Blacksmithing Courses

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 We have streamlined our booking system so that all blacksmithing course bookings are made through just one site. You will need to visit our sister site www.foundandseek.co.uk 

When booking your course through the Found and Seek shop you will be emailed a voucher that prints out as an A4 sheet of paper or card. It is valid for one year from dispatch – the person who is coming on the course, whether that is you or another person that you have gifted the course to, will still need to contact us to book their date.

IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC DATE IN MIND – EMAIL US FIRST TO SEE IF PLACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE.

To book go to https://foundandseek.co.uk/collections/blacksmithing-courses

How we use your personal information in regard to GDPR is outlined in our shop’s privacy policy which you can read in full here. https://foundandseek.co.uk/pages/privacy-policy

2018 COURSE DATES (from April – Dec)

1 DAY COURSES

April 14th,
May 5th,
June 2nd,
July 14,
August 4th,
Sept 1st,
October 6th,
November 3rd,
Dec 1st

2 DAY COURSES

April 21/22,
May 12/13,
June 9/10,
July 7/8,
August 11/12,
Sept 22nd and 23rd
October 13/14
Nov 10/11
and Dec 8/9

Course prices

One Day Course : £130
One day courses are run on a Saturday only 9.30 – 5pm

2 Day Course : £260
– Sat 9.30 to 5.00pm and Sun 9.30 am to 5.00pm

We occasionally put on extra courses at weekends and during the week

Make your own Ironwork!

Come and learn a new skill in beautiful Carmarthenshire. We run one day and two day ‘learn to smith’ courses for beginners. Never so much as picked up a hammer? Don’t worry, we are used to teaching complete novices – we don’t expect you to have any pre course knowledge or skill. Aaron uses his teaching skills to gently guide you through the whole process, explaining each step comprehensively and allowing you to work at your own pace. Small groups (never more than 4 at a time) ensure that you are given individual and personal attention. He will also provide you with lots of useful nuggets of information, whether that is about technical aspects or historical and cultural elements of smithing. With more than two decades of blacksmithing experience under his belt, there is not much Aaron doesn’t know about the art and craft of the smith, feel free to ask questions.

On a two day course you can expect to learn the following ; different types of forge and how they work, basic smithing tools and equipment, basic metals knowledge, different types of heat and what they are used for. You will learn the basic skills of drawing the metal down and upsetting it (making it thinner and thicker as you require it), learning what the various faces of the anvil are for and using these to produce curves and angles, bending, hot cutting (cutting through the metal when it is hot), punching (making a hole through the metal when hot). Joining metal – on the beginners course we teach you to join metal using modern equipment such as a mig welder or via riveting. The traditional, more complex skill of fire welding can be taught on request but we usually find that at this stage it is unsuitable. You will learn hammer skills and practice using a range of blows to produce different effects.

You will make around 4 items to take home with you – a typical collection would be a simple rat tail poker, two hammer in beam hooks, two cooking hooks and one other larger item (either a hanging basket bracket or candlestick). If there is something in particular you would like to have a go at email us to discuss whether this would be possible.

Two day courses run over a weekend – Sat 10.00am to 5.00pm and Sun 10.00am 5.00pm. Costs are £260 per person per weekend.

On a one day course you will learn many of the basic skills identified above (with the exception of joining metals). You can expect to make 2 items. This may include a simple poker and some useful kitchen hooks.

One day courses are run on a Saturday. Costs are £130 per person.

“I was impressed with how much we managed to get through and how much I had to take home” course attendee

Who would want to come on a blacksmithing course?

It is surprising – we have had art and design teachers, students hoping to take their skills further and apply for full time smithing courses, people have bought them as presents for family members and people who have just always had a hankering to try smithing.

Here are some ideas

Why not buy a course for a special day such as father’s day or a birthday. You can pay for the course in advance and we will send out a personalised gift certificate that can be redeemed at any agreeable time over the following year. Don’t forget mother’s day – it is not only men who smith.

Couples – why not book yourselves a ‘smithing together’ course and learn a new skill together? Combine it with a romantic long weekend near the beach.

Brides to be/ grooms to be – what about making your own candlesticks for the top table?

Doing up a barn or other building? Why not learn how to make your own door furniture or door knocker – make a little piece of your dream home with us.

Planning a holiday in west Wales – why not incorporate a day or two in the forge as part of your holiday and take back something really special to remind you of your stay.

