Build Camp Blacksmith

Build Camp Blacksmith

June 23-25 2016

Ambitious Goals for the weekend:
  1. Build and complete a fully operational traditional open forge.
  2. Build a fully enclosed oven type forge with refractory lining
  3. Build a power hammer to speed the drawing process
  4. Make a Damascus steel knife blade for each attendee
Why these goals are so ambitious:
At Build Camp we believe that kids can do hard things. And we believe that hard things are worth doing. When kids do hard things at young ages their capacity to do even harder things increases. Today's youth mostly are not tasked with milking cows, pitching hay, or working in sweat shops. the hardest thing most youth do is choose which app to download or which pair of jeans they are going to wear.
Tomorrows leaders, teachers, mentors, philanthropists and business men and women are going to be people who know how to do hard things. 
Building a forge requires persistence. Swinging a hammer is physically demanding. Building a power hammer takes ingenuity, skill, and effort.

The Forge:
Forging steel requires heat, and carefully controlled heavy hammer blows. Heat is provided by an air induced coal fire. Called a forge or hearth. We will build the needed equipment to create fire upwards of 3500°F. (Yes it is dangerous. Don't come if you are not confident that you can be safe.)

A Power Hammer
The heavy blows are traditionally done by hand, and we will do plenty of hand work, but some of what we want to do will be better done with serious power tools. A power hammer can weigh over 3000 pounds and stroke 100 times per minute. Our won't be that big but we do expect to achieve a 50 pound hammer and at least 60 strokes per minute.
The capstone Project. Damascus steel. 
Damascus steel knives are coveted for their beauty as well as their high strength and long lasting edges. Damascus steel is a very labor intense process in which layers of high carbon steel and low carbon steel are forge welded together, drawn out, folded over, and welded again. The more folds the higher quality and strength. We want to create at least a small blade for each person who comes to this camp, however due to time constraints and the difficult nature of the projects no guarantee is offered that you will get to take a knife home. We may offer a make up day if some part of the project is not complete.

A Special Treat, Guest Artist Tim Little.
Tim Little is a local artist who creates amazing art out of old metal junk like engine parts, pieces of machines, bikes, and so on. He has agreed to attend Blacksmith camp to show and teach some of his favorite techniques.

Build Camp Blacksmith starts on Thursday, June 23 2016 at 3:00 pm and ends on Saturday June 25 2016 at 7:00 pm. Open to youth 10-18 and adults. Join now!

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