Blacksmithing classes Bay Area

Spring Quarter

April 20 – June 29

Summer Quarter

June 29 – August 23

Youth Summer Camps

June 22 – August 7

  • Six 1-week sessions available

2015 Summer Catalog

Download Summer Catalog (PDF 2MB)

Blacksmithing Faculty

Learn the basics of heating steel in a forge and shaping it with a hammer, anvil and chisel. You’ll master five basic smithing operations: drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting and punching, and you’ll make several small pieces of your own. Advanced classes introduce you to the power hammer, bladesmithing, forge welding and ornamental ironwork.

Spring Quarter

Please see the Class Index page here.

Summer Quarter

Blacksmithing I

Learn the art of forging and shaping steel, and gain a working understanding of blacksmithing tools and techniques including tapering, upsetting, flattening, dishing and bending while making several small projects, such as spoons, knives, forks and hooks.

Blacksmithing II

After taking Blacksmithing I, learn more techniques including including scroll making, collaring, basic tool making, and heat treating, setting the satge for advanced classes such as Bladesmithing and Techniques in Ornamental Ironwork.

Youth Blacksmithing (Ages 12 – 17)

Learn to bend and shape steel in The Crucible’s smithy as you practice traditional blacksmithing techniques such as drawing, bending, twisting, punching, slitting and drifting using the forge and anvil. Students will learn to forge with confidence and complete projects such as a bracelet, hook, fork, and spoon.

Youth Blacksmithing Immersion Program (Ages 12 – 17)

A full week’s study of blacksmithing. Young artisans will have the skills by the week’s end to design and create an independent project. No experience necessary.

Future Quarters

Blacksmithing Friday Night Fireside

Industrial arts with a social splash – two hours of blacksmithing instruction followed by a drink with your classmates as you compare your finished pieces and visit. A perfect after-work decompression.

Three-Hour Taster

Complete a small project to take home while learning the very basics of forging steel and using blacksmithing tools. Taster classes make great gifts for a do-it-yourselfer, or small groups. Sign up for one morning and one afternoon taster on the same day in separate disciplines and receive a $15 discount.

Forgewelding

This advanced blacksmithing skill has long been the highest mark of metalworking expertise. For centuries, it was the only way to weld steel and iron, and was commonly used to pattern weld blades and knives. The intensive two-day class covers all the fundamentals of this ancient method. Learn the process of repeatedly drawing out a billet of steel, then folding it back and welding it upon itself, the importance of flux and proper use of the power hammer.

Women’s Blacksmithing I

This special workshop, taught by women just for women, teaches the fundamental steel forging techniques of tapering, upsetting, flattening, and twisting. You will have a chance to make a small project while learning the same skills and completing the same projects as the regular Blacksmithing Iclass, just with more woman power!

Techniques in Ornamental Iron Work

Take your skills to the next level and begin producing quality work that sells. This class covers traditional decorative ironwork methods and introduces the power hammer. You will learn and explore techniques including scroll work, hot chisel work, twisting, floral design and other form-shaping procedures.

Power Hammer I

The power hammer is a pneumatic or mechanical hammer used to shape metal. This workshop will focus on theory, safety, control and basic free-form and tooling techniques. Each student will learn and practice techniques in forging and heat treating a set of basic hammer tools which include: side sets, round-back flatter and a pair of tongs bringing students mastery skill level on the power hammer by the end of the class. Emphasis will be put on the effective and safe operation and maintenance of the hammer. This course is the first prerequisite for the Power Hammer in our CREATE program which gives students independent access to the tools and equipment in the smithy for developing skills and creating individual projects.

Power Hammer II

Building on the skills of Power Hammer I, students will break down large cross sections (2” square or round or better) of 4140 tool steel to make open and closed hand held dies. The open dies can make moldings from flat stock or textures for plate or bar stock. The closed dies can make balls, acorns or knobs of many different designs for the end or middle of a bar. Students will also learn to make various hand held punches, cutters and side sets for work under the power hammer. In addition to forging these tools, the class will learn the basics of simple heat treating. This course is the second prerequisite for the Power Hammer in our CREATE program which gives students independent access to the tools and equipment in the smithy for developing skills and creating individual projects.

Build Your Own Propane Forge

Need creative fire? Build your own forge. Guided by a professional blacksmith, you’ll build a basic forge from an efficient design using three types of refractory materials, and keep it to use for your own blacksmithing projects. The materials fee includes all parts and equipment costs except the propane tank. Welding experience is helpful, but not necessary.

Bladesmithing

This highly specialized course focuses on the forging techniques you need to produce sharp-edged tools of high-carbon steel. You will learn blade design, forging techniques for blade steels and controlling steel’s grain structure, as well as hardening and tempering methods, steel finishes and handle construction. We emphasize the fundamental skills you need to forge a good knife.

Forge Your Own Blacksmith Hammer

Learn how to make your own personal blacksmith tools. Make a punch and learn how to use it to punch the eye on a hammerhead. You will also learn techniques in double striking and heat treating, and be introduced to the power hammer. Come out of the class having made two essential tools of the trade for your personal use.

Forging Fire Eating Torches

Learn how to make your own personal fire eating performance tools, while practicing such basic forging techniques as tapering, flattening, twisting and finishing. Remove mill scale and add patinas to your pieces, and learn how sealants protect torches from rusting. Construction of kevlar heads will also be covered. You will come out having made two fire eating torches from beginning to end.