My short bio: I am an achondroplastic dwarf and I am wanting to become a blacksmith. In the last couple of weeks I posted pics of my craft ( and a lot of people asked me to do an AMA, so here it is. I will try and answer any and all questions you have. P.S. This is my first AMA so I apologize in advance if I do something wrong.

My Proof:

Comments: 564 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

Feelz32280 karma

In the event of an apocalyptic event, would you like to come live in my bunker? We have neither a dwarf nor a blacksmith, so this would kinda kill two birds with one stone. Plus it kinda balances things out since the carpenter is 6'9".

Branedeadzero354 karma

I would be honored to join your bunker, but one reference to Master Blaster and I'm out. Deal?

friedrice500535 karma

Don't go to his bunker, I can promise you some sexy dwarven women! Yes, they're "technically" garden gnomes with bras, but in a post-apocalyptic world (and without any lights) you could go to town all night long.

Branedeadzero30 karma


Strait_Fucky140 karma


Branedeadzero93 karma

Not yet and I'm not sure if that would be some sort of copyright infringement. :)

NilsNudlar108 karma

Can you swing an axe?

Branedeadzero179 karma

Oh yes.

Pryne83 karma

Is there a market for smithing?

Branedeadzero137 karma

I'm not 100% sure on this, but there is a very small market on it. Blacksmith now a days either work on horse ranches or make props for movies.

11doctor276 karma

very small market


Branedeadzero210 karma

Lol that wasn't intentional!

juicemanman83 karma

Do you prefer to be called a dwarf over midget or little person...

Branedeadzero172 karma

I prefer Dwarf. Little person is also ok. I don't like midget.

SquirrelsAreAwesome66 karma

Do others you know of similar stature have differing views? I've heard unconfirmed reports that "dwarf" is an insult to some.

With dwarves being so badass in the vast majority of literature, I don't see how anyone could find it an insult personally.

Branedeadzero88 karma

I have and I would say there is about 80% of us prefer "dwarf" while the other 20% prefer "midget". So far every LP that I have met is ok with "little person".

SoullessGinga68 karma

What about hobbits

Branedeadzero245 karma

Yeah...that would get you kicked in the shin.

SoullessGinga66 karma

That's why I asked on the internet and haven't asked a real little person

Branedeadzero71 karma

Lol happy to help.

yottskry0 karma

How about just "person"? I'm not entirely sure why a label is necessary at all.

Branedeadzero10 karma

It makes it easier when describing someone.

Arctic_Religion72 karma

I'm a firefighter and first off I want to say you're a badass. I love your work man! Second off, could you craft a shield or something of the sort? Some of us firefighters like to call the fires we fight dragons. I just think it would be cool symbol of our work

Branedeadzero75 karma

I would love to make something for you guys when I get everything up and running.

Arctic_Religion54 karma

Man that's the best thing I've heard all day. There's no rush brother! I really appreciate it! Where are you located?

Branedeadzero62 karma


saysseemsthatway57 karma

Hey I'm in Oregon! I know it's a big place and it's really not that statistically amazing, but I find it awesome that cool people are around me in cool places doing cool stuff. I do wood projects. I will make you a thing in exchange for a thing.

Branedeadzero50 karma

Deal! I will keep you informed when I start making things.

not_your_sheep55 karma

What do you think of dwarf communities?

I can't find any links, but I've seen photos of entire communities with scaled houses and shops, in America.

What do you know about them? Share your secrets with us.

Branedeadzero68 karma

I think they are pretty cool, but I know very little about them. Sorry, no secrets to share.

moscow_troll45 karma

can you make yourself a mohawk, dye it and your beard red and pose for a badass photoshoot with the biggest scariest axe you will be able to find/make by yourself?


terribly sorry if i stereotypize you too much, but i would so much love to see a real life guy like this.

Branedeadzero59 karma

Not making any promises, but If I ever go to Comicon, PAX or any other convention like that I will definitely consider it.

brunodnc45 karma

Do you and your buddys of the dwarf secret society are planning to slave us giants, using sorcery and metal weapons?

Branedeadzero133 karma

I'm not aloud to comment on that topic at this time.

ThatSwellGentleman19 karma

So you're quiet then?

Branedeadzero19 karma


EdVolpe33 karma

Forgive me if I appear rude, are your tools and equipment adjusted for your height?

