PROSPECT HILL FORGE: The Blacksmithing Classroom

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Mike - 617 230 9572 or Carl - 781 608 0900


PROSPECT HILL FORGE offers several types of classes and other activities.
Gift Certificates are also available for all classes.
Our class list is also available broken out into categories by type.

Aluminum Casting with the Coal Forge
Applied Ironcarving Workshop
Arrowhead: The armor-piercing bodkin point
Arrowheads and other hollow, conic forms
The Artist Blacksmiths' Association of North America Biennial Conference
Bachelor Party or Bridal Shower -- Private Party
Basics of Blacksmithing
Blacksmith House - A Public Demonstration
Boy Scout Metalworking Merit Badge
Bracelets II
Butterfly Hinges
Calligraphy for Blacksmiths I
Cambridge River Festival
Connecticut Blacksmiths Guild meeting at Mystic
Corkscrews
A Corporate Team Experience
Cubicle Hooks
A DIY Off-the-Grid Guerilla Patternwelded Billet
Elements of Household Racks
An Evening of Sales (and schmoozing)
Exploring Blacksmithing II
Exploring Fold Forming
Field trip to Higgins Armory Museum
Fire Tools
Firesteel (aka Fire Striker)
Fitchburg Forge-In
Fixing Day
Fold-Forming I Introduction
Fold-Forming II: Fold-Forming for Blacksmiths
Forge Welding Practice
A Forged Iron Bottle Opener
Forging Aluminum (cold) for the Young and the Interested
Garrison House
Glass Friday at Diablo Glass
Gore Place Sheepshearing Festival
Guided Open Smithy
Hammer Skills
A Hatchet in the Viking Style
Heart-Shaped Trivet
Heat Treating
I Sebastiani
Innovations of Yesteryear
International Steampunk City
Iron Carving
Keep on Smithin'
Knives, Knives, and More Knives
Leather Sheathmaking -- An Introduction
Letter Openers
Make a Tomahawk from a Railroad Spike!
Making Blacksmith Tools
Making Bloomery Iron
Making Your Mark
Making a Warhammer
Maple Sugar Days
Medieval Knife Camp
Metal Roses, Copper and Steel
Middlesex 4H Fair in Westford Massachusetts
Middlesex County 4H Fair in Westford MA
Mike's Birthday
NEMES Annual Show
New England Model Engineering Society

Nailmaking
New England Blacksmiths
New England Blacksmiths - Fall Meet
New England Blacksmiths - Spring Meet
The New England Folk Festival
Nothing but Knives
Open House at Prospect Hill Forge
Open Smithy
Our Fourth Birthday Party
Our Ninth Birthday
Our Second Birthday Party (and Open House)
Our Seventh Birthday
The Pensic War
Preserving the Fire
Private Class
A Private Party at the Forge
RR Spike Bottle Opener
Ready, Set, Smith!
Rudiments of Blacksmithing I
Rudiments of Blacksmithing II
Rudiments of Blacksmithing III
Rudiments of Blacksmithing IV
Rudiments of Blacksmithing V
Rudiments of Blacksmithing VI
The Russian Rose
A San Mai Knife
Saugus Ironworks Founders Day Iron Pour
Shane Stainton: Making a Hunting Knife
Sharpening Your Knives
Sheath Your Knife
Shop Maintenance
A Shopmade Tap and Die
Simple Knives
Small (Jeweler's) Hammers
Special Open Smithy
Strawberries and Art Festival
Striker Team
Sunday Afternoon at the Forge
A Taste of Blacksmithing
Teen Knives
Tent Stakes and Open Smithy
Toasting Forks
The Topsfield Fair
Tripods
The Trivet, a Matched-Scroll Project
A Tween's First Taste of Blacksmithing
Twisting the Afternoon Away
Two Weeks More Smithin'
Waltham Mills Artists' Association Open Studios
Waltham Riverfest
Watch City Steampunk Festival
Whittle Tang Knife
Winslowshire Renaissance Festival
Worcester stART on the street
Wrought Iron Bracelets
Wrought Iron Candlestick
The Wrought Iron Churchkey
Zero to Blacksmithing
Zero to BlacksmithingII
Zero to BlacksmithingIII



Aluminum Casting with the Coal Forge

We'll be exploring the aluminum casting technique known as 'The Foam Vaporization Method' or 'Lost Foam'.

A model is made of styrofoam, buried in loose dry sand, and poured with molten aluminum. We'll be using our coal forges and mostly scrounged materials to cast at least one small item per student.

This technique is less precise than 3D printing, but much much faster. We'll talk about how to do it "on-the-cheap".

You should make a model or two to try casting during class:

Make it out of styrofoam. Either the white chunky bead foam or the 'solid' stuff; the blue and pink insulation foams work well, so do foam meat trays and restaurant take-home containers. Styrofoam cups work. You can use rubber cement, double-face tape, even cellophane tape and masking tape to hold parts together.
Note: Green florist's foam Does. Not. Work. (we tried it)

Keep in mind that the metal will shrink as it cools, the final casting will be a tiny bit smaller than the model you make.

For the purpose of the class I would recommend that your model be no larger than 2" in any direction, and definitely less than 8 cubic inches in volume, whatever the dimensions.

Until you have some idea what you're doing with this technique (which is what this class is for) I wouldn't recommend investing _lots_ of time in a highly detailed model unless, of course, you're doing it as a test.

It is fairly easy to get fine detail on one side, maybe two of your model, the opposite sides, not so much. On the good side, the indentations left by writing with a ballpoint pen will be preserved in the metal.

3 hours, one meeting       $125

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Applied Ironcarving Workshop

If you've made a dragon head, maybe in Rudiments II or Ironcarving, here's a chance to do it again larger, better, with more detail, already having some idea of what you're doing. We'll be focusing on achieving aesthetic success with forging and carving techniques you already know. The learning part of this class will be more about the 'where' and 'why' and less about the 'what' and 'how'.

You'll have the option of working with larger (3/4") stock to make a piece suited to incorporation into a door knocker, sign-bracket, wall sconce, or use as a serious paperweight, bottle opener, objet d'art... If needed, on the thick sections, we will strike for each other as we do at Striker Team.

If you want to do some other creature than a dragon, that's a perfectly fine thing, there are a multitude of descriptions of heads and how to forge them in books and on the net. If you know ahead what you'd like to do, please drop us a note with a description or pointer to one, so we can check to see if we have the tools necessary. If you think you'll need a striker, tell us that too.

This 'class' takes the form of a 'Guided Open Studio'; the instructor is there to help you through your project, not so much telling you what to do, as helping you figure out how to do it.

6 hours over two meetings       Fee: $250

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Arrowhead: The armor-piercing bodkin point

We will make a classic medieval bodkin point or two, maybe three.
The techniques are flattening, curling, cutting on the hardy, and drawing out. There will be a strong focus on hammer control, symmetry in the work, and working in very thin sections.

There will be a discussion and demo of techniques for weighting and mounting the heads for target archery use.

3.5 hours one meeting       Fee: $140

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Arrowheads and other hollow, conic forms

Part of our Sundays at the Forge series.

We will make a classic medieval bodkin point or two, maybe three. In the process we will have a chance to explore a shape that can be made larger and used as a candle-cup or smaller and used as an aiglette.

The techniques we will use are flattening, curling in the step, cutting on the hardy, and drawing out. There will be a focus on hammer control, symmetry in the work, and working in very thin sections.

2 hours one meeting       (See our Bodkins class)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Artist Blacksmiths' Association of North America Biennial Conference

Every two years blacksmiths from all over the country converge and confer.

More info about the conference is here.

ABANA Members - $175 --- $125 before 15 Jan 2014 -or- $225 after 1 Jul 2014

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Bachelor Party or Bridal Shower -- Private Party

This is a Private Party. Unless you're on the guest list, you can't attend. However, if it sounds like a Really Cool Idea, you're right, and you can contact us to make arrangements for your own Bachelor Party, Bridal Shower, Birthday Party, Bar Mitzvah, or what-have-you.

Variable       Variable

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Basics of Blacksmithing

We no longer offer Basics as a monolithic class, the same content is in our Rudiments I, II, and III classes.

You will be exposed to the basics of the language of blacksmithing. From "smash-it-flat" to forge welding. There will be practice pieces, exercises, samplers, problems, and actual projects all aimed at building your smithing vocabulary and fluency. By the end of the series you should be well on your way to thinking like a blacksmith.

