Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
About the Course
A basic blacksmithing or knife making course is a great way to learn about the beautiful craft of blacksmithing.
This course focuses on making something for you to take home with you whether that be a practical knife or something more decorative for your home or garden.
The course is based in Quex park in Birchington in a large and spacious workshop, during the course you will learn how to use a traditional coke forge as well as using more modern tools such as belt grinders.
The course runs from 0930-1600.
Courses are either one to one or two maximum students unless you wish to book a larger course, please contact me for details.
Over 18s only.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
You will need to bring appropriate non flammable clothing and footwear, no open toed shoes.
I provide all tools and safety equipment but if you have your own you are welcome to bring them.
We will stop for lunch which is provided, please let me know any dietary requirements beforehand. Tea and coffee and drinks are also available all day.
All materials are included.
I spent two days at the Bearded Pig Forge with Spike as a course bought for me as a gift. It was one of the single most fun and interesting experiences I’ve had.
Spike is incredibly patient and very easy to work with, offering help and guidance whenever you need or want it. Clearly a very good teacher! He is also very knowledgable and clearly passionate about his craft which adds even more to the experience.
It is hard work but you definitely get as much out of it as you put in. I would recommend a course with Spike to anyone and everyone. Will definitely be looking at going back and working on another project.
Nathan Payne - - #27336
I received this present as a gift after geeking out on forged in fire and I wanted to try and see how hard it was. The answer is that it was harder and easier!
It takes a lot longer than you think to work the metal and it's quite technical in places. What I found though was that Spike was infinitely patient, allowing you to work after he demonstrated the techniques and then making suggestions to improve your own technique. I felt like the work I produced was mine even though Spike gave me as much or as little guidance as I needed.
He is a good teacher and it is obviously something he is passionate and skilled at. He was keen to pass on these skills.
I highly recommended this course to anyone.
John - - #26074
As fans of the TV series ‘Forged in Fire’ I thought this would make the perfect Christmas gift for my boyfriend and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint. Spike is extremely knowledgable in his field and clearly very passionate about what he does. He also makes a mean BLT!
My boyfriend and I are complete novices, but with Spike’s teaching were able to make some great knives. What a fantastic day and a unique experience. Thanks so much Spike.
Kellie Farley - - #25692
Spent a fantastic day at the bearded pig forge with Spike. Decided to male a knife which went way better than i expected. Spike is a great teacher and extremely informative. If you looking for something a little different as a present or a day or so learning this amazing craft i couldnt recommend Spike highly enough.
Lee Scott - - #25422
Had a great day with Spike. Made a bracket for a hanging basket in the garden. Learnt lots about blacksmithing, both practical and theory. Great guy to learn from as he has a very wide knowledge and is happy to answer all your questions. Also a wood turner which I didn't know in advance and pleased me no end. If you are interested in something new and quite different I would recommend this course. As someone else said, he makes a lovely BLT sandwich!
Chris Weekes - - #25416
Amazing day with Spike, the course was everything I hoped it would be and more! Spike's an excellent teacher that allows you get on while keeping an expert eye on you. I can't rate this experience highly enough.
jamie newin - - #23425
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I've ever had!
I've been an avid watcher of 'Forged in Fire' for several years, and commented to my wife how much I'd like to make my own knife - and so, for my 50th birthday, I was given vouchers for a course from friends and family. I did my research, and booked my course with Spike, based on the excellent reviews on this website. Spike's communication was excellent throughout our correspondence, and I booked a two-day knife making course with the intention of making a kitchen knife; something of which I could make good use following my experience.
The cost was £250, for two full days of one-to-one tuition with all materials etc provided. I personally find this to be extremely good value.
Please bear in mind that Spike's courses are extremely popular - weekend courses are booked for months to come. I was able to sort dates for week days, and still had to wait for a couple of months. Spike adheres to a very strict cancellation policy, which I feel is absolutely fair - it's his living after all...
I would recommend getting in touch as soon as possible, particularly if you have vouchers with with a run-out date.
On the first day of the course, Spike started with a safety brief, which of course is extremely important as you will be forging metal at extremely high temperatures. All requisite safety equipment is provided, and suitable footwear/clothing must be worn at all times
Spike illustrated every concept of forging, before letting me get stuck in. We started with my billet of high carbon steel, which was heated in a coal forge, then 'drawn out' to a suitable length before starting on the tang (the thinner piece to which to handle is attached). Spike then demonstrated how to create the curvature of the blade by hammering on the anvil. At the end of the first day, I had created my basic blade shape.
