Lego Blacksmithing Leads the List of Smithy Weblinks

Aiofe's links list this week covers blacksmithing and metalworking, including one for a Lego blacksmith shop.

Hallo all. I've discovered something amusing. Lately, all my searches turn out to be the names of Rock Bands. How about Balckhouse? Viking Metal? It's strange but true...... Perhaps it has to do with the similarities of "heavy metal" and "Heavy Metal" (Music)?

At any rate, this week's Links list is focusing on Blacksmithing (with a freebie of a Lego-built blacksmith's forge :), and Metalworking, which apparently means three things: making iron or steel or bronze/similar items for everyday use AND making jewelry or adornment/luxury items out of precious metal AND also refers to the making of coins. I've included a little of all of these in today's Links list.

As always, enjoy these in the spririt they are offered, and feel free to forward them where they will find a ready audience. Also feel free to update your own Links pages with them. I do enjoy hearing where these links are forwarded, so don't be shy in letting me know that this list os forwarded to East Tanzania or outer Cleftland, for instance :)


Aoife, married to a part-time Smith and whose mother was born with that fine Irish name.

Medieval Blacksmith Shop (Just for fun---it's made of Lego's)

Blacksmith's Medieval Art Finds a Market Through Modern Technology by Jim Joyner ( newspaper article about the marriage of the Modern Web and Medieval Smithing)
(Site Excerpt) Blacksmith Robb (a.k.a. Thak) Martin says the vast reach of the Web connects him with the unusual people who are interested in his work. The Elmira, Ontario, resident makes medieval armor for display and decor, not something that will sell at every local gallery. While he does wholesale some colonial-style hardware to shops in British Columbia, and wholesales some of his other products to retailers throughout North America, the Internet has been one of his main venues for selling armor.

Metalwork During the Anglo-saxon Period
Weapons were very important to the Anglo-Saxons as they were constantly battling over property and rights. Their weapons had to be fashioned out of a strong material that would endure strikes from an opponent's weapon. The Anglo-Saxons produced weapons primarily out of cast iron, with some copper and lead alloys. Steel was used for making armor, and even pewter was used on ships and as a base material for some smaller weapons such as knives and arrow tips. Blacksmiths were highly skilled and could create practically any size or shape weapon desired.

Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Armor
(Site excerpt) The earliest Anglo-Saxon settelers, particularly those who were serving in the shore forts or as foderati may have worn Roman style ridge helmets. Several helmets (or parts of them) of this type are known from Britain, including finds from the Saxon Shore Forts of Burgh Castle, Norfolk and Richborough, Kent. This style of helmet was probably used both by Germanic mercenaries and native British troops, and could well have formed the model for later Anglo-Saxon helmets, such as the Pioneer helmet. Many archaeologists and military historians believe that these helmets may also have formed the models for the Scandinavian style of helmet found at Vendel, Valsg�de and Sutton Hoo.

Oxford University
A British Archaeo-metallurgical Bibliography
(Site excerpt) Note: Links attached to the author's name indicate that there are on-line abstracts for those papers Awty B., 1996. 'Early cast irons and the impact of fuel availability on their production', J. Historical Metallurgy Soc. 30 17-22 Barclay, A., Fell, V. and Wallis, J., 1995. 'An iron socketted axehead from the River Thames, Buscot, Oxfordshire', Oxoniensia60 417-419 Blaylock S.R. 1996: 'Bell and cauldron Founding in Exeter', J. Historical Metallurgy Soc. 30 72-82 Burnham B.C. 1997. 'Roman mining at Dolaucothi: The implications of the 1991-3 excavation near the Carreg Pumsaint', Britannia28 325-336

Metalwork in Islamic architecture
(Site Excerpt) Under the Timurids and their contemporaries, the arts in Iran and Central Asia persisted in their excellence and intelligence. From the shrine of Ahmed Yasavi in Turkestan, Iran, comes this uniquely designed cauldron of bronze. The basin consists of an almost hemispherical bowl on a slender foot. The top half of the exterior is decorated with two horizontal bands of cursive and angular inscriptions punctuated by bosses and pendant handles, write Blair and Bloom (1994). On the bottom half are pendant triangular cartouches of arabesque tracery

Buckles Through the Ages
(Site excerpt) Part Three Saxon Sixth and Seventh century The buckle was an important dress accessory of the Anglo-Saxons and the numbers that have been found buried with their owners proves this. The quality of metalwork during this period was of an extremely high order attested by some of the magnificent examples that have been found, either made in precious metal or heavily gilded and inlaid with garnets, niello and other decorative techniques. The most famous buckle found to date in this country is undoubtedly the superbly crafted gold buckle from the Sutton Hoo ship burial dated to 625AD and possibly belonging to King Raedwald of East Anglia.

