October 4th Knife Class Photo Gallery

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Private Birthday Knife Making Class

We had a private birthday knife making class at the shop this past Sunday, October 4th.

Scott and Andy, two high school teachers from Ohio, made a weekend trip with their families to southern Indiana.

I don’t think I could come up with a better Fall weekend plan than Blacksmithing and Camping.

Here are some photos of the guys’ experience forging knives for the first time.

Working It Hot

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Scott watches his knife heat up while Andy beats his into shape. They each went through multiple “heats” to forge out their knives.

Each of these heats lasts about 20 seconds before the knife needs to go back into the forge.

This short turnaround helps the smith keep the steel hot while working it.

Working cold steel is a big no-no in blacksmithing. In class you’ll often hear me talk about “not letting it get to cherry red” as you beat on it.

If it hits cherry red, it’s time to go back into the forge.

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In the above photo, Andy is working on flattening out his piece of steel. This widens and lengthens the knife at the same time, giving it its shape over time.

Hammering the Knife Into Shape

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As you beat on the flats of the knife, it starts to get “blobby” and uneven. It’s important to correct this every few heats by laying it on its spine and hammering along the blade edge.

Using this profiling method we can create the standard knife shape out of the piece of steel.

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Scott’s knife is pictured above right after the Hardening quench.

We go over edge quenching in class as opposed to plunge quenching that is often used on TV show’s like Forged in Fire for long blades.

Scott was also interested in the custom bottle openers I make so I whipped one up for him while they worked.

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Here’s Andy’s finished railroad spike knife. When he was all finished, he said he was pleasantly surprised by what he accomplished and how it turned out.

I’ve had a great time teaching folks from across the Midwest for the past 5 years and this class was a highlight.

Great conversation and some solid first projects.

Interested in Trying Your Hand at Blacksmithing?

I teach classes throughout the year and I’m currently booking Spring 2021.

For full class details and open dates, visit the Classes Page here:


Knife Making Class – October 3, 2020

We had a great knife making class today at Brown County Forge.

Bill and Terry spent 4 hours hammering out their knives on the shop’s two anvils.

Indiana Knife Making Class - October 3, 2020 - Brown County Forge

They both did a great job of picking up the fundamentals of knife making:

  • Hammer and tong control
  • Heat management
  • Grinding
  • Shaping
  • Polishing
  • Hardening and Tempering (Heat Treating)
  • Hand Sharpening

They each had the benefit of taking a Brown County Forge class in the past:

That said, there is no prior experience required for knife class.

What is Knife Class at Brown County Forge Like?

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Terry’s first forged knife.

Class starts with an overview of the entire process:

  1. What to expect when you’re forging.
  2. What techniques you will learn.
  3. When heat treating happens and what it looks like.
  4. Safety issues to pay attention to.
  5. And best practices for forging a solid first knife.

The blacksmithing instructor Terran Marks lays out everything before demonstrating each step of the process.

As he demonstrates he explains the “why” and the “how” of each step.

He then coaches each student through creating their own knife.

If you’ve ever wondered…

  • How Hardening and Tempering work.
  • What it’s like to use a hammer and anvil to forge something.
  • How to sharpen steel with a hand file.
  • Exactly how hot a forge should be for different types of blacksmithing.
  • How inexpensive it is to start blacksmithing.

It’s all covered in class!

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Bill’s forged knife.

When Are Knife Classes Held?

For 2021, Knife Classes will be held on Thursdays and Saturdays. All open class dates are available on the Brown County Forge Classes Page.

Knife class lasts 4 hours total and usually starts at 2 PM Eastern.

Students are welcome to arrive a few minutes early (ideally 1:55 PM) to go over the shop liability waiver.

Is There An Age Limit?

Yes, for safety reasons the age cut-off for all classes at Brown County Forge is 14 years old.

Since January of 2016 the shop has welcomed people ranging in age from 14 to 80+.

From couples in their mid-Twenties to Father-Son teams out for a fun weekend, everybody is welcome.

Want to Learn More?

Here are some helpful links to more resources and information:

Classes: https://browncountyforge.com/classes

Blog: https://browncountyforge.com/blog

Blacksmith Starter Kit: https://browncountyforge.com/blacksmith-starter-kit

Online Blacksmithing Course: https://diyblacksmithing.teachable.com