Beginners Blacksmithing Classes

Beginners Blacksmithing Classes for 2017/2018

In an effort to give more new blacksmiths an opportunity to learn how to forge steel, the Beginning Blacksmith class format has been modified and split into three separate classes. Students will need to sign up for each level separately. It is recommended that first time students begin with level 1, then level 2, then project classes before taking more advanced classes offered by the Guild (hammer making, tongs, struck tools, etc,). This path provides a common background skill set and terminology to improve the effectiveness of advanced classes. Students with prior experience can judge their proficiency and take the appropriate classes.

Beginner Level 1 (offered Sept/Oct/Nov) is a 2 day class covering the basics of: Safety, Tools, Fire Control, Forging Dynamics, Tapers (ribbon, fishtail, point), Twisting, Riveting, Shouldering, Upset, Cutting, Splitting, Punching
Beginner Level 2 (offered Dec/Jan/Feb) is a 1 day class covering Heat Treat, Scrolling, Bending, Forge weld. Registration will be open December 1.
Beginner Projects (offered Jan/Feb) is a 1 day class featuring a project such as Forge Tools (rake, poker, shovel, watering can), Hooks, Bottle Opener, Wall Sconce, Tongs. Registration will be open December 1.
Cost: (covers everything you need: the facility, coal and metal)
Level 1 (2 day) $120 for members, $130 non members
Level 2 (1 day) $60 members, $65 non member
Beginner project (1 day) ) $60 members, $65 non member
The optional printed out workbook/study guide is $15 (available free on line)
Minors (under 18) can share a forge with a guardian for an additional $10 /day
The classes are held at the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing, 6250 Riverdale Dr NW, just off Hwy 10 in Anoka near the Anoka Vocational College and in Cleveland, MN near Mankato.
Why take the beginners basic classes:
The beginners basic classes are designed to give everyone the same understanding of the basics, techniques and terminology. The basic classes or proficiency is required before taking any of the many other classes the Guild offers. This enables those classes to concentrate on advanced techniques without having to spend time on basic concepts.
What you need to bring:
Eye, ear and skin protection. This includes safety glasses, ear muff or plugs and suitable clothing which includes hard shoes, cotton or leather. Synthetic and polyester clothing will burn and melt. There will be sparks and brushes against hot metal.
Tools are provided but if you have a favorite hammer, punches, chisels and tools, bring them along. A small 1 to 2 pound ball peen hammer would work. We have various hammers for you to try and get a feel for what is comfortable.
Typical day:
Classes start at 9 but people usually show up much earlier to get the coffee brewing, have a donut, swap stories or show off recent projects. Feel free to bring projects you are working on to show. We break for lunch. You can either bring a brown bag or go out to a local fast food restaurant.
To sign up for the two day Level 1 Beginners classes, send a check made out to The Guild of Metalsmiths to:
Gordon Barr
11021 27th Ave
Burnsville, MN 55337
($120 for members, $130 non members)
Level 1 beginner class (2 days) – chose one two day class
Sept 30 & Oct 7 (Anoka) Oct 14 & Oct 21 (Anoka) Oct 28 & Nov 4 (Anoka) Nov 11 & Nov 12 (Anoka)
Nov 11 & Nov 18 (Cleveland) Dec 9 & Dec 16 (Cleveland)