I had a fantastic time with Tom at Longdog Smithy making a Sgian-dubh.
The course was completely hands-on and practical, and it was great to experience the end to end process from sketch to finished item.
Tom was very patient and explained the process clearly. He's clearly very experienced and has a great eye for detail at all stages.
An excellent day all round in which I learnt a huge amount and left with a beautiful knife.
Had such a fantastic day at Longdog Smithy with Tom.
He was incredibly patient (and firm when required!) with us and made the experience incredibly fulfilling. He is so knowledgeable of his craft, it was a joy to see someone so passionate.
We came away with more confidence and a handcrafted tool we can use every day to remind us of what is possible when you have a teacher who engages and respects the learning process - thank you Tom (and Kara for the fantastic homemade soup!).
I would recommend this for all ages and will hope to go back and make something else one day.
Fantastic day with Tom at Longdog smithy. We both learnt masses and forged a completed knife each, Tom was a great tutor and good fun and we have both exceeded our expectations by miles. Off home to make sheaths for our individual and treasured creations. Couldn't recommended it enough, unforgettable day.
Thank you Tom !
Myself and a good friend attended a one day blacksmithing course yesterday with Tom at Longdog smithy. There’s nothing to say other than it was an utterly incredible day!
From the outset Tom was hugely helpful in the lead up to the course with admin and organisation. My craft course voucher was due to expire, and Tom was most helpful in booking our course despite this potential problem.
We were then provided detailed instructions on how to get to the smithy and requirements for the day, and were also asked for our dietary requirements which were fulfilled (with an amazing lunch!)
Upon arrival Tom greeted us and helped us with parking arrangements and we were taken into the smithy where the real fun began!
We sat with Tom and discussed what we would like to make (in our case, blades) and in what style over a cup of tea, and drew some rough sketches of what we’d like to achieve. We then cut our steel and Tom talked us through lighting the forge, explaining each step in detail.
Tom expertly demonstrated each step that we were about to take, and we were soon manipulating the metal with forge and hammer amongst other tools. Tom’s teaching style is fantastic as he would demonstrate and then we were set free to get stuck in and have a go ourselves with his expert guidance along side.
Once we had forged our blades using several different techniques, Tom talked us through and demonstrated the quenching and hardening process and then we were able to do some grinding and sharpening to hone our blades. After this we were able to choose what sort of handle materials we would like to use from Tom’s ample stock pile, and our knives were finished!
We had an absolutely fantastic day and each came away with blades we were happy with and proud of as excellent reminders of such a fantastic day! The only down side to the day was the end coming around so quickly!
I can’t recommend Tom enough, and if you are considering a blacksmith experience day, he is definitely the man to go to! Looking forward to getting back there for another session hopefully soon!
Me and my father attended this course on a very chilly November.
But wow what can I say, straight from the off Tom and his partner made us feel right at ease.
The day was started by getting to know a bit about each other and what we hoped to gain from this experience. Once we had doodled our designs and Tom has given us our safety brief we were of.
Being beginners he made sure he explained everything to us and helped us along our way in creating our knives. With it being a just me and my father Tom was able to give us lots of one on one instruction and made the whole feel of the course that little bit more personal.
Lunch was provided and was exactly what we all needed, a delicious home made thick soup with crusty bread.
A huge thank you to both Tom and his partner for looking after us and helping us to create two extremely sharp and usable kitchen knives.
My son and I attended the Longdog Smithy course recently. Tom was gracious, welcoming, helped us feel at ease immediately. We chose what we wanted to make, he offered advice then walked us through the day - instructing and encouraging with the knowledge and experience he evidently has. He even helped us record the experience on camera!
We loved it. People are amazed at the raw beauty of the knives we crafted out of a length of plain old metal bar. Thank you, Tom!
