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.
Punching the Eye
The first technique you will learn is how to punch the eye for the hammer, drifting a bracket to shape the eye for the hammer ready for a handle to be fitted. When shaping the cheek side of the hammer, you’ll use fullering tools and cross peen hammers to manipulate metal by moving the material to produce the desired shapes.
Forming the Hammer
When the eye and the area around is shaped you will then move on to forming and shaping the rest of the hammer through a number of different forging processes such as set downs, octagonalising (yes, that is a real word!), rounding and drawing out. Once the hammer is forged you’ll start the heat treating processes to normalize the hammer and prepare the steel for heat treating later.
Once the hammer is cooled you will move out to the grinding bay where you will use grinders and files to further refine your hammer. Once you are happy with the overall shape of the hammer you will heat the hammer to a certain temperature, quench your hammer, and clean it using the grinders. The next stage is tempering – gently heating and cooling to regain the steel’s toughness.
The last step is handling your hammer, using a number of woodworking tools to shape the handle and fit your hammer. This will ensure it’s smooth and comfortable to use, or simply looking beautiful to display at home!
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 hammer 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 hammer.
It’s an experience that I will cherish forever. Worth every single penny and the guys that work there are some of the nicest, most helpful most genuine people I have ever met!
Great tuition by real enthusiasts. Highly recommended.
This time we came back for my partner to make a hammer. Fab Health and Safety briefing from Joe to start, who balanced humour and essential info nicely. The level of craftsmanship that Sam demonstrated was an actual marvel. My partner was in awe of the skills on show and the patience taken to actually teach him and share the knowledge. At no point did he take over and the piece was very definitely made by my partner however, he guided and encouraged beautifully. To say we enjoyed it would be an understatement.
It was a present for our 60th birthday’s. It was our first time in a forge but with help and guidance, we made a few fabulous articles! As l said great experience!
Aaron started by dabbling in farriery after getting bored at his old desk job and found out that he was pretty good at it. Even years later he doesn’t regret […] Aaron started by dabbling in farriery after getting bored at his old desk job and found out that he was pretty good at it. Even years later he doesn’t regret a thing. His favorite part about the job is being able to express himself artistically and smashing hot steel.
Ianto has been blacksmithing for 4 years. He first got the idea of being a blacksmith after watching Lord of the Rings. He wished he could learn to shape metal […] Ianto has been blacksmithing for 4 years. He first got the idea of being a blacksmith after watching Lord of the Rings. He wished he could learn to shape metal into different forms and stunning works of art that can be seen throughout the movies. When he finished high school he knew he wanted to go into a profession that could lead him to make movie props. Ianto went to Holme Lacy College and studied traditional blacksmithing, from there he left and found his way to Oldfield Forge. During his time at Oldfield, he has picked up the nickname Ianto Tanto, for the fact he enjoys teaching the Tanto’s and using the traditional Japanese smithing techniques.
Joe is our Forge Manager. He has seen the business grow from a small workshop to what you see today! He has a degree in product design, but his passion […] Joe is our Forge Manager. He has seen the business grow from a small workshop to what you see today! He has a degree in product design, but his passion has always been history. Joe wanted to take the love of making things and his passion for history and smack them together… literally!
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.