The second day comprised of several techniques - 'quenching' (hardening), grinding to shape, heating and punching a hole in the tang for the pin, attaching the handle etc...all done in a traditional manner with no power tools (other than the belt-grinder).
What really impressed me was that Spike never took my work from me to start each process - he demonstrated forging techniques on a different piece of metal - this really was going to be a knife that I made.
Throughout the course, I really enjoyed talking to Spike. He's a very easy-going and incredibly knowledgeable guy. There was so much that we chatted about which aided to a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.
At the end of the course, my only disappointment was that I didn't get the handle finished - I had the daunting task of shaping the wood at home. I'd never done woodwork before. Spike instructed me what to do, and with a couple of hours work on the following day, my knife was finished. I was absolutely delighted with the final result - a fully functional (and very sharp) kitchen knife that will last for many years.
My plan is to look after it well and leave it to one of my children whenever 'that time' comes. As I have two children, I will most definitely be booking another course with Spike in the future...
Colin Anderson - - #23343
Absolutely loved my knife making course - Spike is so knowledgeable and passionate about blacksmithing and both myself and my husband who came along as a guest learnt so much. It's a great laid back atmosphere and don't worry if you've never made anything out of metal before, Spike is on hand to give you tips and direct you on how to turn a lump of metal into something more interesting! We will be returning to do some of the longer courses soon. Thanks Spike for a great day!
One Day Knife Making Course - - #21698
I attended the 1-day knife making course as a guest, I bought the experience for my wife for Christmas. As usual, I left things right to the last minute but Spike made sure I received my wife's gift voucher in time.
From the moment we got to the forge Spike made us feel completely at home, his relaxed manner coupled with both his extensive historical and scientific knowledge made the day one of the best experiences I've been to, and I was just spectating!
Furthermore, there will be only one request for my birthday present, a day at Spike's forge!
p.s. he makes an awesome BLT sandwich!
Elliot Manarin - - #21668
If asked to sum up this course in a single word, I'd have to say:
I've been on a lot of craft courses over the years, from making Tudor Christmas Decorations to building a Cob Oven, and my day at the Bearded Pig Forge was easily the best to date.
Bearing in mind I'm a complete novice working with orange-hot metal, heavy hammers, super-sharp blades and a crazy-fast belt sander, Spike (the blacksmith) was immensely calm and patient, only stepping in when I was in danger of losing an eye, ;-) setting fire to myself and the forge or, worse of all, messing up my knife! He explained and demonstrated everything clearly and concisely and answered all of my questions in much the same way.
Added to that is the fact it was a lovely, sunny day in glorious surroundings and that Spike is great company, it was - in a word - brilliant.
Next stop: axe-making!
Phin Hall - - #21385
I had a one day course and feel very proud of the knife that I made with Spike’s expert tuition. A very enjoyable day which I hope to repeat and would highly recommend. Spike is very knowledgeable and passionate about his craft and very good at sharing this his student in a way that I could understand and apply.
Dale - - #20751
I had a day course with Spike and decided to bring my own design.
This was a pruning knife with a curved blade.
With Spikes guidance this was completed with time to spare.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day, with Spikes easy way and excellent teaching.
Bob Phillips - - #20719
Great one day knife making course at the Bearded Pig Forge. Spike is a patient and knowledgeable tutor. I'd really recommend this as a course for yourself or a gift. Thanks!
caro hamilton - - #20035
What a great day ,directions are clear and easy to follow.Spike made me feel very welcome at his forge and is very easy to talk to.
After a coffee followed by a saftey talk, then started with the knife making,spike is a very good teacher of his craft,and shares his knowledge and skills
with you, he shows you each process and talks you through each stage and explains why it is done that way .
I started the day unsure if i could achieve what i wanted ,before i knew it the day was over and i am now the proud owner of a great little knife made by myself,all thanks to Spike. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in knife making, hopefully i will be taking another course with him later in the year .
Stephen Lasslett - - #19951
Was excited about doing something different and it didnt disappoint. Day was excellent and Spike was brilliant, even coping me being left handed. Spike is obviously passionate about his craft and loves to pass his knowledge on. Would recommend this day and looking to book the knife day
Leigh musson - - #19651
A really enjoyable and rewarding day with Spike, he was welcoming, informative and great fun. Something i’d been looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. Looking forward to the next course already.
David Purnell - - #19467
Absolutely loved every minute of the day! Spike was very welcoming, professional and an excellent teacher. Catered for everything throughout the day offered very good teaching tips and cues and allowed me to forge a Viking seax from scratch. Will definitely book to do another days experience loved it that much.
