Thursday, June 3, 2010

Classes at 5 Elements Forge

Well, as I could have predicted, even trying to get something here once a week is proving to be hard for me. However...

Classes at 5 Elements Forge!

As everyone is aware, the care and feeding of shop trolls is a delicate and expensive proposition. In order to make sure that all of them get fed, I am offering classes in metal working at my shop in Duvall Wa.

I’m offering classes at the forge, partly to make enough to keep the lights on, partly because it is something I like to do and because it’s in keeping with the tenets of the American Bladesmith Society.

I have enough space to take as many as 3 students at a time for hands-on classes.

So what kinds of classes am I offering?

As an ABS Journeyman I have a broad range of topics I feel equipped to cover.

Basic forging: This class will cover the basic elements of forging steel, we could also cover hot and cold forging of non-ferrous metals (copper, brass, nickel and the like) if there is an interest. We will make some simple tools, scrolls, hooks, perhaps a dinner bell, or a door handle.

Basic knife making: In this class we will cover the following: Steel and steel selection, knife design, the pros and cons of forging vs stock removal, forging a knife blank, grinding a forged blank, heat treating of a knife, guards and handles, finishing techniques. This is a 3 day class, though it does not have to be 3 days all in a row. In order for you to take home a finished knife it takes that much time.

Single topic in depth classes: Say you want to learn to forge a knife, but you are willing to do the finishing yourself in your own shop. Or perhaps you just want to learn about heat treating carbon steel. Or any of the other things I have mentioned. I can do that.

Making damascus steel: Sounds very exotic, doesn’t it? I can teach the basics of making pattern welded steel, making a billet, the basic patterns (ladder, pool and eye, twist) and can cover some of the elements of mosaic damascus. This is mostly a demonstration class, though everyone would get to take home a piece of damascus steel. Since this is a demonstration (rather than a hands on event) I can have as many as 5 or 6 people in the shop for this.

Advanced topics: The making of an ABS test knife. We will forge and test an ABS Journeyman style knife. If you have an interest in going down the ABS road, or simply want to build a high performance knife, this is the class. It will take 3 days to cover all of the information and build the knife. I am not an ABS Master, and so I cannot oversee the actual performance test. I can, however, guide you through the process and do everything but sign the form.

I think it likely that someone will have a request to cover topics that I haven’t thought of. I will do my best to satisfy your requests, and if I don’t feel competent to do it, I’ll tell you. Perhaps I can find someone who has the skills to teach the class, fees will have to be negotiated.

Prices. I’ll bet you are wondering what all of this is going to cost, aren’t you? $100 a day, per person. I provide the class, tools, and materials, plus coffee and snacks for breakfast, and lunch. We have a couple of nice local places to provide lunch, a pizza place and a great BBQ spot, and of course burgers and dogs or chili is always an option.

So come and become a patron of 5 Elements Forge, and help keep the shop trolls fed.