- Smith (metalwork)
A smith, or metalsmith, is a person involved in the shaping of
In pre-industrialized times, smiths held high or special social standing since they supplied the metal
tools needed for farming(especially the plough) and warfare. This social standing might be a reasonFact|date=September 2008 for the prevalence of "Smith" as an English family name (and similar names in other languages, such as German " Schmidt").
Etymology of smith
The word "smith" is
cognatewith the somewhat archaic English word, "smite", meaning "to hit" or "to strike". Originally, "smiths" practiced their craftsby forming metalwith hammer blows.
As an English
suffix, "-smith" connotes a meaning of specialized craftsmen — for example, "wordsmith" and "tunesmith" are nouns synonymous with writeror songwriter, respectively.
Types of smiths
Types of smiths include:
blacksmithworks with ironand steel; (this is what is usually meant when referring just to "Smith")
arrowsmithforges arrow heads;
bladesmithforges knives, swords, and other blades;
coppersmith, or brownsmith, works with copper;
fendersmithmakes and repairs the metal fender before fireplaces, protecting rugs and furniture in mansions and fine estates, and frequently cares for the fires as well;
goldsmithworks with gold;
gunsmithworks with guns;
locksmithworks with locks;
pewtersmithworks with pewter;
silversmith, or brightsmith, works with silver;
tinsmith, tinner, or tinker works with light metal(such as tinware) and can refer to someone who deals in tinware;
swordsmithis a bladesmith who forges only swords;
whitesmithworks with white metal ( tin) and can refer to someone who polishes or finishes the metal rather than forging it.
Sometimes, terms similar to the above are created metaphorically, for categories of people not working with metal at all - for example, "songsmith".
Artisans and Craftpeople
The ancient traditional tool of the smith is a
forgeor "smithy", which is a furnacedesigned to allow compressed air (through a bellows) to superheat the inside, allowing for efficient melting, solderingand annealingof metals. Today, this tool is still widely used by blacksmiths as it was traditionally.
The term, "metalsmith", often refers to artisans and craftpersons who practice their craft in many different metals, including
gold, copperand silver. Jewelers often refer to their craft as "metalsmithing", and many universities offer degree programs in metalsmithing, jewelry and blacksmithing under the auspices of their fine arts programs.
Machinists are metalsmiths who produce high-precision parts and tools. The most advanced of these tools, CNCmachines, are computer controlled and largely automated.
* [http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/Publications/Metalsmith.aspx?sm=d_a Metalsmith magazine]
* [http://www.iforgeiron.com IForgeIron.com Metalworking Blueprints, Forum, Gallery and Reference]
* [http://members.vol.at/schmiede/feuerzange.htm Forging tongs (animation shows some typical smithing techniques)]
* [http://www.thedevilsworkshop.ca/howitsmade Video of a ring being forged by a metalsmith]
* [http://www.swordsquad.vze.com Sword Squad: Blacksmithing and Weapon Forum]
* [http://www.silversmithing.com Society of American Silversmiths]
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