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Dakota Artist Blacksmith's Association

Hammerin Rules

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On this page, I'll include one or more sets of instructions that may help others get involved in or become more proficient at my hobby.

Dakota Artist Blacksmith’s Association Hammer In restructuring proposal.


To restructure said association to regain the original concept of an educational purpose.


1) Club restructure proposes four levels of blacksmith each with its own knowledge, study course and official test to move on to next level. Levels are as such.

Striker: extreme new member to club. May or may not have any experience in Blacksmithing.

Apprentice: Should have sufficient experience, tooling and knowledge (from STRIKER LEVEL) to perform entry level Blacksmithing projects.

Journeyman: Has basic level blacksmithing and able to design and perform said designs with standard steel and medium complexity of projects.

Blacksmith Instructor: Level of Blacksmith with sufficient knowledge to judge and qualify lesser-ranked smiths in association. A  practicing Smith.


2) All active club members will be required to stay within their respective levels for work pieces when at IN CLUB activities and also work on the lesson at hand specified by the Instructor.

a.  No exceptions unless specifically authorized by the Instructor when a drawn detail design is given and explained to the instructor and approved


3) All levels will be given a booklet for each level and given either a written or oral and hands on test of Blacksmith knowledge and skill of such level to proceed to next level or grade of Blacksmith.

a. Each test will demonstrate the knowledge and techniques learned from said level to the judging blacksmith and are required to advance to next level of projects and tools (see level and test requirements)


4) Members can not use a power hammer, trip hammer or any mechanical device until tested and judged that one has the ability. Projects are to be done with hand tools and old world Blacksmithing techniques. The privilege of using power tools will come the Journeyman level or above. (Also see hammer-in rules)


5) A choice of several projects will be given covering the different levels, at each months club hammer-in. Each member is required to choose one or more of the projects to work on. Unfinished projects from the last hammer-in or personal projects can be worked on as long as it adheres to that persons tested level and approved by the Blacksmith instructor.


Testing requirements

Striker: Make various tools (listed later), know basic Blacksmithing knowledge, nomenclature of tools.

1. Basic hammer technique, Cutting and Shearing: Know how to use the hot cut, cold cut, hacksaw, tin snips, bench or floor shear

Apprentice:    1. Drawing Out: Draw a bar to a point or dress an edge or point a tool

   2.Upsetting: Upset to at least 1-1/2 times the diameter or width of a bar on                 the end and in the middle.

3.  Splitting: Split a bar with a hot cut in the middle or at the end of the bar.

4.  Bending, Make a ring out of bar stock or flat stock; forge a square corner right angle bend in square stock.

5.  Riveting, Make two assemblies from at least two separate pieces. For each assembly use hot riveting and cold riveting (pop riveting is not acceptable).

6.Hot Rasping, Filing: Hot rasp the torch cut end of a bar to reasonable straightness and evenness; show a work piece which has been filed to a smooth, flat surface; describe the types, care and use of files.

7.Drilling, Tapping, Die Work and Threads: Drill and tap a hole, thread the end of a bar with a die; know the common thread classifications; know the common drill size classifications and the care and use of twist drills.

8.  Heading: Head two bolts, one square headed and one hex headed; head a nail; head a rivet.

9.  Swaging, swage a tenon or make the end of a square bar round using a swage.

10. Twisting: Show two different twists in a square bar.

11. Basic Metallurgy: Know the properties and use of wrought iron, mild steel, carbon and tool steels and their classifications, cast-iron, brass,  copper, aluminum; know sheet and plate gauging for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

12. Fire and Fuel: Know the constituents of good shop coal; know the different types of coal fires and fire maintenance.



1. Drifting and hole punching: Make a drift and punch and use them to punch, smooth, shape or enlarge a hole.

2.   Mortise and Tenon: Make an assembly from at least two separate pieces using this technique.

3.   Collaring: Make an assembly from at least two separate pieces using this technique.

4.   Scroll Work: Make two different types of scrolls.

5.   Fullering, Flattening, Grooving, Veining, Set Hammering: Show examples of each or if used as an intermediate technique, describe how and why the techniques are used.

6.   Forge Welding: Show at least three different techniques.

7.   Sinking, Raising, Metal Spinning: Make or show a hemispherical or hollow object made from flat sheet using any one technique.

8.   Heat Treating, Hardening, Tempering, Annealing, Case Hardening:

      Know how to properly anneal, harden and temper carbon tool steel; know how to case harden mild steel, know the colors for tempering; make or show a tool you have made that has been heat treated that will cut or forge mild steel without breaking or deformation on the working end.

9.   Jigs and Dies: Make both a jig and a die for doing repetitive production work and show examples of work produced with them. Blacksmith Instructor



Step 2: Put the jack under the car.

Hammer-in rules


1)     All members participating in club hammer-in will be required to pay the $10 shop fee at the door and $2 lunch fee (if eating lunch), all non participant members and non members present who will be eating hammer-in lunch will pay $5 fee.

2)    Funds from Lunch fees will go towards the next month’s lunch. This is to promote better lunches and promote more varying members to bring the lunch.

If fees from lunch of last month do not meet cost of the next the difference will come out of club account upon showing receipts to Jack Parks or other Hammer­in host,

3) ALL members must specifically ask to use shop tools of the hammer-in host and must also adhere to rule 3, 4, and 4a. Of the new amendments. To not do so could disqualify the offender’s right to further hammer-ins and possible membership revocation.

4) No member except Blacksmith instructor may instruct ANY level or other members

      without express permission from instructor. (Exception would be that a person bring a project to demo and permission is given from instructor to demo and teach that project) All members may do that project regardless of level so long as permission is granted from the blacksmith instructor in charge of hammer-in.

5) see amendment 2.

6) Members must stay in their level of experience and tooling. Members should use common sense and be aware of shop safety at all times, use shop as if made from glass. If you have never used a certain tool before, you are not qualified to use it. Ask the Instructor for guidance. There will be no exceptions without a Blacksmith instructor’s permission and guidance. Your life and others may be in jeopardy.