This is mostly a reference post for any that are wondering the time required to get good enough to smith with iron. As I am not to steel yet, I cannot comment on that.
I finally made it to where I can start producing beginning iron gear and materials at the 251 hour mark. This said, I probably could have gotten to this point faster but I would have had to specialize in it exclusively. (I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS in Wild Terra unless on PVE server!!!) If I would have done this, I estimate anywhere from 100-150 hours of game time to get to where a player would be at 100% to smith ingots and nails. Its hard to pinpoint the actual time investment because each player will find/discover ore at different rates, and skill failure and success rates will all be different.
As stated above, I expect this time frame to be about the average for a player that is trying to be well rounded and focusing on all skills and full game experience. The process could be completed quicker if a player were to exclusively focus on blacksmithing, but I do not recommend this on any server except PVE however because the player will not be able to protect their Dominium effectively on PVP. In order to survive and thrive in Wild Terra, players need to build all skills up in order to build the proper fortifications and gear. On top of it all, its fun to work on them all and breaks up the monotony of only focusing on one thing.
This may seem like a long time to work and wait, but the game experience from it is amazing and immersive!
Keep up the good work!