Let's talk about... Knife Making Courses
Have you ever wanted to make your own chef’s knife? Thinking of getting into bladesmithing and want to see what it would be like? Are you a professional chef that is looking to make your own tools of the trade? Or are you seeking an awesome experience to add to your repertoire? My extensive weekend workshop will give you the opportunity not only to learn these skills, but to put them into practice, making a hand forged knife of your own. I will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives.
About the course:
The course is a hands on experience and can be quite physical. You do not need to have any prior experience or need to look like Thor, but the course is definitely not designed as a spectator’s event. I can supply all of the PPE (glasses, masks, hearing protection), but it’s worth keeping in mind that your clothes may get dirty, greasy etc. However, if you would prefer to bring your own PPE (it is personal after all) please feel free to do so. Sensible footwear is a must, sturdy leather shoes, or something like that, steel toecaps preferably. The workshop can be a dangerous place, there’s lots of tools that are powerful enough to squash steel, and abrasives that cut and grind it away, I will give you a brief health and safety talk upon arrival (it’s mostly common sense) and will cover the basics.
On the first day, we will talk a little about what we’re going to do, I’ll give you a run through of the tools and machines that we’ll be using. If you have any particular knife designs you want to make, its best to discuss it first, then draw out a profile and we can go from there. Once inducted, it’ll be straight into lighting the forge, and forging your blade from a high carbon mono steel followed by a quick profiling on the grinder. Once this process is complete, it’ll be time for a break. After lunch we are going to heat treat the blade and start picking out and preparing the elements of your handle. We will finish the day by gluing up your handle so that the epoxy can cure overnight.
Day two is grinding day! We now have got hardened blades and a rough handle block that are in need of shaping. After grinding, we are off to handsanding and finishing the elements of your knife before setting the blade into your handle. The final part of the process is putting an edge on it. I’ll show you how to sharpen a knife on wet stones and once that’s done the knife is ready to take home!
Both days will start at 10am and aim to be finished around 5ish, but I’m happy to stay longer if things run over. The whole idea is that you will definitely have a knife to take home at the end of day two. I’m tailoring the course and tooling to be as simple as I can make it so that everyone can produce a knife!
The course fee includes materials, and two full days teaching at the workshop. You can also bring your own materials if you would like to include something special in your handle and I can help you make it work. Knife making is hard work – please expect the odd blister/burn and maybe even a cut if your blade is sharp enough! We take safety very seriously (we like our fingers a lot and want to keep them) however a little nick or two is pretty much unavoidable so this means over 16’s only please (with an adult) and over 18’s if you’re coming on your own.
At Metal Monkey Knives, I take great care that students are properly instructed in the safe handling of tools, machinery and materials and that relevant PPE is worn throughout the course. However, knife making bears some risks and injuries such as cuts, grazes or burns can happen no matter how cautiously we work.
While I do take responsibility for offering a safe work environment Metal Monkey Knives does not take any responsibility should injuries occur.
The aim of my knifemaking courses is to provide the students with an insight into the creation of a chef knife and give them a hands on experience. Generally, the students will have a lot of interaction in the forging and part of the grinding, while I take over at critical stages in order to make sure that we produce a knife that meets my standards. The general motto for the students is: You can attempt every step of the process but you do not have to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with.
One last word about food. The workshop is about a 5 minutes drive out of town. Torquay is a tourist town and sports a range of food options. However, you can also bring a picnic lunch and eat in the beautiful surrounds of Ashmore Arts. Also, make sure to bring plenty of water.
Generally, I am running my courses with two students at the time. You can either book one time slot and meet a stranger (then fellow student) or book two slots if you would like to do the course with a mate or family member. Due to the booking system I use, one course will have a slightly different start time. This is a formality only… The ‘Ready-to-Book’ courses are running over a weekend. I will release course dates for a couple of months at a time.
In case that you and another person would be available and keen to do a course during the week, please contact me via email so that we might find a time slot and create a booking for you.
Cost: AU$800 per person
If you have prior experience and would like to take your knifemaking to the next level, there is also the option to do a One-on-One course with me. These courses are also to be held during the week over two days. In comparison with the two person course, you will be able to spend more time practicing and increase the complexity of your build. Also, in this course, there is the potential to forge the blade from pre-made damascus stock rather than mono steel. If this option was chosen, the course participant will need to add AU$150 on the day of the course.To book a course like this, please contact me via email so that we might find a time slot and create a booking for you.