Blacksmithing is awesome. I had 2 hours of instruction (safety and demo), 1 hour of hands-on time, and then I made these chopsticks in 1.5 hours today. They’re super easy to make. Hot metal has the consistency of clay, and we used modelling clay (or something similar) to model blacksmithing operations.
So, in conclusion, random blacksmithing is not difficult, all you do is heat up the metal and work it.
It’s (a) the setup can be expensive or time-consuming and (b) getting good at blacksmithing takes infinite time.
Also, to learn / refresh on lathe-work, I made two wooden tops.
[2 Feb 2010: Temporary doublepost from http://nouyang.blogspot.com/2011/01/iap-2011-chopsticks-and-toy-top.html as I sort through my posts.]