Stressed out? Feeling the need to hit something really hard? Smithing is great for getting it out of your system.

Smiths in the family tree – why not come and have a go and experience what your great, great grandfather did?

And of course for anyone simply called SMITH (or any variation of this) a course in smithing would be ideal – we will do you a special ‘SMITH’ gift certificate that can be redemmed at any agreeable time over the following year.

Courses are only available for those 18 years of age or older. (16/17 year olds can attend courses alongside an adult, we cannot teach under 16s as our insurance will not cover this.)

All prices include insurance, (we hold the necessary public liability insurance), practice steel-stock, fuel used, course handouts, further reading suggestions and, of course, your handmade ironwork to take home

There are a few things you will need to bring with you on any course. You must bring your own safety boots these do not need to be steel toe capped, walking boots or similar are fine.  Wear old work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Long sleeves are a good idea. It is even better if you have an old overall or boiler suit. We supply safety goggles which must be worn at all times in the forge as well as work gloves and leather aprons. If you have long hair, tie it back and be sensible about jewellery etc. Bring a packed lunch and drink with you. We do not supply food or drink ourselves.

Blacksmithing can be a physically demanding activity so students need to be reasonably fit and healthy. If you have any health or mobility conditions that may impede your ability to participate it would be helpful if you could let us know. You will be asked to sign to state that you consider yourself well enough to undertake the course. Whilst we do everything that we can to assess, manage and reduce risk it must be recognised that working with fire and hot metal is potentially risky regardless. You will give basic safety advice at the very start of each course – please ensure that you attend to this important aspect of the training.

Places to stay can be found via http://www.visitwales.co.uk/there are a number of local options including B&B, hotel, caravan and camping etc. We also send out details of local accommodation on booking. When booking your accommodation it may be helpful to know the approximate distance to St Clears which is where the forge is based. If you are really confused or stuck, give us a ring or email.

Distance to St Clears:

Carmarthen: 12 Miles

Pendine : 14 Miles

Laugharne: 4 Miles

Tenby 17.6 miles

 

NEW FOR 2018

Intermediate blacksmithing course – tool making

One day and two day courses

The intermediate blacksmithing courses focus on making blacksmithing tools – the kind of tools you can use to take your own practice forward.

The course is designed for those that already have some blacksmithing experience. It is specifically designed for those who have attended our general blacksmithing 2 day course and want to develop their skills further.

It is not suitable for those who have only attended a one day course.

If you already have some experience in blacksmithing (i.e. through your own practice) and feel that this course would be suitable but you have not attended our 2 day course please email us to discuss.

The course is not suitable for those who may be experienced in working with metals (i.e. welders/welder fabricators) but have not had any forging experience as, whilst we appreciate the similarities and general understanding of metals across both specialities,  the skills required  for hot forging are different and do need some practice before moving onto an intermediate level.

What will I make?

You will make around 3 tools on a one day course and around 6 on a two day. These will be from the following list (this is a basic list and not exhaustive)

  • a set of box tongs,
  • a set of universal jaw tongs,
  • square and round punches,
  • a hot set for cutting and splitting metal,
  • hardy tools,
  • a scrolling/bending wrench for shaping and straightening metal

What skills will I develop?

  • The intermediate course will enable you to expand on the basic skills you will have already practiced on the two day course, in addition you will develop skills in the following…..
  • Hot punching to make a moveable joint
  • Advanced striking
  • Working with medium carbon steel – medium carbon steel is different to the mild steel you would have worked with on our standard course. It has different properties and requires different treatment in regard to both heating and working. Note – medium carbon steel is a little harder to work and requires a little more physical effort. This course is not suitable for anyone with an underlying health problem that may impact on their physical ability to forge.
  • Fire welding
  • Setting
  • Using different parts of the anvil

Courses will run on set dates twice a year and will be offered as both mid week and weekend options – if demand is such additional mid week courses will be put on

Courses will cost £130 per person for a one day, £260 for 2 days.

 

Intermediate course dates

1 day courses – Feb 24th (Saturday) june 14th (Thursday)

2 day courses – March 3rd and 4th (Sat/Sun) and May 24th and 25th (Thur and Fri)

EMAIL US WITH THE HEADING ‘INTERMEDIATE’ TO ENQUIRE ABOUT AVAILABILITY BEFORE YOU PAY.