Signing up, Blacksmith, Metalsmith

Hey everyone, just looking for a bit of general info from people with experiance rather than info on the army website.

I'm looking to join as a metalsmith. I have 6 1/2 years as a blacksmith, and a BA hons in artist blacksmithing. I have general fabrication skills in welding (gas,mig,mma and brazing), sheet metalwork and alot of experiance In heat treatment of specialist steels.

My questions are,

Will and if so, how will this experiance benefit me in the army?
What is general life like at bordon, on tours and social life?
Marriage quarters whilst in training?
And any other info you think may benefit me, (good and the bad).

many thanks in advance for taking the time for reading this,

Well I was told over the phone that's where the training was, but I don't know for sure. I just wanted some general info and advice/opinions. Anything you all could share would be great.
sounds like you have a pretty good job, you have to understand those are specialist skills you have, i've never even heard of artist blacksmithing.

You want my advice, do what my friend does, under water welding on oil rigs, travel the world (literally, he goes all over the place) and get paid shedloads.

As far as Army goes, i'm not sure, the only type of job i know is a farrier in one of the ceremonial cav units. If your into polishing stuff till your fingers bleed.

You won't need marriage quarters in training, you'll be too busy for any fun time. Marriage quarters when u get to battalion.

can't help with any of the other stuff i'm afraid, but you should talk to a recruiter, they are really good and (at least in the edinburgh office) really helpfull.

edited for being a mong
Cheers, I will do. To be honest, I love working with metal and working with my hands. So any metalwork will be good. Initially i want to go for four years and save some money to pump into my business. But if I enjoy it too much I may go for 11+ years. I will have a chat with them this week. I know there is very little blacksmithing done now, but the knowledge alone helps my fabrication skills, understanding metallurgy etc. Cheers for the replies


Book Reviewer
be careful what you wish for , two of my oppos wanted to be Welders so they were posted to 31 Armoured Engineers " to get the feel of metal " god bless the armys' sense of humour .
If you're looking to make some money to build your business up I would respectfully suggest that you are unlikely to do it by joining the army for a few years.

If you're a good welder then coded welding and offshore work are more likely to get you some cash.
Engineering sounds like it would be good for you, it's not exactly what you want but it could be something to think about.. With your qualifications you would be a good catch for them.

Vehicle mech maybe or aviation tech, I know from what my recruiter told me they are popular jobs, but i guess with your quals you would be over qualified if anything, at least at the start compared with the other guys.

I think he said your looking at a year+ before you'll get in though.

My advice, if your like me and forget everything, write down all the questions you can think of and just bombard the guys in the office with questions.

Do you mind me asking why you want to join the army? only i'm a self employed builder and plasterer, and from what i saw metal workers were so specialised, they were raking it in. Always something i love to see, the old victorian metal work, so solid compared to the shite we get now. Bloody heavy though :p
Speaking as a metalsmith, I feel I may be qualified to help answer your questions at least in part.

Your experience will help a hell of a lot. It probably won't get you loaded onto a course any faster, however once on course it'll just mean that unlike a lot of people without the experience, you shouldn't find it too hard.

Phase 2 (your trade training) is still in Bordon. Bordon is sh!t. There's no 2 ways about it. It's boring, there's a lot of general bullshit that comes from it being a training establishment, but play the game and you'll get through with the minimum of pain.
Once you get out into the 'real' army, you'll find life is significantly different. Social life depends totally on who your mates are, but there's plenty of us that do like more than a few drinks.
As far as tours go, you'll most likely be part of a REME Batallion, so you'll hang around making all sorts of things in Bastion, and if you're needed to do a job out at a fob, you'll scratch your head and try to think of what you'll need with you, get on a truck, and go out and do the job.

You won't get a pad through phase 1, however if you're lucky and get things sorted quickly, you might be able to get a pad for whilst you're at bordon. A few of people I know got told it won't happen as you're not there long enough to make it worthwhile, but try your luck and see what happens.

The majority of jobs I get at my current place are a shed load of sheared bolt removals, heating the crap outta stuff to loosen things up, body repairs on landrovers, and beating warrior rear bins back into shape so they'll shut after some cnut's reversed into a wall and re-designed them. Along with that, you'll get the standard requests for nutty bolty men, bbqs, metal roses, re-welding exhausts, repairing sills on civvy cars and all that lot. I haven't got a forge, so any blacksmithing work is done with a gas torch.... Do-able, but time consuming.

As you mentioned, the understanding of the blacksmithing side of things will help out the rest of your job, and this is mirrored by all the training done, as it's meant to give you a wide range of options for when you only have the minimum of kit. Knowledge is a powerful tool in itself!

It's a great trade with **** prospects, but I love what I do which most of the time makes up for it. And like has been said, if you're looking to build up capital for a business, I'd say stay away... There's better paid options out there.
I'd still recommend it to anyone though! Good luck!
Cheers for that, a great insight! I'd prefer to make less money doing something I liked, than get more money for something I didn't. I'm I to all types of metalwork. I want to get into the army for a number of reasons. Financial stability for a few years..or more. I only need around 6-10,000 for my business. I have a large clientel of knife fanatics whi I create bespoke knives from kitchen to combat. I use steels from japan, the USA and Sheffield. So I will be busy in my free time too. Once I get my digs sorted "semi-permanent" then i'l ship over my portable forge for use in my free time.

I also want to increase my health and fitness and love pushing myself to my limits. There are other various reasons but I want a hand on job in a varies line of work. Here near Belfast most of the engineering/metalworking jobs are for lathe operators, or surface grinders. And no real opportunity for a varying job role.

Thanks again for the info!
Oo and as far as working on pipelines and oil rigs.....not so good with sea sickness. And I don't mind scuba diving, but not to those depths, and the mortality stats are not very good as things down there are less predictable than the enemy! But thanks for your input.
Oo and as far as working on pipelines and oil rigs.....not so good with sea sickness. And I don't mind scuba diving, but not to those depths, and the mortality stats are not very good as things down there are less predictable than the enemy! But thanks for your input.
Could you get over the sea sickness for £23.50 an hour if you didn't have to do it underwater?

(And yes I know that job is out of date!)
Perhaps....but not sure I would enjoy the job, i'l do a wee search on it to weigh the options. Got hopes set on an army metalsmith really.
At those rates you could do hobby blacksmithing and join the TA in your spare time while putting away a decent sum of money. Worth a thought.

Good luck with whatever path you choose. :)
True, I'm off to the careers open day in Belfast this weekend, so I'll ask all the questions then and get more info, and i'l still consider other jobs, but looking forward to it all either way. Once I'm in the right financial position blacksmithing will be my full-time job as it is now, and possible TA to supplement, many options to consider. Cheers again guys!
Check your PM's


Get a 457 visa and come to Oz. Work in the mines for 12 months and you'll have plenty of cabbage.

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