Metalweb News Blacksmith Page
Primarily a lis tof links, this site covers everything from making your own equipment, to using it to make stuff. Mostly moderns, but still somewhat applicable.

Medieval Sword Resource Site
(Site Excerpt) The swords of medieval Europe (approximately 500 to 1500 AD) evolved from steel Celtic swords, which in turn arose from a tradition of straight, double-edged swords which began with bronze swords as early as 1,500 BC. At the opening of the Middle Ages these swords tended to have blades just under a yard in length with a grip designed to accommodate a single hand; the other hand being concerned with the grip of a shield. Essentially all of the earliest medieval swords and many throughout the period were designed to cut, having surprisingly thin blades, especially towards the tip, which was often rounded. By the close of the Middle Ages, swords increasingly are stouter and more sharply pointed, being optimized for the thrust, the cut having been rendered less effective by improvements in armour.

PastIron--part New Millenium, Part horse-and-cart
(A website selling antique-replica door hardware including medieval stle hardware. Site excerpt) Medieval Large Smooth From an original at the Weald & Downland Museum in Sussex. Makes a suitable alternative to the Butterfly.Suitable for shutters, cupboards and furniture. Colour = Black metal
Approx Weight (each) = 2.25oz (65grms) Approx Dimensions (opened) = 4.25" x 2.5" (110mm x 65mm)Price Per Pair 6.00 (Excluding: VAT at 17.5%)

Vergerg Photo
I am including this site for one reason only. It shows some medieval door hardware in one of the photos.

Gallery of Handforged Blacksmith works: Medieval Castle Door Hinge
(Site Excerpt) This close-up view of the castle door hinge shows the hand-forged detail given the sword. The blacksmith forging depicts the ancient metal work known to that era.

Mastermyr Tool Chest (a blacksmith's tool chest find in Gotland)
(Site Excerpt: Photo) The tool chest is a treasure. It was discovered in M�termyr in 1936. It is 90 cm long and 24 cm high and more than 200 objects were found in it and around it. (Article linked at

Blacksmith Basics
(Site Excerpt) This series of pages is designed to give basic information about the process of blacksmithing. The Primer explains general terms and methods used. The page on a Simple Forge provides a forge design that can be constructed for under $50 USD. The page on Pump Bellows demonstrates how a multi-chamber bellows operates.

Blacksmith Advanced Technique
(Site Excerpt) This series of pages is designed to provide information about advanced techniques employed in primitive blacksmithing.

Blacksmith Blueprints
This site currently has two projects: A Spanish Pike and a Fork.

How to make charcoal at home by Dan Gill
(Site Excerpt) Why would anyone want to make their own charcoal? For one thing, good hardwood lump burns hotter and cleaner (but faster) than briquettes and is much easier to light. You also know where it came from, what it contains and what was done to it en route. There are endeavors other than barbecue which require high quality natural charcoal: It is still the preferred fuel for forges and blacksmithing. Folks who make their own fireworks and black powder need specialty charcoals with specific burning properties such as that made from willow or grapevine.

Forge and Anvil Online (a television series about smithing)
(Site excerpt) FORGE & ANVIL is the first television series dedicated to blacksmithing and metal work, produced by the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens, Georgia. FORGE & ANVIL is available to all public television stations in the United States. Forge & Anvil Streaming Video Clips To view these files, you need a copy of the free RealPlayer software.
28.8k modem | 56k modem Order the FORGE & ANVIL book and videotapes Series and Program Descriptions

Regia Anglorum: Charcoal
(Site excerpt) Firstly, why make charcoal? The simple answer is that no other combustible substance generates the heat necessary for the forging of metals ( by the definition above, 20th century coke is "coal charcoal'' ). The process basically consists of Burning - or literally charring - wood at a very slow, controlled rate so that the combustion is never allowed to complete and thus turn the raw materials to ash. This is achieved by controlling the amount of air involved in the reaction - basically, covering the whole caboose in earth. The process takes about 24 - 30 hours for 3 - 4 tons of wood ( the amount we had available in the lakes ) and produces, in ideal conditions, about a ton of charcoal.
(Site Excerpt) A new class of resource for blacksmiths and related metal workers. Anvilfire is your on-line metalworking information source. If you need answers now check anvilfire's FAQ's or ask our Guru. Anvilfire is dedicated to advancing modern blacksmithing while retaining traditional standards of craftsmanship. Additions are made on a daily basis.

Fremlin's Forgery
(Site Excerpt) This is a forum where you can discuss all things that have to do with forging metal...Horseshoeing or Forging Tips, anecdotes, new websites...anything goes, as long as you keep it clean and friendly.