Do you specialise in armour/weapons or would you like to do sculptures/smithing art as well?

Thanks mate!

Branedeadzero62 karma

Nope, I use the same tools any other person would use. With my particular dwarfism my hands aren't as stunted as my arm length and legs.

I hope to do a little bit of everything that Blacksmithing has to offer, but I would like to specialize in medieval and fantasy based arms and armor.

batalpaca28 karma

How much is actually stunted? ;)

Branedeadzero46 karma

My arms are several inches shorter and my legs are about a foot shorter then your average joe.

Im_Jacks_Quotes56 karma

(She means your penis)

Branedeadzero59 karma

Oh my! Sorry, but that's privates. ;)

SmoulderingPotato32 karma

Becoming a blacksmith was always something I was interested in (more so as a hobby than anything) What made you want to become one originally?

Thanks for the AMA!

Branedeadzero114 karma

Growing up I was really big into Tolkien, Dragonlance, D&D. Pretty much anything that showed dwarves in a positive light and in most of them dwarves were considered great craftsman. So that's what started my passion for the trade.

OlderThanGif51 karma

Do you feel like you got any bonus to your constitution?

Branedeadzero90 karma

Oh yeah. +2 at least ;)

Omegaile55 karma

And you didn't lose any points on charisma, according to your pics. Congratulations.

Branedeadzero50 karma

Thank you.

Lanathell26 karma

Following the cliché series, do you plan to drink beer more and more ?

I love your beard !

Branedeadzero49 karma

No, I still try and be as responsible as I can. I only get super drunk if I am celebrating something.

zoukon22 karma

Do you have a "normal" alcohol tolerance, given that your body is so small?

Branedeadzero44 karma

No, actually I am a pretty cheap drunk since the alcohol doesn't have that far to go.

twitch198211 karma

The dwarves of old had such great tollerance because, like all things, Practice makes perfect :)

Branedeadzero9 karma

Indeed. :)

PotatoHumper25 karma

Do people make jokes about you being an aspiring Dwarven blacksmith at all?

Branedeadzero83 karma

Oh yeah, and I don't blame them. I've even cracked a few jokes at my own expense. I know I'm playing into the D&D dwarf stereotype pretty hard, but its a craft that I love and I don't mind when people poke fun. Sometimes they can be quite funny.

Wereder23 karma

Hey dude, props to you! You're seeking your dream, getting that internet fame, and making light of your shortness. Keep doing what your doing!

But now for my actual question. If I wanted to pursue blacksmithing as a hobby, what would I have to do to get started?

Branedeadzero27 karma

The big things you will need is an anvil and forge. There are a lot of different sources on the internet to find these at ok prices. Most people make there forges from everyday things. These websites helped me out a lot and I hope they can help you out too:

TheEpicDuck22 karma

How tall are you?

Branedeadzero39 karma

I am 4'3"

Waterrat19 karma

Will this be mainly for the SCA? When I was in it,I remember there was a a blacksmith at one event and he was interesting to watch.

Branedeadzero32 karma

No, this is more for me and learning trade. I was in the SCA for a bit, but RL got in the way and I haven't been to an event in quite some time. I would definitely bring my craft to the SCA if I ever attend an event again.

Waterrat11 karma

Ah, understood..So you would be making shoes for horses and such?

Branedeadzero19 karma

That's not on the top of my list to craft, but I anyone request it I would give it a shot.

Thopterthallid19 karma

Could you upload a video of yourself singing "Far over the misty mountain" ? Preferably in front of a fireplace, smoking a pipe?

Branedeadzero23 karma

I'm not sure about that. I love singing and all, but I am not the best at it.

NiceIce18 karma

Check out Man at Arms channel on YouTube.

For some reason I can't post a link there from my phone. It always goes to the wrong place. :(

Anyway, just do a search. He's an incredible blacksmith with 30 years of experience who has made weapons for over 200 feature films.

Branedeadzero39 karma

Oh yeah. I've been subscribed since he did Finn's golden sword.

jasperquestionmark18 karma

i learned how to make chain mail at a renaissance fair a few years ago, and it is a really time consuming process. how long did it take to make a whole shirt?

Branedeadzero18 karma

A whole shirt by myself takes about a month and a half and that's not including making the rings. Making enough rings takes about a week or so.

