Beginners Blacksmithing Classes

Beginners Blacksmithing Classes for 2016/2017




Classes are held on four Saturdays from 9am – 4pm. Four sets of classes will be held this
class year.  All four sets of classes teach the same information. You may register to attend either the A, B, C or D set of classes. You cannot mix and match dates such as attending two days from A class and two day from B class, etc. You may only register for and attend one set of classes.

2016-2017 class dates and registration status: All classes are filled and registration is now closed.

A Class: Oct 1 Oct 8 Oct 22 Oct 20   Registration closed
B Class: Jan 7 Jan 14 Jan 21 Jan 28  Registration closed
C Class: Feb 4 Feb 18 Mar 4 Mar 18   Registration closed
D Class: Feb 11 Feb 25 Mar 11 Mar 25    Registration closed

Total cost for the class is $120.
First, you must be a member of the Guild. If you are not, you can join for $30 per year. Then, once you are a member, the workbook/study guide is $15 and the 4 classes are $105 for a total of $120. This covers everything you need including the the facility rental, coal and materials.

The A, B, and C classes are held at the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing, 6250 Riverdale Dr NW, Ramsey, MN just off Hwy 10 near the Anoka Vocational College.

The D set of classes are held in Cleveland, MN near Mankato, MN

Why take the beginners classes:
The beginners classes are designed to give students an understanding of blacksmithing basics, including safety, basic metallurgy, forging techniques and terminology. The beginners basic classes are required before taking any of the many other classes the Guild offers. After taking the basics class you can go on to more advanced classes and be better able to concentrate on the advanced techniques being taught, without having to spend time on basic concepts.

What you need to bring:
Eye, ear and skin protection. This includes safety glasses, ear muffs or plugs, suitable non-synthetic clothing and hard full-toe shoes.  Synthetic clothing such as nylon, acrylic, polyester, etc. is not allowed because it can melt onto the skin when hot. Gloves are not required, but, if you feel you want them, bring loose fitting gloves such as loose welders gloves.  Do not bring tight fitting leather gloves.

Tools: Bring your favorite hammer. A small one to two pound ball peen hammer works well. Do not bring a heavy hammer unless you are used to swinging it all day.  A one to two pound hammer works well. We have various hammers for you to try and get a feel for what is comfortable. We have all the punches, chisels and other tools you will be using, but feel free to bring your own tools if you have them.

What you will learn:
The first 3 Saturdays you will learn the basic techniques including:

Safety, Forging Dynamics, Hammer Techniques, Fire Building
Drawing out, Upsetting, Punching, Bending
Twisting, Heat Treating, Scrolling, Splitting

The fourth Saturday will be self paced to build a few items that will include each of the techniques you learned earlier. Instructors will help guide you through any number of possible projects such as a forge rake, watering can, forge poker, spoon, shovel, tongs, candlestick holder, etc. This is a good opportunity to try out all your new skills.

Who are the teachers:
The instructors are all volunteers with a wide range of experience, talents and stories. They range from just finishing the basic beginners class to 30 years experience. There is usually at least one instructor for every two students and many times we have had as many instructors as students.

Who are the students:
The students come in all ages and experience. We have had students 15 years old and students 70 years old. Both men and women attend these classes. Some students have never held a hammer before. Some students are skilled in other crafts such as woodworking, glass blowing, fabrication, pottery or others and want to learn about metalwork to meld it into their craft. Some students are nearing retirement and want to learn a hobby. All share an interest in learning more about blacksmithing.

Typical day:
Classes start at 9am but people usually show up by 8:30am to get the coffee brewing, have a doughnut, swap stories or show off recent projects. Feel free to bring projects you are working on to show and discuss. We will break for lunch. You can either bring a brown bag or go out to a local fast food restaurant.

How to register once class registration opens:

Send a check made out to “Guild of Metalsmiths” for $120 or $105 (book or no book) to:

Gordon Barr
11021 – 27th Ave
Burnsville, MN 55337

How can I learn more about the Guild or classes:
Call or email:
Gordon Barr 952-894-4821

How do I join the Guild Of Metalsmiths?:

Pay via Paypal by visiting our membership page:

or send a check for $30 for a one year family membership to:
The Guild of Metalsmiths
PO Box 11423
St. Paul, MN 55111