Knife making and bladesmith classes: hand forged viking knife one day workshop

Viking knife making


Please Note : Knife Making is not permitted to under 18 year olds unless attending with adult.
The one day knife making course is designed for beginners that have no or little experience in metalwork or blacksmithing. The course starts with a quick safety talk and a cup of coffee. Once we are all settled in the first task is to make a fire poker which will give everyone some hammering skills and a feel of how the material will react once its heated.

The knife we make is a Viking one piece knife which is great piece for a beginner to work on as it have many of the aspects of knife making and blacksmithing combined.

The material we will be using is commonly called 'spring steel' which has a greater carbon content , these are the properties that make it more suitable to being hardened to ensure it keeps a much better edge to the blade.

We feel obliged to advise all budding bladesmiths and blacksmiths that although we have not had any injuries of note and we take every precaution you obviously may cut yourself or get a blister if your hands are soft.

The material we will be using is commonly called 'spring steel' which has a greater carbon content , these are the properties that make it more suitable to being hardened to ensure it keeps a much better edge to the blade.

Class sizes are generally 4-6 with maximum of 8 attending with 2,3 or 4 tutors depending on class sizes.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All materials needed are included. We supply everything needed to enable you to make your knife including all safety equipment except footwear. All aprons , gloves, goggles etc are supplied.
Also included in the cost is a lunch .

Of course complementary tea, coffee of cordial drinks are available at any time and we have been even known to hand out hobnobs or some other suitable biscuits as well!


John at Anvil Forge


The Forge
Blackcroft farm
Wokingham, Reading

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Christmas
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Easter
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Fairs, festivals & exhibitions
  • Father's Day
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Mother's Day
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • School holiday workshops & activities
  • Seniors
  • Spooky
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday


1 day (9:30am to 4:00pm)

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.


In-person course
Liam - - #34642

Had such a good day! Really professional and down-to-earth instructor who knows their craft intimately. You never know how these things will go when you book a workshop day but any doubts quickly melted away as soon as I got there.

You get into the crafting straight away with all the help you need and it’s never too much trouble for them to answer any questions you may have.

The items you leave with are quality; this is because they’re not only lovingly made by you, but are tutored to you by a person who can show exactly what they mean due to years of honing their craft. They walk-the-walk so to speak.

Anyone who is even thinking about giving it a go should book on, highly recommend!

In-person course
Michael Archer - - #34373

A truly engaging and thoroughly interesting day. Anvil Forge worked hard to make sure that every one of us who attended their course got the maximum enjoyment from the day and a truly rewarding experience. Patient, clear, friendly and helpful instructors were with us each step of the way, showing us exactly how to work with the metal ourselves while allowing us the opportunity to practise and DO, instead of simply watching.
The end result of the day is a knife that I have crafted with my own hands that I am immensely proud of and very grateful for all of their help and advice.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Michael
thanks for review it was a pretty full on day! everyone worked hard , instructors and students but as the photos showed some stunning results so very worthwhile.
I must admit it is tempting to get carried away with showing how its done as it is an absorbing thing to do but letting you all do your own thing turned out to pay off.
Well done Michael you turned in a great bit of workmanship.

In-person course
Helen Gill - - #32606

I purchased this course as a 50th birthday present for my husband and also as an early birthday gift for our 14 year old son. They both returned today absoutely buzzing! They had an absolutely fantastic day and learned a huge amount in such a short space of time. They were both full of praise for the instructors who were always there when they were needed, but also allowed them both sufficient independence. It is so rare to find something that makes a 50 year old and a 14 year old smile from ear to ear! The pokers and knives they both made are brilliant. THANK YOU!

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Helen
thanks for the review , I could tell that the Boys had fun , they really were engrossed and only needed telling once and seemed to take everything in quickly which meant they were a joy to teach.

I am looking forward to them coming back for another session.
best wishes John

In-person course
Katharine Evans - - #31992

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions the course was unable to take place. It has been provisionally re booked for April 2021. Thank you

Katharine Evans

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Katherine
This is such a pain but as we discussed better safe than sorry.
At least it will be a bit warmer !
best wishes and keep safe

In-person course
Chris Shakespeare - - #31859

Firstly I have to say this was booked originally many months ago and COVID got in the way
Imagine my excitement when I finally got to book the course. It didn't disappoint

I was the only one doing the course on the day, normally its setup for 5-6
Spencer was great providing tuition as I made a poker then knife. Lots of fun and new skills to learn

This is a functional metalworking shop so there are lots of projects on the go which is fascinating
Really tempted by one of their other courses :)

Response from Anvil Forge:

thanks for review, In a strange way it was a shame you were on your own as the shared experience is often part of the fun , but of course have a tutor on a 1:2 is great as well.

dont forget to apply for the discount voucher for your next class
merry christmas John

In-person course
Craig Robinson - - #30858

Great experience!! The lads made us feel welcome and explained everything expertly! We came out with a couple of pieces made by us with excellent support. Lunch was delicious!!!