I_do_not_like_me17 karma

Does the beard get in the way when smithing? Got any horror stories of near misses?

When I used to do it a long time ago, someone would take a white hot, sparking piece out of the forge and yell "WELDING!" then slam down with the hammer really fast and sparks would shower you, sometimes going down your gloves or shirt collars where you couldn't escape from them.

Branedeadzero31 karma

Not as much as one thinks. I usually put it in a braid and that helps keep it out of the way.

never_quit_fighting17 karma

What kind of forge do you have / are you planning to make?

Also, thumbs up! I've always thought blacksmithing looked like it would be really rewarding as a hobby. Someday....

Branedeadzero27 karma

I plan to do a brakedrum forge which is coal burning, but I have been getting a lot of other blacksmiths telling me to use a gas forge. So I might be shifting in that direction.

batalpaca16 karma

Have you sold anything that you've made yet? If so how much do they run for?

Branedeadzero27 karma

As far as what I sell right now, I make flower barrettes and chain maillie key chains. I sell them both at $5 each.(plus shipping)

Strait_Fucky11 karma


Branedeadzero17 karma

Not yet. I plan to sell some things off of here soon.

Evil_This23 karma

Just a side note you may want to check out Square. You get a little card reader for a smartphone/3G tablet for in-person sales and get to have a free store/shop set up on their 'Square Market' to sell directly from. Better rates than any bank or etsy or ebay will ever give you, payouts quick, and the site design bit is really simple and can look pretty awesome. It's helped my business to some significant degree.

Branedeadzero11 karma

Thanks for the tip. :)

Madnessrains15 karma


Branedeadzero37 karma

I started several years ago with making chain maillie armor and jewelry. Just cold forged stuff that was cheap and easy to make. In the last year though I put more time and effort into and had realized that it is something I wanna do as a career. When I do become a blacksmith I will make armor and weapons for anyone that wants them. And no I will not build an army.....just arm them. (sshhh) ;)

AGoodMan32414 karma

Top five movies??

Branedeadzero31 karma

What about Bob, Black Dynamite, Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Dragonslayer and A Knight's Tale.

CPnieuws13 karma

You're a freaking badass.

Branedeadzero9 karma

Thank you my friend!

dt1311 karma

My dad was taking blacksmithing lessons from a Mennonite before he died. He made some really cool things. Have you considered creating iron and copper things together, like fancy candle holders, boot scrapers, etc.? Or are you mostly about warfare items?

Branedeadzero17 karma

I wanna make it all. I do wanna specialize in arms and armor, but I will definitely not limit my self to just that area.

Zeake9610 karma

Do you ever feel like you born in the wrong era?

Branedeadzero59 karma

Lol right era, wrong reality.

DoctorDeath10 karma

I have been learning Blacksmithing (Knifemaking) for the past two years...

Where do you live?

Branedeadzero9 karma

Cool. I live in Oregon.

Caozao10 karma

Hello Branedeadzero! I love your posts so it's great to see you doing an AMA. Just two questions: Are you currently an apprentice blacksmith? Have you considered offering your smithing services to colonial or renaissance reenactors? Thanks again!

Branedeadzero14 karma

I am not an apprentice. Everything I have learned was self taught. When I know my skill is good enough I do plan to sell the things I make to the general public.

Psychamele0n10 karma

Do you have to deal with any difficulty because of being a dwarf?

Branedeadzero24 karma

Not really. This hobby doesn't have any height requirements so I would say it's as difficult for me as it is for anybody else.

CalamitousD9 karma

I don't have a question, I just wish you luck and I hope you get there soon. :)

Branedeadzero11 karma

Thank you my friend!

rolltidelucas9 karma

Thorin? Is that you?

Branedeadzero9 karma

Lol No, I am not that epic.

HandsomeDynamite8 karma

How does one get into blacksmithing as profession? I've asked a few people and they just said they "fell into it" or "got lucky". Is there a school with a comprehensive smithing program?

Are you going to specialize in anything, like weapons?

Favorite Fantasy dwarf?

Branedeadzero17 karma

Its pretty much self motivation. You just have to keep at it till you get where you wanna be in the trade.

I wanna do it all, but yes I would like to specialize in arms and armor.