Class tuition to be determined.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Blacksmith House - A Public Demonstration

We'll be demonstrating Blacksmithing while standing over the remains of the roots of the very chestnut tree (the one in the picture) mentioned in Longfellow's poem.

For official information Click here and scroll down.

About 4 hours       There is no admission fee.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Boy Scout Metalworking Merit Badge

In Session One, the scouts learn a bit about safety in the smithy and basic smithing skills such as forging, bending, curling, twisting and annealing. They do so in a way that satisfies the BSA MB requirements to make a right-angle and a U-shaped bend, taper to a point, twist hot steel, and work-harden and anneal non-ferrous metal. During the course of all that, we have them make a useful and hopefully decorative wall hook, which we help them hot-punch so it can be hung up at home.

In Session 2, they make a simple center-punch, a temper-color index and a piece of their own design, using the skills they've learned and adding solid riveting as well. The design for this piece is to be vetted by the MB counselor before Session 2.

Session 1 is about 2.5 hrs, Session 2 is about 3.5 hrs.        Tuition: $700 for as many as four students, $1000 for five to eight students.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Bracelets II

We'll use traditional blacksmithing techniques to make a distinctly non-traditional item. We'll work an iron bar with fire and water, hammer and tongs, vise and anvil and learn about heat control, hammer control, and self-control while creating an iron bracelet with a tapered, sinuous motif.

Techniques will include forging (drawing out, tapering, square-octagonal-round), bending, twisting, and planning ahead.

Two 3 hour meetings       Fee: $150

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Butterfly Hinges

In this class you will make a pair of simple butterfly hinges, suitable for use on a cupboard, small chest, or box.

You will learn how to form the eye around the pin, how to adjust the eye so that the hinge turns, how to make the second leaf fit the first, and how to put them together.

This class is 2 sessions long. Each session is 3 hours.        Fee: $250

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Calligraphy for Blacksmiths I

We will be learning to draw the Roman alphabet. First as what my calligraphy professor, Arnold Bank called "Simple Hand"; an un-serifed version of the letters you are probably reading right now. The focus will be on shape and spacing. Then if time and class progress permit, we will move on to serifed Roman.

The Roman hand is deceptively simple-looking and plain. It is perhaps the least forgiving of any calligraphic hand, you cannot hide mistakes with fiddly gew-gahs. Being able to do it well is no small achievement.
Know this ahead: It will be frustrating, you will make a lot of ugly letters. It's OK.

There will be homework. If you do it, it will show in the quality of your work, both at the board, and at the anvil.

12 hours in 6 two-hour meetings       Tuition: $300

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Cambridge River Festival

Just upstream from the Weeks Memorial Footbridge, we'll be demonstrating traditional blacksmithing techniques, and the Striker Team will put in an appearance with their two-handed sledge hammers.

Free! Children half price!

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Connecticut Blacksmiths Guild meeting at Mystic

We may or not be there, depending on scheduling, but this is the info from the Connecticut Blacksmith's Guild site:

CBG Winter Meeting
Driggs Blacksmith Shop, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Ct
1pm – 4pm

Bring Items for the `Iron in the Hat’ Raffle

For more info contact: Bill Sheer, mysticbs@aol.com, (860)536-0679

(it is unclear whether there is any fee)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Corkscrews

In this class we will make a corkscrew suited to opening even the finest of wines.

Unlike most modern, mass-produced, skinny little corkscrews, this design grabs a whole bunch of cork, not just the bit down the middle.
With one of these you will never find that, instead of removing it, you have just drilled a ragged hole in that piece of bark that's keeping you from your wine.

"You're going to have to change this design... It makes wine toooo accessible." - A.Z. (student who made a nice one. Then tested it.)

These make nice gifts (especially when you demonstrate that it really does work, on that bottle of nice wine you brought along).

Carl's note:
I'd had the idea of a corkscrew festering in my head for a long time, thinking that there must be a slick way of doing it. At the '10 NEB Fall Meet, Russell Pope had one on display. So I asked him about it and before he was twenty words into the explanation, the technique was clear. They don't quite make themselves, but it sort of feels that way.

3 hours, one meeting       $125

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Corporate Team Experience

Whether it's to build team cohesion, to celebrate a release, a finished project, or some other milestone...

... Getting the group together to beat the everloving snert out of a piece of incandescent steel is a pleasant change of pace.

These sessions typically start in the late morning or early afternoon on a weekday
(earlier is possible, but there's an additional fee for getting the instructor up early) and run for three to three-and-a-half hours.

Eight students is our usual maximum.
We can handle as many as 12... that's our hard maximum, there just isn't room for more.
But once there are more than 8 students, even just one more, it adds about one-and-a-half hours to how long the session will last.

We can plan to include a break for lunch.
There are several places nearby that make excellent food.

"What will we make?" I hear you ask.
Our Forged Bottle Opener Class usually fills the bill nicely, but if you want to work out something different... it's all negotiable.

To get started setting something up (the date, the time, the project), reach us by phone (after 10am): 781 816 9433

3 to 5.5 hours depending       Tuition: negotiable

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Cubicle Hooks

In this class we will make a wrought iron piece to hook over the top edge of a cubicle-wall, with a functional coat/purse/backpack hook on the inside and an interesting detail on the outside.
The techniques involved will be drawing out, cutting, curling and bending.

Before coming to class, students should take a measurement of the thickness of the cubicle wall they want the hook to fit.

"Cubicle Hooks" counts as "A Taste of Blacksmithing" as far as pre-requisites for other classes.

3 hours, one meeting       $95

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A DIY Off-the-Grid Guerilla Patternwelded Billet

We'll be making a small (~1/2" x 1/2" x 5") billet or two of pattern-welded steel, what many call "Damascus Steel".
We will work with readily available steels (mild, strapping, hacksaw, transformer, bandsaw, bedrail...) to create a billet of layered steel that can be used to make any number of ornamental items (cufflinks and studs, door handles, buckles, forks, spoons... maybe the side plates on a San Mai Knife perhaps? Just... sayin'.)
We'll discuss various ways of affecting the pattern... twisting, drilling, grinding, folding, cutting... then choose one to try.

The expected 'product' of this class is... a chunk of metal. With which something cool may be done.

Note: We'll be spattering molten borax around the room, dress appropriately.

9 hours in 3 three hour meetings       $375

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Elements of Household Racks

In this class we will address the techniques necessary to produce a towel rack, be it wide or narrow, intended to hold an elegant cloth towel or a roll of toilet paper.

With the techniques learned in this class the student will be able to go on and make an entire kitchen or bathroom suite of racks and holders.

This class is a single session of 3 hours.       Fee: $105

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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An Evening of Sales (and schmoozing)

Sort of like when we're at a fair or festival, we'll have ironwork and Gift Certificates out on display and available for purchase, some amount of munchies, and some beverages.

We'll probably be mulling cider, probably toasting marshmallows.

Let's make an evening of it.       There is no fee for this event

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Exploring Blacksmithing II

For intermediate students, this is an opportunity to work on your own projects under the supervision and direction of a teacher (as opposed to Open Smithy, which has no supervision). Periodically, the teacher will assess the class skills and suggest a topic to work on together for a week or three.

New students can join the class at appropriate times (i.e., not in the midst of a group topic) for a minimum of 4 weeks.

4 2.5 hour sessions, meeting once a week       $320 for 4 weeks.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Exploring Fold Forming

This is more a 'session' than a 'class', it is a chance to work with the technique in general or to spend the evening investigating the variations on a particular fold. Most sessions will begin with a brief demonstration of a particular fold or some aspect of hammering or opening. (if there's something in particular you'd like to see in the demo, make a note of it when you sign up and we'll do what we can.)

The session will go for a couple of hours and after that there will be an hour or two of Open Smithy available for those who wish to continue.

We will have 16oz/24ga/~.022" Copper sheet and ~16ga/.057" mild steel available for purchase, or you can bring your own material (no lead, no galvanized or plated steel).

2 hours per session       $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Field trip to Higgins Armory Museum

We'll be arriving at the museum around noon, and staying till about 3:00, then moving to a local burger joint (Wild Willy's) for a late lunch. Carl will give brief impromptu lectures on various aspects of the armor on display (as of course will the museum guides and some of the other folks who are joining us).

Some of us will be carpooling from the forge. If you're interested in being one of that group, drop us a note to let us know to expect you, and make sure we have your cell number (if you have one).