Charlie Clay - - #19036
An all round fantastic day with spike who is knowlegable and an excellent teacher of this amazing craft.I will be booking another course in the future and would highly recommend that anyone wanting to give this a try look no further than the beardedpig forge
Mike Richardson - - #18980
This course was awesome! Spike was great, helpful, encouraging, knew loads about the craft, the history, and the science of what we were doing. I was so happy with the knife I made, it's so pleasing to hold and feel and know that I made it from a bar of steel. I cannot recommend this course enough on every front! Thanks Spike!
Dan Plane - - #18882
I had two days with spike making a knife amd i have to say he is an excellent guy wiyh a vast knowledge of the trade. Explained each step along the way and to why it was done that way.
A very friendly approachable guy making the course very enjoyable.
Would highly recommend spikes courses to anyone thay wants to try blacksmithing anf i will be definitely taking more of his courses.
Keep up the good work and look forward to seeing you again on the nwxt course i take.
chris king - - #18603
Form Start to finish , I can say feel very humbled, an amazing talented Kind man with a wonderful mind , full of interesting and inspiring knowledge.
This was a great Course to do, and put any worry’s at bay, explaining each stage and why. Was an absolute pleasure working with you today , I would recommend to anyone to give this course a go . Great teacher. As well as Supertalented . Thank you Spike I look forward to the next course adventures , keep going with all what you do.
Sam - - #18371
Had a great time and learnt so much about the trade, would recommend spike to anyone who is looking for a great day blacksmithing.
William Roach - - #18233
Fantastic course, brillaint teacher with Spike who is very patient and approachable specially if you haven't done this before, yet doesn't dumb anything down, so you walk away with an all round learning experience. Very pleased with the course.
Thomas Miles - - #18066
I really enjoyed my knife making day. Spike is very patient and encouraging, a natural teacher. He is also really fun to chat with and has a lot of great knowledge that he is very willing to share which is so valuable. It is obvious that he really loves doing this and wants everyone who visits to love doing it too. The best thing about the course is that it is all your own work, if it goes a bit awry spike just tells you how to fix it, so you can be really proud of your work at the end. Great sandwich too! Would love to go back soon. Thank you very much!
Nicole - - #17992
Spike is an excellent teacher who also knows lots of little Storys and bits of Information around blacksmithing to fill the waiting time while the steel is heating up. I had a lot of fun and actually already went back for another day.
Jannis Stracke - - #17378
Highly recommend. Spike great teacher loads of knowledge and untold amounts of patience if like me never done anything close to blacksmithing. Any way stop reading my review book your course and find out for your self.\m/
James - - #16953
Completed a one day blade course. Spike is engaging and clearly enthusiastic about his work. He spent time in discussing all aspects of the work we were doing, from safety aspects, management of the forge and in working the metal itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and can’t recommend it highly recommend enough!
Looking forward to going again!👍
Nigel East - - #16751
What a great day!
Spike is very knowledgeable and passionate about blacksmithing and it shows in how he talks about what you're doing and why you're doing it. A great learning experience, I highly recommend and am planning on doing more of his courses in the future.
Danny King-Smith - - #16747
Just completed 2 days knife making course with Spike. What an absolutely awesome experience. Spike guides at every step of the process, explaining and demonstrating techniques on scrap metal so that your piece is entirely your own work. Spikes teaching style is calm collected and encouraging. He is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of his craft as well as the techniques and skills involved. I felt reassured and gained confidence quickly . And produced a gorgeous Damascus (pre-made pattern welded steel) Kriss Athame dagger. I thought perhaps i was asking too much when i first enquired about making one, however, Spikes tuition meant i was able to achieve everything i wanted in the knife in good time. I highly recommend his course and teaching and i fully expect to be booking again in the future.
Vicky Lockwood - - #16712
My husband and I did a one day course on Saturday to make a knife each. Spike was fantastic - clearly passionate and a fantastic teacher! We left very happy and very tired. Would definitely recommend for anyone interested in forging.
Alice Milner-Watt - - #16347
Just completed my second course with Spike. First time made a quiver stand, today have come home with a very splendid knife. I have learnt so much in these three days and wholeheartedly recommend these courses to anyone with an interest in the craft of the blacksmith. Spike has a real passion for his craft and is skilled at sharing his knowledge. Very educational, very enjoyable.
George Hirst - - #15920
This is a brilliant experience that i would highly recommend to anyone interested in blacksmithing, Spike is a brilliant tutor that explains every step clearly both verbally and practically.
He is a genuinely nice bloke who is knowledgeable in his craft.
I am definitely going to be booking another course with him.
Luke Cross - - #15552
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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