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UPDATED August 17, 2019 - To better accommodate those who work weekends, we have added a few Thursday and Friday classes to the calendar, they are August 22/23, September 19/20, October 17/18, November 14/15 and December 26/27. All classes, regardless if Thursday/Friday or Saturday/Sunday, start at 9am and typically run until 6pm. Please check your email for updated class information 2 day before the scheduled class. Because of the addition of Thursday/Friday classes, please check your calendar to ensure the dates you select are the ones you want.
In addition we have added an add-on for this class at http://damsteel.eventzilla.net - Currently it is only available on the following dates: August 9th and 30th, September 6, October 25, November 22 and December 20th due to our preexisting schedules. With this add-on, students will arrive on Friday, making this a 3 day class, where you will forge a billet of Random Pattern Damascus steel for use in your Saturday and Sunday class! This is a labor intensive and precise class add on as there are a lot of individual factors involved but we're happy to be able to include this challenge and look forward to teaching it! At this moment this add-on requires separate booking/registration and is not tied into the weekend class registration - if you are anything like us, we appologize in advance for all the extra typing, but we promise you that it will be worth it! :)
If you have any questions not answered here, please call us at 717.469.5802 - Please keep in mind that we can't answer availability dates any better than you can by using the drop down menu on this page.
This class is an introduction to bladesmithing and will conclude with attendees completing at least 2 knives using various techniques. This is an intense two day class and while there is no set age requirements, we recommend the classes for ages 16 and over and is limited to 3 students per class and scheduling is done on a first come, first serve basis. All materials, including steel, abrassives and fuels needed to complete knives will be provided along with needed safety gear. We will be using a combination of coal and gas forges during classes. Belt grinders, air tools, abrasive saws and other power equipment may also be used by students. The area will be enclosed, but is still subject to the weather so we encourage students to dress in layers for their own comfort. With multiple forges burning at a time things can heat up quickly. Attendees must wear closed toe shoes, preferably work boots and are encouraged to bring their own tools such as hammers or tongs if they have them but this is not required.
For a tour of the forge, click here!
Saturday will consist of an introduction to the forge, its parts and the tools we will be working with. We will start by learning basic hammer techniques and students will learn to forge out a simple one piece knife, which will help give a feel for what will be required for forging out a larger full tang knife. Students will be given a piece of high carbon steel on which they will design a knife. This blank will be shaped by stock removal and will be used as a reference template when forging out our main goal, the hand forged knife. The rest of Saturday will be over the anvil, working the steel to shape, followed by basic clean up of the finished blank and will conclude with annealing.
Sunday, the forged blades will be removed from the annealing box and students will design the handles, including making holes for pins in both the forged blade and the blade template they made. From here on out, we will be working two blades at the same time. Students will then learn to use files and various power equipment to refine blade shape and beveling the edges. Blades will be returned to the forge for normalization and hardening. During the tempering cycle students will refine handle shapes and we will have open discusion of various forging techniques/open forge time as our schedule permits. After tempering students will fit handles, set pins and learn to finish. This will include using files, power tools and hand sanding to bring the blade and handle to their final forms.
Classes will begin at 9am and end around 5:30 - 6pm with a break for lunch. Refreshments will be provided. Attendees are responsible for their own lodging if needed and there are several motels, hotels and bed & breakfasts within short driving distance in both Hershey, Elizabethtown, Hummelstown and even nearby Mount Joy. Class is rain, snow or shine, but please include your celphone number if possible in the event we need to get a hold of you. Due to the upfront costs of materials and scheduling, classes are non refundable but we will gladly reschedule to suit a change in your schedule.
- Learn proper firing of the forge
- Safety in the use of equipment
- Blade design and geometry
- Hammer techniques
- Forging the blade
- Stock Removal
- Various forms of heat treatment
- Handle construction
- Stabilizing of wood
- Final Assembly and more!
Class Cost Breakdown and Cancelation Policy: The standard cost of classes is $415. Tuition covers all consumable materials. We do not offer refunds for classes due to the advanced scheduling, limited spots available and lead time required to order materials and consumables for each student; however, we run classes year round and will gladly work with you to find a different class to better suit your schedule.