Peat Oberon's School of Blacksmithing
 
Number only 1.png

THE BEGINNER’S COURSE

Learn six basic techniques of blacksmithing to get you started and make three items to take home with you.

Number only 2.png

MAKE YOUR OWN TOOLS

Make a blacksmith’s basic toolkit of eight tools and use those tools to make yourself more.

 
 
 
Number only 3.png

LEAVES & ORGANIC FORMS

Learn more advanced skills to move and shape metal into organic forms with special tools.

Number only 4.png

SPECIAL SCROLLS

Learn advanced skills in making the more traditional scrolls found in 18th century architectural ironwork.

 
workshop_tongs-blur-0042-3831.jpg
 
Course 1.png
 
workshop_tongs0042-3831.jpg
 
Student_0081-2248.jpg
 

THE BEGINNER’S COURSE

On this course you will learn a series of key blacksmithing techniques which are the foundations for making beautiful ironwork. Over the three days you will develop your skills in these techniques while you make at least three items to take home with you.

Right from the start you'll be making, not just watching. You will experience the thrill of working with hot metal and discover the satisfaction of seeing completed pieces you have made with your own hands.

The techniques you will learn are:

  • DRAWING DOWN

  • BENDING

  • SPLITTING

  • PUNCHING

  • MAKING SCROLLS

  • TWISTING

 

YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT THE FORGE ENVIRONMENT

 
tongs-flat.png
 

HOW TO USE TOOLS EFFICIENTLY AND SAFELY

 
tongs-chisels-flip.png
 

WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO USE TOOLS CORRECTLY

Fire_table-0058-2226-G.jpg

YOU WILL MAKE

rat-tail-poker.jpg

A Rat tail poker

bracket.jpg

A hanging basket bracket

rams-head.jpg

A Ram’s head toasting fork

 
anvil2.png
 

YOU WILL ALSO LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY & BACKGROUND TO THE CRAFT OF BLACKSMITHING

 
tongs-pincer.png
tongs-round-bit-flip.png
 
Fire-0095-2263.jpg
 
beginners_39092014.jpg
 

COST

The cost of the Beginner’s Course is £300 (£290 if paid in advance). This includes lunch on each of the three days.

The courses take place from 9.00am to 4.30pm from Friday to Sunday. No previous experience is necessary. Each course can accommodate up to eight people.

This course can also be given as a gift.

 
 
Course 2.png
 
tools-banner_56262015.jpg
 
tools_55152015.jpg
 

MAKE YOUR OWN TOOLS

On this tool-making course you will learn how to make a blacksmith's basic tool kit. Over the three days you will make a complete set of the most essential tools needed to get you started and to become self-sufficient. All the tools you make will be yours to keep. Once in possession of this toolkit, you will be able to go on to make more tools for yourself.

Many people who have taken our Beginners Course find that this course is their next natural step. The course is ideal for beginners who are setting up. It is also of great benefit to students of blacksmithing who trained at colleges where they may not have had the opportunity to learn techniques or how to make tools. 

 
 
tools_56282015.jpg

THE TOOLS YOU WILL MAKE

tongs.jpg

A PAIR OF TONGS

Tongs are used to hold the piece of metal being worked. Ideally, each of the many types of section of metal should have its own size of tongs. This ensures that the worked metal is held comfortably and safely.

punch.jpg

A PUNCH

This is used for making and enlarging holes. Punching holes is an essential part of blacksmithing. The punch displaces metal around the hole, thus keeping the strength which would be lost by drilling out the hole.

handled-punch.jpg

A HANDLED PUNCH

The handled punch is used to punch the large hole in a tool which has a wooden handle. It is meant to be hit by a sledge-hammer which imparts a great shock to the punch. For this reason, it is fitted with a handle made from steel rod.

drift.jpg

A DRIFT

A drift is a punch used to finish a hole to the exact size and shape required. The lower end is tapered so it can be put into the punched hole. The drift is made of hard steel so that it retains its shape.