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Craig
I am pleased you enjoyed the day , and the lunch!
I will pass the message on to the Lads , I know they enjoy being told about the comments.
To see photos of the day you will need to visit our website

best wishes

In-person course
Loretta - - #30720

Hi John

OMG What a fab day!! Had such a great time. And so very pleased with my knife.

Just being in the forge and finding all sorts of weird and wonderful metal works scattered all around was fascinating and inspiring, but on top of that, you and Spencer did a great job at teaching and helping us to create our masterpieces :-). I will definitely be back.... start thinking about how we are going to create my witch on a broomstick!

Also, thanks to Dan for crafting my skeleton hand for me - I love it.

See you soon... Loretta

Response from Anvil Forge:

I must admit you were great to teach and fun all day long
the broomstick idea is wonderful especially for the halloween class !
I will mention you to the lads , they also enjoy the feedback.

best wishes John

In-person course
Julian Court - - #27558

I have just attended the Viking knife 1 day course and I must say it was everything I had hoped it would be (in fact I was there for 2 days and made 2 different Viking knives!). John and his time were all very friendly and always on hand if you wanted advice or help. I'm considering another course in the not too distant future. Thanks guys!

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Julian
It was a pleasure having you on the class , in fact the whole class turned out some great knives.
I think your second blade turned out great with the scales being a real bonus.

I hope to see you again real soon.


In-person course
Russell Payne - - #26448

I have wanted to make my own knife for many years, as a scout and scout leader many years ago I started collecting sheath knives, and the forged in fire come on the TV and they make it look so simple... well sometimes... and I always thought I would love to have a go myself.... So to my delight my wife bought me a day course the Anvil Forge in Wokingham....

All I can say is Wow! what a day, a mixed bunch of people from differing backgrounds and a team of instructors who were fantastic, very friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient.

We started the day making a fire poker and then went on to crafting a knife of our own, great fun, not as easy as it looks... But the instructors where there every step of the way to help. Every person left with a knife they had made and where pleased with.

Seriously can't recommend highly enough, money very well spent. 10/10

Response from Anvil Forge:

thanks for comments , dont forget look at the days pictures on the Anvil Forge website and go to the gallery section.

We are also going to start offering a small discount on returning students so the chance to make the axe we discussed could a good excuse to come back!

Many thanks

In-person course
Mick Devlin - - #25175

I had a great day learning about the heating process hot, but not too hot colour to look for. Hammering, grinding, shaping, honing, hardening. Walked away with a very sharp knife and new skills.
Very friendly, knowledgeable, and skilled people.
Would recommend to anyone.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Mick
thanks for review , dont forget to go to our website to see the pictures taken on the day. look at our listing if you cant remember.
I think everybody went away with a pretty damn sharp blade , which makes all the hard work worthwhile.

I cant remember if your local but we have discount vouchers for the pub we use which will give you 20% off your meal cost as athankyou for attending the course.
best wishes John

In-person course
Joshua Harris - - #23965

This course is a fantastic start for a newbie looking to get a practical understanding of the tools and a few of the base skills of the craft. I'll be booking in my second experience soon and can't wait! The knife you make will be aesthetic and useful. Thanks John, Spencer and Aidan for some top instructing.

In-person course
Zoë - - #23767

Where do I start; what a wonderful day. From beginning to end you are made to feel at home by John, Spencer and Aiden, who are continuously a wealth of knowledge and who are on hand throughout the day. Although a group experience, Spencer and Aiden make sure to go around and provide 1-1 attention to everyone and give as much or as little support as needed. This was bought as a gift and it is probably the most appreciated and enjoyed, memorable gift I have ever given; everyone should experience this at least once, but I assure you that you will soon have a new hobby - especially at the hands of the Anvil Forge. We definitely have and will be returning. Thank you John, Spencer and Aiden.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Zoe
I am happy that we got you so enthralled in bladesmithing and pleased that you proved once again the ladies can give the guys a run for their money when fire and iron are the tools to work with.
Whenever you are both ready to return there will be welcome coffee and biscuits waiting for you.
best wishes

In-person course
Richard maskall - - #23347

Joined these guys for the day I think last year, and can't think of a nicer bunch of blokes to spend the day forging with. Even though I was very keen before I went on this experience day to get into forging, I have since built a small coal forge and have successfully made several knives of my own including a low layer Damascus kitchen knife.

Thanks for the support on the day and igniting a new hobby.

In-person course
John martin - - #23043

Just finished a 1 day Viking knife making course with John and had an amazing time. Our group was small and it was the hottest day of the year, and I still had a good time.

We were made to feel welcome and I learned a lot. John and his guest tutor Alex had a wealth of knowledge and were keen to impart as much as possible and I hope he takes up his invitation to join Forged in Fire.

