Give the gift of a knifemaking experience… or maybe treat yourself?
- Due to UK laws covering the sale of bladed articles, this course is only available to participants over 18 years of age.
The day is tailored to those who want to learn about bladesmithing and you will make a simple fire steel and either a viking style forged knife or a kitchen-knife type blade to take home and handle in your own time. As well as basic forging techniques we’ll cover basic heat treatment, grinding and sharpening
The aim of my course is to provide a simple introduction to the craft of bladesmithing, 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 – The forge is essentially run out of a double garage; but hopefully it may also serve to show what can be achieved “from home” for you too, if you are so inclined. From my small workshop I make hand forged 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 giver 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 09:15 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 and suitable clothing is essential. 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 worn. Sturdy footwear and old, comfortable clothes of natural materials are 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 forge 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, and there is also a small café a similar distance 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
Please look over the following Forge Safety Information
- Introduction to basic tools:
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
- Basic techniques and projects
Moving metal around, tapers, SOR, drawing out, setting down: forging J hooks
Building on the principles using high carbon steel: forging a fire steel (flint striker)
Bring your own – or there are shops and a café about a mile away
- Forging a “Viking Knife” or hidden tang kitchen knife blade to handle at home
Forging a blade, forming the handle or tang, initial grind.
Traditional heat treatment theory and techniques, final grind and sharpening
What to Bring
- Personal protective equipment
Sturdy footwear (preferably boots with toecaps)
If possible, please bring your own eye protection. I have spares if need be.
- Old clothing
Cotton and wool – No synthetics! Full length trousers, no shorts please.
Bear in mind it can get both very warm and very cold depending on the time of year!
- Packed lunch & Water bottle
Or head to the shops / Café
- Sense of humour
- Brews and biscuits provided!