Wild Willy's, where we expect to go for late lunch after the Higgins, has ample seating for the number of people we expect, is near the museum (a short drive, not really a walk), has GF options, but does NOT have much to offer vegetarians -- fries (good ones!) and salads and that's about it. They *do* have ice cream and frappes, though, for what that's worth. So, if you're a vegetarian/vegan/piscatorian, please bring a bag lunch so you can stay with the group for the social experience.

(http://www.wildwillysburgers.com/grub.cfm)

We're not organizing this enough to attempt to get a group rate. Admission is $12 for adults.

Roughly three hours, one meeting       $12 for adults, with appropriate discounts for kids and families.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Fire Tools

In this intensive class you will make a set of fire-tending tools; a poker, a shovel or hoe, a brush, maybe a pair of tongs, and a wall mounted holder for the set.

We'll break for a one hour lunch around noon, and a shorter break sometime in the afternoon.

This is going to be a long day with a lot to get done.

One 8 hour session.        $275

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Firesteel (aka Fire Striker)

In this class we will make a fire-steel from high-carbon steel and learn to use it.
Techniques used will be drawing-out, bending, hardening, and tempering.

When the fire-steel is made we will learn to strike a spark with it and turn that spark into a fire. We will also go over the particulars of making char-cloth for catching the spark.

When the class is done you will have made a fire-steel, learned to make char cloth, and struck a fire. You will come away with your own fire-making kit consisting of  a fire-steel, a flint, a char-tin & charcloth, and a bit of tinder, enough to get started.

To bring if you can:

  •   a small metal box (like an Altoids tin) with a metal lid that fits fairly snugly, empty
  •   ~1 square foot or more of clean, old, worn, 100% cotton cloth to make into char-cloth
  •   a pouch or other container to hold your fire-kit, something you can fit both fists into should be the right size
There will be a modest (under $10) materials fee for flint and char-boxes for those who don't bring their own.

3.5 hours one session.       Fee: $140

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Fitchburg Forge-In

This is a chance to watch a number of smiths at many levels of skill working hard and fast to beat the clock AND each other.

There will be three competitive sessions where the smiths will have to complete projects in 1, 1, and 2 hours respectively. More info at the Fitchburg Forge-In website.

With competitive categories for beginner, intermediate, and advanced smiths, no entrance fee, and cash prizes, this is a fun event to compete in. Come out and cheer us on, or even better, bring your gear and compete.

In addition to the blacksmithing competition, there will be artisans, antique dealers, and a pumpkin carving competition.

Free! Bring your friends! All of them.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Fixing Day

We're going to take some time to work on the Bin of Broken Tools.

We'll be re-wedging and re-handling hammers, re-dressing punches and chisels, de-rusting, repairing, repurposing, tweaking, fiddling, and fettling as needed.

If you know what you're doing, great, we need you.
If you don't know what you're doing, great, we'll fix that too, but we are looking for some amount of smithing ability walking in (see the pre-requisite below).

Session length is variable, see the dates below.       There is no fee. If you want to bring (gluten-free) noshes, that's cool.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Fold-Forming I Introduction

We will introduce Mr. Lewton-Brain's methods of working sheet metal by folding, deforming, and unfolding. There will be demonstration and hands-on work, mostly in copper, which will provide a quick overview of the range of form-folding techniques.

This class is a prerequisite to our Fold-Forming II class which is specifically for blacksmiths about fold-forming iron.

More information on fold forming can be found at: http://www.brainpress.com/Foldforming.html

There is Special Open Smithy time scheduled after the Fold-Forming II classes for those who wish to continue working out ideas and techniques while they're still fresh. If there is room, Fold-Forming I students will be welcome also.

3 hours 1 meeting       $85

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Fold-Forming II: Fold-Forming for Blacksmiths

This class will focus on the basic fold-forming concept of working sheet metal by folding, working, and unfolding and its application to hot iron.

We will work on a few basic folds and the tools and techniques necessary for fold-forming in hot metal, and advance as time and abilities allow.

More information on fold forming can be found at: http://www.brainpress.com/Foldforming.html

There is Open Smithy time scheduled after the class for those that wish to stay and keep working on their pieces.

6 hours 2 meetings       $250

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Forge Welding Practice

We'll be refreshing the basic concepts of forge welding, then trying various types of weld as time allows.

2 hours, one meeting       Fee: $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Forged Iron Bottle Opener

This bottle opener is an excellent first project.

The student is introduced to the blacksmith's techniques of flattening, bending, hot-cutting, drawing-out to a taper, chamfering, more bending, and twisting (in that order).
This class also serves as a pre-requisite for classes that have "A Taste of Blacksmithing" as a pre-requisite.

In the end, the student can reasonably expect to have a pleasantly hefty handful of bottle-opening wonderfulness.

If you really enjoy this class, there is more you can do afterward.

3 hours, one meeting       Tuition: $75

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Forging Aluminum (cold) for the Young and the Interested

Working cold aluminum is a lot like working hot iron, but without the danger of learning what burning human flesh smells like. In this class we will introduce the student (age eight or older) to the basic smithing techniques of hammering, drawing-out, cutting, bending, and twisting. Using these techniques and a piece of aluminum, you and your child will create decorative and useful 'S'-hooks (one each!) with anvil, hammer, and tongs. Some students may instead be guided through the making of a J-Hook.

This class is not limited to youngsters (a parent or guardian is required for those under ten). The material presented is similar to that in our "A Tween's First Taste of Blacksmithing" classes, but without the heat.

Enrollment is limited to four students, so that they don't have to share tools and workspace. This class is offered at a variety of times of day and week to suit the schedules of un-schoolers, home-schoolers, and conventional-schoolers.

one meeting, 2 hours.       (no longer offered)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Garrison House

We'll be demonstrating traditional blacksmithing techniques at the Colonial Crafts Day in Chelmsford MA.

$3/person, or $5/family

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Glass Friday at Diablo Glass

We'll be taking an evening away from the forge to go play with hot glass in the Hot Shop.
We think it'd be way cool if we showed up with a bunch of blacksmiths all at once.
So, if you're interested, use this link and sign up to come with us on Friday Jan 28.

3-4 hours at their place       $95 (pay them, not us)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Gore Place Sheepshearing Festival

A demonstration in Waltham on an historic site.

The mansion at Gore Place was built in 1806, set on a 45 acre house lot with surrounding farmlands. The Gores entertained such notable dignitaries as Daniel Webster and James Monroe in their beautiful home, “outfitted for all seasons.”

We will be demonstrating blacksmithing in relatively period manner (it's only changes so much in the last 4000 years) through the day. There're lots of other things nearly as interesting as blacksmithing going on also.

[Click for more info about the festival (directions for example)]

7 hours       $20 entry fee over 12 years old (pay them, not us)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Guided Open Smithy

This is a time to work on your own projects with an experienced smith at hand to help work out ideas, techniques, and approaches.

The experienced smith may be working on something of their own during this session, but their priority is to be there for the students. Feel free to interrupt them at any time.

3 hours       Fee: $95

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Hammer Skills

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.

2.5 hours, variable number of meetings       $85 per week, or $320/month.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Hatchet in the Viking Style

We'll be making a light wrap-around hatchet with a Viking-ish feel to it (We will be drawing out cusps on the cheeks of the eye). The body of the tool will be mild steel bent around the eye and forge welded together. A spring steel edge will be welded in so that the tool's edge can be hardened and tempered.
The finished head will be around 8oz.
This same recipe and collection of techniques, once the student has a handle on them, can be used to make ax or hatchet heads of any size the forge will get hot enough.

Techniques:
Drawing-out, shouldering, spreading, measuring, bending, *welding*, heat-treating, sharpening.

It's not expected that we will get all the way to hanging (putting the handle in) the hatchet, but there will certainly be discussion of the process.

9 hours in three 3 hour meetings       Tuition: $375

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Heart-Shaped Trivet

This class covers the production of a traditional and useful heart-shaped trivet, based on several in the Sorber collection of colonial wrought iron.

Make one for your sweetheart for Valentine's Day (or commission us to make one for you!)

6 hours, 2 3-hour sessions.       $210

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Heat Treating

A discussion about what's-going-on-with-the-atoms-in-there when annealing, normalizing,hardening, and tempering steel. A bunch of why and a fair bit of how, and a chance to play with it for a bit. With lots of time for questions.