Hope to join him again some time to do another course (maybe on a cooler day).

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi John
thanks for review and nice to get feedback that we can share . I will let young Alex know you appreciated his help as well.
I dont think I will take up the offer to do 'forged in fire ' as its entertaining to watch on tv but after the session we had in the heat I dont think I would enjoy it .
best wishes

In-person course
Paul Hanson - - #22416

Wonderful day starting with a poker to get used to things and moving onto knife making - A lot packed into the day! I was pleasantly surprised what a novice could produce - but that is down to great instruction and help. If you are thinking about it - just do it!

In-person course
Matt - - #20788

An absolutely brilliant day the guys packed so much in to the day and we enjoyed every minute. I'm so pleased with my knife for cutting the wedding cake and I couldn't have made it without the help of John, Mark and Steven. I would highly recommend this course and would be happy to come back and do another course in the future.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Matt
really pleased you all had a great time and loved the idea of cutting your wedding cake with the knife you made. Its really rewarding for us to share our knowledge with a group of guys that were to interested in all the techniques and intricacies of 'bladesmithing'.
Please send pictures of you and your bride cutting the cake. I hope to see you both in six years time for the 'iron' wedding anniversary.
many thanks
John and Team

In-person course
Tristan Luscombe - - #19603

I had my introduction to blacksmithing course yesterday and at the end of the day I was tired, dirty and grinning like an idiot. This was easily the best day I've had in a very long time indeed and I got a poker and kitchen knife out of it too!
Being only a small group of students meant that we had the undivided attention of tutors John, David and Spencer and they're a cracking bunch of blokes; friendly, knowledgeable, funny and they really made the day special for everyone.
I would unequivocally recommend this course to anyone interested in blacksmithing or bladesmithing and wants an introduction to the practical aspects.
I'm saving up for my next visit!

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Tristan
I think that your comments say it all!
we all feel pretty lucky meeting you guys and helping you all have a great time as well as making some pretty great blades along the way .
Dont forget to watch this space as we have few new courses ( axes , bushcraft with another smith etc) coming up during the summer.

best wishes

In-person course
Eddie Stewart - - #17745

Fantastic day at the forge with John and the guys. There were 6 of us on the course. Having 3 forges and John, Spencer and Charlotte to instruct we had a very good ratio of instructor/kit to student. I came to make a knife but I would have been happy just going away with my fireplace poker. Forging the knife was the cherry on top. The lunchtime pub food was very good.

I'm definitely considering which course to do next. Would recommend this course to anyone who fancies a go.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Eddie
thanks for review, I am pleased the knife was the cherry on the cake !
as you know we have a selection of metalwork or blacksmith courses and you are welcome back anytime.
ps the pub we use offers a 20% discount on all our students that have attended , if interested email me and I will send a voucher.
best wishes

In-person course
Paul Watson - - #17580

Fantastic day at the forge with John and the team.
I joined a course with 4 other students, we were instructed by John, Steve, Spencer and Charlotte. Excellent tutelage from all the team. Not only did they explain what to do and how to do it, they also explained why we were doing it, which made learning much easier for me.
I didn't want to the day to end, and I'm definitely considering which course to do next.
Would recommend this course to any and everyone.

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Paul
thanks for leaving the review. I think you are not the only one who would stay late and carry on ! I did tell you that it can be addictive .
Of course you are welcome back to make another Knife of a different style and now you have done the first class, and have that experience and a degree of skill gained on the day a new world of metalwork and blacksmithing is opened up.
Best wishes
John and the Team

In-person course
Nick Stanley - - #16889

We spent a day as a family & complete novices at Anvil Forge.
My wife & teenage daughters were nervous when they arrived but Spencer was patient & encouraging. Two to one tuition with Steve as the second instructor - now there is a man who is passionate about his knives. Girls can't wait to go again & make a dragon. Thoroughly worth the drive down from Macclesfield.

In-person course
Ian Watkins - - #16612

Read more

In-person course
Alan Monk - - #15561

Fantastic day with John and his team at the forge - The day starts with a H&S briefing, then it's onto learning/re-learning some basics by making a simple poker, then it's onto the Viking-style hand-knife, using a combination of forgework to get the blade area thinned down , then shaping and bending of the handle, followed by the grinding and filling of the cutting edge.

The class size is small 5-7 and sensibly-paced, so John and his guys can spend quality time with each student and ensure everyone goes away happy with a functioning knife (and poker!).

A hearty pub lunch is included (plenty of options) and the tea and coffee are on the go all day.

I thoroughly recommend this course!

