No prior experience is needed and the class will guide you through:.
- The theories of smelting
- Building a smelting furnace
- Preparing ore and charcoal for the smelt
- Running a smelting furnace
- Extracting the bloom
- Consolidating bloomery material
- Using a gas forge
- Forging the blade to shape
- Thermocycling (reducing grain growth, which is an undesirable effect of over heating steel)
- Blade shaping, using grinder file and abrasive paper
- Heat treating
- Blade finishing, sharpening, and edge testing
- Fitting a simple handle.
This 5 day class will take you through the process of making a knife starting out with iron ore and ending up with a finished handled knife.
We will spend 2 days smelting, 1 day building a furnace and then 1 day running it.
The resulting bloomery material will be forged into bar stock for making knives. The bar stock will be shared between the people attending the class. From this stock we will shape our knives by forging and grinding the blades and fitting simple handles.
We will aim to each end up with a small kitchen/general use knife or seax.
This is a rare chance to make yourself a very unusual thing – a knife made absolutely from scratch, literally from rock to finished knife!