• We run quite a lot of knifemaking courses at Tharwa Valley Forge, so it’s no surprise that we field a lot of questions from students about how to get into knifemaking at home.

    As with any creative pursuit, we meet a lot of people who delay getting into knifemaking because they are overwhelmed by options; at the other extreme we see quite a few people who rush out and buy a huge amount of expensive equipment but don’t have any idea how to use it.

  • Want to get started in blacksmithing but not sure where to begin? Learn everything you need to know and make all the equipment you need to start blacksmithing at home. This week long intensive helps you build your skills as you build your own tools. Learn to make your own hammers and tongs as well as other useful tools. Go home with a gas forge and all the hammers, tongs, and other tools you need to start blacksmithing at home.

    The week will cover:

    • workshop safety
    • using a gas forge
    • using hammers and tongs to move and hold metal
    • forging a point
    • flattening metal
    • bending, twisting metal into shapes
    • punching holes

    By the end of of the week you will have a range of tools that are more than enough to setup your own blacksmith workshop, including:

    • drifts
    • punches
    • chisels
    • hammers
    • tongs
    • rivetting tools
    • "Blacksmith's Helper" with cutter and fullering tools
    • gas forge

    Cost - $2500 (inc GST)

    Cost includes: Tuition, insurance, materials, use of tools, gas forge components, workshop consumables, safety gear, morning and afternoon tea, photo USB.

    Need to bring: Lunch, appropriate clothing and covered footwear

    Accommodation available onsite at Cuppacumbalong Homestead

    Course Dates

  • Damascus - the ancient art of folding iron to make steel, with delicate watermarks like woodgrain. This is a one day introductory course, suitable to beginners,  where you will make your own 100 layered billet that you keep for use in future projects.

  • This one day workshop further develops skills in forging blades. The emphasis is on improving skills through practice. Each participant will have an opportunity to forge a number of blades of differing sizes and shapes. Typically each participant will make 6 - 10 blades during the course, depending on individual skill and speed. We will look at forging full and partial tangs, distal tapers, clip and dop points and recurved blades. We will also learn how to make forged handles.

  • The Hammer is the Smith's number one tool, used in almost every aspect of the craft. This one day course will cover hammer making techniques as you make three hammer heads and learn to handle them.

  • This is a introductory one day course for those who want to learn to hammer hot steel. Tool usage, working with heat, heat treatment will be covered along with practical projects. 

  • Japanese kitchen knives have distinct elegance in both form and function. In this intensive weekend course you will build two traditional style Japanese kitchen knives. Options include hammer finished or polished blades, chisel grind or V grind and a variety of handles choices. These blades will provide you with years of excellent service in your kitchen.

  • Traditional Japanese straight razors, Kamisori, have been used for centuries to provide an outstanding shave. Their off-set hollow ground blade make a very keen edge. This one day course takes you through the process of making two Kamisori, as well as cases and a strop.

  • Always wanted to make a knife but didn't know where to begin? This extensive weekend workshop will give you the opportunity not only to learn these skills, but to put them into practice making two hand forged knives of your own. We will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives.

  • A one week immersive course in knifemaking for those who want to get a solid start. The course covers the knife making process with extra focus on forging, grinding and heat treatment of carbon steels. You will also make your own forge so you can continue to make and heat treat at home.

  • This is a one day holiday class for younger people (12 - 16 years old) interested in reconnecting with their hands and learning some creative skills. This is an especially good course for younger people interested in blacksmithing or metalwork.

    It is hard work and you need to be able to follow instructions and concentrate for the day. But it is very rewarding to learn new and exciting skills to make things and bring your creations home.

  • It is hard to hold hot metal with your bare hands. That is why tongs are an important part of any blacksmith's toolkit. This one day course will cover tong construction techniques as you make three pairs for your tool kit.

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