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gtesser - 1138664
It's odd that I am not able to salvage the most common weapons I find on monsters, like lich axes or 2-handed hammers, so I was wondering what is a good way to increase blacksmithing skill. What should I craft that is not too expensive? arrows?
Alley Oop - 1138665
things with wooden handles, like axes and hammers, are salvagable on the carpentry table. salvage is still the best way to raise smithing, though, so find an area where the mobs have swords or daggers.
Vodalian - 1138671
Like the previous poster said, the examples you mention are carpenty items. But I will still give an answer about raising skills.

The thing that matters for raising smithing (and other skills) is how large your producer experience pool is. If you have a large pool, you can raise skills very easily by for example salvaging. It doesn't matter what you craft at that point.

The fastest way to raise producer exp is to craft items with high skill requirements. Some examples that I use are imbued potions, obsidian foods and wizard hats. Also raise them by mining and other harvesting skills, which is the cheapest way.
Daxxe Diggler - 1138883
All good advice so far. Here are a few tips that should apply to raising any crafting skill...

1. Start with a large Producer Pool (5 million is ideal but if you are new just raise it as high as you can before you start training the skill you want to raise) - This is most important because Skill gain is measured as a % of total pool per attempt, not a fixed amount per attempt!

2. (Optional) use an Obsidian Potion of Guidance ( 300% Skill Learning Speed for 7 Days) - basically triples the amount of XP you normally put in per attempt. It's like making 3 of the same items for the cost of 1.

3. (Optional) obtain the Blessing of Acquisition from the Lost Vale ( 50% Learn Rate for 3 Days) - Same as #2, but it's an extra 50% XP spent per attempt. If you have both active at once, it's a total of 350%!

4. Salvage is a good "free" option, but the XP gain per attempt is fairly low. Awesome for new players who don't have much gold though.

5. The first 5 or so attempts of a newly learned recipe will yield the most XP per attempt but there is diminishing returns. After you make a few, you get a reduced XP per attempt on repeated recipes. So a good plan is to make 5 of every new recipe you can find.

6. Higher level recipes yield more base producer XP per attempt. They sometimes cost more materials to make, but the XP gained for one attempt of those might be worth it. For example, if something cost 3x more materials but gives you 1000 XP per attempt instead of 100... In the long run, it will save you materials with the harder recipe.

7. Failures also give you producer XP and level up your skill. So, if you can find a low % chance recipe (where you will fail often) and the "Fuel" loss is minimal or better yet, nothing at all... skill up on those because you will keep your base materials and only lose the fuel (or nothing) and help retain your Producer Pool.

#'s 5 through #7 don't directly level you up faster, but they all help you maintain your Producer Pool while you are skilling up. And, going back to #1 (the most important factor) the larger your pool is when you make the attempt, the more xp goes into the skill per attempt.

So, yea, going back to #4 (the most popular suggestion)... Salvage is cheap and good early on, but when it starts giving you only 6 Producer XP to salvage a weapon and you are taking large % chunks from your pool on that same attempt... the end result is your pool drops faster and overall you level up slower. On the flip side, if you are gaining back larger chunks of XP per attempt (with new and/or harder recipes) then your pool will drop slower and overall you will skill up faster because of it. However, I highly recommend it early on, especially if you are just trying to get to certain milestones to open up higher tier skills in the tree.

Hope that makes sense. The main concept to understand here is that you don't level up a skill at a fixed rate per recipe. You level up at a % of total pool per attempt so XP Pool size is your main focal point.
Tiina Onir - 1138900
Most of what @Daxxe Diggler says is right on. There are a few more things to note:

Because anything with a wooden handle is carpentry (as @Alley Oop points out), you'll need swords, daggers, plate, and mail for the salvage trick. The Kobold slag-swords are readily available from Graff Gem mines. You'll want to keep your producer pool high as you can, so that's also a nice location because you can mine top-level nodes for the producer XP, and some of the resources you're going to need anyway. I think the vast majority of my levels in the base blacksmithing skill came from scrapping and making weapons for my own use (although, there is some deco items there for my own use, too).

It's worth noting that salvage will ONLY work for raising the base blacksmithing skill and the salvage skill. The masterwork skills must be raised by master-working weapons and armor. That's gonna take a lot of pieces, just no way around it. This is where having a big pool REALLY shines: lowering the number of silver and gold for masterwork and enchanting (I find enchanting harder then masterwork, FWIW)
gtesser - 1139339
Thank you, all.
Talimar - 1140191
The other thing is to only level one thing up at a time. So if you are doing the mastercraft; it's much, much easier to level mastercraft and then say sword specialization then it is to level both up at the same time.

Next up is noting that failed mastercraft attempts are useful in regards to landing a successful one. As such, using your crappy made items to level up is also useful. (some folk will even buy them.)

Gear: Mastercraft table, wayland loop. (think it's wayland, havent logged in for a while)
Hammer,tongs of prosperity a must if you don't want to waste too much money.
Nelzie - 1142527
Yeah, I JUST GM'd Black Smithing and Smelting. I'm working on GM'ing Efficient Refine, right now.

I have discovered that I can DRASTICALLY grow my pool when I set about to craft Plate armor and higher tiered weapons, like Bronze or Meteoric Iron Blades and Components. (I wish the Recipe Book showed the "Level" needed to craft those items, after we have added them to our books...)

Right now, I'm working on that Efficient Refining, so that I can end up with more finished Ingots and... I'll be applying much of that to Silver and Blades to get both the base Masterwork AND then the Bladed Weapons Masterwork up to GM. (Later Plate and Chain Mail.)

As for Enchantment... Anything that seems worth Enchanting will end up being enchanted, since there's only Weapons and Armor as a top tier skill, there... once the base Enchantment is GM'd, it won't matter what weapons or armor I end up crafting.
gtesser - 1150653
Does anyone have a Wayland Loop ring I can borrow for a few minutes to craft Warlock's Chain?