cold-chisel.jpg

A COLD CHISEL

This is an important tool used for cutting cold metal. Unlike hot chisels which have thin blades, cold chisels are stronger and more robust. The blades are thicker and taper quickly into the shaft because a cold chisel needs more force.

scroll-wrench.jpg

A SCROLL WRENCH

Smiths need to have several of these of varying widths. They are used to bend metal in a controlled way sometimes together with the anvil fork. Scroll wrenches are used in the process of making scrolls with another tool, a spiral-shaped former called a scroll iron.

anvil-fork.jpg

AN ANVIL FORK

This tool is fitted into the hardie-hole in the anvil and is used to bend metal. This gives great stability when manipulating hot metal into shape. The anvil fork and scroll wrench make the metal bend at the exact point you require.

hot-sett.jpg

A HOT SETT

A hot sett is a tool used to cut steel which is red hot or hotter. It looks like an axe with a narrow blade and is sometimes called a hot chisel. The blade is quite thin in order to ease its passage through the hot steel. It is hit by a hammer.

 

MAKING THE TONGS

 
tools_55672015.jpg
 
tools_56172015.jpg
 

TECHNIQUES

The course focuses on the techniques involved in making tools and on developing skills that lead to self-sufficiency and thrift. Blacksmiths need a great number of tools and the ability to make them is not just an additional skill - it is a means of survival.

As students complete their tools, they will go on to use them to make more tools. A number of essential techniques will be learned. One of these is how to use a sledge-hammer, working with another person as a smith and striker. This entails lowering the anvil on to a shorter stand, so that the hammer comes down level when hitting the tool on top of the hot metal. This is the traditional way of working which leads to greater productivity.


 
 

USING A SLEDGE-HAMMER

tools_38262014.jpg
 
tools-square_60002015.jpg
 

LEARNING ABOUT TOOLS

During the tong making, students are taught how to use the power hammer for drawing down the reins of the tongs. This involves roughing down the metal on the blocks of the hammer and then using special tools called swages which round off the reins smoothly.

Punching holes is essential for making tools. You will learn how to achieve the accuracy needed to ensure that holes are central and how to stop a punch from sticking in a hole.

The angle grinder plays an important part in tool making. You will learn about its dangers, the correct methods of use and how to prevent damage.

The differences in hardness of the materials used in tool making and sources of supply other than stockists are explained. You will also learn how to maintain tools properly in a safe and comfortable manner and about the hazards which often arise from poor maintenance.


 
 

USING A SWAGE

tools_54472015.jpg
 
tools_59412015.jpg
 

COST

The cost of the Make Your Own Tools course is £300 (£290 if paid in advance). This includes lunch on each of the three days.

The courses take place from 9.00am to 4.30pm from Friday to Sunday. The course is intended for people who have already taken our Beginner’s Course or who already have some previous experience of blacksmithing. Each course can accommodate up to eight people.

This course can also be given as a gift.

 
 
Course 3.png
 
Student-0130-3631.jpg
 
compound-flower-white.jpg
 

LEAVES & ORGANIC FORMS

On this advanced course you will learn about many of the specialist techniques used to make leaves and other organic forms which are often used in both traditional and modern blacksmithing.

The course is aimed at those who have already had some experience and practice and wish to learn how to produce the more organic shapes and forms found in the natural world. It is also for people who would like to try some of the more ornate traditional work such as that used in restoration or for those who are just inquisitive about learning some of the more advanced techniques not practised by everyone.

 
black_banner.png

A LEAF CREATED WITH FULLERS

silver-leaf-grey_59002015.jpg
 
leaves_57942015.jpg
 

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

The course is structured around a series of exercises which focus on learning a number of advanced techniques. You will be introduced to new sets of tools and will learn how to use them effectively to make natural organic forms. You will learn how to use fullers. These are straight or curved tools of different widths hit with a hammer. These allow you to create indentations, grooves and veins on a leaf or other organic form and to spread the hot metal to make thin, delicate edges.

