Introduction to Blacksmithing

Introduction to Blacksmithing -

Introduction to Blacksmithing

Blacksmith's Barn
Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum
2040 N. Santa Fe Avenue
Vista, California 92083

Introduction to Blacksmithing -
Course Objectives

To light and maintain a coal burning forge with minimal smoke.
To work safely with the fire and the tools.
To demonstrate basic blacksmithing fundamentals including: proper heating of the metal to forging temperatures and effective use of hammers and other tools.
To demonstrate basic blacksmithing techniques including: drawing out, twisting, bending, riveting, tool making, and finishing.
To be familiar with the AG&SEM

Introduction to Blacksmithing -
Class Registration

Complete on line registration form or print Registration form and Fax or mail to AG&SEM

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Inc.
Attn: Class Registration
2040 N. Santa Fe Avenue
Vista, California 92083
(760) 941-1791
(800) 587-2286
(760) 941-0690 -fax

On-line payment options are available. Otherwise, telephone AG&SEM office, or mail payment with your registration.
AG&SEM registration

Introduction to Blacksmithing -
Work Shop Projects

First Project Steak Turner
Cooking Tongs
Very Simple Tongs

Introduction to Blacksmithing -
Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    Where is the Blacksmith's shop?
A.    The Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum (AG&SEM) is located at 2040 North Santa Fe Ave. Vista CA 92083.
Follow Museum Way past the High School, through the front gate of the AG&SEM and just past the windmill turn to the left.  Please park off the roadway near the Blacksmith's shop.

Q.    How is Introduction to Blacksmithing structured?
A.    At 9:00 am in the morning of the designated class day of each month the blacksmith's shop is opened and begins with instruction on lighting and maintaining a coal fire.  Then a demonstration of the day's project is made.  Afterward, students are encouraged to take their piece of stock, get in a forge and complete the project.  The instructor is available to answer questions and provide pointers or suggestions.  The course consists of three sessions.

Q.    Why does the Introduction to Blacksmithing course last three sessions?
A.    The Introduction to Blacksmithing course provides small group instruction and focused attention to assist the student to develop the skills necessary to be successful in the Level I course in blacksmithing. These sessions allow for completion of three projects that provide practice in the basic techniques of blacksmithing.

Q.    I have some blacksmithing experience.  Do I need to attend Introduction to Blacksmithing?
A.    It depends.  Call Dave Vogel, instructor of Level I.

Q.    How do I register for the class?
A.    Registration for class is handled by the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum.  You can register on-line, by mail, or by visiting the office.

Q.    Do I need to register for the class?
A.    Yes, this allows us to prepare materials for your use.

Q.    What is the cost for Introduction to Blacksmithing?
A.    Pricing and detailed class information can be found on the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum web site.  Membership in the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum is required for participation.  You may join the museum at the time you register for the class.

Q.    I'd like to come to class but affordability is an issue for me.
A.    We'd like for you to be able to participate in the program.  We have a scholarship fund that can assist students for whom affordability is an issue.  Please contact Frank Matthies, Chair of the Bob Nett Memorial Scholarship fund for information at

Q.    What tools do I need to bring?
A.    If you have blacksmithing tools like hammers, tongs, wire brush, tape measure, and the like, you should bring them.  If you don't, we generally have some loaner tools on hand.

Q.    Do you provide safety equipment?
A.    You are encouraged to bring your own safety equipment.  However, safety glasses and hearing protection are required.  You'll want to have that stuff anyway.  

Q.    Is it really necessary to contact us by phone before joining the class?
A.    Yes.  You must sign-up and receive confirmation via telephone for date, time and a list of items you will need in class.  While we have a large facility with 19 coal burning forges and associated tooling, our classes have been at capacity and each space in class has been spoken for.  Contact the museum and it will provide us the opportunity to advise you to bring safety glasses, drinking water and something for lunch and to dress for a dirty activity.

Q.    Are the classes taught in a series?  Would there be a better time for us to start, or can we jump in any month?
A.    The Introduction to Blacksmithing course is a continuing program. Class dates and schedules are provided at time of registration, for more information please contact the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum office.

Q.    What if I just show up on the day of class?
A.    Please don't just show up. In order to participate in the class you must be a member of the museum and enrolled in the class.

Q.    Can I come and watch the Blacksmiths?
A.    Sure.  Blacksmiths can be seen working in the barn every Saturday (and occasionaly on Sundays) as we have classes at various levels the first four Saturdays of each month.  Museum hours and admission prices can be found on the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum web site.

Q.    Does each session you offer teach particular projects?  I noticed that you're teaching a lot of techniques, but I'm not quite sure how they're being applied.
A.    The training is project based with the objective that the student should be able to complete the project during the class and take it home.  The projects are small useful items like steak turners, B-B-Q tongs, and blacksmithing tongs.  In order to complete the projects, the student will learn the basics, lighting the coal fire, heating the metal, drawing out, bending, twisting the steel.  Not every project requires every skill.  After the three sessions of the class, you should be prepared to move up to Level I Blacksmithing.

Q.    When do I have to go home?
A.    The Introduction to Blacksmith class runs from 9 am to 1 pm.  On occasion the shop is open into the afternoon, and sometimes the late afternoon.

Q.    Are youngsters allowed to participate?
A.    Youth classes are offered, Minors (Ages 10-17) may enroll in this class with an accompanied adult. In the past, we have been successful with responsible focused young persons when they work at the side of a parent who takes the course. Please contact the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum office for more information.