PROSPECT HILL FORGE: The Blacksmithing Classroom
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What kind of coal do you use?
A. Pocahontas #3, it's a high bituminous coal. Very low sulfer, with enough volatiles to stay lit over a half-hour lunch break. It cokes well when you need it to. A well managed fire gives almost no smoke.

Q. Have you ever used anthracite?
A. Yes. Hated it. Hard to light. Wouldn't stay lit. One phone call, and it would go out. Doesn't coke at all. Burned really clean though.

Q. You don't wear gloves, do you ever get burned?
A. Yes, very superficial burns sometimes happen when bits of scale land on my hand.  They're tiny and don't carry much in the way of BTUs and it's over in a small fraction of a second, but they can be a little distracting. I can't remember the last time I raised a blister with heat, and I've never managed a 3rd degree burn.  I do regularly get the hairs on the back of my hand shortened though.

Q. What about classes for teens and children?
A. Policy is yet to be established. It will depend some on the insurance company, but we're pushing for an arrangement that will allow youngsters to participate if their parent or guardian is present. It may be possible to arrange for school officials to fill that role. Still up in the air.

Unless otherwise noted, the pacing of the instruction will be geared to adult and near-adult size, strength, and co-ordination.

Q. I see you have a class titled "blacksmithing for women", does this mean the other classes listed are NOT intended for women?
A. Not at all.  For the most part, anybody is welcome in any class so long as they can follow the instructions and stay safe. There will be classes working on projects that require a fair bit of strength and/or stamina and not everyone will be physically suited to them but that's not based on gender.

We may find there is a call for single-gender classes and we will be giving it a try.