I attended this course recently with a friend and had an amazing day, coming away with a hanging basket bracket I'd made - I never thought I'd be able to do that in a day! Tom was very encouraging, showing us what we needed to do and then giving us the space to try it, make the odd mistake and try again. With only two on the course you can get so much done. Tom's enthusiastic about his craft and passed that on to us as well as being enjoyable company.
I'd strongly recommend this to anyone who fancies trying their hand at blacksmithing - you won't be disappointed and may be hooked. Next one for us is to go again and make a knife.
I recently attended the 1 day course with my friend and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Tom is a great tutor, providing not only practical expertise but also a bit of theory and science too. His enthusiasm for his craft clearly shone through; and his patience and attention to detail enabled me to make a hand held garden fork using a myriad of techniques, whilst my friend made an intricate bracket to hold a hanging basket.
A constant supply of tea, coffee and biscuits kept us going; along with a huge bowl of home made soup for lunch - all courtesy of Tom.
A huge thank you to Tom for an engaging and absorbing day; and we're looking forward to spending another day at Longdog Smithy later on in the year to make kitchen knives.
I bought this one-day course for my partner's birthday present, but we both had a fantastic time learning the basics of blacksmithing from Tom. He patiently guided us through various techniques and how to use different tools and we both came away having made something we were proud of - my partner made a chisel and I made a dinner bell/triangle. Tom is a knowledgable and fascinating teacher with a passion for history, and looked after us throughout the day with plenty of tea and biscuits and a hearty lunch. I'd definitely recommend this course for anyone interested in learning this traditional skill - it's excellent value for money.
I bought a day at Longdog Smithy for my partner's birthday present, thinking I would go along for the ride, but with Tom's patient encouragement I got right into it and by the end of the day I'd made a beautiful cook's knife that I'm hugely proud of - and my other half is thrilled with the bowie knife he made too. I can't believe we accomplished so much in a day.
A fantastic experience in every respect. Can't recommend highly enough.
Just spent a very rewarding 2 days at Tom's forge. I asked him to teach me as many blacksmithing techniques as would fit in the time and I could cram into my brain. Tom provided clear instructions, demonstrated each technique, and provided feedback and tips as needed. I learnt so much but never felt rushed or pressured, and have left with a great range of finished items. This course delivered exactly what I wanted. Thanks Tom.
We had such a good day with Tom in his forge. I bought an experience for my hubby’s Christmas present and he was set on making a knife which turned out amazingly well under Tom’s expert guidance. I was able to make a giant hook for all my scarves, all thanks to Tom’s skill and patience..... this was a big achievement for me as I am a proper townie who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty! I would highly recommend a day with Tom and will look proudly at my hook every time I come home! Thank you Tom!
My wife bought me a craft courses voucher after seeing my enthusiasm for a knife making programme on TV. Living in Dorset there were several courses available to me and I'm infinitely glad I chose Tom at Longdog Smithy to go to. He is clear in his teaching and has a wealth of knowledge that he is willing to share, coupled with a patience much needed for the likes of myself with multiple questions comparing what I'd gleened from the TV. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the day and am quite smitten with the seax that I left with. I fully intent to return with the wife in the near future as well as place an order for some throwing axes. I wholeheartedly recommend Tom and his course.
I cannot sum up how great Tom at Longdog Smithy is. His knowledge and patience are endless: my wife and I had a blast, making a knife and a scrolled trellis. Can’t wait to book another session! Very highly recommended and excellent value for money
Tom was an excellent teacher, with the ability to share his knowledge and enthusiasm in a fun and informative way. We had a great day, learning the basics of blacksmithing, leaving with objects we’d actually made ourselves. Brilliant!
My wife and I attended the 1 day course and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Neither of us had any prior experience, but Toms expertise and patience soon gave us the confidence to use all of the equipment.
We both achieved our aims of leaving with a finished piece of work, no rushing, no shortcuts and both had fun in the process.
A hugely interesting day with lots learnt, excellent setting, facilities and refreshments. I can't recommend this enough and will certainly look to doing this again.