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Donelson Custom Education

Blacksmithing Demos and Classes

Blacksmithing Demonstrations: On-site demos are available for Rendezvous, interested Groups (such as Knife collectors, etc.), and schools. Myself and my Friend Michael will bring our equipment and provide a demonstration on your site, of knife-making, axe-making, or whatever your particular interest is..... We can even do a demonstration of forging without the fire, for example in a school, (where the danger of a forge fire is prohibitive)...by using a lead blank and hammering it cold on an anvil to show how the metal moves in forging. The cost for Forging demos is $400.00 per day for a full day demo (6 hours) and this assumes a site within 60 miles of Becker, MN. Travel charges of an additional $75/hour (60 miles) will apply to sites further out than one hour.

-Forge-day Classes: Half-day and One day forging classes are available on a reservation basis: these are REALLY FUN! Being informal and a group of 10-20 students with myself and Michael helping you to produce a project in that time! This is a totally hands-on project!! We will have several forges operational at once and will coach you thru the process of producing a tool that you go home with!!

-Throwing Knife classes: this is a half-day class taking about 4 hours on-site, we start with a shaped blank of mild steel, we teach fire starting and control, blade shaping, and sharpening, hardening and tempering.... You throw your knife before you go home! ! Cost is $75.00 per person including parts and coal. Bring your favorite hammer and tools, if you have them.

-Camp/Throwing axe classes: this is a full-day class taking about 7 hours on-site, we start with a shaped blank of mild steel, we teach fire starting and control, eye punching, blade shaping, sharpening, hardening and tempering.....You throw your hawk before you go home!! Cost is $100.00 per person including parts and coal. Bring your favorite hammer and tools.

-Advanced classes may follow and may include swords and gun barrels.....these are very advanced classes and will be multiple day events.

If you want to be included in these experimental events, please email me here or call me at 605-690-6744.....thanks.....John.




"John Donelson/Mike Hoffmann,
   I wanted to thank you for the excellent program you provided this past weekend. I was and still am so charged up with what I learned and created that I feel as though I were a child once again. The skill and patience that you graced upon me and my classmates made our time together productive and enjoyable.  I will be illuminating my family and friends of your program and excellent care in which you took a group of all-thumb novices and turn us into productive, skilled and confident blacksmiths. In summarizing my opinion of your class, I would simply have to say that it was just damn fun!
   You may use this letter as an unsolicited endorsement of your program."
Dave S.