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What is an effective way to level smithing?

I have pretty crappy armor, and I was just wondering what the best way is to level up you smithing... also, please tell the best way to get ingredients for it, so I can actually make good armor :)

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marked as duplicate by authenticgeek, OrigamiRobot, Ashley Nunn, badp Feb 24 '12 at 10:09

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There is a loop that you can use to make money but to do it effectively with out waiting all the time, you should take advantage of a neat 'bug' in the game where you save your game, kill a shop keeper, reload the game, and see that the shop keeper has new inventory.

You will need a bit of starting gold, 1000 should do it, as well as a good enchantment for weapons. Damage Stamina is fairly common even at a low level and is one of the better paying ones (You can almost always be guaranteed this enchantment from the Whiterun Axe).

With those in hand go to a smith and buy 4 pieces of Iron Ingots/Ore for every 1 piece of Leather (Note with varying costs of purchase I can not give you exact prices, and note that Leather is actually more expensive than Iron, especially if you can find it in ore). Spend around 300-400g on this, you should easily be able to buy enough materials to make 6-7 daggers.

Smelt the Ore into Ingots and make the leather into strips then smith as many iron daggers as you can from them. Head over to a wizard who sells soul gems and is near an enchantment table. Purchase with all your remaining money Petty Gems that are already filled (they should cost around 100g). Save your game, kill the wizard, reload your guy, buy any more filled petty gems you can. Keep doing this until you either run out of gold, or you have the same number of petty gems as you do iron daggers.

Head over to the enchantment table and put your enchantment on each of the daggers. You will want to make sure that you raise the worth of the dagger to atleast around 300-400g each. This will cover the price of the materials and even make you a bit of a profit when yuo sell them for 150-200+ gold. (will depend on your skill level in enchantment ofcourse).

Now, go back to the smith. Sell off all of the daggers they have the money to buy. Save the game, kill the smith, reload, sell off any more. At this point in time you should also be starting the process all over again (ie, start buying ore and such while selling off the daggers and resetting the inventory).

Always leave yourself enough to buy a handful of Petty Gems to enchant the daggers, as that is how you make them worth enough to cover the costs. Using this loop you can max not only Smithing but also Enchanting and as you progress, make yourself a nice little nest egg of cash.

A word of note, the price of enchanted weapons seems to go Down the better your skill gets. I have not worked out the details entirely to know how to advice on this. I will generally unlock the perks that raise my skill to give them a boost in their effectiveness, but I have seen time and again that unlike Alchemy which increases their value as you increase their effectiveness, weapons seem to degrade slowly.

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I'd add that, if you have the cash, it's best to buy out a merchant's stock of Iron Ore, Iron Ingots, Leather and Leather Strips. You can use the surplus of leather to make Leather Bracers. You can also store everything in your house if you'd like to level Enchanting later. –  brymck Feb 24 '12 at 6:46
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I actually would add in the leather bracers but I would never enchant them, the armor enchants are just not worth as much as weapon ones is all.. and if you are starting out with little cash I suggest keeping it to the daggers until you got spare :) –  James Feb 25 '12 at 19:56

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