Forge Practice (Elementary) is a must have book originally published in 1904 by John Lord Bacon.
The basics of blacksmithing hasn’t changed over the years and I have seen beginners and masters alike at Hammer-ins and Demonstrations perform these very things listed and discussed here in this book.
I have said before, and its likely I will say it a bunch more, if you want to learn to blacksmith the best thing to do is find someone to teach you, failing that fall back on the old books like this and prepare to make a lot of mistakes from practicing.
I like these old blacksmith books because they don’t rely on power tools and technology. Everything an old time blacksmith had available you can find, plus the modern metal is better and of a more known quality.
The metal issue will help you make much better knives, but if may also make your blacksmithing more difficult, as the only issue with following old blacksmith advice is that the traditional wrought iron is much harder to come by.
When I bang on metal, I use scrap and mild steel from the local farm store.
As it related to this book, the author wanted the readers to know that this book does not take the place of shop work and the activities are not organized to be done in sequence, but are grouped by type for easy reference.Forge Practice (Elementary)