These Blacksmithing Skill standards were developed by the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association, an ABANA chapter and registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, United States Department of Labor. Before someone is accepted as a journeyman blacksmith, they need to be able to perform the following productively, quickly and accurately. It is a good self check list on the skills you need to develop in your craft.


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

2. Upsetting: Upset to at least 1½ times the diameter or width of a bar on the end and in the middle.

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

4. Punching, slitting and decorative punch work: Show an example of decorative punch work; punch a hole in a bar the same size as the width of the bar.

5. Drifting: Make a drift and use it to smooth, shape or enlarge a hole.

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

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

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

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

10. Fullering, grooving, veining, set hammering: Show examples of each or if used as an intermediate technique, describe how and why the techniques are used.

11. Riveting: Make two assemblies from at least two separate pieces for each assembly using hot riveting and cold riveting (pop riveting is not acceptable).

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

13. Arc Welding, brazing, soldering, oxyacetylene torch welding: Show an example of each.

14. Hot Rasping, filing: Hot rasp the torch cut end of a bar to reasonable straightness and evenness, show a workpiece which has been filed to a smooth, flat surface, describe the types, care and use of files.

15. Sinking, raising, metal spinning: Make or show a hemispherical or hollow object made from flat sheet using any one technique.

16. Grinding: Know how to use a body grinder (portable grinder), pedestal grinder, belt grinder, sharpening stones and abrasive papers; know the types of abrasives and how they are graded and classified, show an edge tool that you have sharpened.

17. 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.

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

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

20. Cutting and shearing: Know how to use the hot cut, cold cut, hack saw, tinsnips, bench or floor shear, know how to use the oxyacetylene torch for cutting and demonstrate each technique.

21. Swaging: Swage a tenon or make the end of a square bar round using a swage.

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

23. Shop safety: Know first aid techniques for cuts, burns, abrasions and other shop related injuries; describe methods of hearing, sight and body protection and why they are necessary; know power tool and machinery safety including welding equipment safety.

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

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

26. Jigs and dies: Make both a jig and a die for doing repetitive production work and show examples of work produced with them.