Level I: Beginning Blacksmithing.



Level I - WORK SHOP PROJECTS

PROJECT
Key Ring Leaf
Anvil Hold-down
Butterfly Hinge
Door Pull
Fireplace Poker with Heart Handle
Heart Trivet
Heart Wall Hook
Hot Cot Chisel from Car Spring
Letter Opener
Simple Tongs
Spring Fuller
Three Corner Trivet
Three Heat Heart
Very Simple Tongs




Level I - Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    How do I get into Level I?
A.    You must successfully complete Introduction to Blacksmithing or have secured the instructor's approval if you have previous blacksmithing experience.  You must also be a member of the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum and join the California Blacksmith Association.

Q.    What is the cost for Level I?
A.    The cost is $10 per person for each class.  You also must be a member of the California Blacksmith Association and the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum.

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.    Anything else?
A.    Yes.  You'll want some water - and probably a lunch to go with that.

Q.    What safety equipment do I need?
A.    Safety glasses are required.  You'll need to provide your own.  That said, we have a box of ear plugs, a First Aid Kit, and an Aloe Vera plant.

Q.    How is the class structured?
A.    At 8:00 am in the morning of the first Saturday of each month the blacksmith's shop is opened and then a demonstration of the day's project is made.  Afterward, the students take a piece of stock, get in a forge and complete the project.  The instructor is available to answer questions, provide pointers or suggestions.

Q.    Is it really necessary to contact us before joining the class?
A.    All students must have successfully completed Introduction to Blacksmithing or secured instructor approval if you have previous blacksmithing experience.

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 Level I course is a continuing program.  New students are able to start once they have successfully completed Introduction to Blacksmithing.  There is no first or last session.

Q.    How many students are in the class?
A.    On average we have around 17 students and 17 forges.  On occasion we've had as few as 8 and as many as 26 which required some sharing of forges.

Q.    Do the classes 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 trivets, wall hooks, fireplace pokers and key fobs, and blacksmithing tools like tongs, chisels and punches, hold-downs, a spring fuller.  In order to complete the projects, the student will learn the basics such as drawing out, bending, twisting, punching, slitting, scrolling, riveting, upsetting, finishing, as well as forge welding and the hardening and tempering steel.  Not every project requires every skill.  But, after a year or so, you'll have a body of experience.

Q.    How long does it take to get through Level I?
A.    Students generally attend for a year or so before they demonstrate sufficient skill to be invited to graduate to Level II Blacksmithing.

Q.    When do I have to go home?
A.    That depends on lots of stuff.  There is no fixed closing time; generally the shop is open into the afternoon, sometimes the late afternoon, and occasionally late into the evening.

Q.    Blacksmithing once a month isn't enough for me.  Where can I get in a forge?
A.    The Blacksmith's shop is open for our students on the 4th Saturday of the month from 9am to 1pm.  Additionally, the California Blacksmith Association presents Blacksmithing classes at the Discovery Museum in Santa Ana, and Lake Mathews (near Riverside).  Blacksmithing classes are also available at Grape Day Park in Escondido.

Q.    Can I learn to make my own sword in Level I?
A.    Yes and no.  No swords.  But, you'll learn the basic blacksmithing techniques in Level I.  With those skills and some experience under your belt, you'll be able to forge whatever you desire.

Q.    Can I buy some Blacksmith's coal for my forge from you?
A.    Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  If we have plenty, we can help you out.  If we don't enough, we'll try to help you to find some.  Speak with your instructor about availability.