmithing in a way that doesn’t go over the head of beginner blacksmiths.

And lastly, you’ll want to find a book that has plenty of clear, quality pictures and illustrations to guide you as you learn the craft.

With these guiding principles in mind, here are our favorite blacksmithing books for beginners.

blacksmith shaping a horseshoe

The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers

Alexander Weygers is a name that is well known for blacksmithing. He is considered by many to be the modern father of blacksmithing, and his work has had a profound impact on the art form.

Weygers was born in the Dutch East Indies in 1901, and he began his career as a blacksmith in 1919. He apprenticed under master blacksmiths in Belgium and France before eventually moving to the United States in 1929.

He was so devoted to the art of blacksmithing that he called it the “mother craft” of civilization.

It was in the United States that Weygers truly made a name for himself. He worked as a blacksmith (among other things) for more than 40 years, during which time he wrote several books on the subject of blacksmithing.

He was also a sculptor, painter, and engineer who even conceptualized what he called a “discopter,” similar to a UFO!

Weygers’ most famous book is The Complete Modern Blacksmith, an in-depth exposition of blacksmithing which was released after his death. This work actually contains three separate but related books compiled into one treasure trove of learning.

In the book, Weygers covers everything from the history of blacksmithing and the basics of forge work to more advanced topics like toolmaking and metalworking.

Although a few reviews of this book suggest that the material is a little dated and is not the best book for beginners, others indicate it is still very relevant. Most readers find it an excellent resource that would be very helpful to anyone starting off with blacksmithing.

This great book contains many drawings and diagrams by the author, as well as complete and detailed instructions for how to make basic tools like a hammer.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to get started in blacksmithing or an experienced craftsman looking to expand your repertoire, The Complete Modern Blacksmith is an excellent resource.

The Home Blacksmith by Ryan Ridgeway

Next up on our list of best books on blacksmithing is The Home Blacksmith by Ryan Ridgeway.

Ryan is a blacksmith who makes his living by creating beautiful metalwork. He works out of his home, which is located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Ridgeway began learning the trade when he was just a teenager. He apprenticed under a master blacksmith for several years before striking out on his own. He says that he enjoys the creative process and the challenge of working with metal.

Ridgeway’s work includes everything from hand-forged knives to custom fire pits. He also does repairs and restoration work. His work has been featured in magazines and on television shows.

The Home Blacksmith is a great resource book for those who prefer a more contemporary approach to blacksmithing than that presented in The Complete Modern Blacksmith.

In his book, Ryan provides detailed instructions for 40 simple projects including punches and hoof picks as well as household items like candle holders and drawer pulls.

While The Complete Modern Blacksmith includes hand drawings, The Home Blacksmith has hundreds of elaborate pictures and color photos. These pictures are very helpful in illustrating the concepts discussed in the book.

Ridgeway’s book may not be as heavy as Weygers’ work on the intricacies of blacksmithing. However, today’s readers may prefer his more direct and basic style with its plainest language and instructions for easy blacksmith projects.

The Home Blacksmith is also available in spiral bound format for ease of use.

The Blacksmith’s Craft by Charles McRaven

Charles McRaven is a blacksmith and stonemason who has been working in the trade for over 30 years. In that time, he’s seen the craft change and evolve, but one thing remains the same: the blacksmith’s craft is a vital part of our society.

McRaven explains that, in ancient times, blacksmiths were some of the most important people in society. They were responsible for creating tools and weapons that were essential for survival.

Today, blacksmiths are still creating essential items, but they also have the opportunity to create art.

Despite the changes that he’s seen in his industry, McRaven says that one thing will always remain constant: the importance of the blacksmith’s craft.

He explains that blacksmiths provide a vital service to our society and will continue to do so for years to come.

McRaven’s book The Blacksmith’s Craft is an excellent choice for those just starting out with blacksmithing. It was originally published in the 1980s and then republished in 2005.

This book is written in a way that’s understandable for those with no background in this trade and only a beginning skill level.

The author’s downhome humor makes it a pleasure to read. It also has step-by-step instruction that is perfect for new blacksmiths.

Another excellent feature of this book is that the blacksmithing outfit recommended doesn’t require a huge financial investment to get started. You can begin where you are and acquire more tools and supplies as your budget permits.

One downside of the book compared to The Home Blacksmith is that it has less photos.

All in all, The Blacksmith’s Craft comes highly recommended as another great addition to any blacksmithing library.

The Backyard Blacksmith by Loralei Sims

Next up in our review of best blacksmithing books is The Backyard Blacksmith by Loralei Sims.

Loralei Sims is a blacksmith who has been honing her skills for 30 years. She started out as a metalsmith, making jewelry and small sculptures. But she soon discovered the joy of working with hot metal, using traditional blacksmithing techniques and simple tricks to create functional and decorative items for her home and garden.

Sims says that blacksmithing is both an art and a science. “It’s very satisfying to be able to take a piece of metal and shape it into something useful or beautiful,” she says. “There’s a lot of trial and error involved, but that’s part of the fun.”

Sims offers classes in basic blacksmithing, as well as more advanced workshops on topics like forge welding and toolmaking.

In her popular book The Backyard Blacksmith, Loralei provides expert guidance that would be helpful to new to intermediate blacksmiths.

You can tell that the author truly enjoys the art of metal production and wants to share that passion with others.

Sims covers how to get started with selecting a site, the tools and equipment needed, and forging and welding techniques to make your own metal pieces.

This book does have some proofreading errors that may annoy some readers, but overall it is no ordinary book. It is a very good choice for a beginner’s guide to blacksmithing.

The Backyard Blacksmith is another excellent choice in beginning blacksmith guides. You’ll want to get a copy of this book to show you the ropes of the blacksmithing craft.

The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer

Last but not least in our blacksmith reference book guide is The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer.

Bealer was an advertising executive who got interested in the history of blacksmithing and became an expert blacksmith and woodworker. He decided to write a book on blacksmithing out of his passion for this trade.

If you’re interested in history, you won’t want to miss this work. Bealer devotes considerable discussion to the historic value of blacksmithing and types of metalworking, including the first metallic products and the crafting of weapons like swords and metal armor.

Bealer also covers setting up a shop with the necessary tools and techniques. Also included are many helpful diagrams and illustrations so you can visualize the practical projects he discusses.

While The Art of Blacksmithing may focus a little more on history and theory than books like The Home Blacksmith, this is still a very useful resource for anyone wanting to get started with blacksmithing. By the end of this book, you’ll have a sound grasp of the blacksmith’s craft.

Final thoughts on the best blacksmithing books for beginners

If you’re interested in blacksmithing, reading books by experts is a great way to become familiar with the subject.

Each of the books reviewed here comes from a different angle with the author’s unique perspective and experiences. Because of this, obtaining two or three of these titles will give you a broad yet deep understanding of the blacksmithing trade.

The best foundation for starting out on a blacksmithing journey is learning from a master blacksmith.

With these books, you’ll be sure to learn the basic and intermediate skills to help you grow and learn.

With guidance and time, you will be able to learn the basics of blacksmithing and eventually become a master of the craft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.