QUICK & DIRTY INTRO TO BLADESMITHING

Duration: 1 day
Price: $450 per person, per day

Prerequisite: none


A one-day class to learn everything you need to know to get started in bladesmithing, including how to move and work safely in a workshop and around dangerous equipment.


This class covers design, theory and practice, and at the end of it you will have completed a full tang Kiridashi or Blacksmith knife (students’ choice). The handle will be created from the same steel as the blade. This opens up options for a paracord-wrapped handle if desired, and if there is time remaining.


As well as creating a personally-crafted blade, you'll learn health and safety basics as well as how to properly use the machines in the workshop. All of these safety aspects will be applicable to the work we are doing, tailored to your skill level.


Throughout the day you will be trained in the safe and careful operation of the workshop equipment, including the power machinery; specifically, this includes introduction to the forge, anvil, hammer, tongs grinders and power hammer. Proper heat treating will be discussed and demonstrated also. Final sanding and grinding plus the option of an acid dip will finish the class.


This class is suited for anyone, from complete novices all the way to Master Makers from other disciplines.

 

BALDESMITHING 101, 102 & 103

Please consider the prerequisites  required to register for each course. Many students choose to bundle their courses over a number of days to complete the entire experience.

Bladesmithing 101

Duration: 2 days
Price: $500 per person, per day

Prerequisite: none


This is a 2-day course intended to teach you all you need to know to begin your bladesmithing journey while creating your own blade to take home.


As well as creating a personally-crafted blade by the end of the day, we will review the health and safety basics as well as how to properly use new machines in the workshop. All of these safety aspects will be applicable to the work we are doing, tailored to your skill level.


We'll teach you new skills necessary for continuing your development in working with metal. Hammer techniques will include flattening, drawing and bevel forging. Proper hand, elbow and shoulder movements will be demonstrated so you can maximize your hammering strength. Hot forging, use of the power hammer, care and use of the grinder and quenching in oil will also figure prominently in the class as your knife transforms from a flat bar of steel into a personally crafted knife.


The knife you'll leave the course with will be either a chef's knife (in the European style) or a belt knife. If you'd prefer to create a traditionally-shaped Japanese kitchen knife, this can also be accommodated.


By the end of the class, you'll have a shaped, hardened blade ready for finish-grinding, sanding and having a handle attached. That is where this class stops. For finish-grinding, handle-making and sharpening, you should attend the subsequent class, which typically lasts one more day.



Bladesmithing 201

Duration: 2 day
Price: $500 per person, per day

Prerequisite: Bladesmithing 101


In this two-day class we will build upon the skills learned in Bladesmithing 101, refine them and add new skills that compliment your growing body of knowledge to start and fully complete a finished Chef’s or Camp knife (student’s choice) with a blade that is between 8 and 9” and a handle between 4 and 5”. This will produce a finished knife that is between 12-14”.  


Refine your skills with the hammer to forge out a blade as close as possible before grinding. This is how knives have been made for 2000 years, by sweat and determination. We will discuss design, theory and safe practice in tool handling. Proper heat treating will be discussed and demonstrated. Final sanding and grinding plus the option of a acid dip will finish the class


The final knife will be your choice between a full tang or hidden tang knife. These are great little knives with 5-6’ blade, perfect for the Canadian wilderness. The sort of knife that will last you two lifetimes.

The handle will not be completed in this class; the Handle-making class should be added as a third additional day.



Bladesmithing 301
Duration: 2 days
Price: $650 per person per day
Prerequisite: Bladesmithing 101 + 201


This is a class that concentrates on integral bolsters on a hidden tang knife, arguably the finest and most refined handle for your knife. in addition to the safety overview, you will be learning new skills that will take your blade from rough stock to a refined, elegant Chef’s or Hunting knife that has a blade that is determined by the student. Typically a Henshaw Blades Chef’s knife or Hunting knife has a 7-10’ blade.


This is your journey and at this point you will have a solid understanding of design and flow. There will be new skills to learn including the safe operation of the grinder with an integral bolster jig.


Proper heat treating will be discussed and demonstrated too.

 

HANDLE MAKING CLASS

Duration: 1 day
Price: $150 per person, per day

Prerequisite: Bladesmithing 101 or 201


In this one-day additional class, students will create their own handle for their knife made in the 101 and/or the 201 classes. Ideally this course is attached to these classes as a third day.


Handlemaking is its own discipline and requires accuracy, dexterity and a competent use of the machinery and tools in the workshop. I believe that the handle of any knife should be a beautiful object to touch. It should be smooth, curved in the right spots and feel like a natural extension of your hand. 


