This intensive program is a consolidation of several individual courses. Full on… In it to win it! You will enjoy a perfect balance of hands-on involvement as well as lecture topics. Learn how to safely use some of the essential tools and equipment of the modern bladesmith. Upon completion of the course, you will possess a strong foundation in the fundamentals of knifemaking, should you choose to pursue it as a hobby or career.
8 Days (approx. 64 hours)
Hands-on techniques will include:
- Selection of steel
- Propane forge operation and maintenance
- Forging techniques and hammer control
- Traditional annealing techniques
- Scale removal
- Heat treating
- Introductory grinding techniques
- Introductory hand-sanding techniques
- Handle attachment
- Simple leather sheath making
Lecture topics will include:
- Different types of knife handle construction techniques
- Overview of different blade geometries
- Introduction to basic heat treating and metallurgical principle
- Sharpening and maintenance
- Overview of leather sheath making design and construction
Workshop timelines can be broken up in some circumstances. Some people can’t take a solid 8 days off their home/work life. It is important not to leave too much time in between, as it is detrimental to the flow of the program. We will formulate the most beneficial timeline upon enrollment.
This day starts with a primer on shop safety, followed by an introduction to the various machines and equipment used in a typical knifemaker’s shop. You will get an overview of the knifemaking process, as we discuss where the next several days will take us.
We’ll start with an overview of various knife design, forging and construction techniques. You will use this information to design and formulate a building plan for a simple camp knife, to start the course with. We will move forward to hands-on forging. By the day’s end, one can expect to have a knife blank completely forged out.
Following a discussion on grinding technique, we will rough shape and prepare the blade for heat treating. Basic metallurgy and heat treating practices will be taught through lecture and practical application. We will finish the day with hardening and tempering the camp knife.
Day 3 consists of refining the blade finish and preparing the blank for a handle. We will cover material selection and delve deeper into handle construction. This will be an arduous day of grinding, filing and monotonous hand sanding. We will take every opportunity to discuss aspects of knifemaking to pass the time as your arms slowly fall off your body.
The first knife literally comes together on day 4. We will fit and attach a handle to the blade. In the afternoon, as the epoxy slowly cures, we will reflect on what you’ve learned so far and discuss what your next knife build will be. If all goes well, we’ll get your handle shaped and finished by the end of the day.
The day will begin with material selection and preparations for your next knife build(most likely a kitchen knife). We will put to use what you’ve learned so far. Through repetition and further explanation, you’ll gain an “understanding” of what needs to be done, rather than blindly following a recipe.
We will finish your second knife out to completion. At this point, we’ll go over any areas still giving you trouble and make/discuss a few useful tools to help build your home workshop.
This final morning will have you making a leather sheath for your camp knife. In the afternoon, we will reflect upon what you have learned and formulate action plans to further develop yourself as a Bladesmith. You will be given useful contacts for supplies, educational resources and online communities, specific to the craft.
*Please Note* Due to the intensity of The Complete Bladesmith program, it is limited to one student. Price includes all materials and basic safety equipment. Travel and lodging are at the student’s expense. We have a fully furnished apartment above the shop that can be booked, if needed. A more complete list of personal gear as well as logistical information will be established upon enrolment.
Contact me to book.