Although blacksmiths are no longer as commonplace as they were a hundred years ago, a blacksmith’s services are still necessary. If you’ve worked as a blacksmith for any amount of time, you would know how complex the forging process can be. There are so many types of tools that you could create for different purposes. Blacksmith’s use various techniques to make them, and they are all very detailed and work-intensive.
There is a specific and thriving market of weapon collectors and movie prop makers that still need the help of competent blacksmiths. If you’re going to fulfill their needs, you should make sure that your forge is up to the task. Your forge is your place of business, and if you want your blacksmithing business to thrive, you should make sure it is capable of functioning by 21st century standards. Here are 6 Ways to modernize your blacksmithing business:
- Use Modern Forging Tools
Blacksmithing has been around for a very, very long time. Ever since humanity started mixing tin and copper to create bronze, blacksmiths were creating weapons and tools. There is always a certain romanticism when it comes to the blacksmithing craft. Blacksmith’s skills even had an almost magical touch because they could create products of such fine quality from raw ore.
In the 21st century, most of these blacksmith practices are considered somewhat archaic. Weapons can now be mass-produced, but there is a certain charm to weapons and tools that are crafted by a master’s hands. However, there is no harm in modernizing certain aspects of the blacksmithing process. For example, blacksmiths usually use the hammer to form heated metal into desired shapes. This can be very tiring work, and fatigue could affect the quality of the metal. If you use tools such as drop hammers and power hammers you will be able to cut your workload by half. It is admirable to use time-honored forging techniques, but there is no harm in using more modern methods as well.
- Automate Certain Aspects of Your Operation
Aside from using more modern tools, it is also a good idea to automate certain aspects of your operation. Industrial robots can provide great help during the forging process because they can fulfill key applications such as pick and place, drilling, and metal cutting. It may seem extravagant to use manufacturing automation in your forge, but industrial robots have evolved a great deal, and they are no longer as expensive as they were a few decades ago. They will also make the blacksmithing process a whole lot easier.
- Identify Your Target Market
For blacksmithing businesses, there is usually a limited but passionate market. Before you set out to modernize your blacksmith’s forge, you should first identify your target market. It would not be a sound investment if you used a lot of money and put in a lot of time, only to have no one to sell your products to. So take the time to identify your target market.
It is admittedly a niche market, made up of weapons collectors, historians, movie studios, and war reenactors. However, these markets are quite susceptible to marketing, and they will pay a good deal of money for quality products. So don’t worry, you will have a market to sell your products to. You just need to know how to properly market your work.
- Join Online Communities
If you are going to market your products it is important that you know how to properly reach your target market. One of the best ways to do this is to join online communities that specialize in blacksmithing. Through these communities, you can create a rapport with fellow blacksmiths, and market your products. The best thing about joining online blacksmith communities is that you can learn new blacksmithing techniques from people who are as passionate about the art as you.
- Market Your Products Effectively
Although you may work in a traditional art form, you should really embrace more modern forms of marketing. This is the only way you can make your company known to potential customers. It is imperative that you create a website for your blacksmithing business because it will act as your main marketing platform. Through your website, you can show off your products, services, and promos. It will also be a lot easier for clients to contact you.
You could also use social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. When it comes to marketing, visibility is very important. So you should post about your business as much as possible. Youtube is also a very potent marketing platform because you can show off your skills in various videos. Create videos where you forge or sharpen various swords and spears. This will show potential customers that you are a truly skilled craftsman.
- Make Sure Your Blacksmith’s Forge Is up to Code
Blacksmithing can be a dangerous profession. You deal with fire, oil, and sharp edges. There is also the fact that most blacksmith’s forges are cramped setups that risk fires on a daily basis. So if you are going to start your own blacksmithing business, you should first check with your local safety inspectors and make sure that your workplace is up to code. This may seem like tedious work, but it is better than having your house burn down because you got careless with your
The blacksmithing profession may no longer be as prevalent as it was hundreds of years ago, but the products they make are still sought after. If you know how to modernize your operations, it will be of great benefit to your venture. With these tips, you will be able to revolutionize your blacksmithing business and reach your full potential.