FAQs, Getting Started
How do I begin?
- Take a look at the CLASSES page. Sign up for one of our DISCOVERY classes. This is our entry level blacksmithing class. This 4 hour class covers an introduction to the forge and tools, safety, and the fundamental techniques of blacksmithing. Once you have completed Discovery, you can continue with our other classes or come in to work on your own projects in Open Forge.
Where is the School?
- The address is 2640 N. San Fernando Rd in Los Angeles. The entrance is around the corner. If you put “2712 Media Center Dr, Los Angeles 90065” in you GPS it should take you to the gate. You will need the code to open the gate so be sure to write it down when you receive it with the class confirmation. You can find more detailed directions here.
Do I need to preregister?
- Yes. Our class size is strictly limited and often fills up. Unfortunately, if you come without preregistering, you are taking your chances of being turned away.
What do I need to bring?
- If you have hearing protection and eye protection, bring it, otherwise we have for you to borrow. Also water to drink is a good idea. It can get hot! Feel free to bring blacksmithing equipment you own, but we recommend not buying your own tools until after a couple of classes so you can see what you like. We have the tools that you will need for our classes unless noted in the class description.
What should I wear?
- Cotton or wool shirt and long pants, closed toe leather or canvas shoes. Natural fibers, NO synthetics, please.
Do you offer welding classes?
- While forge welding is part of the Level 1 and 2 programs, we do not offer a program in gas or electric welding at this time. Please see our links page for the locations of local welding schools.
What is the minimum age?
- Unless otherwise noted on the class write-up, we require that students be at least 12 years old. The instructor has final say. A student who is not an adult will need to have a parent or guardian present at ALL times during the class.
Can I come and watch?
- We would be happy to have you observe the Open Forge nights and Level 1 class to see if you are interested in what we have to offer. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, you will need to stay outside the classroom. This will limit what you can actually see, but you will get an idea of what is involved. Contact us to arrange for a visit.
Do you make horse shoes?
- We do not have farrier classes at this time. The Level 1 program will teach you the skills to shape metal into a horse shoe. But not trimming the hoof and fitting the shoe.
How strong do I have to be?
- Skill is required, not brute strength. We spend a lot of time showing you how to use a hammer to its best effect.
Can I learn how to make a sword?
- You will learn the skills to turn a piece of metal into a sword like shape. Actually crafting a piece of high carbon steel with the correct temper into a sword which will not shatter with the first use usually takes years of practice. We do offer blade classes once or twice a year.
Can I make a knife?
- If you are truly interested in making a knife or other blade, we highly recommend the following:
- Take a Discovery Class
- Take at least one Letter Opener class. This will teach you for forge a blade shape in mild steel.
- Attend several Open Forges and make letter openers until you have good hammer control and can forge the shape.
- Then take a blade class or arrange a private class to make your blade.