Last weekend, partially in anticipation of the Darkmoon Faire Dense Stone turn in (see Mageshadow's and Cold's posts for more details, and be sure to check out the awesome Consortium Forums thread on the subject), and partially because I wanted to get in to the Ebonsteel Belt Buckle market, I power-leveled blacksmithing on my rogue. Thankfully I had almost all of the mats required to get to about 425 stockpiled from when I leveled mining on my pally in anticipation of Cata, so it only ended up costing me a few thousand to level. But I highly doubt anyone came here to read about the grueling process of power-levling a profession from scratch. Rather, I'd like to share a few little insights on how to make gold with blacksmithing!
First off, having an enchanter is incredibly useful, as you'll be making an absurd amount of green items that probably won't sell to well on the AH. It's also necessary for my first tip. Enchanted Thorium Blades is an item you can learn to make at 300 skill. The recipe requires two Enchanted Thorium Bars, six Thorium Bars, and one piece of Rugged Leather. While Enchanted Thorium Bar requires one Thorium bar and three Dream Dust (and an enchanter or miner to make), I've found that they can be picked up for dirt cheap on the AH. The Undermine Journal seems to show that most servers list these for <5g each. So it shouldn't cost you more than ~20g to make. But, you may be wondering, why all the fuss about some lame thrown weapon? Well, it's not about the item, it's about what it disenchants into! Each weapon will disenchant into one to two Greater Eternal Essence about 77% of the time, according to Wowhead, and this seems accurate from what I've experienced. GEE are used for a lot of twink and BiS BoA enchants, and from what I've gathered, they're in rather short supply right now. So check your AH, these could be a gold mine. And if you're leveling blacksmithing, making these can save you a ton of gold too. The recipe will turn green at 330 skill (and grey out at 340), allowing you to avoid having to make a lot of stuff with the likely expensive Fel Iron Bars.
There's nothing too important to note for the rest of the grind to 525 before you start making Cata recipes. I did find that having all that Saronite Ore stockpiled came in handy when I didn't want to pay for Colbat Ore while leveling through LK recipes. When you get to the Cata stuff, don't be too quick to dismiss what you're making as worthless. I believe I've managed to sell nearly every piece of armor I made from 425-525 on the AH at or near profit. If you're following a leveling guide, such as the one at WoW-Professions.com, like I did, this is where it's handy to understand what you're making, and what it's good for. The starting armor you make is really good, especially for people just leaving LK content. Ore and bars are really cheap now, so you should be able to craft a lot of the starting greens for profit. Don't ignore the blue weapons too. The lvl 81 ones are all great for almost anyone, and should fetch a good sum on the AH (I've managed to sell two or three for ~500g each). I'd avoid Holy plate for now, simply because I don't think too many people like leveling in a healing spec. Theoretically, I'd imagine Prot plate would sell the best given the steep increase in difficulty of Cata regular dungeons, but I haven't bothered to test that theory out yet.
Naturally, once you get high enough you'll want to look in to making the PvP armor. I actually haven't bothered too much with plate PvP armor, though what I did make has sold rather quickly. Check your AH before picking up a recipe, you don't want to make something that's worthless or won't sell. If you go to the "Enhancement" section on TUJ, you can get a nice comparison of what the armor sells for and what the mats cost, so that should make the decision much easier. Finally, at 525 you can start making Ebonsteel Belt Buckles. These are awesome and tend to sell rather well, but be prepared for a lot of competition. Having a miner will come in handy to smelt Pyrium Bar, as the ore often seems to go for a lot less than the bars.
But wait, there's one last tip I must impart! Pyrium Weapon Chain is a handy little enchant for PvP players, or anyone looking to add a little extra hit to reach the cap. Best of all, it only takes one Pyrium Bar to make! I have been able to craft these for under 20g, and sell them for upwards of 100g. They don't move too fast, but there's also not a lot of competition (at least on my server), and the ROI on these things definitely makes them something to look in too.
That's all for now. Like my adventures in Leatherworking, I'll be sure to get an update out with any new and exciting gold making secrets I stumble across while messing around with these professions.