If you want to know how an eighteenth-century iron hinge was made, or how an intricate trivet was formed, or how a muzzle-loading rifle barrel was welded, "The Art of Blacksmithing" has the answers. If you would like to set up a blacksmith shop, this book describes and illustrates the equipment and the techniques developed in more than six thousand years of working iron by hand. For the lover of history and the person who admires the ingenuity of common men, this book reflects respect for the specialized skills of the smith, and creates nostalgia for the color and excitement of the village smithy, which so recently disappeared from the Western world. Indeed, this unique book covers every aspect of a fascinating and little-known art, the fundamental craft on which the civilization of the Iron Age was built.
In gathering the mass of material for this book, Alex W. Bealer exhausted the few available books on ironworking and completed his research by talking and working with retired and active iron workers and armor experts in the United States and Europe. His descriptions of technique are frequently based on the authority of personal experience at his own forge.