Give the gift of a blacksmithing experience… or maybe treat yourself?
A brief introduction to the basic tools and techniques of blacksmithing. Spend a day in the forge, learn the basics and take home some simple products you have made yourself. I can accommodate up to two attendees at a time.
The aim of my courses is to provide a simple introduction to the craft of blacksmithing, to hopefully demonstrate how much can be achieved with relatively simple tools and little outlay, and to pass on some skills that will last a lifetime and perhaps plant a seed that may grow and develop and perhaps forge a new career! And obviously, I aim to make the experience as enjoyable as possible too!
My setup here is simple – I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive my small workshop; but hopefully it may also serve to show what can be achieved “from home” for you too, if you are so inclined. From my garage I make knives and blacksmith products and ship them worldwide on a daily basis, and earn enough crust to support my family, so I can certainly testify as to what is possible with a small space!
I very much look forward to meeting you, hope we can make some fantastic stuff that you can be proud of, and above all hope you enjoy your experience at Gate Foot Forge.
Upon purchase, I will post out a voucher. This can either be to the river or the recipient – if the recipient, then please specify and address and gift message below. The recipient can then contact me to book a course at a mutually agreeable time. I’m afraid that for the sake of my neighbours I must try and keep noise to a minimum at weekends, so courses can only be booked on weekdays. Vouchers are valid for up to 12 months from the date issued and are only redeemable if signed by my good self!
On the day…
Courses commence at 09:00 and aim to be completed by 17:00. If we finish the planned itinerary early, we can always find more stuff to do to fill the day! PPE is essential, and for health and hygiene reasons I must the attendee(s) to provide their own. Details of what to bring are provided on the course itinerary sheet, and I’m afraid I cannot commence courses if adequate PPE is not brought and worn. Old, comfortable clothing of natural materials is essential. Please avoid synthetics, which tend to weld themselves to skin in the event of sparks or fire. In winter, the workshop can get very cold. Conversely, with the forges running and some energetic activity, it can similarly get very warm – so a range of clothing is useful. Due to the heat it is important to keep hydrated too, so I recommend bringing a water bottle.
I will provide all consumables to fulfil the projects we will cover as well as teas, coffees and biscuits throughout the day. You must bring your own lunch so save me the minefield of dealing with catering, dietary requirements and allergies etc! The nearest shop is approximately 1 mile away.
Please respect my neighbours when parking – there is usually more space a short way down the road.
I will work to the pace of the attendees, and will endeavour to include any specific aspects they wish, within reason, so this is only a guide:
- Brew and safety chat
- Introduction to basic tools and techniques:
The gas forge and the coke forge – benefits and drawbacks… and getting things lit!
Hammer and anvil, tongs, punches, drifts, fullers, scrolling dogs, hardy tools
Moving metal around, tapers, SOR, drawing out.
- Making a basic project
e.g. J hooks or fire poker
- More advanced techniques
Setting down, punching, drifting, scrolling
- Making a more advanced project
e.g. bottle opener, leaf keychain etc.
Obviously while the pandemic is prevalent, any booking must be subject to current local and national regulations and bookings may be moved and rescheduled as necessary. In such cases the 12 month validity period of course vouchers will be extended if necessary.