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SOUTH BAY FORGEWORKS

South Bay Forgeworks was created in 2018 as an outlet for the unique creations born from fire and shaped by hammer from artist Bret Childers. In the late 90's early 2000's Bret took up the hobby of blacksmithing with his best friend. Although he set the hobby aside to raise a family and continue his landscape company, it never left his heart.      "The first time I got hooked on heating metal and shaping it would of been as a young kid sitting around a camp fire at my families cabin in Washington. Back then I would get in trouble for messing around with fire, now I get recognized for it!"- Bret Childers     As we go into the future, South Bay Forgeworks will always maintain a high level of craftsmanship. We look forward to bringing your dreams of art to fruition. 

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OUR GOAL

EXPERIENCED TEACHERS, EAGER STUDENTS

Being from a tightknit community in rural Olympia, our sense of community is strong. That is why I chose the name, South Bay is where I am from, It's where I raised my kids, Its where I learned to drive, learned to fish, its where I met my wife, its where I began my journey of blacksmithing.

Very little means more to me than my family and my friends. One of those things is Teaching. I began teaching at a young age in high school. Shortly after high school, I co-taught some extension classes at our local community college. I taught Hunters education for 10 years as a way to enrich and give back to my community. I taught firearms safety as a way to make my community safer.

Now I am blessed with the space and knowledge to help people in my community get the experience of forging and creating beautiful pieces of functional art. With my background and help by my hand selected staff, we have a 100% success rate for making many people "makers". Helping people find their new hobby, helping them gain confidence, helping them reach a potential they were not sure about. We have families join us for a day of bonding and making memories. we have businesses bring staff in for team building and social events. We have had a boy scout troop in to get their welding and metal working patches. We have soldiers from our local military base in here to decompress and learn creative outlets.


Young or old, big or tiny, male or female, you are more than welcome to join us in a class.

Our teaching methods provide a safe and nurturing environment to succeed. 

THAT IS OUR GOAL

CLASSES

Learn the skill of blacksmithing

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INTRODUCTORY BLADESMITHING

Popular Class

Here at South Bay Forgeworks we can teach the process of building a quality knife. We have an excellent reputation for teaching, whether you are young or old, zero experience, or spent many hours on the couch watching TV forging shows. We want to get steel and a hammer in your hands. We go over all aspects of building a quality knife.

  • Steel selection

  • Shape and design

  • Forging techniques

  • Grinding to shape

  • Grinding bevels

  • Normalizing procedures

  • Heat treating to harden steel

  • Tempering steel

  • Final grinds

  • Handle shaping

  • Sharpening

All this is done in an 8-10 hr class day. It is a fair bit of work to do, if you have any health concerns, please let me know before signing up. Kids 10-14 will need an adult working with them, so class will have to be purchased for both. Kids 15-18 will need parent to sign permission or be in the class with them. We have many families work along side each other in class. It really makes for a fun day.

If you would like the experience of learning the craft of bladesmithing, this is the introductory class you want. We pride ourself on teaching proven techniques and having every single person leave with a quality handmade by you knife.

CLASS COST: $300 PER PERSON

CONTACT ME FOR CLASS BOOKING

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AXE MAKING CLASS

New Class

In this class we take a billet of raw steel and forge it, drift it and shape it into submission using hand hammering techniques and big self contained power hammers and hydraulic forging presses. 

We will introduce you to:

*axe head design

*drifting a eye for the axe handle

*complete forging of the blade, cheeks, body and poll

*Ash wood Handle design

*shaping axe handle

*hanging the axe head

*finishing touches 

At the end of class you get to take home a well made functional tool.

CLASS COST: $450 PER STUDENT

CONTACT ME FOR CLASS BOOKING

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DAMASCUS KNIFE CLASS

New Class

Have you been enamored with the thought of Making your own Damascus steel and then making a Knife with it? Here at South Bay Forgeworks, we will help you make that happen. 

THIS IS A 3 DAY COURSE 

PREREQUISITE IS HAVING DONE ATLEAST ONE KNIFE MAKING CLASS WITH US OR ABLE TO DISPLAY A KNIFE MAKING SKILL.

*** THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER COURSE ***

DAY 1 -  Learn to make a forge welded Billet of Damascus.

we go through the forge welding process and work a stack of steel into a knife blank.

DAY 2 - Forging knife to shape, grinding bevels, heat treating knife, prepping for etching the Damascus to reveal pattern. 

DAY 3 - Finishing up knife profile and appearance, putting handle on knife and finishing details

This is an in depth class, It is a lot of work to fit this in 3 days.

Its hot, its heavy, it is intense.

We will make sure you are prepared before start of class.

CLASS COST: $1100 PER STUDENT

CONTACT ME FOR CLASS BOOKING

There is a spot where old tradition meets new craftsmanship, this is here.

Bret Childers

Stay tuned through this holiday weekend

CONTACT

Please get in touch to find out more about the process and work of South Bay Forgeworks or to consult about your own project.

2831 36th ave ne Olympia WA 98506

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