Asking the Guru Questions

NOTE: We answer every sort of question, but we do not do homework or research papers for students, and we do not provide free engineering services.

The Guru knows a lot of things but he is not a mind reader. From e-mail or your posting he cannot tell if you are a bright eyed teenager without a clue, or a grizzled old dog that has seen it all and done it all.

If you have a question dealing with where you are geographically, you need to tell us where that is! This is an International forum. We cannot tell where you are by your e-mail address.

When you ask the Guru a question at least give him clue to your experience level. The Guru will answer your most basic shop and metal working questions and he or one of his helpers in the "color guard" will research more difficult questions if needed.

The Guru will answer general questions but it helps if you are specific. The Guru knows there is a point where you don't know enough to ask what you think is an intelligent question. Don't be afraid to ask what you think is a "stupid" question. There are usually a lot of other people that want to know the same thing!

Please look around anvilfire before posting a question. There is a good chance we have an article or FAQ about what you want to know. If you have never been to anvilfire before, read our "Getting Started in Blacksmithing" article and check our FAQ's page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's page)

The Guru lives in the U.S. Eastern time zone as do three of his helpers. He answers questions daily during business hours and occasionally in the evenings. In almost all cases you will receive a reply within 24 hours, sometimes sooner, often within minutes. Check back soon.

Occasionally we miss a question in the flurry of postings OR I sometimes set a question aside for "later" and it slips through the cracks. Repost your question if it is not addressed in a few days. The guru page is archived weekly now. If you don't check back within a day you may need to look in the archives.


Please post your e-mail address. Occasionally a question needs a personal or private response besides the public one. Others may also want to give you suggestions that prefer not to post in public.

Our new anti-spam system prevents spam "harvester" programs from collecting your address from our page. However it lets people using the page to send you mail. A spammer COULD manually collect addresses this way, so the system is not perfect, it is a compromise.

How old are you?

Are you under 16 years of age? DO NOT post your e-mail address here or anywhere else on the net. Please talk to your parents or teacher about it. We will still answer your question if it doesn't have an e-mail address.

Thank you for your patience!


This is the REAL thing. The folks answering questions here are real working blacksmiths, historians and engineers. Some are amateurs and others are experts in their field. All have experience forging iron and steel. If you need a source to quote most of us are willing to help. If you need technical information or an advisor for a book or story we would appreciate being given credit as a resource both individually and as members of