We will be creating either a full tang handle which uses layers of wood/G10 on each side of the blade or a hidden tang handle which is shaped from one full piece of wood with a spacer in front. (pic to come) The handle style you choose will determine what style of knife you build in the Bladesmithing class.


The epoxy will be allowed to set over lunch, as it requires two hours in total. If you are adding this to your Bladesmithing 101 or 201 class, we can aim to accomplish your handle glue at the end of that class.


All of the wood and composites we use at Henshaw Blades are unique; one of a kind. This makes your blade an original! I have a wide variety of wood that you may choose from. this includes domestic hardwoods such as Black Walnut, figured Maple, Box Elder, Figured Ash and Oak. I have a variety of exotic woods such as Malle, Cocobolo, Rosewood, Guapinol and Wenge. (there should be a link here sam to pics of those woods online) While I have a wide assortment, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

STEEL MAKING CLASSES

The following classes are intended to create a beautiful, unique, custom piece of steel for you to use in a knifemaking class. You can then take these skills away and bring them into your own knifemaking practice.

Damascus 101: Canister Damascus

Duration: 1 day
Price: $450 per person per day

Prerequisite: none


At the end of this day you will have one bar of Damascus steel that you can use for the Bladesmithing classes: 101, 201 or 301


In this class we build a small 6” canister of 2x2 stainless steel that is welded shut on one end and then filled with chainsaw chain and powdered tool steel and compacted together. Then a cap is welded onto the open end and a holding device welded onto that.


Into the forge it goes to heat up to over 2300F! 


We pull it out at a bright yellow heat and squish this canister under the press with a pair of V block dies, which compact the steel inside on all four sides. As we compact the canister, it grows in length.  


After three successful pressings we cut the canister off and are left with a block of Chainsaw Damascus steel which we then shape into a billet 


Safe operation of the 25-ton press will be demonstrated.



Damascus 201: Hand-forged Damascus 

Duration: 2 days
Price: $550 per person per day

Prerequisite: Damascus 101


This is the epitome of artistic expression of your steel-making. We will start with a 10-15 layer stack of alternating steels that offer excellent contrast when etched in the acid. We will physically pull the steel lengthwise and flatten it. Then we will cut and fold it until we reach a layer count between 200-400 layers. 


The pattern you create is a visual fingerprint of your day in the forge. Every swirl, every bend, every mark is because of your hammer and sweat. Its a snapshot of your life in that time and place for people to admire for hundreds of years if forged correctly. 


Because this is a very labour-intensive class, between the forging scale and grinding, it is typical that there is a 50% loss in material from when we started. So we start with more than we need and work our way down to a billet the size we can use.


There will be and opportunity to use the 25-ton press on the second day.



Mosaic Damascus 500 level.

Duration: 2 days
Price: 1000 per person per day

Prerequisite: Damascus courses 101 + 201


This 2-day class will concentrate on creating beautiful and intricate repeating patterns in a steel billet. 


Once you complete this class, the design opportunities are limited only to your imagination. 


This class will not be offered until Fall 2021. 

This class is open to only 1 student at a time.

 

HAMMER MAKING CLASS

Duration: 1 days
Price: $400 

Prerequisite: none


There is nothing more satisfying than creating a knife with a hammer you have made yourself. Back in the day blacksmiths were called the King of the Crafts because they made the tools upon which all the other Crafts use. This class will introduce new tooling unseen in the other classes. The 25-ton press with a punching die will be demonstrated and used. 


Proper heat treating methods and how they different for hammers will be discussed and practiced.


The steel used in this class is a lower carbon than knife making steel. The trade off us a steel that is tougher and has more flexibility than a knife edge simply because of the impact will has to take.

 

RETREATS

Bladesmithing Retreat

Duration: A long weekend; Friday night to Monday at noon
Price: $2000 per person per day, which includes accommodations and meals by a private, exclusive chef
Prerequisite: none


Imagine staying in your own private, timber-framed guest cottage on the shores of Pen Lake in Huntsville for a complete knifemaking experience. After a long day of forging, you’ll be treated to a delicious and exquisite meal by your own private chef, followed by a relaxing evening in a 10-person hot tub or private indoor pool. Treat yourself to a long weekend of knowledge, bonding and bending metal to your will.


This is suitable for up to 4 guests. Perfect for corporate team-building or bachelor/bachelorette retreats. There is also the opportunity to learn about Japanese Katanas and Wakizashi. The host’s private blade library is open to you to study everything from Ancient Greek & Roman blades through the Crusades to modern day smithing in both Western and Japanese style blades. Gloves will be provided for your use. Please respect the historical significance of the blades.

 

LETS TALK SHARP THINGS

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