One meeting, 2 hours       Fee: $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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I Sebastiani

Commedia dell'Arte is the ancestor of every sitcom you've ever seen.
Stock characters in different situations: the rich man, the learned man, the lovers, the helpful servants,the overhelpful servants, the self-serving servants, the thief, the braggart...
We perform without a script, instead we have a scenario (the outline of the story with entrances and exits).
We practice until we have it (fairly) straight in our heads, then we perform it for you.

Our shows are typically family-friendly, our humor is broad-spectrum - from low to high, childish to mature, churlish to scholarly... we do our best to fly the innuendo over the 12-year-olds' heads.

More information and a brief video Click Here.

Mike is a founding member of the troupe, Carl has only been doing it since '97.

The shows are typically about an hour long. Usually three acts with musical intermezzi.       Admission varies with the venue, usually we ask a donation and/or pass the hat at the end.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Innovations of Yesteryear

We'll be participating in the Innovations of Yesteryear festival along with various other artisans, entertainers, and educators. Come visit!

Click for more Information about the museum and the festival.

$10.00 admission gets you into both the Festival and the Museum.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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International Steampunk City

We will be smithing on Waltham Common.

There is no admission fee

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Iron Carving

You'll learn how to use punches and chisels to open mouths, punch noses and eyes, and cut ears and horns to make fantastical creature heads with unique personalities.

6 hours 2 meetings       $250

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Keep on Smithin'

This course builds on what you have learned so far so that you can keep on smithing. In these classes you will further refine your skills at the forge and anvil... according to the needs of the group.

3 hour meetings, 2 or 4 meetings        Tuition: $390/ four weeks, $200/ two weeks

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Knives, Knives, and More Knives

You've already made a simple blacksmith knife.
We'll be making knives with rat-tail handles, whittle-tang knives with wooden handles, knives with wooden slab handles. Knives made from automotive coil spring, knives made from bed-rail, knives made from strapping steel, knives made from saw blades. Utility knives, cooking knives, nut choppers, craft knives, necklace knives, camping knives... You get the picture, lots of knives in as many ways as we have time for.

To some degree, the choice of knives made will be influenced by the class' desires, but the instructor reserves the right to stipulate the occasional "learning experience".

8 meeting three hours each       $910

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Leather Sheathmaking -- An Introduction

Guest instructor Jessica Reynolds is a professional leatherworker and sheath maker at the New York Renaissance Fair. She'll introduce you to the tools of the trade, how to measure, cut and sew your custom sheath, and some quick tips on shortcuts.

In the first session of this class, Jessica will demonstrate one, possibly two methods of making sheaths and lead you through the process of making a custom sheath to fit your own knife. Don't forget to bring your knife with you! In the second session, you can complete your sheath or, if you've been zipping along, make a second sheath under Jessica's supervision.

There will be an (as yet to be determined) materials fee for this class.

Toolkits (optional) will also be available for those who wish to continue making sheaths at home.

6 hours, 2 meetings.       Tuition: $145.00

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Letter Openers

In this class we will use the tools of the blacksmith to make one or more letter openers. We will use many of the techniques used by knifesmiths and forge a piece of mild steel into a blade and handle, but unlike a knifesmith, we will not concern ourselves with hardening and tempering the blade. While not required, this class is an excellent precursor to any of our knife classes.

6 hours in two meetings       $210

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Make a Tomahawk from a Railroad Spike!

In this class you'll start with a plain or garden-variety Railroad Spike, and end up with a small hand-axe that's anything but plain. You'll learn how to forge a small axe-blade, get in some more practice punching and drifting eyes, and split, carve, and install a handle in the process.
Emphasis will be on making a striking and attractive pseudo-weapon.

When you're done with this class, you'll be fully prepared to deal with the Zombie Apocalypse, especially if it takes place while you're cruising Boston Harbor in the Queen Anne's Revenge. While you're waiting for that, your new 'hawk will come in handy for splitting kindling.

Three 3-hour sessions.       Tuition: $375

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Making Blacksmith Tools

We'll be making tongs of several sorts (but not the rivets, we'll do that the easier way), we may make a medium-sized hammer (maybe convert a ballpein to a crosspein), some punches and chisels, a bending 'U' with the notches for diagonal bending, a box-joint plier, a bottom-tool blank/anvil block, a bick-iron, at least one kind of cutting hardy, a spring fuller... many of the tools you are used to finding on (or somewhere near) the bench at PHF.

Exact content of the class is somewhat up to the class members. The focus will be on the mental tools (techniques and approaches to answering your tool needs) more than actually making every physical tool you need.

Some of the tools will require the class to get together and do some gang-hammering Striker-Team-style.

12 meetings at least, 3 hours each        Fee: $1200

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Making Bloomery Iron

This is more a participatory demo than a class per se. We expect it to take all day. If it rains, we'll be doing it indoors at the smithy. If the weather is nice, we'll be doing it outdoors, a little further out in the suburbs, at a location TBA.

In the first few hours we will mix up some "cob" (dirt/sand/clay/loam and straw) and build a small bloomery-furnace.
We will then fire it with charcoal and over the next few hours we will add ore (magnetite) and charcoal until we believe we have a sufficient iron "bloom" in the bottom of the furnace. Then we will open it and commence to consolidate the bloom into a 'muck bar' and possibly continue on to wrought iron if time/energy/interest allows.

Through the day there will be continuous opportunity to just watch.
In the morning there will be a chance to play grassy-mudpies while we build the furnace; after that everyone can take a turn on the hand-cranked blower (or the bellows if we get ourselves together to do it really old-style). At the end, there will be some opportunity for striker-team folk to help consolidate the bloom.

There will be ample schmoozing time during the process. Food will be acquired as needed, by whatever means seem appropriate at the time, and we will go until we are done. You needn't come-at-the-beginning-and-stay-to the-bitter-end (unless of course you want to). Dropping in and out through the day as fits your schedule and interest is just fine.

School trips and the like are welcome; check in with us about when will be the best time to come by to suit your objectives.

One meeting, roughly 12 hours       Fee: $25 before lunch, $25 after lunch, bring something to share for lunch, and lunch time is free. Lunch will probably be around 2pm

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Making Your Mark

We will approach the punch-making process from a few directions:

  • Carving the design directly on the end of a punch (un-framed punch)
  • Carving/punching the design into the end of a punch (framed punch)
  • Carving the design to punch in the end of another punch (a master for a framed punch)
We'll cover theory, filing, sawing, counterpunching, super-quenching, annealing, hardening and tempering, and the tools necessary.

And maybe a bit of type design, as needed.

If you have a binocular magnifier or a pair (or two) of strong reading glasses, bring them.
(Ocean State Job Lot has them pretty cheap, go for the +3 diopter ones)

Total 9 hours in three three-hour meetings       Fee: $375

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Making a Warhammer

A pointy thumpy bit to put on the end of a stick.

four 3 hour meetings       Tuition: $390

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Maple Sugar Days

We'll be demonstrating smithing amongst maple sugarers and post-and-beam builders in Milton MA.

"Maple Sugar Days is a joint program of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and Massachusetts Audubon’s Trailside Museum."

for More Info Click here.

Directions:
Brookwood Farm is located in the DCR Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. Take Exit 3 (Houghton’s Pond) off Route 93 and follow signs to Maple Sugar Days parking.

6 hours on each of two days       There is a $6 admission fee. Pay them, not us. It benefits theTrailside Museum.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Medieval Knife Camp

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.

15 hours in five meetings       Tuition: $490

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Metal Roses, Copper and Steel

This class will use the familiar rose shape as an introduction to smithing skills and tools.

The first half of the class will be an introduction to various common tools and techniques used in shaping metal as you use a hammer and anvil to draw, flatten, taper, and bend copper into a rose you can take home.
Once you've had the opportunity to practice these moves the second half of the class will focus on applying these techniques to a harder metal, still using traditional tools and techniques but this time with hot steel.
At the end of the second half you will have a second rose, made out of steel, to bring home.

6 hours, one meeting (with lunchbreak)       Tuition: $250

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Middlesex 4H Fair in Westford Massachusetts

PHF will be demonstrating, but not selling anything, from no later than 10am (and maybe earlier) until 4:30.

At least 6 hours, maybe more.       Admission to the fair is $7 or less

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Middlesex County 4H Fair in Westford MA

We'll be demonstrating blacksmithing, touting our classes, showing off things we've made both in class and extracurricularly, and this year (2018) we can offer them for sale!

