Forged Pipe Tomahawk
 Jay Close
Class runs: August 13-17
Tuition: $650.00
Material fee: $40.00
Skill level: Intermediate and up 
 3 spaces left as of 7/24

     The pipe tomahawk is an icon of the American frontier, emblematic of the fraught relationship between Native Americans and Europeans.  While many thousands were imported, local smiths often tried their hand at this practical and symbolic tool. My class introduces two methods of forging a pipe tomahawk. In the first, the blade is forge welded to include a carbon steel bit and the bowl attached by forge brazing. In the second method, the bowl is integral with the blade. The eye is slit and drifted much like making a hammer. The student should be able to complete a forging for each style and begin the filing and clean up phase. Fast workers will be able to drill and fit a functional smoking handle. This is not a beginner’s class. Students should have basic forging skills, with experience forge welding. Slitting, drifting and punching will all come into play as will the use of top and bottom tools such as fullers and flatters. These tomahawks are also extensively ground, filed and polished. Expect to spend at least as much time at the bench as at the forge.


Jay Close trained with Peter Ross at Colonial Williamsburg and worked there for over thirteen years.  Specializing in the forged ironwork of 18th c. England and America, he considers himself a professional blacksmith educator. He has demonstrated at ABANA conferences, and for numerous regional groups and has taught workshops on historical ironwork on both coasts. In 2005 he became the first "Professor of Forged Architectural Ironwork" at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC. He is a founding writer of ABANA's original Controlled Hand Forging  Committee.