"Back To Basics" published by Readers Digest in 1981, was very popular subject matter, back in the early 80's. It went through nine printings by 1989. It is a large sized hardcover of almost 500 pages. For the person seeking a slower, quieter, rural lifestyle it is an indispensable resource. Many aspects of a rural, self-sufficient life style, are covered. Acquiring and building on your own land, energy-wood,water, wind, and sun, growing your own veggies and raising livestock, preserving and storage, required skills and crafts, and even recreation are covered. With the large numbers printed, this great read is quite common in the used market, for someone desiring a hard copy.
Among the crafts covered are woodworking and smithing. The tinsmithing and blacksmithing section are of the greatest interest to me. It is a good basic starting point for anyone who would like to learn these skills. After a clear explanation of the processes, the article takes you through a handful of practical projects that will get you started in the blacksmithing craft.
The article is too many pages for one post, so here is the first part. I'll try to get the second part up a little later.
So for fuel, short sessions on light work can be done with convenient lump charcoal. If your going to do long sessions, on heavy work, coal is a better way to go. Unfortunately coal can be hard to source today, depending on your location. A cleaner and much more convenient way to go is propane, but the investment will be higher. I am hoping to include a propane forge build, in the coming year. You might want to watch someone build one, before you try one out.