Blacksmithing & Benchwork Classes w/ Denis Frechette (Summer Programs 2024)

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Learn blacksmithing/benchwork from master blacksmith Denis Frechette! AlgomaTrad is offering beginner- and intermediate-level classes throughout July at the AlgomaTrad Centre, 1249 F&G Line, St. Joseph Island.

The beginner classes will serve as a great introduction to basic forging/metalworking, and do not need to be taken in order; each project can be completed within a single class period! These are all basic projects for participants of all experience levels. Our blacksmithing and benchwork workshops are suitable for ages 14 and up. Ages 11-13 are eligible if accompanied by a registered guardian.

The intermediate workshops are best suited to people who have some experience with blacksmithing and are ready to progress further into more complex projects and learn to use new tools. For descriptions of each class, see below.

Cost for the 3-hour beginner workshops is $30 per class +HST, which includes all supplies, can be paid using the registration form below, or by e-transfer to (please add a note that the payment is for blacksmithing). For the 7-hour intermediate classes, cost is $80 + HST. Subsidized pricing is available through the Nicholas Missere Bursary Fund. We gratefully accept donations to this fund so that we can continue to make our programming accessible to all.

Click HERE to register!

July Schedule: 

Tuesdays –  (2:30 – 9pm) – Intermediate Blacksmithing

Wednesdays –  (1-4pm) – Beginner Blacksmithing

(5 – 8pm) – Beginner Blacksmithing

Thursdays* – (9:30am – 12:30pm) – Beginner Benchwork

       (1:30 – 4:30pm) – Beginner Benchwork

Saturday, July 13th  – (10am – 5pm) – Intermediate

Saturday, July 20th – (10am – 5pm) – Intermediate

*No classes on Thurs. July 4 or 25

Note: class dates and/or times are subject to change based on registration numbers. AlgomaTrad will contact registered participants if any changes occur.


Workshop Details

Introduction to Blacksmithing – Forging Simple Shapes from a Bar.

Project – Simple Wall Hook

In this class you will be using a blacksmith forge, hammer and anvil to reshape a steel bar into a simple wall hook. Instruction will cover the most basic forging techniques used by smiths to shape simple items by hand.


Introduction to Benchwork – Shaping and Assembling Metal at The Workbench

Project – Basic Cabinet Hardware

Benchwork refers to the work that a blacksmith had to do in order to refine the shape of a forging or make parts that could not be made at the anvil. In this class, you will be using only hammers, chisels, files and saws to cut and shape metal at the workbench. You will also learn how to assemble these parts into a piece of working hardware.

Intermediate Blacksmithing

In this class you will be learning how to use your basic understanding of the forge and its tools to undertake projects that require a little more planning, precision and attention to detail.  You will be learning some new forging skills and using some new tools.