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Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum


Picture of Blacksmithing

Introduction to Blacksmithing is designed for those with an interest in learning the fundamentals of blacksmith. The class will bring a small group of students into the Blacksmith's Shop at the AGSEM where the students will work hands-on with a coal burning forge and learn to forge iron into useful and decorative items.

Introduction to Blacksmithing will meet at 9:00 am on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Blacksmiths' shop. New students are welcome to join the class at any time. This class is intended for adults. However, responsible and well-behaved youth are invited to participate only with adult supervision and support.

The students will learn to light and work with a coal forge to heat metal to more than red hot and then to use hammers and other tools to forge, bend and twist the hot metal to desired shapes. Two outdoor cooking tools, the steak turner and a pair of barbeque tongs will be completed as well as a first pair of Blacksmiths' tongs. <

Satisfactory completion of Introduction to Blacksmithing is required for participation in the California Blacksmith Association's Basic I Blacksmithing course. Contact the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum for registration information. The cost of the course is $40 which includes all materials. The duration is three sessions. Eye protection is required. (requires museum membership)

Basic I: Beginning Blacksmithing

Instructor: Dave Vogel:
Meets the first Saturday of each month. Learn the fundamental skills of blacksmithing while forging useful decorative items (trivets, BBQ tools), home hardware (hinges, wall hooks), and necessary blacksmithing tools (chisels, punches, tongs). Must have completed Introduction to Blacksmithing satisfactorily and secured instructor recommendation. You'll learn how to light and maintain a coal fire, use an anvil, post vise, and hand tools to shape iron and steel, harden and temper steel tools, and work safely with hot iron. Basic skills covered include drawing out, upsetting, bending and scrolling, twisting, punching, hot and cold cutting, fullering, riveting and forge welding. You should come to class with eye protection and a hammer. If you have them, you'll find it helpful to bring a tape measure, center punch, steel file, wire brush, and blacksmith's tongs. Students must have completed Introduction to Blacksmithing satisfactorily and secured instructor recommendation. For further information, contact the instructor, Dave Vogel (760) 533-7896.

Basic II: The Blacksmith's Craft:

Meets the third Saturday of each month. This is a course in the core skills of traditional architectural blacksmithing, including making the inevitable tooling required for such work. You must have a CBA Basic I certification (by completing the Basic I course or testing out) to join this course. Coursework largely follows "The Blacksmith's Craft" text published by the British Rural Development Commission (RDC), with several additional projects and skills. This course expands blacksmithing skills to encompass all the fundamental techniques of traditional architectural blacksmithing. This includes lots of tool making and forge welding along with developing a better eye-hammer link. We also discuss design methods and approaches, equipment selection and sources, ferrous and non-ferrous forgeable metals and other topics. Even if architectural ironwork is not your focus, the skills, tricks and tool making you'll learn here will improve your forging and inspire new design ideas in whatever metal work you pursue. We ensure you have a decent basic set of hand tools, and both understand and can implement the skills taught in Basic I. For those seeking certification, expect that at least two years of fairly diligent work will be required. For further information, contact instructor, Beth Holmberg (619) 293-3211.

Basic III: Forging to Dimension:

A monthly meeting held on the second Saturday for Basic II graduates and master and professional blacksmiths. This meeting includes and supports those working on their California Blacksmith Association certification in Basic III (which can be used to obtain Journeyman status in some countries.)

*Intro to Blacksmithing Registration Form