There may be some amount of Striker Team activity through the day as needed and suited to the situation.

There will be lots of other activities, many animals... lots of... 4H stuff.

Click for more info on the Fair

Most of the day       No admission fee

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Mike's Birthday

This'll be a party in the evening, at the forge, celebrating the fact that Mike gets to tick-off another year. It's not a surprise. We'll probably do a bit like we do for an Open House, that is: we'll have a forge set up for grilling over charcoal, a table for snacks, a table for beverages, and a fairly freshly swept floor.

This'll go for several hours       Bring your presence.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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NEMES Annual Show
New England Model Engineering Society

A meeting and show at which the members of the Society show off their latest works.

http://www.neme-s.org/

 Members of NEMES will fill the Jackson Room at the CRMII with all sorts of interesting gadgets.


Free with Museum admission.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Nailmaking

We will make a nail header and then use it to make hand-wrought nails.

The cost of the class includes 3 hours of Open Smithy (at a discounted rate) for the continued making of nails.

Techniques:  drawing, hardening, tempering, upsetting, punching,  cutting,  heading nails.

One session, 3 hours       Fee: $190

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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New England Blacksmiths

The semi-annual meeting of the New England Blacksmiths. More info at:
http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/spring_&_fall_meets.htm

$26 (pay them)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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New England Blacksmiths - Fall Meet

The semi-annual meeting of the New England Blacksmiths. More info at:
http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/spring_&_fall_meets.htm

$75 (pay them)Click here for the registration form

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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New England Blacksmiths - Spring Meet

The semi-annual meeting of the New England Blacksmiths. More info at:
http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/2017/03/2017-spring-meet/

Fee unclear, bring some money, there's food, and tools and stuff to learn.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The New England Folk Festival

PHF staff will be at NEFFA for the three days of the event, participating as staff and dancers, probably not demonstrating blacksmithing.

3 days       Check their site for admission fees

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Nothing but Knives

In this class the student will start by learning the basic moves of knife-making on a piece of mild steel, ending up with a letter-opener if all goes well, and then move on to a piece of high-carbon spring steel and make a small, simple, one piece knife, suitable for cooking, eating, or general use.

Focus will be entirely on making a knife; only those tools, techniques and concepts needed for knife making will be addressed. The fires will be managed by the instructor.

Techniques include: straightening, drawing out, forging high-carbon steel, twisting, flattening, annealing, filing, grinding, hardening, and tempering.

9 hours in three 3 hour meetings       $375

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Open House at Prospect Hill Forge

We may demonstrate some of the wonders of blacksmithing. We usually convert one or two of our forges to grills by charging them with charcoal instead of coal (bring things to cook on a stick or grill), and mull cider with mullers and loggerheads. Unlike most barbecues, weather doesn't change our plans, we are set up to do it indoors.
If you like, you can sign up for blacksmithing classes, or buy ironwork or gift certificates while you're here.
There will be no high-pressure sales talk; it's a party and we're here to enjoy it too. But hey, if you ask about taking classes or learning about blacksmithing...

Directions to the smithy.

Usually a full afternoon or a full evening       No admission fee, but feel free to bring something to throw on the grill, or cook on a fork.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Open Smithy

This is a chance to use your blacksmithing knowledge to work on your own projects or continue on a project begun in a class.

You are expected to have some idea about what you are doing (including cleaning the forge, lighting it, and putting it out), this is not a teaching situation.

There will be a monitor whose job it is to help keep you and the tools safe, and to know where stuff is, but the monitor is not expected to be any more helpful than that, it sometimes happens, but it's not to be expected.

If you would like to reserve a forge in a scheduled Open Smithy session, please scroll down to the date that interests you and click where it says "Click Here".

Sometimes there are classes that are marked "(space available)" on the calendar, which means that there's an open forge at which you could work on your projects whilst we conduct a class around you.
Contact us directly if you are interested in one of those times.
(Because of the need to occasionally stop everyone hammering, we'll be appropriately generous with the accounting of OS time.)

Note: We have stock for purchase, we have some 3/8"square scrap bits for practice, or you can bring your own.
Further Note: No plated or galvanized material is to be put in forges at Prospect Hill Forge.

Also Note:
If you just show up or wait until the last minute to sign up, you're taking a chance that no one else reserved and we decided to sleep in/go sailing/go dancing, OR that lots of people reserved and there's no room for you.

Hours vary. See below.       $25 per hour 1 hr minimum 10%-off 10-hour-package discount available ($225) (+$10 cash for the forge-fire lesson if needed)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Our Fourth Birthday Party

We opened officially on May 1st, 2007, but our Grand Opening Bash was later in the month, so it seems fitting that our Birthday Party should be a bit late, too. The evening of Saturday, the 14th of May, fits that bill beautifully.

We'll have one of the forges charged with charcoal so that we can cook over it. (Food cooked over coal is not a tasty treat.)

So, mark your calendars to drop by the smithy to have a schmooze, a beverage, and a nibble. As with any Open house, if you've completed Basics or Rudiments III you can come in and play on our dime to the amusement and edification of the other attendees.

Saturday evening from ~6 until fairly late       No charge, but feel free to bring party supplies -- and friends!

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Our Ninth Birthday

We started in May of '07, and it's been uphill ever since.
Well over a thousand students have experienced the thrill of imposing their will on incandescent steel since then.

It'll be pretty much the usual semi-pot-luck, we'll trick out forge 3 with a grill and charcoal for tasty cooking of tasty things.
Please feel free to bring something to put on the grill, on the table, or in a cup.
Gluten-free items are especially appreciated.

We'll start about 4 and go until... 10-ish ... however long we maintain critical mass.

If you'd like to feel that there's a theme to the party... let's go with "the opposite of Nine" and do with that concept what you will.

This is intended to be a party more than anything else, if you want to talk about classes, or buy something, we will accommodate you, but we're not going to start anything.

roughly 6 hours       Bring something good (see above)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Our Second Birthday Party (and Open House)

We opened officially on May first 2007 but our Grand Opening Bash was later in the month, so it seems fitting that our Birthday Party should be a bit late too and the evening of Saturday the 16th of May fits that bill beautifully.

We'll have one of the forges charged with charcoal so that we can cook over it. (Food cooked over coal is not a tasty treat.)

So, mark your calendars to c'mon by the smithy have a schmooze, a beverage, and a nibble. As with any Open house, if you've completed Basics or Rudiments III you can come in and play on our dime.

Saturday evening from ~6 until fairly late       Feel free to bring something to eat, drink, or cook, but it's not required.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Our Seventh Birthday

Seven Years.

Wholely Moley.

We started in May of '07, and it's been uphill ever since.
We've had nearly a thousand students in that time. Some have caught on fire, a few have merely burned themselves.

It'll be pretty much the usual semi-pot-luck, we'll trick out forge 3 with a grill and charcoal for tasty cooking of tasty things.
Please feel free to bring something to put on the grill, on the table, or in a cup.
Gluten-free items are especially appreciated.

We'll start about 6:30 and go until... midnight-ish ... however long we maintain critical mass.

If you'd like to feel that there's a theme to the party, consider it to be "Lucky Seven" and do with that concept what you will.

This is intended to be a party more than anything else, if you want to talk about classes, or buy something, we will accommodate you, but we're not going to start anything.

One meeting, roughly five and one half hours.       There is no fee. Just bring Your Own Fine Self.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Pensic War

Pensic is essentially the annual international convention of the Society for Creative Anachronism. If it's medieval and fun, we do it, and it all gets done at Pensic.

Western Pennsylvania, Here we come!

Class tuition to be determined.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Preserving the Fire

3 Days of Hot Metal at The Ashokan Center, Olivebridge, NY

A Cooperative Event, Sponsored by:
Northeast Blacksmiths Association, New England Blacksmiths Association, Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland

With the Support of:
Connecticut Blacksmiths, Capitol District Smiths, Berkshire Blacksmiths, Blacksmith's Guild of the Potomac, Pennsylvania Artist Blacksmiths' Association

More information at http://acblacksmiths.org/

Register before Aug 1st to avoid late fees.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Private Class

A Private Class might be a special subject asked for by a group with a particular interest, it could be an advanced topic we don't usually offer, it could be a corporate team-building exercise...

It's hard to say which it is this time, these things have happened, and will happen again.

Note:If it says next to a date listing below, that no one has signed up for the class, all that means is that none of the participants have signed-in online. Possibly because it's a surprise.

