Our new course by popular request. The two day chef's style knife 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.
The material we will be using will be from 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 also use leaf springs which give a really great texture and are often preferred to new steel. New steel is available upon request at no extra cost.
Class sizes are generally 4-6 attending with 2 to 3 tutors. We ask for payment at the time of booking to confirm the place on the course.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All courses include materials. PPE will be provided but please wear sturdy shoes/boots and old clothes. No fleeces or sandals please.
Included in the price is a cooked lunch in a local pub . Teas, coffee and refreshments are on a constant supply.
If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know in advance and we shall endeavour to meet them.
We start off with a brief health and safety chat to ensure we are all as safe and sound at the end of the day as we were when we started.
John at Anvil Forge
The Forge Blackcroft farm Wokingham, Reading Berkshire RG7 1UJ
A great way to spend a weekend! I like to cook and like to make things, so my girlfriend decided to buy this course for my 30th. John, Alex, Henry and Mark are all nice chaps and have a wealth of knowledge to share. What was really nice is that they always demonstrated on other pieces, so you really do make the entire knife yourself, with minimal interference. A couple of nice pub lunches didn't hurt, either!
thanks for posting the review, I think that your knife was really great to look at and pleased that you did virtually everything yourself with just a little guidance.
the pictures are posted on the Anvil Forge gallery
I look forward to seeing you with your friends on the next class
best wishes John
I joined John, Alex and small but mighty Henry for the two-day chef knife making course in May 2019. We were lucky to be a very small class of two but that didn't affect the warm and very enthusiastic welcome from the forge. After a cuppa we set to work forging an attractive iron fire poker to get a feel for the process. Another cuppa in and we were presented with two very rough templates cut from a strip of leaf spring steel salvaged from junkyard. We beat this into shape heating and beating the metal slowly drawing out the edge like you would with pastry. We were shown what colour to heat the metal to and to watch for sparks, suggesting you have burnt the iron because you were too distracted watching the others create bespoke pieces for clients! Once the rough edge is formed we allowed the metal to anneal by bringing it up to temperature then allowing it to cool slowly. Next we sketched out the knife profile we were trying to achieve and grinded down to the rough shape using this stage to create the primary bevel.
After a hefty pub lunch we then worked on achieving the secondary bevel before filing and sanding the edges, hardening the edge by quenching it in oil once past the magnetic point. John kindly took the blades to bake in the oven for two hours and slow cool.
The next morning we set to work on our handles, choosing our hardwood and forming the shape which proved tricky when trying to align the tang inside. Once finely sanded and oiled we went through the final process of sharpening, finishing the knife and testing the sharpness with the customary slice through paper.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend; John and guys really instil the excitement of forging and have a wealth of knowledge with years of experience. This is a working forge with teaching on the side which in my view is far better than trying to churn out large classes for profit. I also think my knife speaks for itself with multiple friends asking where I did it and how they can sign up! Thank you John, Alex and Henry for a great weekend :)
thanks for taking the time to send such a comprehensive review, I am sure this will help others to understand the amount of work you guys put in over the two days you are with us and the great time we all have both tutors and trainees.
I am pleased that your friends were impressed as well as all the work produced was of a quality that made our time teaching all the more rewarding for us as well.
As promised I will let you know about the ore smelting we have planned once we have it in the diary.
best wishes John
Having now done two course with the team at Anvil Forge, I can highly recommend them. Wonderful guys working in a great environment. The courses are paced well and interesting, this is a working forge and it is the real deal. What John, Spencer and the team produce on a daily basis is outstanding, and under their guidance you will produce a fantastic piece of work. I have managed to produce a herb cutter and a chef's knife and both have become firm favourites in the house. The easiest way to compliment them is to say I will be back to create any great blade.
Thanks for a few great days.
Really pleased that you had such a great time and looking forward to seeing you again in t6he near future on one of the other courses.
The course list is growing and will have some new interesting classes coming up soon.
Just had a weekend at Anvil Forge on the chef's knife making course. I had the best time, John, Steve & Alex were brilliant. It was a really welcoming place with so much knowledge and a keenness to pass that on but with the freedom to make it your own. Throw in a couple of tasty pub lunches and you couldn't ask for any more! Thanks again
thanks for you comments , I am saying this on behalf of myself and the team that we enjoyed working together with all of you on the class. I must say that you all produced some great knives that you can be proud of.
We hope to see you again soon , Alex has been refining his Damascus skills and watch this space for more info on Pattern welded knives and small axes!
Just spent two wonderful days @Anvil forge on a knife making course.
We were “broken in” to the process by making a poker in order to gain an understanding of basic skills immediately followed by work on our knives.
At the end of day one, it suddenly occurred to me that, although freely available, I only had stopped for one tea break because I had become so involved and was really enjoying the work.
Thanks to the superb help of John, Spencer and Steve (master blade smith) for their patient teaching, help and support (and good pub lunch) for a memorable two days. Highly recommended.
A great course, educational, constructive and great fun. You first lean the basics of forging metal before starting on your blade.the instructor combines knowledge and patience allowing freedom of design yet great teaching. All wrapped up with two great pub lunches.
Overall fantastic course, immense fun and a great knife to take home.
Would thoroughly recommend.
Thanks for your comments , we try to please. Photos of class coming soon!
I am seeing you again soon for more fun on the Blacksmith course where you can explore more creative metalworking!
Having just completed the 2 day Chef's Knife course @AnvilForge, I am still beaming with pride at the result. I have my own personal and custom made Chef's knife which I can’t wait to use!
John (owner/blacksmith @Anvilforge), Mark (journeyman blacksmith) and Steve (knife specialist @whitetigerknives) were all brilliant during the course, offering expert tuition/guidance whilst allowing you to shape and craft your own blade out of leaf spring steel with a choice of wood for your own design of handle (I chose a unique piece of cocobolo).
I love it so much, I’m already looking at going back to craft something else! Highly recommend the course and the team. Thanks guys….