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The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith Turtleback – June 1, 2006


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The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith + The Complete Modern Blacksmith + The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection
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Product Details

  • Series: Backyard
  • Turtleback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592532519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592532513
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lorelei Sims is a blacksmith and metalworking artist, and the owner of Five Points Blacksmith Shop in Charleston, Illinois. For examples of her work, see her website blacksmithchic.com

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 144 customer reviews
A well written book with good information and great color illustrations.
Daniel Hosier
A good book for someone to get started in blacksmithing for yourself or in the trade.
Jerry L. Young
I purchased this book as a gift for a budding Blacksmith, it was very well received.
Paula Svincek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By T. Stout on August 1, 2006
Format: Turtleback
The Backyard Blacksmith by Ms. Simms is a an excellent addition to any blacksmithing library. She explains in plain english how to accomplish a task and the photography is excellent. Throughout the book are tips that even the advanced smith will benefit by reading. Safety, an all important issue these days, is well identified with good tips. As a 30 plus year veteran of blacksmithing as a hobby and leader of a large group, I highly recommend her book. Also, it is an affordable price range. Good luck and keep the fire burning.

Ted Stout

Forgemaster,

Rocky Forge Blacksmith Guild
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Ken G. Scharabok on June 14, 2006
Format: Turtleback
I have been to a blacksmithing rodeo or two and have seen most of the books intended for the beginner blacksmith. This one immediately jumps up to the top of my recommended list.

Ms. Sims is an artist and blacksmith who specializes in creating hand-forged functional ironwork. Her public art commissions include the Omaha Botanical Gardens in Nebraska, Lincoln Log State Historic Site in Illinois and Fordham University in New York. In additional to teaching blacksmithing classes and workshops, she has been a featured demonstrator for blacksmithing conferences throughout North America. She is the owner/operator of the Five Points Blacksmith Shop in Charleston, IL since 1993.

Folks, this is a get-your-hands dirty lady and in this book she shares her experience and expertise in the subject matter, but probably more importantly, has the ability to pass on just how it is done.

The Backyard Blacksmith will show you how, with some patience and working knowledge of metals, basic tools and techniques, blacksmithing can be easy to learn and a rewarding hobby. Through instructions and illustrations, readers will learn to make simple tools and useful items, such as nails, hinges and handles and also an interesting mix of artful projects, such as letter openers, door knockers and botanical ornaments.

In all over 20 projects are organized by difficulty level allowing new, novice or hobby blacksmiths to progress at their own pace and master/reinforce the skills they learned in earlier chapters.

The book is also sprinkled with safety and other tips and techniques.

If you are a beginning, hobby or want-a-bee blacksmith, this book should be read cover to cover several times.

Ken Scharabok, Poor Boy Blacksmith Tools
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Young on August 30, 2006
Format: Turtleback
I have found this book to be invaluable both as a resource for my work & an all around good read.

I currently work as the blacksmith at a historical farm in extreme North Utah, and in addition to the work itself do presentations to school groups (pre-schoolers thru university) and others. This book has provided me with several means of approaching the info I discuss, and quoting Ms Sims (as I very often do), has proved to be VERY useful. Think there'll be a volume II?????????

R M Young

American West Historical Center

Wellsville, Utah
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Fleckhammer on April 20, 2011
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
Having served as a lifetime Blacksmith and recently retired, I've no doubt seen and read many books on this subject. This book by Lorelei Simms has in my opinion, the best content and presentation so far. It is very suitable for anyone starting out on this fascinating journey of metal forging as well as anybody looking for a good teaching resource.All the basics are covered as well as some useful background information such as practical knowledge of steels and heat treatments etc. I highly recommend it to all my students as a great reference source and a great addition to the book shelf.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Commander-RR on October 28, 2007
Format: Turtleback
Although I am very familiar with working with Metal, and many other forms of crafting, I knew little of Blacksmithing. I have always been interested in Blacksmiths since I was a child, but knew nothing of their background, history, and the tricks of the trade so to say that they used to form beautiful and more importantly, useful items that they created.

I recently had the opportunity to work in a blacksmith shop, but I had to do so alone, as the former blacksmith had moved on. Hence I purchased several books to learn of their ways.

I was very interested in this book for one just because it was written by a female blacksmith, something I found to be unheard of, as I never in my life saw a female blacksmith working any forge I ever encountered. I felt that I had to have this book over all others as it would give me not just knowledge of blacksmithing, but a woman's point of view on it, which I felt could be very enlightening.

I could not have been more correct. This is so far the best book I have purchased on blacksmithing, and I have purchased 8 here through Amazon. This book is very well written, depicted, laid out, and explained. I loved the mixture of some of the history, and more so the insight of the craft. For example a simple account of how you will keep getting burned, I laughed over for some time, and yes, so far, I have gotten burned twice. Yea, I'm a newbie, read the book, you will laugh and only then really understand this statement. Also how the Blacksmith bug will bite you and you know it has if scraps of iron start to almost call out to you, grabbing your full attention since as you look at it, you depict in your mind all the things you could make that piece into.
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