Class length is negotiable.       Fee: Negotiable

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Private Party at the Forge

Prospect Hill Forge is happy to host your party, be it to celebrate an Engagement, an upcoming Marriage, an Anniversary, a Birthday, a Bar Mitzvah, a Reunion, a Bat Mitvah... any day that is so important you want to remember what you and your family or friends did that day for the rest of your life.

We've done corporate team-building exercises and Thank-God-That-Project-Is-Done celebrations.

We can tailor a class to your needs, interests, and (within the constraints of our already-scheduled classes) your schedule.

We hosted a Bridal Shower where the guests all made hooks to fit on the bride's Pot Rack. The bride is making the Pot Rack herself.
There was a young man's 13th Birthday Party where his friends got to beat on hot iron, and most of them made useful items.
We had a Bachelor Party where the groom's friends all took our 'Nothing but Knives' class together.

Surely there's an occasion in your life that ought to be marked by hammering hot iron.

Class length: Negotiable       The fees for Private Parties are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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RR Spike Bottle Opener

We'll start with an old railroad spike, and wind up with something that can open bottles, and is still recognizable as a RR spike. Intended for rail enthusiasts to have fun with some smithing, this class will involve twisting, drawing out, dishing, and the fiddly work of adjusting a bottle opener so that it works. This class is NOT generally a substitute for "A Taste of Blacksmithing".

1 three-hour meeting       Fee: $125

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Ready, Set, Smith!

A straight-through series of classes roughly equivalent to the usual PHF offerings of "A Taste of Blacksmithing", "Rudiments of Blacksmithing I", and "Rudiments II" all in one package.

Techniques that will be covered:

Shop Safety
Basic Hammer Technique
Fire Management
Drawing Out
Scrolling
Bending
Isolating Mass
Shouldering
Dishing
Punching and Drifting
Splitting
Forge Welding
Basic Tool and Tong Making
Sculptural Forging

27 hours of class in 9 meetings of 3 hours each       Tuition: $825

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing I

This class continues where "A Taste of Blacksmithing" leaves off. You'll learn more about shop safety and begin to work on forge-fire management, while being guided thorough a series of projects that will begin to build your repertoire of basic blacksmithing techniques, including:
drawing
bending
cutting
twisting
fullering
punching
drifting
riveting
Typical projects in Rudiments I include forks, tongs, and ivy-leaf finials. There will be time after the hammers are down for questions and further discussion. Taking the classes Rudiments I, Rudiments II, and Rudiments III is the equivalent of taking The Basics of Blacksmithing class.

12 hours total in either four 3-hour sessions or five 2.5-hour sessions.       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing II

This class builds on the skills developed in Rudiments of Blacksmithing I. You'll refine your command of forge-fire management, improve other existing skills, especially forging, and be guided through projects that will expand your repertoire of basic blacksmithing techniques by introducing:
upsetting
hot filing
hardening
tempering
sinking
grinding
forging high carbon steel
adjusting tools
forge-welding
sharp angle bending

Typical projects in Rudiments II include animorphic heads, spoons, center-punches, chisels, and brackets. As always there will be time after the hammers are down for questions and further discussion. Taking the classes Rudiments I, Rudiments II, and Rudiments III is the equivalent of taking The Basics of Blacksmithing class.

12 hours total in either 4 3-hour sessions or 6 2-hour sessions.       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing III

This class continues where Rudiments of Blacksmithing II left off. You'll finally have some idea of how to manage a forge-fire, and get to practice doing so.  While doing so, you'll produce matching scrolls and generally work on having more control over your work, and learn still more basic techniques, including:
scrollwork
collaring
forging pipe
threading (taps and dies)
sheet metal work
bending matching curves

Typical projects in Rudiments III include candlesticks and ornamental scrollwork.Taking the classes Rudiments I, Rudiments II, and Rudiments III is the equivalent of taking The Basics of Blacksmithing class.

12 hours total in either 4 3-hour sessions or 6 2-hour sessions.       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing IV

Rudiments IV can be seen as the first four weeks of Basics II.
In Basics II (Rudiments 4,5,6) each meeting starts with lighting the fire and adding another link to the chain. Then we get on about the rest of the class.

We will cover:
- basics of identifying and learning to heat-treat unknown steel.
- making an eye-punch/maker's mark
- the Square-Octagonal-Round exercise/demonstration-of-skill
- making a welded twisted-basket-motif s-hook

and whatever might fit in or answer a question as time permits.

4 three hour meetings       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing V

Rudiments V can be seen as the second four weeks of four weeks of our Basics II Series.
In Basics II (Rudiments 4,5,6) each meeting starts with lighting the fire and adding another link to the chain. Then we get on about the rest of the class.

We will cover:
- Lap-welding and Cleft-welding and the heat control that goes with
- Scrolling-in-air, making a juggling ball
- Working to a drawing
- Working as Master and Striker, with and without set tools

and whatever might fit in or answer a question as time permits.

12 hours in 4 meetings       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Rudiments of Blacksmithing VI

Rudiments VI can be seen as the third four weeks of our Basics II Series.
In Basics II (Rudiments 4,5,6) each meeting starts with lighting the fire and adding another link to the chain. Then we get on about the rest of the class.

We will cover:
- Making a small hammer head and how to put a handle on it
- Threading the needle
- Collar welding and if there's time threading a bolt on the hardy
- Working with Wrought Iron, the joys and the pitfalls

and whatever might fit in or answer a question as time permits.

12 hours in 4 meetings       Fee: $390; a discount applies if signing up for three sequential Rudiments classes at once.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Russian Rose

The Russian Rose is a fairly simple design that, in its simplest form, can be bashed out in ten or twelve heats.
Done small, it can be a hair stick, made larger, it can be one of a dozen for a grand presentation.

We will have time to make several tries at variations on this basic rose.
There are tweaks we will try... exercises in pre-allocation of mass and curve; adding petals, and adding flare.

3 hours, one meeting       Tuition: $125

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A San Mai Knife

We'll be making a smallish general use knife whose blade has a solid steel core and sides made of... something else (mild steel, wrought iron, purchased patternweld, the result from our Patternweld Billet class...), forged, annealed, filed and ground, hardened, tempered, and handled.
The student will have the choice of making the handle a pinned-slab full-tang or a whittle-tang.
We have some handle-wood, if there's something in particular you want to use, bring it.

Note: It should be expected that completion of the knife handle will require work done outside of class (Open Smithy at PHF, or in the Student's own workshop), our supply of woodworking tools is limited.

12 hours in 4 three hour sessions       Fee: $500

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Saugus Ironworks Founders Day Iron Pour

We're not coordinating, offering transport, or charging for this -- we're just encouraging you to take this day to make a trip to Saugus -- it's what we'll be doing.

Directions to Saugus Ironworks

They're open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, but we think the Iron Pour part of the day will mostly be taking place between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Check with them to be sure!

Free!

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Shane Stainton: Making a Hunting Knife

Shane, is this picture the sort of knife you'll be making?

Knifemaker and blacksmith Shane Stainton (www.forgedknives.net) makes a variety of historical and modern styles of knives. He comes to us from his smithy in upstate New York.

He describes the class thusly:

This will be a two day class in which we explore the proper making of a knife, its fittings, and the final finish of the work. We will make a clip point hunting knife with a guard and pommel, handled in wood or antler.

Subjects covered will be:
forging the entire knife closely to shape (i.e. the tang, bolster shoulders, and blade)
edge quenching for hamons
finish beveling
decorative file work
making a guard and slotting it for the blade
making a handle
making a pommel
assembling the knife
final fit and finish.

We will also discuss other basic blade profiles and handle styles such as 'slab handled' and 'built handled'.
Day one will be the forging to shape, filing, heat treatment of the blade, and the forging of fittings
Day two will be initial finish work, assembly, fit, and final finish.

Two very full days       The tuition for this class is still to be determined.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Sharpening Your Knives

Do you have fine kitchen knives that don't seem to cut as well as when you first got them? When you try to sharpen them, do they seem to cut worse, rather than better?

We'll show you how to put a keen edge on your good carbon-steel and stainless knives, straight and serrated, and either how to use the sharpening tools you already own, or how to use a simple, cheap, traditional bench stone.

If you have sharpening equipment, please bring it and we will work with that, we also have a number of sharpening stones you can use in the shop. Bring a couple of your own knives. Straight chisels and plane blades are also acceptable.