You will learn a how to use leafing hammers. These come in many different sizes and shapes and are designed to reach inaccessible places on complex forms such as the water leaf. You will also learn how to use round-faced hammers to make round depressions and ridges down the centre of leaves and other forms.

 
leaves_56672015.jpg

using a flat-faced hammer to create the small leaf

fuller_57132015.jpg

using a fuller to create the iris leaf

leaves_57452015E.jpg

using a leafing hammer to create the water leaf

half-tone-1.jpg
 
leaves_58052015.jpg
 

SPECIAL TOOLS

You will be shown how and when to use a 'flatter' and how to make your own special tools to achieve shapes and forms like the iris leaf which could not otherwise be created. You will see how the techniques you are learning can be applied to many other areas of blacksmithing and you will develop your ability to utilise them. You will soon realise how the new skills you are learning will broaden your ability and benefit your blacksmithing!

You will make an art nouveau compound flower with petals and teasel spikes. This will teach you the importance of carefully thinking through and planning a complex project in advance of making it. This will help you to save time and achieve the results you intended. You will also learn the technique of fire-welding a large number of components together to make a single compound object.

 

MAKING THE COMPOUND FLOWER

compound-flower2-_60202015.jpg
 
fire-weld_58822015.jpg
 

COST

The cost of the Leaves & Organic Forms course is £300 (£290 if paid in advance). This includes lunch on each of the three days.

The courses take place from 9.00am to 4.30pm from Friday to Sunday. The course is intended for people who have already taken our Beginner’s Course or who already have some previous experience of blacksmithing. Each course can accommodate up to eight people.

This course can also be given as a gift.

 
 
Course 4.png
 
scroll-banner_38062014.jpg
 
scrolls_38082014.jpg
 

SPECIAL SCROLLS

On this advanced course you will learn a number of special techniques used to make some of the traditional scrolls used in architectural ironwork.

The scrolls you will learn to make are more three-dimensional than the scroll made on the Beginner’s Course. They are seldom used in modern work because they require much more time and effort to produce and are rarely taught to students. Knowing how to make these scrolls will help you to achieve the more authentic elegance of traditional 18th century work by using methods more faithful to the original techniques.

The course is aimed at students wishing to broaden their experience of traditional blacksmithing techniques which are rarely used today.

 

YOU WILL MAKE

fishtail-scroll2_6582.jpg

FISHTAIL SCROLLS

bevelled-scroll_6566.jpg

BEVELLED SCROLLS

halfpenny_6635.jpg

HALFPENNY SCROLLS

half-tone-1.jpg
fishtail_6469.jpg

Making the fishtail scroll

scrolls_6486.jpg

Making the bevelled scroll

scrolls_6480.jpg

Making the halfpenny scroll

LEARNING FIRE WELDING

scrolls-fire-weld_6495.jpg
 
scrolls-fire-weld_6492.jpg
 

FIRE WELDING

You will also learn how to carry out the fire welding found in traditional architectural metalwork. A faggot weld is a join where two adjacent pieces are formed into a single piece. The two pieces need to diverge in a constant way at differing radii. This is achieved by using special tools which you will learn to use.

A butt weld is used to join two ends coming from different directions. It can also be used to join a single end to a faggot weld. After welding, the curves of the scrolls are set and you will learn how to do this properly using more special tools.

 

USING SPECIAL TOOLS TO SET CURVES

scrolls-banner_6502-2.jpg
 
scrolls_6506.jpg
 

COST

The cost of the Special Scrolls course is £300 (£290 if paid in advance). This includes lunch on each of the three days.

The courses take place from 9.00am to 4.30pm from Friday to Sunday. The course is intended for people who have already taken our Beginner’s Course or who already have some previous experience of blacksmithing. Each course can accommodate up to eight people.

This course can also be given as a gift.

 
 
 
Teaching_area-0005-3544.jpg