Please feel free to use these handouts. They're meant to be printed out and brought to the forge. Take notes on them if you like, mark down your own thoughts, use them to help you learn, even hand them out in a class you're teaching in person. The text, drawings, and photos are my own work, and I retain copyright, but grant a nonexclusive license for personal use, and classroom or teaching forge use (provided the copyright notice at the bottom is unchanged and legible). If you want to use them to teach a distance learning class, copy them to your website, print them in a book, or something else that's beyond the listed use, contact me.
This project is a letter opener made from mild steel. It's a good project to start learning about how to make a knife, showing how to make a blade shape out of bar stock. Because it's mild steel, though, it's less demanding than a higher carbon steel project.
An iron age simple knife, possibly carried on a cord from the belt or girdle. When made from modern mild steel, it's still of higher quality than most iron age knives. The knife is based on an iron age find from Denmark, and was described in a book by J. Kristensen. It's similar to a drawing of some Iron Age burial specimens. I've also incorporated some elements from B. Holmberg and G. Standke in this project description.
BARN HOOK OR J HOOK
This is a simple project suitable for beginners. The barn hook is a traditional way to hang equipment in a barn. The back nails into a post or other timber, and the hook lies below the nail to keep it from working out of the timber. It's fairly easy, and teaches five basic blacksmithing techniques: square taper, rounding, twist, a right-angle bend, and small and large curls, plus decorative fire-gilding.
This is another simple project, suitable for beginners. The flat tip keeps the food (marshmallow, hot dog, or whatever) from turning on the skewer, while the length and handle keep the hand away from the fire. Like the Barn Hook, it teaches five basic blacksmithing techniques: flat taper, square taper, rounding, twist, and small and large curls.
At Adam's Forge, we combine this with the Kvindens Kniv to make an "Iron Age Cutlery" class that takes about 6 hours. This spisepind (Danish for "eating stick" or "chopsitck") is a sort of one-prong fork, which could be used to spear a piece from the shared stewpot or to pick up a chunk of meat or vegetable from the plate.
This project is a two-pronged fork made from half-inch square stock. As described, it makes a fork that's long and sturdy enough to pick up food from a barbecue grill. It can be made from smaller stock for a more delicate fork.
Mortise and Tenon Trivet
A solid and stable trivet, able to support a heavy dish or pan above the table. Making this requires a guillotine tool or a square-edged spring fuller, and a monkey tool. Alternatively, it can be made with pointed feet to rest in a fire as a stable surface for a pan.