WINIKOFF'S KEEN-JUNK PAGE Virtual Junkyard For Blacksmiths
(Site Excerpt) You have just discovered Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard, the only junkyard where you won't tear your clothes, trip over a pile of pipe or bang your shins.The idea here in Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard is to carry on the blacksmith tradition of sharing ideas, sources and information with fellow blacksmiths. Visit the Blacksmiths Junkyard, -- look around -- pick up whatever blacksmithing materials you find useful. Next time you visit Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard bring along a piece of junk or two that you'd like to share.

National Gallery of Art
(Site Excerpt) Each of the object types on this tour originally served sacred purposes. The Chalice of Abbot Suger (1), the Spanish ciborium (7), and the dove-shaped pyx (6) were each associated with the celebration of the liturgy; the reliquary ch�se (3) formed a miniature "tomb" for the relic of a saint; the morse (8) was a fastener for ecclesiastical garb; and the crucifix (2) served as an object of devotion that could be inserted into a staff for processional use. The two aquamanile (4, 5), or pitchers in animal or human forms, were used for either liturgical or secular handwashing.

Medieval Sword Virtual Museum
(Site Excerpt) Germanic Iron Age (Migration Period) ~ 400 to 700 AD The swords of this time evolved from the Teutonic swords in evidence in the later Roman Iron Age and average 33 to 37 inches in overall length including a 4 to 5 inch long tang. These swords vary between 1.7 and 2.5 inches in width and generally have parallel edges or edges slightly tapering towards the point.

Jim's Medieval Coins
(Site Excerpt) I invite you to take a guided tour of my collection of medieval French coins. Along the way you will see over twenty examples of coins that are anywhere from 600 to 1000 years old. The tour should take less than 10 minutes, depending upon the speed at which you read the short descriptions. I've arranged it so that the images for the next page will load into your computer's cache before you actually get there.

ROMAN & CELTIC ARTEFACTS (Photos from a resale Gallery)
(Site Excerpt)Roman ring with glass intaglio. Bronze ring with moulded glass intaglio, depicting a seated Roma Period: 2nd century AD. Diameter maximum: ? 75...Celtic iron torc Very well preserved. Period: 300-100 BC Diameter: 19 cm (7.48") ? 295.....Roman iron flint with bronze handle With decorations on the handle.Period: 2nd century AD Length: 7,5 cm (2.95")... Roman bronze medical spoon Decorated with a wolfs head on the end of the stem. Period: 2nd-3rd century AD Length: 16 cm (6.30") .....Roman bronze spatula Green patination, for mixing and applying ointments. Period: 1st-3rd century Length: 12 cm (4.72")

Medieval Metalwork in Birmingham City Museum and Gallery
(Note that there are no pictures, but it may be possible to contact the museum to purchase a catalog or find a way to get pictures of some great every day medieval items. Site Excerpt) Silver and Metal Works: Continental Silver Spoons 547'35 - 302 "Acorn Knop" Spoon; 547'35 - 432 Hexagonal Knop Spoon; 547'35 - 301 Diamond Point Spoon; 547'35 - 431 Diamond Point Spoon; 547'35 - 332 Slipped in the Stalk Spoon Base Metal Spoons; 547'35 - 303 "Acorn Knop" Spoon; 547'35 - 304 "Acorn Knop" Spoon ; 547'35 - 474 Spoon (?) French (?) 14th Century; 547'35 - 475 Spoon (?) French (?) 14th Century; 547'35 - 534 Spoon - French (?) 14th Century; 547'35 - 535 Spoon - French (?) 14th Century

Studies in Medieval Irish Metalwork (a book review on chiefly gold-work in Ireland)

Joslin Hall Medieval Bookshelf ( book merchant)
Ayres, Larry M., et al. A Medieval Miscellany -Romanesque and Early Gothic Metalwork. Santa Barbara; The Art Galleries, University of California:1974. Edition limited to 800 copies. An exhibition of twelve distinctive specimens of Medieval metalwork, drawn from 7 institutions. The catalog entries are extensive and well researched, and were compiled by a team of 9 graduate students. 7"x10", 39 pages, 12 b&w plates, card covers; covers with light rubbing.

Ephemer Arts---Auction Catalogs with Medieval Works of Art (mainly Sotheby's catalogs)
(Site Excerpt--one sample)EURO-1. SOTHEBY'S - London...July 6, 1995...$15.00 European Sculpture and Works of Art Medieval Works of Art (16 lots) ~ Medieval Wood and Early Terracotta Sculpture (21) ~ Renaissance and Later Bronzes (53) ~ Plaquettes (10) ~ Baroque and Later Wood Sculpture (34) ~ Ivories (22) ~ Baroque and Later Marble, Alabaster and Terracotta Sculpture (16) ~ Metalwork (21) ~ Kunstkammer, Caskets and Stained Glass (20) ~ Renaisance and Later Jewelry (28) 241 lots total, 104 pages. illus: b/w, color