• Introduction to Damascus

    Damascus - the ancient art of folding iron to make steel, with delicate watermarks like woodgrain. This is a one day introductory course, suitable to beginners,  where you will make your own 180 layered billet that you keep  for use in future projects. Read More
  • Damascus Knifemaking

    This intensive three day weekend course immerses you in the world of Pattern Welded or Damascus steel. You will learn techniques in welding, folding and patterning beautiful and unique steel. We'll be using a hydraulic power press and rolling mill to make the welds and draw down the billets. You will then make two knives with the steel. Read More
  • Bladesmithing and Knifemaking

    Always wanted to make a knife but didn't know where to begin? This extensive weekend workshop will give you the opportunity not only to learn these skills, but to put them into practice making two hand forged knives of your own. We will show you techniques, tools and hints on how to get started making your own knives. Read More
  • Folding Knives

    The black art of folding knives. Creating a folding knife adds a level of complexity and precision to knife making. Learn about a few of the common mechanisms used locking and non locking folding knives before going onto making your own single blade slip joint folder. Read More
  • Knife Sharpening

    A sharp knife is much safer than a blunt one. It cuts cleanly and does not slip, causing fewer accidents. Yet most people don’t know how to sharpen a knife and keep it sharp. This evening course  shows you the secrets of getting and maintaining a fine edge. Knife care and storage will also be covered to ensure your knife stays sharp. Read More
  • Longbow Making

    In this comprehensive weekend long workshop you will fashion a longbow of sustainable Australian hardwood and beautiful bamboo, custom crafted to your own specifications. You will learn the theory, science and art of turning dead timber into dynamic and fearsome longbows. You will also learn how to craft bowstrings, and if you don't already know - be introduced to the rewarding pursuit of shooting a longbow. Read More
  • Japanese Kitchen Knives

    Japanese kitchen knives have distinct elegance in both form and function. In this intensive weekend course you will build two traditional style Japanese kitchen knives. Options include hammer finished or polished blades, chisel grind or V grind and a variety of handles choices. These blades will provide you with years of excellent service in your kitchen. Read More
  • Kamisori - Japanese Razors

    Traditional Japanese straight razors, Kamisori, have been used for centuries to provide an outstanding shave. Their off-set hollow ground blade make a very keen edge. This one day course takes you theough the process of making two kamisori as well as cases and a strop. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Welcome to the Tharwa Valley Forge

hammerandanvilsmallWe 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.


Knifemaking Steel

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

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.



Latest Updates

Workshop Tutorials

  • Gas Forge Usage
  • Knife Vice MKII tutorial
  • Building a gas forge
  • Venturi Burner Tutorial

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More
This is a tutorial on how to build a simple LPG venturi burner. The parts cost around $60 AUD without the regulator (which can be another $100). The forge's atmosphere can be adjusted by twisting the upright pipe, which varies the amout of air sucked in.
Please be careful when working with gas. If you don't know what you are doing, find someone who does.


Read More

Some of Our Work