NNSB Workshop Curriculum

 Nauman’s Northern School for Blacksmiths  

Workshop Curriculum

Taught by
Dan Nauman, Artisan and Designer

Where:  Workshops are taught at the Bighorn Forge studio in rural Kewaskum, Wisconsin, which is about 45 miles north of Milwaukee on State Hwy. 45.  Kewaskum is a farming community, located in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest.  The area boasts over 70 miles of hiking, snow-mobiling, cross country skiing, and horse trails.  Fishing, hunting, down-hill skiing, snow-tubing, and snow-boarding are also in close proximity.  Camping sites are abundant, as well as motels in nearby West Bend, and the Village of Kewaskum.

When: Workshops are scheduled by demand, and typically tailored to your schedule.  Two students are required to hold any workshop.

Instructor: Dan Nauman has been forging since 1979, and has been forging professionally since 1993.  He founded Bighorn Forge, Inc. in 1991, and has had up to 14 employees and three studios: Kewaskum (1988-present), Baileys Harbor, WI (1996-2002), and Cedarburg, WI (2000-2006.)  Dan has demonstrated/taught at numerous blacksmith conferences, schools and colleges.  He served on board of directors for the “Artist Blacksmith Association of North America” (ABANA) from 2000-2006.  He has had his work shown in many galleries, shows (including a solo exhibition), magazines, newspapers, and books. He has won five international awards for design and workmanship from the “National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association” (NOMMA.)  Dan’s work encompasses many classic styles, including repousse’, and pushes the envelope in developing original designs.  Currently, he is the editor of ABANA’s two publications, The Anvil’s Ring, and The Hammer’s Blow.

Bighorn Forge: The studio is in a 35 x 45 insulated pole barn.  There are four complete coal forge work stations, as well as one gas forge work station.  The studio features a 110 pound Sahinler air hammer, in-line treadle hammer, MIG and Arc welder, oxy-acetylene torch, side draft chimneys, ample tooling, 5’ x 15’  steel layout table, steel lathe, dirt floor with a 10’ x 15’ concrete lay-out slab.

Climate:  Wisconsin’s seasons are variable, and picturesque.  Spring starts out snowy, changing to mud, and can finish very warm, with temps in the 80’s.  The summers can be dry to humid, with temps averaging in the 70’s and 80’s, rarely in the 90’s.  Autumn, abundant in color, typically starts out warm, but can rapidly decline to below freezing temps overnight.  Winters are typically well below freezing, with snow cover typically in late December potentially extending through March, with occasional snow-storms into late April.  In other words, be prepared for several weather conditions.

 

Forging Workshop Curriculum:

Forging Workshop I: Beginning ForgingCost: $450.00

  • Includes: Training, steel, study guide**
  • Time: Two Days
  • Bring: Notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: None

Mug Rack

This is a very intensive workshop, designed for the serious beginning student. Dan spends the first several hours laying the groundwork with discussions that arm the student with intense forging knowledge that highlights discipline, decision, and determination. The workshop covers the history of forging; introduction to the common forging tools; where to obtain tools; common fuels; shop safety; coal fire starting and maintenance; discussion on working high carbon steels; discussion on forge welding; basic forging methods, i.e. drawing a round bar to square; drawing a square bar to octagon; drawing an octagonal bar to round; drawing a round bar to a square taper; drawing a square taper to octagon; drawing an octagonal taper to round; introduction to scrolls; scrolling a round taper;  bending using the anvil horn; bending using the post-vise; splitting, twisting, drilling metal; riveting.  Projects: The student will attempt to make and take home an “S’ hook, spice hook, and a four hook mug/utensil rack.

* The Study Guide is a 24 page booklet that contains much of what Dan will teach, and more, i.e. forging tips, images of tooling, side-draft chimney plans, and more. This is a $25 value.

Forging Workshop II: Kitchen Utensils” 

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel.
  • Time: Two Days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, new file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Completion of Workshop I, or proof of equivalent training.

Kitchen Utensils

This workshop will continue your basic training. The student will learn to learn basic project preparation; spring swaging; sledge hammer striking; treadle hammer use; hot-cut splitting; cross-peening (spreading metal); cold-cutting; hot-punching; and refined filing. Projects: The student will attempt to make a meat serving fork, as well as a matching spatula or ladle.