2 hours one meeting       Tuition fee: $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Sheath Your Knife

In the first session of this class, we will demonstrate the process of making a custom sheath to fit oyur knife.
In the second session, you can complete your sheath or, if you've been zipping along, make a second sheath under supervision.
A variety of leathers and all the necessary tools will be provided. If there's a particular leather you have that you want to use, bring it and we'll see if it's suitable.

There will be an $8 materials fee for this class.

Don't forget to bring your knife with you!

6 hours, 2 meetings.       Tuition: $145.00

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Shop Maintenance

A three-or-so hour session wherein we put stuff in the smithy to rights.
We'll tweak tongs, straighten, re-temper, and sharpen punches and chisels, tighten and wax hammer handles, de-rust rusty tools, replace broken ones...

3-or-so hours.
If you want to show up early, work it out directly with Carl.       There is no fee per se, your work is your payment for whatever you might learn... if you happen to bring a little something for during or after, that'd be ok...

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Shopmade Tap and Die

We will go through the moves to make our own matching tap and die (non-standard in both thread profile and and pitch).

Using wire as a guide, we will hand saw (then perhaps file) a thread on a rod, then taper, flute, and harden it, then use that tap to thread a hole which we will then taper and flute to make a die, and with that we will be able to cut the real thread on a new rod, and turn that into the real tap.

Will it be useful?
Hmmmm... practically speaking... well... no, not particularly so.
A lot will be learned, a much deeper appreciation for nuts and bolts will be gained, it should be satisfying, entertaining, educational, and possibly... fun.

12 hours in four 3-hour meetings       Fee: $390

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Simple Knives

In this class the student will start with a piece of high-carbon spring steel and make a small, simple, one-piece knife, suitable for cooking, eating, or general use. This class is intended for students with at least some previous experience in the smithy -- we require that the student have taken at least A Taste of Blacksmithing, and recommend Rudiments of Blacksmithing, or equivalent experience, or more. The more prior forging and heat management experience you have, the better your knife will come out. There is another class, Nothing But Knives , for those who want to skip straight to making things with edges, though we still recommend at least some prior experience.

Techniques include: straightening, drawing out, hammering high-carbon steel, twisting, flattening, annealing, filing, grinding, hardening, and tempering.

1 4.5-hour session, with a brief break.       This class is no longer offered, it takes more than a single session to do anything like a proper job of making a knife.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Small (Jeweler's) Hammers

Learn to make your own jeweler's hammers. The sizes you want, the shapes you want, when you want.
The focus will be on learning the skills necessary to make small (less than three ounce) hammers for riveting, raising (anti- and syn- clastic), shaping, texturing... whatever.

Students should bring if possible:
- A handle (or handles) suited to the hammer(s) they plan to make

12 hours. Four meetings       Fee: $420

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Special Open Smithy

This is a special session of Open Smithy intended primarily for students of our special classes. These sessions are typically scheduled just before or after the classes in question and are intended to give those students a chance to continue their work with minimal interruption.

If you are one of our regular students and there is room, you are welcome to come and work, but please note that priority will be given to students of the current special class.

In general Open Smithy is a chance to work on your own projects or continue on a project begun in a class.If you would like to reserve a forge, call or email us at If you just show up, you're taking a chance that no one else called ahead and we decided to go sailing, or that lots of people called ahead and there's no room to work.

$25 per hour 1 hr minimum 10-hour-package discount available

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Strawberries and Art Festival

We'll be demonstrating blacksmithing and offering our wares for sale.

There will be some amount of Striker Team activity through the day as needed and suited to the situation.

There will be lots of other merchants and artists, there was some very neat stuff last year, and some good food too.

Click for more info on the Festival

6 hours       No admission fee

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Striker Team

We'll be learning to strike and to master, with single strikers and with teams of strikers. Striking directly and with set-tools. This is not so much a class in the usual sense as it is an ongoing practice session. There will be training for new people as they arrive, and practice for the more experienced. The projects we work on will be for the smithy or for sale by the smithy. Accordingly, the hourly rate for Striker team practice is lower than the usual Open Smithy rate.

Our Striker Team is available for both our own and our students' use, and performs at Fairs, Festivals, Exhibitions, and other opportunities for blacksmithing demonstrations, showing what it was like to do heavy forging in the old days. To book the Striker Team for a special project, drop us an email.
To come see the Striker Team in action, check out our calendar for Fairs and Festivals at which we will be performing.

2 Hours (or so)       Fee: $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Sunday Afternoon at the Forge

We'll be spending a couple hours in the afternoon working with/on one of a variety of techniques or concepts. Generally there will be about 20 minutes of lecture, the rest of the time will be for the participants to work alone or together on the day's subject.

Exploring Fold Forming
We'll deal with some particular aspect of fold-forming for the first 15 or 20 minutes, after that, it's a chance to use the tools and cross-fertilize with other fold-formers.

Striker Team
A time to work on large iron in teams, with sledge hammers.

Twisting the Afternoon Away
We'll discuss some underlying concepts of twisting and why things come out the way they do, then try putting them to work making sample twists.

Students Show Off
A chance for our students to strut their stuff and show what they've been up to.

Watch and Do
We'll watch (or read) an instructional blacksmithing video (or book), then go try it out. The video (or book) will be available for reference all through the time.




Usually 2 hours, often followed by a few hours of Open Smithy       $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Taste of Blacksmithing

In this three hour class you will be introduced to the basic smithing techniques of hammering, drawing-out, cutting, bending, and twisting. Using these techniques and a coal-fired forge you will heat a piece of iron to brilliant incandescence and with anvil, hammer, and tongs create a decorative and useful 'S'-hook.

If you have a Gift Certificate for this class but none of these dates work for you, have a look at our Forged Bottle Opener class.
The skills taught are near-identical to those in this class, and we will happily apply a Taste Gift Certificate to the Bottle Opener class.

If you really enjoy "A Taste...", there is more you can do afterward.

3 hours   one meeting         Fee: $75

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Teen Knives

In this class the student will start by learning the basic moves of knife-making on a piece of mild steel, ending up with a letter-opener if all goes well, and then move on to a piece of high-carbon spring steel and make one or more small knives, suitable for cooking, eating, or general use.

Focus will be entirely on making a knife; only those tools, techniques and concepts needed for knife making will be addressed. The fires will be managed by the instructor.

Techniques include: straightening, drawing out, forging high-carbon steel, twisting, flattening, annealing, filing, grinding, hardening, and tempering.

15 hours in five 3-hour meetings       Tuition: $450 (includes all materials)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Tent Stakes and Open Smithy

A chance to make good solid tent stakes.

This is sort of a focused Open Smithy* time. The main intent will be to make, you guessed it, tent stakes.

Techniques: drawing-out, cutting,and bending. Minor coaching on form and technique will be available. We have four coal forges, so that many people (or groups) can be working at once. Some protective gear is available. If you're bringing a group you may need to bring some of your own eye and ear protection. We have aprons, ear muffs, and safety glasses enough to protect eight people. Bring your own stock or buy some from us, we have 1/2" square, 3/8" square & round on the rack.

*If you really want to make something else while everyone else is making tent stakes, feel free, you can do as you please with your forge time.

$25/hour

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Toasting Forks

In this class we will make a long-handled two-tined fork suitable for cooking at the grille or over the campfire.

The techniques involved will be splitting, drawing out, curling & bending, and if there's time, twisting and draw-filing.

This fork design can also be modified slightly to serve as a most excellent marshmallow toasting fork (S'mores anyone?).

3 1/2 hours, one meeting       $123

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Topsfield Fair

We are the blacksmiths at the Topsfield Fair again this year.

If you are a smith, and you'd like to demonstrate at the fair, please contact us, we'll probably welcome the break.

We will be in "Kiddieland" on "Country Way". [hey, we don't name these things.] If you come in the main gate on Rt 1, we are around to the right (due South of the Administration building).

If you come in from the "Riverside" parking area which is south of the fairgrounds on Rt.1, come straight in and turn left after the cider people. we are to the left across from the Turkey Leg vendor.

More info on the fair

10am to 11pm, except the 1st Friday, which is 1pm to 11pm       Click here for the admission fee schedule, if you're helping us, we can comp you in.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Tripods

In this class we will make a tripod for cooking over a camp fire.

This is a good solid design that stands well and can also be arranged as two verticals with a horizontal either as a spit or as a bar for hanging utensils from.

