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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners!
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.
Published on 29 Sept. 1997

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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Bodgesmith
If this is a book on smithing, why doesn't forgework appear until 1/3rd of the way through ?

This isn't a book on smithing or forgework; it's a book on "how to make stuff" for a backwoods fettler in a modern environment. Recycling old car parts into garden tools, with the aid of a washing machine motor, is this book's level. It goes no further...
Published on 4 Mar. 2002 by Andy Dingley


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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Bodgesmith, 4 Mar. 2002
By 
Andy Dingley "andy_dingley" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Modern Blacksmith (Paperback)
If this is a book on smithing, why doesn't forgework appear until 1/3rd of the way through ?

This isn't a book on smithing or forgework; it's a book on "how to make stuff" for a backwoods fettler in a modern environment. Recycling old car parts into garden tools, with the aid of a washing machine motor, is this book's level. It goes no further.

Welding is simply not mentioned. This is inexcusable, and to call such a book "complete" is downright deceitful.

Heat treating of steel is trivialised. Persistently calling hardening "tempering" might have an obscure historical precedent for it, but it confuses the modern reader immensely. It certainly doesn't teach why these processes are different, or how to understand how to make them work.

Some of the advice on grinding is downright dangerous (NEVER grind on the side of a wheel that isn't designed for it).

Even the advice on scrounging old steel is uselessly trivial. No mention is made of why galvanised steel or car coilsprings aren't worth picking up, but torsion bars and halfshafts are prizes. Without any understanding of _why_ things behave as they do, this cartoon-level of teaching is no help beyond the simplest level of skill.

If you read this book, you may learn a little, but you won't learn to _understand_ anything. At the simplest level, this is adequate. It's an enjoyable book, and certainly attractive. I was lucky enough to learn most of this stuff as a child, just by watching my Dad in his garage. If you missed out first time around, then this book may be helpful to you. It won't make you a competent smith though. It won't tell you the first thing about why steel behaves as it does, why there are so many different steels, and what to choose and use them for. Anyone with minor exposure to basic workshop practice is probably already far in advance of this book anyway.

There's no index. Unforgiveable in anything even trying to be a "reference"
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but could be much better, 8 Sept. 2008
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This review is from: The Complete Modern Blacksmith (Paperback)
Perhaps a better title for this book would be 'The Complete Guy Who Makes Stuff.'

There seems to be an inordinate amount of emphasis put on grinding; though this book purports to be about blacksmithing there is worryingly little emphasis on forging. When making a tool for instance Weygers would rather grind it from a much larger piece of stock than forge it to shape, wasting materials and potentially making it more difficult to find suitable materials. As mentioned in a previous review despite there being mention of welding the author deliberately avoids its discussion -- it's cheating, apparently.

I must admit there were many interesting and useful nuggets of information in this book. However the simple tacking together of three different books has left a lot of redundant material, which frankly is a waste. I appreciate that this compilation was created after Mr Weygers' death, but I feel that a little more intelligent editing would have resulted in a much more readable and readily accessible work, as would more modern understandings of safe working practices. Asbestos for instance is now quite rightly avoided, as is the practice of removing all safety guards.

In summary I have awarded two stars because although this book contains useful information it is perhaps ruined by its lack of organisation, lack of teaching why something happens, questionable working practices, and a somewhat misleading title.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners!, 29 Sept. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Modern Blacksmith (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 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential core resource, 27 Aug. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Modern Blacksmith (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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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book! A Must Read!, 5 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Modern Blacksmith (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.
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The Complete Modern Blacksmith
The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers (Paperback - 3 April 1997)
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