Our Bladesmithing Program
As with all evolution, the growth and now birth of a separate Bladesmithing Program at the New England School of Metalwork has brought yet another endless source of inspiration and energy to the school. Bladesmithing is an integral part of the blacksmiths trade, as such our workshop offerings through the years have snowballed into a following and resurgence of the highest level of our craft.
We will be continuing to offer more and interesting workshops in this field as well as related topics such as handles, guards, fittings, engraving, Pattern welded steel development, various folding knife constructions and more Damascus knife options and others. We are confident that this program will continue to evolve with your help and support. Further development of the tooling and equipment has already begun, a donation of a hydraulic forging press, additional belt grinders, and custom made heat treating equipment, surface grinder and disc grinders are just a few of the new acquisitions.
It is very important you read through the Skill Level Guide here or below before choosing a course.
Most courses run from 8am to 5pm daily with a one hour break for lunch.
Safety is of great importance, a full leather shoe or boot is mandatory as well as full length pants. NESM will provide any necessary PPE needed including safety glasses, gloves, ear plugs, dust masks and face shields.
As our goal is to provide instruction and education in the most comfortable atmosphere available, it is as important for students to enroll in the appropriate level class. The professional craftsmen who instruct have specific levels to which the class or workshop is designed. Therefore we have developed a brief guide to help students define their skill level. These skill level references are assigned on each page.
Skill Level Guide: PLEASE READ !
It is very important for instructor and student alike to be able to identify skill levels. The following is meant to help place students in a class with the greatest comfort and potential for their success and safety. These skill levels are preferred for classes to function at their best. We strongly recommend you place yourself in a workshop that best suits your skill level. Please call for any clarification.
Beginner: Little to no experience. Having never lit a fire or hit hot metal.
Seasoned Beginner: Having a few basic classes under your belt, competent and fairly proficient with all basic blade forging processes and the use/operation of the standard tools and equipment of the trade. Having made a few full tang or stick tang knives and knowing basic handle construction. Having dabbled in Damascus. Starting to feel confident in heat treat and metallurgy.
Intermediate: The above plus 3 years of part-time to full time in the forge and a good working knowledge/experimentation of guards, confident in forging full tang and stick tang knives and are producing clean handle fit ups as well as confidence in layout and design. Able to make all the basic Damascus patterns cleanly and predictably. Confident in heat treat and metallurgy with consistent results.
Advanced: The above plus 4 years of more serious detailed work, trying small production runs, working with Damascus, having tried a folder of some sort, perhaps experimenting with inlay, engraving or file work and have a shop to work in on a regular basis.
On August 22, 2009 the American Bladesmith Society Board of Directors unanimously voted to certify and accredit the New England School of Metalwork as the third school in the country to offer their course of study. We are proud to have forged this relationship and believe it will benefit a large portion of our audience. We offer a full assortment of ABS certified courses, taught only by ABS Masters.
For further information concerning the ABS Journeymen and Master Certification process please contact them through the ABS website