Techniques: hacksawing, drawing-out, bending, twisting (optional)

The parts disassemble easily for transport. You'll need a few 'S' hooks or a trammel hook to adjust the height of your cookpot. (Watch for a trammel hook class coming soon).

2 hours   one meeting           Fee: $80  +  $8- $12 materials fee depending on size of tripod

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Trivet, a Matched-Scroll Project

In this class, we will sharpen our eye and improve our bending skills. We will make three matched one-ended scrolls with the ends bent down to make feet. We will collar them together with six collars to make a highly functional, sturdy, and possibly elegant three-legged trivet.

The student will have a choice whether to make it more suited to table-use or hearth-use.

If you have taken Rudiments III and you made the pair of scrolls, we are discounting this class for you.

Note: This trivet is what we make now in Rudiments III, if R3 is on your list, you ought skip this class until you decide afterward that you want to do it again.

6 hours, 2 meetings       Fee: $210 ($175 for past R3 students who made the pair of scrolls)

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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A Tween's First Taste of Blacksmithing

The discovery of iron and how to work it changed human history. Tools, weapons, and daily life haven't been the same since. This is your "tween's" chance to learn to control one of the basic elements of modern human life.

In this class he or she will be introduced to the basic smithing techniques of hammering, drawing-out, cutting, bending, and twisting. Using these techniques and a coal-fired forge your child will heat a piece of iron to brilliant incandescence and with anvil, hammer, and tongs create a decorative and useful hook designed to be driven into a post or beam.

This class is not limited to tweens (Yes, Mom or Dad, you can take the class, too), but we do try to make sure that the tweens outnumber the older students. The material presented is similar to that in our regular "A Taste of Blacksmithing" and "A Teen's First Taste of Blacksmithing" classes, but with less detailed lecture content, to better suit younger students, and a simpler project -- a blunt-ended drive-hook.

Enrollment is limited to four students, so that they don't have to share tools and workspace, and each student gets more working-time and more attention from the instructor than in the teen or adult versions of the class.

one meeting 3.5 hours with a 1/2 hour lunch break.       Fee: $100

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Twisting the Afternoon Away

The twist is a very common ornament in blacksmithing, largely because the aesthetic return for your labor investment is huge.

We'll talk about how and why twisting does what it does and how heat, cross section, size, and interruptions affect how stock twists. Then we'll play with as many variations as the class can come up with.

One meeting, 2 hours (with Open Smithy following for those who wish to stay on)       $35

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Two Weeks More Smithin'

This is a two-week extension of a class, either to finish the intended class work, or to explore just a little bit more.

6 hours in two 3-hour meetings       Fee: $175

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Waltham Mills Artists' Association Open Studios

The WMAA Open Studios takes place each year on the first weekend of November. The 80-plus artists of the WMAA open their homes and studios to the public. Works of all media imaginable are demonstrated, displayed and discussed.

PHF will be there displaying and offering for sale a variety of ironwork, and touting our classes.

Carl will be offering his Percussive Drawings for sale and will also have his armor and some other sculpture on display.

Visit the WMAA website for more information.

Note!: This is not at the Smithy. This is at 144 Moody Street in Waltham, right near the Charles River.

Directions to the WMAA Buildings.
You will need to park elsewhere unless you have handicapped plates. There are public lots just across the Charles that are a brief walk away.

There is no admission fee...

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Waltham Riverfest

This will be our second year at the Riverfest, and we expect to be just one of many interesting demonstrations, activities, and entertainments.

We'll be demonstrating from 9am to 3pm.
We won't so much be _on_ the river, as _over_ it, as in 'above', as in on the Moody Street Bridge. It ought to be pleasantly breezy albeit open to the sky. www.walthamriverfest.com

Free!

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Watch City Steampunk Festival

Watch us smith, and learn why this ancient craft is still needed today.
You folks who procrastinate buying Mom that special something should note we'll have ironwork for sale.
A gift certificate can give your Mom the opportunity to beat the snert out of some hot metal!

More info at: The Watch City Steampunk Festival site.

Free

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Whittle Tang Knife

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.

In the first meeting we'll forge the tang then the blade, hot-file to shape and heat treat the blade in the style we use in our Simple Knives class. In the second meeting we will install and finish the handle.

If time allows, we will discuss sheath options.

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.

6 hours in two meetings       Fee: $210

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Winslowshire Renaissance Festival

We'll be doing some demonstrations of traditional blacksmithing techniques, making household (and Renn Faire!) objects, and showing off our Striker Team -- several smiths working with sledge hammers on a single anvil. The two day event will be on June 25th and 26th of 2011 from 11 am to 5 pm each day. For more information about the event, please go to the website at http://www.winslowshire.com

Directions:

The directions on the Faire's Site are good.

But note that there is a hiccup in the signage:
As you get close, there are square yellow signs with big black arrows. At the last turn they switch to a white rectangular sign. There is a square yellow sign there too, but it doesn't look the same as the others.

Admission is $12.00 for adults and $7.00 for kids ages 5 – 13, and kids under 4 will be free. Specials include: Two day pass for $18.00, Come dressed in Renaissance Attire for $2.00 off and a Veterans’ Discount of $2.00 (must show military ID). Specials may not be combined.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Worcester stART on the street

We will be one of sixteen crafts booths doing demonstrations on Park street in Worcester. The street will be closed to automotive traffic, so bring your walkin' shoes.

We'll be demonstrating in our usual fashion, making knives, hooks, dragons, and working in some Striker Team if we have the strikers to do it.

Our space is near the corner of Elm and Park, on the grassy area roughly across from the J.N.Phillips Auto Glass place, about half-way along Park street.

More information Here.

Just the one day       No admission fee.

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Wrought Iron Bracelets

Make a wrought iron bracelet in just a few hours. Use traditional blacksmithing techniques to make a distinctly non-traditional item. Work an iron bar with fire and water, hammer and tongs, vise and anvil. Learn about heat control, hammer control, and self-control while creating a ready-to-wear bracelet with a tapered, sinuous motif. Techniques will include forging (flaring and drawing to a taper), bending, and twisting.

3 hours (and maybe a little)       Fee: $75

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Wrought Iron Candlestick

This class is specifically geared to the production of a simple, elegant and functional candlestick. In the process of making it, you'll cut threads with tap & die, form a tenon, forge pipe, and work with sheet steel.

When finished with this class, the student should be able to use Open Smithy Time to make as large a set of candlesticks as they desire.

This class is seven hours long, in two sessions, the first of which is three hours long, the second usually four hours.       No longer offered

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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The Wrought Iron Churchkey

We will be making a churchkey-style bottle opener from 1" x 1/4" mild steel.
(They seem to be all the rage among blacksmiths these days, I blame Mark Aspery)

Techniques involved:
Chamfering
Punching
Drawing/stretching on the horn
Using a set-tool
Bending
and finally, prying.

3 hours, 1 meeting.       Fee: $125

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Zero to Blacksmithing

This is a chance for a teen with no experience to engage with an ancient and vital craft.

We'll cover the content of our 'A Taste of Blacksmithing' wherein we learn safety and basic hammer technique and make an 'S'-hook, and our 'Rudiments of Blacksmithing I' class where we make a barbeque fork and a pair of blacksmithing tongs, in the process learning how to run a variety of coal forges.

For adults we cover this content in 5 3-hour meetings, in this class we do it in 6 2.5-hour meetings, a pace we've found better suited to our younger students.       $480

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Zero to BlacksmithingII

Zero to Blacksmithing is a chance for a teen with no prior smithing experience to engage with an ancient and vital craft. This is the second segment of the class, covering material equivalent to that covered in our adult class Rudiments of Blacksmithing II, in which we make a hardened and tempered punch and chisel and use them to make a steel "dragon" head and also get in a lot more practice with the hammer, and with temperature control.

For adults we cover this content in 4 3-hour meetings, in this class we do it in 5 2.5-hour meetings, a pace we've found better suited to our younger students.       $400

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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Zero to BlacksmithingIII

Zero to Blacksmithing is a chance for a teen with no prior smithing experience to engage with an ancient and vital craft. This is the third segment of the class, covering material equivalent to that covered in our adult class Rudiments of Blacksmithing III, including collaring, working with pipe, making matching parts, scrollwork, and tapping and threading.

For adults we cover this content in 4 3-hour meetings, in this class we do it in 5 2.5-hour meetings, a pace we've found better suited to our younger students.       $400

Full Description, Dates, and Registration Information.

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