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The Complete Modern Blacksmith [Paperback]

Alexander Weygers
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.99
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1997
A truly unusual and unique resource, this extremely hands-on book brings together three popular but long-out-of-print classics (THE MODERN BLACKSMITH; THE RECYCLING, USE, AND REPAIR OF TOOLS; and THE MAKING OF TOOLS) essential for anyone interested in the making, repair, maintenance, or arcana of tools. An essential volume in any serious craftperson's library, this book covers setting up a smithy (anvil, forge, hammer, tongs, and all), and manufacturing everything from stone-carving chisels to decorative wall hooks.

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The Complete Modern Blacksmith + The Backyard Blacksmith
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This book teaches the artist and craftsman how to make his own tools: how to design, sharpen, and temper them. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential core resource Aug. 27 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mr. Weygers was a superb sculptor, printmaker, philosopher, and raconteur - as well as a consummate teacher. I had the good fortune to take a couple of courses from him. He considered the books to be elaborate notes for the courses he taught. I am delighted they are back in print at last, for they are a treasure of wit and inspiration. I only quibble that his illustrations suffered slightly in the transition from the out-of-print originals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book! A Must Read! Feb. 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
THE COMPLETE MODERN BLACKSMITH is an excellent book! This book covers everything from tools to techniques, forge design to making your own custom anvil. I have personally read and re-read this book, and would reccomend it to anyone interested in blacksmithing or other types of metalwork, and wood/stone carvers who would like to make their own tools. This book is most assuredly a valuable resource.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners! Sept. 28 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Whether you have been blacksmithing for years or are just starting out, this book is a must read and/or have. Mr. Weygers technique for passing on this skill and art through a printed text is one of the best. I like his emphasis on scrounging and recycling raw material, and making as much of your own tooling as possible, even an anvil.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad Oct. 27 2004
Format:Paperback
This was the first smithing book I purchased. I found a lot of useful information in there, and I still find I refer to it at times. Though many of the procedures described in it do not go into a lot of depth, and in some cases color photographs may improve the text, this book inspired me to learn more about the trade.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book deserving of its title. Aug. 21 2004
By Valerie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Alternative tiles for this book might be, "Blacksmithing for Survival" or, "Gorilla Blacksmithing' or, "Blacksmithing on a Budget"

It could also be called, 'Practical Blacksmithing', if about three others hadn't got to the title first.

I never met the author, A. Weygers, except through this book. From what I can see he had these characteristics; He was artistic, but didn't suffer from an artistic temperment. He understood technical things but wasn't a nerd. He could deal with machines but also liked people.

He also shared one characteristic with me: he scrounged around in the junk heap to find parts to build things.

His writing is clear and concise. He isn't snobby or given to obscure terminology. The illustrations in the book, done with pencil by Weygers, are very good and informative.

You may be interested to know that Weygers patented a flying saucer. Or, actually, he called it a 'discopter'. It is patent 2,377,835.

This book is actually three small books bound as one. There is some repeating in the book because of this. But not much. There is something to learn on every page. The main theme of the book is how to make tools. He shows how to make blacksmithing tools, metal working tools, woodcarving chisels, stone carving tools, gardening tools and other things.

He has an interesting discussion about how to drill square holes. I have never seen this information in any other book.

He also gets into some artistic items. But he doesn't insist that you become an artist.

The most important tool that he shows you how to use is your brain. He shows how to improvise tools by using junk that you find for free or cheap. Ironically, some of the 'junk' that he shows in this book has now become collectable, but you get the idea. Start with nothing, find something, make something with it, use that to make something more, and keep building.

He shows the basic metal forging techniques such as bending, twisting, upsetting, welding, punching, hardening and tempering.
He also shows some power tools and the trip hammer. Even how to make dies for the trip hammer.

He shows how to sharpen a cutting tool, and explains the science behind it. I thought that I could get a tool pretty sharp, until I tried out this man's methods. Then I found out that I hadn't known what sharp was. I have several books that describe how to sharpen, and I have tried their methods. They worked fine, but not as well as this man's.

There isn't any 'trash' in this book, such as pages of pictures of tools copied from some tool catalog. Or lengthy digressions into the author's personal philosophies. There is only about a half dozen pages with photographes on them. Nearly every page has illustrations dome by Weygers to teach the methods explained in the text. There are a few photos of Weyger's work in stone and wood. This book is down and out, cover to cover, practical.

He has drawings of the tempering colors done in pencil, which I think is amusing, if not useless. He also talks about making 'carbon tipped' tools. I am certain he meant 'carbide' as in 'tungsten carbide'. I can forgive him a couple of errors. You won't find many books as excellent as this. Or an author with as much passion to teach as Weygers.

This is one of my favorite of all books. If you build just one tool in this book, it will have paid for itself. This could be your first, last and always blacksmithing resource.

If you can find some of the earlier publications, when this book was published as three separate books, you will find that the illustrations were much better reproduced than they are by this publisher, and the printing and paper seem to me to be higher quality.
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book! A Must Read! Feb. 5 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
THE COMPLETE MODERN BLACKSMITH is an excellent book! This book covers everything from tools to techniques, forge design to making your own custom anvil. I have personally read and re-read this book, and would reccomend it to anyone interested in blacksmithing or other types of metalwork, and wood/stone carvers who would like to make their own tools. This book is most assuredly a valuable resource.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners! Sept. 28 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Whether you have been blacksmithing for years or are just starting out, this book is a must read and/or have. Mr. Weygers technique for passing on this skill and art through a printed text is one of the best. I like his emphasis on scrounging and recycling raw material, and making as much of your own tooling as possible, even an anvil.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential core resource Aug. 27 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mr. Weygers was a superb sculptor, printmaker, philosopher, and raconteur - as well as a consummate teacher. I had the good fortune to take a couple of courses from him. He considered the books to be elaborate notes for the courses he taught. I am delighted they are back in print at last, for they are a treasure of wit and inspiration. I only quibble that his illustrations suffered slightly in the transition from the out-of-print originals.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Information but Somewhat Dated Nov. 15 2004
By Robert K. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I think Alex Weygers is an amazing man, artist and engineer. This book has a LOT of good information on basic smithing but has a few small technical errors. The only drawback is that some of the items upon which he goes into great detail are things that most people would prefer to just buy, rather than make. However, the TECHNIQUES used to make some of these items (like a waste water pump) can be applied to other things. He is a world-class scrounger and tries to identify good sources of junk metal. However, the world has changed since he wrote this book and the composition of some of the junk auto parts he recommends has changed considerably. It is a book worth owning if you are interested in smithing.
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