New England School of Metalwork
7 Albiston Way Auburn, Maine 04210
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Forge an AXE to Grind with Steve Ash: Dec. 4-8

Forge and Axe to Grind
Steve Ash
Class runs: December 4-8
Material Fee:$50
Skill level: Intermediate and up with solid
forging skills, shoulders and peening and some forge welding is highly recommended.

      If you like the Axe and want to make your own, this class is for you.  The Axe is one of the most celebrated tools in all of history.  Even before the iron and bronze-age there are examples of this tool made from stone.  Across the globe the Axe has taken on many forms to fill various roles.   The European settlement of America had much to do with the development of the trade Axe and the polled Axe.  These two styles of Axe will be the focus of the class.  The first two days we will cover a few styles of the wrapped eye trade Axe/Tomahawk. There will be discussions on material choice, layout, forge welding, as well as forging the appropriate drift.  Days three and four will have us move into the polled Axe.  This will involve a bit more careful planning, as we will be using larger material and forging precise offsets to isolate the poll and eye.

      We will also cover the finish grinding and heat treating as well as tempering and honing the edge.  This class will test your skills in forging, welding, tool making, and heat treating. On day four and five you will have a understanding of the construction and approach to the forged Axe, plus a few pieces to prove it. Mounting of handles will not be covered in the course but will be discussed at length. This is a heavy forging course and practicing forging deep shoulders on flat stock would be helpful.

Since 2005 I have spent countless hours exploring old forging’ and uncovering the story of how they were made.   My love for the craft is heavily based on the simplistic yet infinitely complex nature of the work.  Fire and hammer, coupled with the smith’s imagination have resulted in centuries of beautiful work.  My goal is to keep this ancient trade alive, as well as inspire and educate people on the value of the blacksmith as an artist.