We aim to be the best knifemaking school in Australia, offering a wide range of courses and opportunities to learn and share skills. Regular classes are scheduled in a variety of topics. Since we started running classes, hundreds of people have been introduced to the art of custom knife making and successfully made their first knives.
The Tharwa Valley Forge was established in 2003 by bladesmith Karim Haddad to create high quality knives and tools, and to teach the skills necessary to do this. Karim was trained by Australia's first Master Bladesmith, Thomas Gerner, in the early 1990's in Western Australia. The Forge is located in village of Tharwa, just south of Canberra, Australia.
Our website encourages this continual learning through sharing resources, tutorials and articles. We are always interested in feedback on how to make this site better. We hope you learn something from your visit, and come back soon and see us again.
Keep in touch with us on on Facebook and Twitter (@tharwaforge).
Jason Katsoolis, a young film maker, recently completed a short film on making a knife at the Tharwa Valley Forge. It shows some of the process and ideas that go into making a knife.
We stock a small range of high carbon steel (1075 and sometimes 15N20) for bladesmithing or stock removal. The steel works well under the hammer and has minimal movement in heat treatment. The steel is annealed ready for filing or grinding. This is not precision ground stock (hence the good price) so they may be slight warpage which is easily hammered or bent out.
Price is quotes per metre and will be worked out pro rata. Currently the maximum lengths of the steel is 1.6m because of the original sheet size. Cutting to length is no charge. Postage/freight extra so please let us know where you are when you order.
For composition and heat treating information see Properties of Carbon Steel
Click here for Prices of Knifemaking Steel
Gift vouchers are available for all our courses. Each voucher comes as a colour certificate with the recipients name on it and the course you have organised. The price is the same as the cost of the course. They are valid for a year after purchase.
Let us know who to send it to - yourself or the recipient, so that we don't spoil the surprise.
Contact us to organise a gift they will never forget.
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Here's a tutorial on how to make a propane gas forge out of bits and pieces. It's not too hard, it just takes some time and some scrap steel. There are lots of ways to make a forge, this one suits my needs. It can be made with a single opening or a double opening for long pieces. The parts can be improvised, but note the bigger the forge cavity - the harder it will be to heat.
Feel free to use and develop the ideas. We accept no responsibility on the use of forges you make with this information. Please be careful as working with gas can be dangerous and possibly fatal. I accept no liability for any injury which may occur by you following these pictures. They are intended for you information.
Mark II of our knife vice is much stronger and easier to adjust, thanks to some nice knurls with M10 threads. Simple to make - a strong piece of angle iron, a scrap of 10mm flat bar, 200mm of rectangular section, an M10 nut (or what ever suits your bolt), a washer, some scrap 3mm MDF and two M10 bolts with a knurled end. Drill a 10mm hole in the back of the angle iron and in the front of the rectangular section. Drill an 8.5mm hole in the scrap of 10mm and tap an M10 thread, weld the nut onto the rectangular section and then the 10mm piece on the back. Clean up, paint and assemble.
Unscrew the back to move, and do up to lock. Simple.
More photos below
Some thoughts on using the LPG (propane) forge, is it not meant to be a definitive guide and it is to be used at your own risk.
Some of Our Work
+61 (0) 418 165 433
11 Naas RdTharwa ACT 2620Australia
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Grab a couple of mates and contact us to arrange something that would suit you better.
Minimum numbers for a custom course depends on the course - e.g. 3 for Bladsmithing and Knifemaking, 2 for Damascus, or 4 for Sharpening. Prices are the same as the other courses.
Or maybe there is something different you would like to learn. We'll be only too happy to help.
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