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Hammer Skills
for adults, teens, and pre-teens

The class is equally suitable for young teens, pre-teens, and adults and older teens that need practice to improve their hammer skills.

The class focuses on hammer technique, drawing out, twisting, and bending. In particular, the student will learn to deliver power, improve hand/eye coordination, and deliver controlled strikes with the hammer, creating a smooth surface on the piece being worked. Arm-strength and stamina will also improve. On the mental side of things, patience, preparation, and attentiveness will be practiced.

Its intent is to develop these basic skills sufficiently to prepare the student to work on our standard Rudiments material, whether in the regular adult evening course or the after-school or summer teen programs.

For adults, Hammer Skills can serve as a remedial class for those who had some difficulties in "A Taste" or "Rudiments", and want to practice a bit before continuing. A Taste of Blacksmithing remains the recommended intro class.

For teens, Hammer Skills can serve as a substitute for "A Taste", or go between "A Taste" and "Rudiments" to build up hammer skills, or while waiting for a section of Rudiments to open up.

For pre-teens, Hammer Skills is the only class we currently offer.

The class runs through a series of simple projects, mostly different types of hooks, though the occasional plant-stake or skewer may show up. All the projects will have roughly the same level of difficulty and use a similar set of techniques, so that students can attend the class whenever convenient. The purpose is to work on strengthening a small variety of important basic techniques, rather than covering a lot of different skills.

The projects will vary somewhat to maintain interest and to suit the individual student, but have enough similarity allow the student to develop some familiarity with the processes and vocabulary, and also make it easy to see their progress.

Some section of Hammer Skills will run afternoons, presently scheduled for 1:30 - 4:00, with a snack break partway through (bring your own snack!)

The cost per week will be $85, and class can be registered for on a week by week basis, or by the month. There will be a slight discount for one-month packages ($320/month).

Broadly speaking, this class will eventually prepare the student to take our regular Rudiments series classes or, for the student who had trouble with Rudiments I, help them prepare for Rudiments II.

Gift Certificates for Hammer Skills are available.

2.5 hours, variable number of meetings    dates&times

Instructor: Carl West
$85 per week, or $320/month.
Class size is limited to 4 students (one per forge).


Full Covid vaccination required. Bring your card.

No pre-requisites.

Please wear proper clothing for visiting or working in the forge:
closed toe shoes (preferably leather, preferably high-topped. Sneakers are sufficient, sandals, crocs, pumps, mules... are not), natural fiber clothing, long pants that cover the tops of the shoes.
Click here for more safety information.

Dates and Times:
If none of the dates below work for you (or are already full), we suggest you
Add yourself to the Notification List for this class.
(The notification list gets emailed soon after classes are put on the schedule.)

This class is either:
- not upcoming on our schedule,
- or we've fallen behind in our clerical duties and not entered it in the database.
If you found it on our calendar page, we are planning to offer it on that date.

If you're interested in taking Hammer Skills and it's not on the calendar, please tell us using our Notification-List Page.

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