Class Information and Schedules

Discover the ancient and honorable art of Blacksmithing

Over 20 Years

Teaching at the Forge

Thank you for your interest in Old West Forge School Of Blacksmithing.  We are located in White Salmon, WA 70 miles east of Portland, Oregon, the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. The school is in a majestic rural setting 9 miles north of town.

At Old West Forge, we offer 3-day courses September through May in Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced blacksmithing. The objective of our 5-course curriculum is to teach the fundamentals of blacksmithing, through tool making and a series of forged projects. This 5-course sequence provides the motivated student with the knowledge and skill to set up their own home blacksmith shop. Each class is 3 days in length.

Beginning and Intermediate courses are $415 plus materials. Advanced classes have higher tuitions. All materials, tools, and fully equipped forging stations are provided. All classes are intensive with a great deal of material covered. The emphasis is on demonstrations at the instructor’s anvil followed by “hands on” work at individual forging stations.

Each class is limited to five students and therefore fills up quickly. Oftentimes classes fill 6 – 8 months in advance of the start date. Be prepared for hard work, frustration, and fun!

Class Information

Beginner Courses

Beginning Blacksmithing I

Discover the ancient and honorable art of Blacksmithing.  This three-day class is designed for beginners who would like to experience an old world craft.  Study heat treating, punching, drifting, tapering, drawing out and more.  Students will forge objects to take home and keep.  Get started right in a real blacksmith shop!

Tuition: $415 plus $25 materials/consumables fee

Beginning Blacksmithing II

This three-day class will build on techniques learned in Beginning Blacksmithing I.  We will dig deeper into this old-world craft through the study and forging of mortise and tenon joints, collars, scrolls, and project layout.  An introduction to making blacksmith’s tongs will also be emphasized.

Prerequisite:  Beginning Blacksmithing  I

Tuition: $415 plus $35 materials/consumables fee

Intermediate Courses

Intermediate Blacksmithing I

This three-day class builds on techniques learned in Beginning Blacksmithing I & II.  We will study and forge mortise and tenon joints used to make such objects as freestanding lamps and fireplace sets. Effective use of the slot punch and drift will be emphasized. We will also study more complex tong making. We will review design theories that include Arabesque curvature, nautilus scrolls and the golden mean. A brief history of Blacksmithing in America and the Pacific Northwest will be explored

Prerequisite:  Beginning Blacksmithing I & II

Tuition: $415 plus $25 materials/consumables fee

Intermediate Blacksmithing II

This three-day course builds on techniques learned in prior classes. We will forge a wall-mounted Tuscan Grille complete with mortise and tenon joints, collars, and adornments. Slot punching and drifting and additional job-specific tong making will be studied.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing I

Tuition: $415 plus $35 materials/consumables fee

Intermediate Blacksmithing III

This three-day class is the fifth and final course of the basic core curriculum. The objectives of the core curriculum are to provide the motivated student with the information and techniques required to set up their own home blacksmith shop. This is accomplished through tool making, and several forged objects and projects. We will focus on building garden gate components, and the tools necessary to complete your shop. We will forge butchers, sidesets, and set hammers.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing II

Tuition: $415 plus $50 materials/consumables fee

Advanced Courses

Advanced Blacksmithing I

The Garden Gate

This is an intensive six-day course (offered in two 3-day sessions about 1 month apart) . An estimated 40 hours of shop time over a 6-day period are necessary to complete this project. The goals of this class are

  1. To demonstrate the process and particulars of forging and assembling a garden gate using traditional joinery and
  2. For each student to build and take home a hand-forged garden gate. Students must have a command of a variety of forging procedures in order to complete this class.

Prior to the class, a pre-workshop assignment of approximately 20 hours is required to maximize our shop time and complete this substantial project.

The result will be an heirloom quality piece that will last for generations.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing III

Tuition: $845 (materials are purchased by student at home prior to the class)

Advanced Blacksmithing II

Viking Crafts & Lore

In this 3-day course we will study and forge items unique to the Vikings and Norsemen of old. We will forge a hatchet, a bearded Viking axe, and other items essential to the Medieval Norseman. Domestic tools and personal items are our focus.

Working with a striker on heavier stock as well as forging smaller essential items will be emphasized. Two at home preworkshop assignments will allow us to better leverage our time here at the forge and make extra progress in class.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing III

Tuition: $445 plus $50 materials/consumables fee

Advanced Blacksmithing III

Wizards & Dragons

In this 3-day course we will forge and heat treat the tools needed to sculpt mild steel. These sculpted metal forms may then be used as adornments or finials for hand-forged work. Precision forging and shop tools will be our focus. We will also discuss where to go from here in your pursuit of our craft.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing III

Tuition: $445 plus $50 materials/consumables fee

Advanced Blacksmithing IV

 Forging the Frontier Axe Class

In this 3-day course, we will forge the punches, drifts, and necessary tooling for forging three different axes.  These axes were essential in the early settlement of the Pacific Northwest. Students will work in pairs to forge the heavier steel billets.  The axes will be hung on hand-finished hickory handles. We will use traditional techniques and achieve outstanding results.

Prerequisite:  Intermediate Blacksmithing III

Tuition: $445 plus $50 materials/consumables fee

Class Schedules for 2022

All of the classes are from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm unless otherwise noted. Make your time with us a full adventure by exploring the local areas around White Salmon, WA.  Learn more about accommodations and local amenities.

Spring 2022

DatesClass Name
February 12, 13, 14Intermediate I
February 26, 27, 28Intermediate III
March 12, 13, 14Beginning I
March 26, 27, 28Intermediate III
April NO CLASSES
May 7, 8, 9Intermediate I
May 21, 22, 22, 23Beginning II
JuneNO CLASSES

Fall 2022

DatesClass Name
September 24, 25, 26Advanced III Part 1
October 8, 9, 10Intermediate II
October 22, 23, 24Advanced III Part 2
November 5, 6, 7Advanced II Part 1
November 12, 13, 14Beginning I
November 19, 20, 21 Beginning II
December 3, 4, 5Advanced II Part 2
December 10, 11, 12Beginning I

Request a Class Registration Packet by Mail

Each class is limited to five students and therefore fills up quickly. Oftentimes classes fill 6 – 8 months in advance of the start date.

Please complete the Class Registration Packet Request Form below.  You will be contacted with more information regarding class availability and payment options.

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