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Medieval Knife Camp
A week of learning to make medieval-style whittle-tang knives

Scots have Sgian-dubhs and Dirks. Swedes have Mora knives. Finns have Puukos. All are modern descendants of the medieval whittle tang knife, the most common type of knife in Europe prior to the 15th century. Whittle tang knives have a long skinny tang that runs all the way through the handle and is peened over at the end. The handle itself is typically made of a single piece of wood, ivory, bone, or antler.

The whittle tang is a fairly quick, easy, and medieval way to hold a handle onto a knife.

We'll be making a practical*, small-bladed utility/eating knife, starting with a piece of automotive coil spring and a chunk of a tree.

We'll forge the tang, then the blade, file to shape and heat treat the blade. Then we'll install and finish the handle, and if time allows, we will make a leather sheath.

If you have wood (or antler, or bone) that you want to use as the handle, bringing it to the first meeting would be helpful.

*Please check any fantasies about making a "... THIS is a Knoife!" at the door. Our goal is to make a knife with a 3" blade.

Gift Certificates for Medieval Knife Camp are available.

15 hours in five meetings    dates&times

Instructor: Carl West
Tuition: $490 per student
Maximum 4 students, one per forge


Required: A rapid Covid test that day.
Yes, really, we're still asking for it in 2024.
It's still out there, and no fun at all.

A Taste of Blacksmithing is required before taking this class. Rudiments of Blacksmithing, Blacksmithing Camp I, or equivalent is recommended but not required. Nothing but Knives and Simple Knives cover some of the same material, and are also useful, but not required.
The more fire- and hammer-practice you have, the better your chance of making a knife you will be pleased to show off.

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 Medieval Knife Camp and it's not on the calendar, please tell us using our Notification-List Page.

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