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Anvils in America, THE book about anvils

Blacksmithing and metalworking questions answered.

Blacksmithing and Metalworking Tools Historical Preservation.

International Ceramics Products testimonials & Press

September 19, 1999


My kid ASKED to work my forge this year. Thanks to your work at Anvilfire and Kiwi's and Bills demos, he has had a wonderful summer. He drives his Grandmother crazy working with fire and hot iron.

You and Kiwi have introduced the world to the craft of Blacksmithing in such an interesting way. You have shown everyone that it can be done, and then HOW to do it. My son and I will always be grateful for your efforts.

Thank You


My son's age? 7 years.
He already has 3 wholesale accounts for his work, and will turn 8 in October.

13 months ago I decided to learn to smith. I searched the net thoroughly and landed here. I had exactly zero metalworking skill.

I read and retread every word on this site and decided that this bunch really seemed to know what they were talking about. I followed all the steps on "Getting Started in Blacksmithing". I bought the books, took the welding classes, emptied out the tool shed and built the smithy. The shed thing didn't win me any points with my wife. :}

The first metal I struck was the spring for the beat up post vice I bought on the cheap. I learned how to fix the thing HERE.

I built the side draft forge with advice found HERE.
I learned the basics of quality anvils HERE.
I learned where to buy a good firepot HERE.
Type of coal? HERE.
How to ease the neighbors concerning coal smoke? HERE.

You see a pattern forming?

I completely agree with you about the abundance of experts on this site. I have also come to value the number of novices and their questions answered on this site. Questions that I may not have thought to ask. Questions I didn't quite know how to ask. I have to point out that all of these questions are answered in the politest way and with no condescension. Even the questions that have been asked a thousand times over. Please never feel you can't ask these people anything. This is far and away the finest bunch of folks I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with.

Today I have a counter full of gifts (treble clefs, RR spike letter openers, dinner bells, bottle openers, etc...) to be wrapped that I was able to make, my wife has a 7.5' curtain rod with Russian rose ends and folded leaf brackets in the bay window. (That one got me some points back for the shed). All of these items were possible from info found HERE. (iForge demos or variations thereof). I'm not bragging by any stretch. I'm just telling you that Anvilfire is the one indispensible tool that made this fledgling smith's dream come true.

You want to pound iron? You stay right HERE. You wont be disappointed.

Sorry to be so long winded. Me happy,

Gronk - Wednesday, 12/18/02 15:53:34 GMT

Monday, August 02, 1999

Mr. Dempsey,

Thanks for your prompt response to my query.

Your site is sophisticated enough that I had half expected my email to go to some webmaster from a commercial hosting service you might have used. I am pleased to see that you are involved at every level, and that there is a real person behind the site.

By the way, I have very much enjoyed your site, I am a regular visitor, and wanted to thank you for all of your work.

Cole Davisson

Time marches on . . Sean who started blacksmithing at age 6 (see letter at top) is now 11 years old and has produced several of our iForge demos. He also earned enough with his blacksmithing to buy his OWN anvil before he was 10 years old.

Fri, 20 Dec 2002

Thank you for starting up Anvilfire and then maintaining it, adding to it, and sticking with it. It is the best resource on the web for information of any kind.

For instance:

Possum's daughter came into the pub last night asking for assistance with her Spanish homework, and got the questions answered, in real time, by folks that spoke the language, - - on a blacksmithing forum !! That is just part of the priceless information that Anvilfire also provides.

Thank you for allowing Sean and me to contribute to Anvilfire in the form of the demos. You and Anvilfire folks have given him a tremendous amount of confidance in both blacksmithing and presentation.

Sean has done several live fire demos. At one demo he had a forge turn over, and spill fire, coal, and tongs onto the ground. He put on gloves, picked it the forge and table, and put it back together. Then took a shovel and put the fire back into the fire pot, added a bit of coal and rebuilt the fire. Threw some water on the coals on the ground and was back in operation in less than a couple of minutes. The same experience would leave most smiths a basket case for the rest of the day. He just took it in stride - confident in his ability.

There is really no words that express the pride of being able to work with your 11 year old son, side by side, and hammer to hammer. To work as both a blacksmith with him striking, and as a striker with him as the blacksmith, is a real, and humbling, experience.

And Thank you for making this all possible.

Glenn and Sean

In the Press:

Business Week June 22, 1998
Web Destinations
What happens when one of the world's oldest trades meets one of its newest technologies? You get Anvilfire, a Web site devoted to the ancient art of blacksmithing. Included are the Virtual Hammer-in--a discussion group--and sources for buying forges, tools, and the hard-to-find special coal needed for metalworking.

New York Times ON THE WEB December 22,1999
A Resurgence of Blacksmithing By MICHAEL POLLAK
You are not going to learn blacksmithing without doing it in person, but the fraternity will be glad to give you plenty of on-line help. Blacksmithing has its own Web ring, and one of its sites,, has a How Do I Get Started in Blacksmithing page with many suggestions, including these: Sign up for a welding course at a local college or trade school. Buy a few books, recommended on-line. Join Abana. "Start to look for equipment and scraps of steel to experiment with or to build equipment. Be imaginative. Don't get stuck on setting up a classic 19th-century shop!" The site also posts basic information on hammers, tongs, forges and anvils, as well as how to buy out-of-print blacksmithing books.
Machine Design Magazine (print and on-line) January 2001
Engineering goes online big time
The Web is evolving into a useful online handbook, if you know where to look . . .

Blacksmithing for the 21st century
Anvilfire is a resource for blacksmiths and related metal workers. The site is said to be dedicated to advancing modern blacksmithing while retaining traditional standards of craftsmanship. If you need answers about a particular metal working project check anvilfire's FAQs page or better yet ask the "Guru". Every Wednesday night at 8:30 Central there's a distance learning forum at the site's iForge page. An interactive blacksmithing demonstration gives blacksmiths a place to meet and discuss the project being worked on in real time.

I'm not blowing smoke when I say this is what the internet was supposed to be.

Terry L - Friday, 09/17/04 14:44:20 EDT

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