• 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.

  • This one day intensive course is for people wanting to further develop their grinding skills. The course will be using the Radius Master 48" grinders and 48" Noob grinder. It will cover shaping and profiling, edge geometry, blade grinds - hollow, convex, flat, chisel and scandi, as well as heat treatment of carbon steels. We'll also look at finishing with belts.

  • Introduction to making knives by stock removal. This one day workshop will help you get started into knifemaking. Knife design, grinding, heat treating, blade finishes, scale making and sharpening are all covered.

    We will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives with minimal equipment, as you make your own knife today.

    The course goes from 8am until 5:30pm in one very packed day. 

    The stock removal process makes knives from grinding them out of steel blanks. No forging or hammering is used in the method. It is a great way to get into knifemaking as it needs much less equipment.

    After an overview of the day, we select a design for the knife from a number of templates. The design is traced onto the carbon steel blank then profiled using a the grinder and bandsaw. Bevels are ground in, with the edge ground to about 1mm thick. Then holes in the tang are drilled and tapped to attach the scales.

    Handle scales are selected from a range of timber then milled flat, drilled and profiled. 

    The blade is hardened and tempered before finally grinding the edge down to less than .3mm. Higher grits are used to get a good working finish on the blade. There is an option to acid etch and tumble finish the blade.

    The handle scales are then shaped for a comfortable fit and then finished before being screwed onto the blade.

    A very busy day where you create you own knife from scratch.

    Cost - $500 (incl GST)
    Cost includes: Tuition, insurance, materials, use of tools, workshop consumables, safety gear, morning and afternoon tea, photo USB.
    Need to bring: Lunch, appropriate clothing and covered footwear
    Booking in advance is essential

    Course Dates

  • Creating a folding knife adds a level of complexity and precision to knife making, and our course makes this achievable by anyone. Learn about some of the common mechanisms used in locking and non-locking folding knives before beginning the process of making your own single blade slip joint folder.

    The course goes from Friday night 7pm until 9:30pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am until 5:30pm, a very packed weekend.

    The course will be run by knifemaker Alistair Phillips, the first Australian to ever design a production knife for Spyderco.

    Friday night we will go over the various mechanisms used in folding knives before delving in depth into the working of a slip joint folding knife. Then we will choose a pattern and layout the parts and drill our pivot holes ready for fitting and grinding on Saturday.

    Saturday begins with the shaping of our spring, followed by fitting the tang to the spring we have just made. Once the action of the knife is done we will grind the bevels of the blade and clean them up ready for Heat treatment. Heat Treatment is the last thing we do before calling it a day.

    Sunday we will set the pre-tension on our knives and assemble them for the first time and feel them in action. Then we will shape our handle and prepare and shape our handle scales ready for final assembly. At this point we can do any final adjustments to our spring tension for a nice walk and talk. The last thing we do before assembling our knives is to clean up the blade and then we will pin the knife together. After a final clean up of the pins and polishing the handle we are done.

    This is a thoroughly enjoyable course that sees you create something amazing that you can carry and use everyday.

    Cost - $850 (incl GST)
    Cost includes: Tuition, insurance, materials, use of tools, workshop consumables, safety gear, morning and afternoon tea, photo disk.
    Need to bring: Lunch, appropriate clothing and covered footwear

    Course Dates

  • The tactical knife is the ultimate survival tool in extreme conditions. This extensive weekend workshop will give you the opportunity not only to learn knifemaking skills, but to put them into practice making two tactical knives of your own. We will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives.

    The course goes from Friday night 7pm until 9:30pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am until 5:30pm, a very packed weekend.

    Friday night focus on getting an overview of the process of making a tactical knife, looking at design and material selection and a shop tour. The knife dimensions will need to fit in a piece of steel 50 x 250mm.

    Saturday starts early marking out the blade on a steel blank. The blades are then rougly cut out before being profiled on the grinder. After making the blades flat on the surface grinder, the bevels are ground in. After various grits on the linisher, the blades are ready for hand sanding to get all the scratches out. By the end of the day, both blades are edge hardened and put in the oven overnight to temper.

    Sunday begins with work on cutting out the G10 blade scales, drilling holes and grinding to shape. Tangs are tapped to take the scale screws. The blades are then cleaned up for either a cerakote or stone washed finish. Finally the knives are assembled and sharpened.

    You make two blades so you reinforce the lessons as we go. Our job is to guide, instruct and help you recover from any mistakes.

    You will enjoy it and have two amazing knives to show off.

    Cost - $850 (incl GST)
    Cost includes: Tuition, insurance, materials, use of tools, workshop consumables, safety gear, morning and afternoon tea, photo USB.
    Need to bring: Lunch, appropriate clothing and covered footwear
    Booking in advance is essential

    Course Dates

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