Response from Anvil Forge:

Hi Alan
thanks for review , I am pleased we get it right for are welcome back anytime.
best wishes

In-person course
Mike Smith - - #15047

An amazing course for anyone interested in blacksmithing. John, Spencer and Steve are great teachers, and the course is run at a comfortable pace for any ability. You will learn a great deal about the art of blade making and gain first hand experience of many blacksmithing techniques, from shaping hot metal with a hammer and anvil through to hardening and honing your own blade that you can take home. The day is immensely good fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

In-person course
Samuel Littley - - #13396

Had a fantastic (if a bit chilly) day with John, Spencer and Mark making a poker and a viking knife. Was excellent to get my hands dirty (beats sitting at a keyboard all day!). Great for total beginners; the team are so helpful.

In-person course
Luke Smith - - #13072

Had my one day knife making course yesterday (17/2/18) and had an amazing day. John Steve and Ollie were great and were so knowledgeable and happy to help.
I have never done anything like this before and was happy to leave with a fire poker and my own man blade. Paced at a really good level and never felt rushed or things not going quick enough.
I drove 2 hours from the midlands to do this course and would happily go again tomorrow!
Great course would highly recommend

In-person course
kaylon burns - - #13036

I'm 14 years old I stared making things when I was 11 years old and I still do it now but I have been wishing to do it properly making knifes arrows I would say I'm good at blacksmithing but not an expert at it that's why I'm want to work as a blacksmith .

In-person course
Steve Osborne - - #12843

Fantastic day. The guys who run it are really enthusiastic and give you loads of advice and support. Really proud of my Knife and poker. Don't worry if, like me, you haven't done metal work since school and you're not that practical. It's a fascinating insight into an ancient craft and I guarantee you will be chuffed to bits with the day and the things you have made.

In-person course
Luke Maharry - - #12566

This was a really engaging course and i am so amazingly proud of my poker and knife. I really believe that this will be a blade that will last a lifetime and i made it! Steve, John and Spence were welcoming, really hands on throughout the day without doing it for me. I enjoyed every second and the day flew past. Would recommend to anyone.

In-person course
phil turcsi - - #11422

loved the Day made a knife in a spartan flare that I am having chromed it's just a very good hands-on experience on Par with forged in fire, as at the end of the day "it will cut"
Solid five stars
Bad bits
the postcode, not the best flew past and missed the sign (needs to be painted white) suggest also to eat before you arrive being out in the middle of nowhere with no shops for miles around but did find a Londis after foraging for food
the very good bit
the pub grub was lovely and the guys at the forge know there stuff hopefully next year they're going to make axes and a tomahawk would be great to have one.

In-person course
Gillian Thomas - - #11318

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and made a knife which is (startlingly) capable of neatly slicing tomatoes! Perfect for re-enactment cookery. I am quite small so have realised it would have maybe been a little easier with one of the lower anvils; definitely using the angle grinder at a lower bench was a good move, but age and gender are no excuse for not trying this class. A complete escape from daily life and challenging enough to give a great sense of achievement, but manageable too. Delicious lunch. Book soon because I am telling all my friends to go.

In-person course
Paul - - #11074

So much fun!!! They're great guys there and you will get dirty! Haha, also the pub they take you to does lovely food!

In-person course
Gary Smith - - #9756

I had a fantastic day from beginning to end- as a big fan of Forged in Fire I was looking forward to learning the skills of how to make my own knife. The team at the forge - John and Steve especially - were very helpful and willing to pass on their skills. A friendly and welcoming team - I look forward to a return visit. I would highly recommend a visit to the forge if this is something you are thinking about trying.

In-person course
Paul Stafford - - #9678

Had a great day and even as a total novice I walked away with a blade to be proud to have forged. Very friendly and knowledgeable team who are willing to pass on all the tricks and tips you need to produce a working, hardened blade.
I'll definitely be going back for more.

In-person course
Pete berry - - #9478

Right gonna keep this short! Wow what a day!!!everything was spot on from the cup of tea first thing to the goodbyes at the end. John, steve and the lads are so knowledgeable and you can not help but soak up everything they say. It feet like i had worked in the forge for years! Cheers guys im comming back!!

In-person course
Steve Ritzema, Hampshire - - #9319

I ended up making more than just a knife under the creative tutelage John and his team. Great way to re-connect with your metal beating side and learn something at the same time. A well organised day - if you go, keep turning right once you've entered the farm and you'll find it unobtrusively in the corner. Son was very very jealous of what I made and I'll be coming back again with him in tow (daughter thought I got too dirty !) - there's a reason they're called Black-smiths !

Great day, interesting genuine people. Well worth it - thanks again.

In-person course
Lucas Black - - #9295

A well paced introduction to blacksmithing and blade making aimed at the young and old alike.

I was very happy with the entire day. From starting out on a fire poker to making a handled blade and then heat treating the cutting edge.

I came away with a very useable knife.

In-person course
Sam Moore - - #9294

Had a fantastic day on Saturday with John and Steve. Will definitely be going back.

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