Metal Crafting 101

Blacksmith 2

Blacksmith 2 (Photo credit: e_cathedra)

George McFadden started his lifetime career in blacksmithing as a farrier in 1976 through 1990. His favorite client was John O’Shea, owner of Mid-Town Stables, located in Manhattan NYC . As well as shoeing horses for O’Shea, he also would do some carriage repair and restoration for him.
He was employed with Anderson Bros. Farm Equipment & Repair  Yonkers NY, where he focused his attention on welding and heavy equipment repair.
He started his ironworks business making wrought iron fencing and railings for the general public.

During all these years,George McFadden always loved spending his free time reading books on blacksmithing and enjoying forge work , there by crafting his artistic side.
George McFadden has been working as a blacksmith for the City of NY. His responsibilities there have been quite diversified, as they have covered every aspect of his accumulated experiences across the year.

It is all a family business, Carol McFadden oversees all the office affairs but her passion always is in blacksmith she talks about how some individuals learn the craft of a blacksmith to shoe horses while others enjoy learning metal working to create sculptures, iron railing and decorative fences. One of the best ways to learn the craft of a blacksmith is to apprentice under a practicing blacksmith. Some blacksmiths also teach metal working classes through local community college outreach programs. There are also a number of good books about blacksmithing that can give an excellent overview of the craft.

In addition to her and George interest in working with metals heated to high temperatures in order to forge, repair or create welds, an individual must possess a good deal of physical strength and coordination in order to handle blacksmithing tools properly. These include a heavy anvil and hammer, as well as tongs and a punch. In addition, the craft of a blacksmith involves learning how to work around a forge, equipment that contains the fire which is blown upwards using air to help heat the metal. Safety is an essential part of blacksmithing and requires eye protection, sturdy footwear along with earplugs.

The art of blacksmithing involves learning basic techniques in working with metals such as curling, splitting, riveting, twisting and flaring to forge heated metal into a variety of objects, including forks, nails, horseshoes, towel bars and railings. Among the basic skills learned from being tutored by a practicing blacksmith or in a blacksmith class are how to work with a gas torch, how to safely handle hot metals, how to control the flame and heat generated by a coal or gas fired forge and perfecting the skills in shaping the hot metal.