Forge a Custom Knife from a Railroad Spike (Intermediate Blacksmithing/Knifemaking)

Transform a historic Railroad Spike into a beautiful knife that you design!


What you’ll be making : A custom forged knife


Tools and techniques : Shaping your blade with copious amounts of heat and hammers, plus some help from a grinder, then twisting some hot steel for your handle.

Length: 4 hours

Class size: ~10 people


Guest – $295 per person: You will design and make one knife.

Buddy Up! – $375: You and a guest will make one knife together.

Date Night couple – $445: You and your guest will make one custom knife together and get a pizza and a bottle of wine to share during the workshop.

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So, you’ve made your first knife in our “Forge a Survival Knife” workshop, and are ready to immerse yourself further in the world of knife smithing. This American Folk Art project involves knifesmithing techniques – the art, science, and practice of using heat and hammers (among other tools) to shape steel, that you started using in the introduction to knife making class. You will add skills while transforming a historic Railroad Spike into a beautiful knife of your own design.

The first portion of this workshop will focus on heating and shaping the spike with a hammer and anvil. You’ll heat up your steel in our propane forge until it’s red-hot then use a hammer and anvil to create the profile of your knife. Rinse, repeat until you have the rough shape you want for your blade. Then heat and twist the handle using the vice & a tool designed to twist hot steel by hand. It’s a great workout!

After you’ve created the rough shape of your knife, you’ll use a grinder to refine the shape and form the bevel of your knife, which is the core of its cutting edge.

Finally, you’ll heat the knife up one more time and quench it in oil to harden the blade. This involves red-hot metal and usually a little fire when you dunk your knife into the oil. It’s the ultimate Instagrammable photo or video! Ever seen “Forged in Fire”? That’s exactly what you’ll be doing!

We’ll then take a break while your knife cools after you quench it. During this time, feel free to grab a slice from the excellent pizza place around the corner (Table 87). You’re also welcome to utilize our lounge area to relax with your slice, a drink, and your workshop buddies. Take advantage of your time out of the apartment and make a night of it! 

Once we reconvene, you’ll put the finishing touches on your masterpiece – wire buffing the handle and sharpening the blade to a razor’s edge. You’ll leave the workshop with a stunning piece of American Folk artistry, a slightly sore arm, and a newfound pride of your craftsmanship.