What you’ll do
When you arrive
On arrival, you’ll be signed in and introduced to the smith who will talk through the course step-by-step and help you select which design you would like to make. We’ll discuss what you want to achieve for the day before providing you with protective equipment and a safety briefing.
Firing up the forge
The forge will have been lit and heating up before you arrive, so it’s ready to go! You will get an introduction on how to control and maintain the fire of the forge to a forging heat.
Choosing a Handle
When deciding on a handle, bear in mind that ‘woodwork is homework’ – alternatively, you can forge a handle out of steel that does not require any additional work at home. If you would like a wooden handle please remember you’ll need to make this at home.
Forging the Handle and Tang
You will start by forging the handle or tang using a process called set downs to create steps from the handle or tang to the blade, then rounding to forge a comfortable fitting handle. You will then begin forging tapers for hidden tangs and shaping over the bick (horn of the anvil).
Moving on to the blade, you will be forging tapers for the business end of the knife, drawing out to manipulate the shape and size of your knife, forging bevels, curving blades, and normalising the blade to prepare for hardening.
Once the knife is cooled, you will head to the grinding bay to use a number of grinders and files to grind a profile and bevel into your knife. Then is the heat treating, heating up your blade to the desired temperature and oil quenching to harden the blade, this will help the knife maintain a sharp edge.
After hardening, the final edge is ground into the blade, for a sharp and practical tool.
It’s great fun working alongside one another and crafting something unique! Once the forging is complete, it’s time to pose for those all-important photos at our wooden stage!
GUIDELINES FOR TAKING PART
Our experience day packages are physically demanding and have the potential for minor injury. Therefore, please seek advice from your doctor or our booking team if you’re unsure.
Be sure to dress accordingly, remembering that in the colder months it can get pretty chilly inside the workshop, despite the fires! Please wear long trousers and suitable footwear.
Make sure you follow the guidance on our website and what’s sent to you ahead of the event. And always listen to the instructions of our expert team on the day.
The Forge is open all year round, seven days a week. Our online booking system will show you the availability in real time. Please be aware that weekends should be booked well in advance!
HOW BOOKING WORKS
Our online booking system is easy to use and allows you to choose a time and date that suits you. Once confirmed, you will receive an email with all the details you need, as well as an important form to complete.
HOW PRICING WORKS
The price of this booking covers up to two people making one knife during a full-day session. That’s right, add an extra person for free to join you!
We welcome groups of friends to come and take part together – simply adjust the number of people when making your booking.
If you’re buying a voucher, the voucher will entitle the recipient to a full-day session making one knife.
I booked myself in for a “Just for Fun” day and “Forging a Knife” the next day. It was purely, simply brilliant. The team was exceptional, all of them: Ben, Theo, Joe, Bobby, Aaron, and last but not least Henry, are clearly passionate about their job. They’re happy to help and answer any questions and are really working as a team. They show you how it works and explains the process. There is a great variety of objects you can choose to make – loved it and will recommend it to any and all.
Just returned from an excellent two-day experience making a pattern weld knife. I have never done anything like this before however the instruction and the guidance was great and meant that by the end of the experience I had a really cool kitchen knife. thoroughly enjoyed it.
Staff are super friendly and knowledgable, especially Joe. Blown away by the quality of the knife you can make by yourself. Couldn’t recommend it more to anyone interested in knives and or blacksmithing. From the Knife Family
The wife and I went to make a knife, just for fun of course and we had a superb day. The instructors are calm, knowledgeable and friendly, and are always on hand to help out with any minor problems and answer any questions, no matter how daft they sound. Big shout out for Madison. Great sense of humour, informative and an easy person to trust, even around red hot, stabby things. I would recommend a day here to everybody who wants an unusual and memorable experience.
Meet the Experts
Ben has been at Oldfield for many years. He was one of the first teachers and has seen the number of students increase greatly! Ben has been blacksmithing for over […] Ben has been at Oldfield for many years. He was one of the first teachers and has seen the number of students increase greatly! Ben has been blacksmithing for over 12 years and has an active role as our social media manager. Some of his hobbies include Norman era reenactment in which he became a world-famous (now dead) meme.
Josh first discovered blacksmithing when he was on a trip to Dover Castle and saw a smith making arrowheads and fell in love with the craft. He did his initial […] Josh first discovered blacksmithing when he was on a trip to Dover Castle and saw a smith making arrowheads and fell in love with the craft. He did his initial training at Canterbury College and then his BA(HONS) in artist blacksmithing in Hereford. Josh comes from Deal in Kent and moved to Hereford and began teaching the craft at Oldfield Forge in the summer of 2022. His interests include Dungeons and Dragons and archery.
Ethan came to Oldfield Forge on a hammer course and instantly fell in love with the craft. He originally trained in carpentry and is the youngest blacksmith on the team. […] Ethan came to Oldfield Forge on a hammer course and instantly fell in love with the craft. He originally trained in carpentry and is the youngest blacksmith on the team. Ethan enjoys all aspects of the trade and wouldn’t consider going back. His favorite course to teach is the knife-making experience.
Will has worked as a Blacksmith for many years and enjoys both teaching our workshops as well as forging beautiful pieces for our showroom. Will has worked as a Blacksmith for many years and enjoys both teaching our workshops as well as forging beautiful pieces for our showroom.