Basic Blacksmithing and Firetool Making

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Welding a basket handle.Page updated Saturday, April 23, 2005. This page will be rewritten and updated when new classes are scheduled soon.

1) Basic blacksmithing and fire tool making. Class length is 1 and a half days.

Beginning on Friday night. Setup is Friday night so we can make sure all the forges brought to the seminar, are working. A short demonstration of basic techniques and some blacksmithing related tapes are planned for the evening. A forge welding demonstration will be held Friday evening and the item to be welded is a basket cage handle for fire tools, for those smiths ready to advance their skills. See what the basket cage is used for lower on this page. It is not necessary to be present for this evening session.

Fire tools made at a recent seminar.Hands-on training begins Saturday. The project for this class is the making of fire-tending tools for new smiths while learning professional fire tending techniques. Bending, punching, drawing, tapering, twisting, riveting willing will be taught in the process of making the tools the smith will need for his/her own forge work at home. The fire tools to be made during the class will have simple scrolled handles like the ones in the photo at left. The tools made in photo at left were made by one of the students during the latest class and are light-weight and strong enough for years of use. Participants keep the fire tools.

And again, focus will be on professional fire tending techniques. No hollow fires or 'igloo' fires are taught here. We will use a much simpler and hotter type of fire which is also ideal for fire-welding.

What to bring. Students need to bring hammers if they have them. However there are two complete forging stations with tools at this shop so there will be tools for a couple of smiths. What kinds of hammers? Cross peens types are the best for this class, in the 2 lb. to 3.5 lb. range. Need both if you have them. Ball peens will work also. Claw hammers should be avoided. We have all the tongs needed as well as other supplies. Participants must bring their own safety glasses, goggles or face shields. Gloves are not needed and will actually cause problems in this class.



Cost of this class is $30.00. Due to the high price of smithing materials and supplies when we run this class again the cost of the class may be higher.

Blacksmith's fire toolsAt right is a photo of the author's fire tools with welded basket cage style handles. In this class it is the scrolled handled style fire tools that we will make. While the basket cage handles are demonstrated at the beginning of the class, it is only to show how it is done. Fire welding is too complex to be effectively taught in this class. The basket handles are more comfortable to use and many smiths eventually make this style when their skills improve enough to allow them to do so. Again we will be making the scrolled style handles in this class as seen in the photo above left.







For class dates and location see Blacksmith Class Announcement page at

Updated Saturday, April 23, 2005.

Under construction. June 11th, 2001.