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Learning blacksmithing

Forge work and blacksmithing are quite difficult to learn from books.  I think the only way to learn is to either take classes or spend time with an accomplished blacksmith.  Otherwise you will spend lots of time getting frustrated and use up lots of steel with nothing to show for it.  Even basic things like building a proper fire can be quite difficult unless someone has shown you how to do it.  Blackmsithing is much different from woodworking in this respect as many woodworking skills can be learned much easier on one’s own.   I imagine some people will tell you otherwise, but many of the people who call themselves “blacksmiths” have very rudimentary skills.   So, take much of the advice you hear with a grain of salt.  Truly skilled blacksmith are rare.  Guys who only bend bar stock into hooks or try to make railroad spike knives are not.

Thank being said, see if someone in your area offers classes.  That is how I started and is, I think, the best route to follow.