Oh that's a tough one....Flint Fireforge from the Dragonlance series, but Tyrion Lannister is a close second.

Nanteitandaro8 karma

You sir, are a fucking legend.

Branedeadzero11 karma

Lol thank you.

Tahier8 karma

How did you start out learning your craft?

Edit: Blacksmithing has always been something I would love to learn but have no idea where to start.

Branedeadzero14 karma

I had a friend in the SCA teach me how to make my own rings and how to make European 4 in 1 chain maillie. I also watch a lot of youtube videos of different blacksmiths and such. These websites were also a really big help:

shaniastwain7 karma

Are there any non-obvious things that would make it difficult for a dwarf to be a blacksmith?

Branedeadzero11 karma

Not really. Luckily this is one hobby/profession that doesn't have a height requirement.

yottskry6 karma

Porn star is another, have you considered that?

Branedeadzero32 karma

Nope. To quote Ron Swanson my sexual history is "epic and private."

skyhighatrist237 karma

Is your specialty going to be short swords? Just playing, but what do you believe is the most effective weapon?

Branedeadzero22 karma

Any weapon is effective in the right hands. I prefer battle axe and a short broad sword. I always loved that weapon combination. I call it the Tooth & Claw style.

NeutralParty7 karma

I'd recommend taking up leather-working as well if you want to do some really nice pieces. I've known a leather-worker that did work like the props in the SAW movies and in his spare time or on commission there's some wonderful pieces he's made... just begging for some steel plating to make a full set of proper armour.

Branedeadzero12 karma

I have been using leather with a few things now, but I do know that I will need to learn a bit more about leather and such if I plan to do armor.

Regrind6 karma

Can you make blades? I could use a good solid machete.

Branedeadzero11 karma

Not yet, but I will soon.

KittenPerson6 karma

What inspired you to become a blacksmith?

Branedeadzero10 karma

At a young age it was all the fantasy based media. Book, games, movies, T.V. shows, etc...When I finally started working with metal it was exactly what I was expecting and I fell in love with it.

yottskry5 karma

Have you considered farriery as well as regular smithing? My farrier, while not a dwarf, is quite short (a former jockey) and he says being shorter is an advantage when shoeing a horse as it requires less bending and so less backache.

Branedeadzero6 karma

Yeah, that's kinda my plan B.

Historically5 karma


Branedeadzero7 karma

These websites helped me out a lot and youtube was a really good source as well.

HeadxDMC4 karma

Do you plan on taking up mining or just use the auction house to get all your mats?

Branedeadzero9 karma

Mining. Auction house can get ridiculous sometimes.

RedditFed3 karma

I think it is pretty awesome that you are legitimately a dwarf.

I mean most people with achondroplasia might be best described as little people, but you are legitimately a dwarf !

You rock an awesome beard, you are skilled with metals and blacksmithing, and can swing a mean axe !

I can shoot a bow or crossbow, and know a lot about different plants and herbs and stuff. We should go on an epic journey.

Branedeadzero3 karma

Lol that would be awesome my friend.

entroph3 karma

Have you got a website where we can buy your stuff? Or make requests for armor or weaponry?

Branedeadzero4 karma

Not yet. Once I get my shop up and running I will.

Zombiefun2 karma

Haha thats awsome, whats the coolest thing you've ever made? Whats something you wanna learn to make?

Branedeadzero4 karma

Coolest thing right now for me is my scale bracer. I really wanna learn how to make axes and helms.

Zeno_of_Citium1 karma

You've still got that damn beard I see.

Branedeadzero1 karma

Of course. :)

[deleted]1 karma


Branedeadzero3 karma

Internet has some great sources: and youtube has a lot of good videos on blacksmithing.

IAmGlobalWarming2 karma

Holy crap, fast response. I posted that at the top and then deleted it when I saw some similar questions further down. Still responding to your AMA 8 hours later? That's dedication. Thanks.

Branedeadzero3 karma

Yeah, I also don't work today. Plus its easy to do chainmaillie and answer questions.

zoukon1 karma

If you were to get into a fight, are you deadly at short distances? Have you ever made any type of armor?

Branedeadzero1 karma

Lol of course and yes.

Terdfergeson8771 karma

What level are you?

Branedeadzero4 karma

Level 7 Fighter.