Thinking about learning a little blacksmithing?
Here’s what a beginner’s class looks like step-by-step:
12:50 PM – Students arrive at 1607 S. Rogers Street in Bloomington.
1:00-1:30 – We talk about shop safety, sign the accident and liability waiver, and introduce the equipment we’re going to be using that day. This includes the forge, anvils, tongs, hammers, and steel. We also talk about different types of forges and anvils and the benefits of each.
1:30-2:00 – Terran lights the forge and demonstrates three techniques used in forging a hook from start to finish. These techniques are tapering or drawing out, scrolling and bending, and quenching. We focus on accurate hammer strokes and heat management.
2:00-3:20 – Students start forging! Over the remaining three hours, students make two projects that incorporate blacksmithing fundamentals. This is a learning process and questions are encouraged.
3:20-4:00 – We go over finishing techniques while applying a traditional beeswax finish to what we’ve made.
The Equipment We Use
In order to get the metal up to forging temperature, we use a two-burner Forgemaster forge. It runs on propane and maintains a consistent heat throughout the day.
Our main anvils are two NC Tool Co. 70 lb. farrier’s anvils, a Texas Farrier Supply Double-Horn Smithy Special, and an old Hay Budden.
Hammers and Tongs
- Vaughan Super-Steel 2.5 lb. blacksmiths hammer
- Estwing 3 lb. mini-sledges
- Peddinghaus 1000g cross peen hammer
- Kobalt 4 lb. cross peen sledge
- Wolf Jaw tongs (pictured above with the Peddinghaus hammer)
- Ken’s Quick Tongs
- Tom Tongs
We use mild steel (low carbon content) in our beginner’s classes. It’s extremely versatile and can be used to make a wide variety of hardware and tools. We use the 3/8″ round steel in the picture above to make hooks, barbecue tools, and wine racks.
We also work with higher carbon steel to make knives, punches, and impact tools for people who are interested.
Terran is the owner-blacksmith of Brown County Forge. He has taught people from all over Indiana and the Midwest how to move metal. Everyone walks away with a successful project.
In his own work, he specializes in custom home goods including:
- All types of hooks: drying, ornamental, clothes, keys
- Kitchen racks
- Shelf brackets
- Hinges, Hasps, and Hardware
- Wine Racks and Bottle Openers
If you’re interested in working with him to learn this ancient art form, contact him through the Classes page to set up a class.