Workshops/intermediatebladesmithing

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Intermediate level Blade-Smithing workshop

The intermediate Blade-Smithing workshop is intended to build upon the techniques shown in the basic bladesmithing workshop, expanding your skills to include the use of stainless steels, more advanced forging and heat-treating process, making hidden-tang handles and fitting them by traditional methods. The workshop takes the form of 2 days, at least a week apart as well as some solo work. If people prefer a 1-on-1 course that is also available which allows the workshop to be broken up into 4 or 5 half-days for more flexibility in scheduling.

There's going to be a charge of approximately £50 per person (£75 for 1-to-1) to cover cost of materials and consumables. You are required to already have inductions on the Forge, Wood Lathe, MIG Welder, and Bandsaw. It is STRONGLY recommended that you've made at least one additional blade after having undertaken the basic bladesmithing course otherwise you are likely to struggle to keep up with this workshop.

Topics to be covered

  • Forging Stainless (420/440C/D2)
    • Explain what makes a steel stainless and the different grades available
    • D2 is a hard, strong toolsteel with moderate corrosion resistance
    • 420 is a fully-stainless steel with slightly lesser hardness
    • Precautions while forging stainless
    • Extra PPE required and why
    • Narrower temperature range
    • Problems of stress cracking and hot-shortness
    • Welding onto rods, differences in stainless properties
    • Pre and post heating
  • Forming a bolster using a spring fuller
  • Guided practice drawing out and shaping a blade
  • Use of tongs
  • Drawing out hidden tang
  • Annealing stainless
  • Risks of "forbidden zone" in stainless steel
  • Multi-pass normalizing
  • Grain refining
  • Multi-stage tempering
  • Filework
  • Complex handle shapes
  • Burning in the tang
  • Forming final bevel on more complex shapes and variable angles
  • Using linisher and oscillating drum sander to make final handle shape
  • Differences in sharping on these steels