Forging Workshop III: Forging a Rose

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Two Days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Completion of Workshop I and II, or proof of equivalent training.

Rose 2

One of the most popular workshops, this workshop continues the basic training, but takes a slight detour into decorative ornament.  The student will learn to punch hot steel; forge a square tenon; learn to forge a rivet head from the tenon; learn about and use the oxy-acetylene torch and torch safety; learn to gas weld using the torch; and will learn to use a shear.  Project: The student will attempt to make a blooming rose with three leaves

Forging Workshop IV: Door Handles

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Two days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, new file, notebook, pencil
  • Prerequisite: Completion of Workshop I and II, or proof of equivalent training.

door-hardware-1

In this workshop we continue to enhance what you know, and introduce a few new processes such as cutting and filing to close dimensions; project lay-out; slitting and drifting a rectangular hole; shouldering; and refined cross-peening.

Projects: The student will attempt to make a bean-cusp style handle, as well as a Suffolk style door handle (with a thumb-piece if time allows.)

“Forging Workshop V: French Repousse’”

  • Cost: $1,250.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Four to five days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, new file, notebook, pencil
  • Prerequisite: Completion of Workshop I – IV, or proof of equivalent training.
  • Recommended: Review of Workshop I notes on high carbon steel.

Repousse candlestick b+w

This workshop is typically given on two staggered weekends (not in a row, and suited to all student’s schedules.)  In this workshop, the student will learn to make the tools, and apply them to the French (hammer and stake) style of repousse’.  Projects, Weekend 1: The student will attempt to make two stakes, two raising hammers, and a planishing hammer.  Projects, Weekend 2: Using the tools the student made, the student will learn the basics of raising straight and curved shoulders and veins; will make a grape leaf; opposing water leaves (one anticlastic), and an acanthus leaf.  The student will also learn how to apply these leaves to projects, and the various methods to cut out the leaf blanks.

Forging Workshop VI: Forge Shop Tools

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Two days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, new file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite:  Completion of Workshops I + II, or proof of equivalent training.
  • Recommended: Review notes from Workshop #1 regarding high carbon steel.

2015-11-13 09.57.46 b=w

This is a tool-making workshop for the student who wishes to get his own shop outfitted. Projects: We will make some, but not all, of the following tools (student’s discretion): 3/8″” V- tongs; cold chisel, top and bottom bending forks; 45 degree filing vise; spring swage; scratch awl; or ?

Forging Workshop VII: Student Project

  • Cost: $1,250.00; $425.00 each additional day.
  • Includes: Training (Does NOT include steel.)
  • Time: Four Days minimum (Staggered weekends)
  • Bring:  1.83 lb. cross peen hammer, file, notebook, pencil
  • Prerequisite:  Workshops I – VI, or proof of equivalent training.

This workshop is for the serious student wishing to put it all together.  Project: The student will design a project he/she believes is just beyond their skill level, and present it to Dan, well in advance of the workshop.  Upon Dan’s approval of your drawing, you will then learn how to prepare for and lay-out the project.  Steel selection will be learned, and ordered accordingly.  Dan will then guide the student through the project.  Suggestions for projects could include a small wall hanging, small gate, elaborate candlestick, set of fireplace tools, or a sign bracket.  Note: This is for students who have a good command of the hammer, and have shown competence with the processes required.  Cost of the steel will be assessed and billed to the student before the end of the workshop.

Forging Workshop VIII: Twisting

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Two days
  • Bring: 1.83 lb. cross peen hammer, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Workshops I and II, or proof of equivalent training, forge welding proficiency.

A good, even, controlled twist is one thing, but repeating that same twist can be a problem for you if you do not understand the process.  This workshop will cover the fine points of twisting steel bars: how to make a controlled, even twist; a controlled reverse twist, and how to use both water and heat to do so.  You will not only learn how to make up to eight different twists in a single bar, but also how to make a basket twist, as well as a spiral ornament (technically not a twist.)

