In the last article, The Art of Survival Blacksmithing Part One, we looked at ways to set up some simple blacksmithing arrangements. In this article, we’ll try our hand at a couple of basic skills and items that could be useful for survival. You can see people today in developing countries that are building and fixing metal implements with very limited resources. Watching a well-equipped smith working is impressive; watching someone crouching by a hut using only a few small tools to create or repair things is astonishing. You can learn from those people and improvise ways to set up and work with hot metal. How to Do It 1-2-3 Just like learning anything, your first attempts have a good chance of not turning out well. Keep trying. As mentioned before, I’m not a blacksmith. These are things I picked up over the years.
Yeah, I know. When you hear “blacksmith”, you think of some guy fixing wagon wheels in the Old West or a living history interpreter talking to tourists in Colonial Williamsburg. However, knowing basic blacksmithing and ways to improvise the basics of what you need could be very useful for survival in either urban or rural environments. Honestly, you can survive many, if not most, situations without a clue about smithing. But, it can be valuable if you know how to do even a little. Or, at least, it’s good to understand how valuable that blacksmith down at the end of your street can be. There’s no way that I would call myself a blacksmith. Those men and women have real skills and knowledge from years of study and practice. However, I do know enough to be able to do some basic things, even poorly. While on an expedition way out in a nearly-undeveloped area of Latin America, the axle in our truck broke. It was only due to the help of a blacksmith in a small village nearby that we were able to get on the road again. Back at home, we set up a simple blacksmith’s shop and learned a few basics. My welds are messy, I don’t always “read” the metal right, and I’ve made a couple of blades that would send a real smith to the floor with laughter-but, they’d still cut meat or sever a rope in a pinch. I’ve heated and welded together pieces of metal with the blows of a hammer, and most of them looked ugly. But, if I’d needed them to keep going, they would have worked. Whether you find yourself in need of a simple repair or have to make it through a real survival situation, you’ll have an edge if [...]