I was frustrated about Forging when I first started, and then I found the guide @Cactopod posted. Everything changed after studying that guide. The biggest problem for me was not understanding the mats at all. The guide goes into great detail. I’m no master but I’m not bad at it. The key is really knowing when to use what, and why you’re using it. .
I would recommend using the guide and following it exactly how it’s written… then once you have a better understanding you can tweak it to your liking.
The other big thing is just having patience and the willingness to deconstruct. It can be time consuming and I deconstruct a lot, but in the end I don’t end up with bad forges.
I’m one of those who only forges what I need for my shop… it’s not my favorite thing to do in the game… far from it… but it sells well enough.
I could have sworn someone posted a link to a program that you can practice on… I just don’t remember what it was.