Forging Workshop IX: Joinery

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel
  • Time: Two days
  • Bring: 1.83 lb. cross peen hammer, good 8” half-round bastard file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Workshops I – IV, or proof of equivalent training, forge welding proficiency.

This workshop covers the various mechanical joints employed by the blacksmith: collars, wrapped collars, rivets, mortise and tenon, half-laps, and more on forge welded joints.

Forging Workshop X: Oak Branch

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel.
  • Time: Two days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross-peen hammer, good half-round bastard file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Workshops I-III

Oak Branch 1

This workshop somewhat departs from the fundamentals, and reaches towards ornament, specifically a realistic forked oak branch, with leaves and an acorn.  The student will learn to make bark texture and acorns with top and bottom dies, oxy-acetylene torch welding.

Forging Workshop XI: Forge Welding, Oxy-acetylene welding, and Brazing

  • Cost: $425.00
  • Includes: Training, steel.
  • Time: Two Days
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, good half-round bastard file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Workshops I and II.

You will learn to expand your skill base and design options by learning how to join metal by using these three methods to fuse elements together.

Personalized Tutorial Workshop

  • Cost: $1,500 First day, $1,000 each additional day.
  • Includes: Training (Does not include steel.)
  • Bring: 1.8 lb. cross peen hammer, half-round bastard file, notebook, pencil.
  • Prerequisite: Workshops I and II (or proof of equivalent training.)

This workshop is designed especially for you.  Call Dan to discuss what you would like to learn, and what your future goals might be.  Dan will then tailor the workshop to however you would like to learn, i.e. by him instructing, then coaching you while you forge, or by demonstrating for the duration. If you have been wrestling with specific processes or motifs, this is a fine step towards mastering them. It is “your day” to learn, so make the best of it.

Lodging and meals: For an extra $65 per day, Dan can put you up in a guest room, and provide two square meals (breakfast and supper) for you.

Workshop Weekend schedule

Typically, workshops begin Saturdays, at 8 AM, break for lunch at 11:30 AM to 12:30 (typically everyone goes out to a local grille, Dutch treat*), resume at 1:30 to 6 PM.  Sundays session begins at 8 AM, and work until 6 PM (same lunch schedule.)

*You are on your own for lunch costs.

Clothing

Cotton or wool clothing only, NO synthetics.  Boots, preferably with steel toe, and NO synthetics.  You may bring gloves, however I will advise not to use them unless you begin to develop a blister.  Thin soft wool, thin soft cotton or thin  soft leather work best, as bulky gloves make dexterity cumbersome.

Eye/ear Protection

No student will gain access to the studio without OSHA approved eye protection with side-shields.  Ear protection is recommended, but not enforced.  The ring of the anvil exceeds 85 decibels.

Age and Physical Requirements

You must at least 16 years of age, and be in good health (Note: Please, if you have an ailment and/or are on any medication that has reduced your strength, energy, or affects your judgement; or you have something that is contagious, please stay home.)  Swinging a hammer requires moderate strength, and stamina.  Exercising with light weights to increase strength in the biceps and triceps will help, as will squeezing a tennis ball for forearm/hand strength, for  periods of at least 15 minutes a day, 3-4 weeks prior to attending any workshop.  This is advisable for men, and especially women. This can be easily accomplished while watching television.

Conditions of a Blacksmith Studio, and You.

Blacksmith studios are considered industrial environments.  They are dirty, dusty, can be very hot, and very noisy.  You will sweat, likely get blisters, and possibly get first or second degree burns.  You will get fatigued, possibly sore, and will need a good nights rest before and after workdays.  You may wish to bring fresh water for drinking; energy snacks; sweat rag; a face mask if you wish to reduce breathing dust; kleen-ex; and band-aids.

Payment and Refunds

Payment of half the workshop fee should be sent no later than two (2) weeks before the workshop.  Balance to be paid on the first day of the workshop.

Refunds will not be given within two (1) week of scheduled workshop, or during any workshop.

Emergency Phone Number

To contact a student during a workshop, call (262) 626-2208

Questions? Please direct questions primarily by e-mailing Dan at dan_nauman@yahoo.com

Hope to see you here!

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