Blacksmithing classes offered through NAIT

I teach blacksmithing for the Continuing Education section of NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta.

Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel in a forge until the metal becomes soft enough to be shaped with hand tools such as a hammer or chisel. Until mass production methods introduced during the Industrial Revolution, blacksmiths were pillars of the community, providing essential household and industrial services.

In my blacksmithing courses, you will learn the history of smithing and basic blacksmith techniques before being given the opportunity to produce your own works, including tools and metal art. Try an ancient craft that has been practiced for thousands of years around the world, and create works of metal art using fire and your own two hands.


NOTE: If the class only has the Add to Waitlist option beside it, that means that it is sold out. If you have the ability to join a class with short notice, please add your name to the waitlist. If a spot opens up in the class, NAIT will contact people starting at the top of the list to try to fill that spot.



IRON101 - Blacksmithing

No prerequisite. This is one of the two first level classes that I offer at NAIT (the other being the Bootcamp that covers all the material in 101 plus more). 

Go hands-on with blacksmithing by forging the primary tools used in the blacksmithing trade. Create your own punch, hammer, and tongs. Explore the basics of steel selection, tool design, and heat treatment as you develop your tools. Delve into forge welding, riveting, and other traditional joinery methods.

YouTube video of a class

IRON201 - Intermediate Blacksmithing

Prerequisite: IRON101 or IRON301 If you have previous forging experience and would like to take this course without taking 101 or 301 please email to discuss waiving the prerequisite.

Advance your blacksmithing skills by employing basic and intermediate connection techniques to produce a piece of wrought iron grill work. Explore a variety of techniques, like stock calculation, upsetting right angle corners, riveting, mortise and tenon joinery, collaring, forge welding, botanical forms, and heating tools. Achieve robust tool design while developing your tools.

With the skills that you gain in this course, you will be able to create rivet sets, set hammer, fuller for tenons, and slot punches.

YouTube video of a class

IRON207 - Axes, Hatchets and Tomahawks 

(If link stops working then there aren't any courses currently on offer at NAIT)

Prerequisite: IRON101 or IRON301 If you have previous forging experience and would like to take this course without taking 101 or 301 please email to discuss waiving the prerequisite.

Come learn to hand-forge an axe, hatchet and tomahawk in this intense and information packed 18 hour blacksmithing course. Regain skills acquired in other NAIT blacksmithing courses and re-familiarize yourself with the forging environment. Friday evening will be spent forging a railway spike tomahawk. On Saturday students will have the opportunity to create an axe out of composite steel and forge weld a high carbon bit into a soft iron-bodied axe following traditional construction methods. Students will continue with final shaping, hardening and tempering of metal.

A four-layer forge welded farriers-rasp hatchet finishes off this course on the Sunday . This course will equip you with the knowledge to return to your own blacksmith shop and practice the very rewarding creation of your own projects.


IRON301 - Blacksmithing Bootcamp

No prerequisite. This is one of the two first level classes that I offer at NAIT (the other being 101). This class covers all the material in 101 plus more. 

Dive into this intensive five-day course designed to introduce you to artistic blacksmithing. Work in a progressive manner to expand and build upon your newly acquired skills. Develop your own blacksmithing tools. Practice antique and modern wrought iron design skills to produce finished tools, functional ironwork, and sculptural items. Explore elements from each design era.

With the skills gained from this course, you will be able to utilize basic forging and laminating, heat treatment of tools and tool steel, wrought iron work, tenon joinery, upsetting, riveting, chain-making, flora forms, and more.


Other Offerings currently not available:

Woman's Work - Blacksmithing 101 - Women Only


Damascus Research - Blade Making

Various blade making and Damascus making techniques in an 2.5 day intensive.

Prerequisite: IRON101 or IRON301